Dow Jones Industrial Average Craters 312 Points on Biotech Sector Sell-Off

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For Sept. 28, 2015, here’s how the Dow Jones Industrial Average did today, earnings reports, top stock market news, and stocks to watch based on today’s market moves…

How Did the Stock Market Do Today?                                                             

Dow Jones
Dow Jones
: 16,001.89; -312.78; -1.92%

S&P 500: 1,881.77; -49.57; -2.57%

Nasdaq: 4,543.97; -142.53; -3.04%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Monday) fell 312 points as concerns about China’s economic growth weighed on investor sentiment. Healthcare stocks slumped another 3.6% on the day as a sell-off in biotech stocks continued. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 slipped below the psychological barrier of 1,900 for the first time since Aug. 26.

Uncertainty about the timing of an interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve weighed heavily on the financial sector. Shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) fell by 3.8%. Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) both slipped more than 3%, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) and Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) both fell more than 2.4%.

The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX), the market’s fear gauge, surged 14.9% on the day.

Top Stock Market News Today

  • Stock Market News: All 10 sectors of the S&P 500 fell on the day by more than 1%, while healthcare, energy, and materials all fell more than 3.5%. Commodity prices cratered this afternoon after new data indicated profits at China’s largest industrial companies fell by 8.8%. Meanwhile, mixed economic data underwhelmed investors.
  • Consumer Data: S. consumer spending beat consensus expectations for August, while existing home sales decreased, raising concerns about the health of the U.S. housing market after months of improving data.
  • Fed Statements: This afternoon, Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans said the Federal Reserve should hold off on raising interest rates after he raised concerns about “substantial costs” related to current inflation levels. Evans said the central bank should wait until mid-2016 before it considers a “liftoff” in rates.
  • Biotech Blues: The biotech sell-off continued on Monday. The iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index ETF (Nasdaq: IBB) fell another 6.3%. Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) cratered more than 16% after Democrats in Congress announced plans to subpoena the company for documents tied to recent price increases. The cost of heart drugs Nitropress and Isuprel have increased by 212% and 525% since VRX purchased them.
  • Oil Prices Slip: Oil prices slumped again as concerns about global growth weighed on trader sentiment. Demand expectations outweighed news that oil production in the United States is decreasing and the nation has seen a decline in inventories for four consecutive weeks. WTI prices lost 2.8% to hit $44.43, while Brent oil prices fell 2.6% to hit $47.34. Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) dipped 0.9%. Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) fell 2.5% on the day. Finally, Royal Dutch Shell Plc. (NYSE ADR: A) dipped 3% after the company announced plans to halt energy production in the Arctic Circle despite years of exploration and billions of dollar spent on the project.
  • On Tap Tuesday: Tomorrow, the Reserve Bank of India will issue a critical report tied to its monetary policy, as the nation continues to adjust to falling demand from China. Meanwhile, Germany will announce its first CPI report since news broke about the Volkswagen emissions scandal. In Japan, a monthly update on industrial production will provide insight into the impact of China’s slowdown on the world’s third-largest economy. Finally, the Conference Board will offer its September report on Consumer Confidence in the United States. Companies reporting earnings on Tuesday include Diamond Foods Inc. (Nasdaq: DMND), Barracuda Networks Inc. (NYSE: CUDA), AZZ Inc. (NYSE: AZZ), IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), and Virgin America Inc. (Nasdaq: VA).

Stocks to Watch: AAPL, AA, WMB, ETE

  • Stocks to Watch No. 1, AAPL: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) dipped nearly 2% despite news the company shattered expectations for sales of its iPhone 6 and 6s. The company sold more than 13 million units during its debut weekend.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 2, AA: Shares of commodity giant Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) were up more than 5.7% on news that the firm plans to split into two businesses. The firm said it will split its aluminum and mining company from its “downstream” special metals division by the end of 2016. The upstream commodity division will keep the name Alcoa.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 3, WMB: Shares of Williams Cos. Inc. (NYSE: WMB) cratered more than 12% today despite news the company is the takeover target of Energy Transfer Equity LP (NYSE: ETE). Shares of ETE also slipped more than 12% on news of the $37.7 billion deal. Here’s why the stocks were on the decline today, and how you can profit from the ongoing trend of M&A activity in the energy sector.

What Investors Must Know This Week

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