Dow Jones Industrial Average Slumps 222 Points as Fed Spooks Markets

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For Jan. 27, 2016, here’s the top stock market news and stocks to watch based on today’s market moves…

How Did the Stock Market Do Today?

dow jones industrial average
Dow Jones:
15,944.46; -222.77; -1.38%

S&P 500: 1,882.95; -20.68; -1.09%

Nasdaq: 4,468.17; -99.51; -2.18%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Wednesday) fell more than 222 points after the U.S. Federal Reserve released a worrisome statement on the global economy and maintained interest rates at current levels. The Fed acknowledged that the global economy cooled in the wake of its December meeting and said it is “closely monitoring” ongoing financial and economic developments. Here’s what today’s Federal Reserve meeting means for investors for the months ahead.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) – Wall Street’s fear gauge – rose 3.6%.

On the economic front, the Fed Open Market Committee’s decision to leave interest rates untouched drove the decline in the afternoon. On a positive note, new home sales crushed economist expectations with a major rebound in December. New home sales in 2015 increased by 15% over 2014 levels. Despite the positive figures, shares of home builders D.R. Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI) and Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL) were both off more than 1.9% on the day.

Top Stock Market News Today

  • Stock Market Today: Eight of 10 major S&P sectors were negative today with technology stocks slumping the hardest. Futures traders lowered their expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates during its next meeting. CME Group now expects the odds of a rate hike at 32%, down from 33% this morning. After the bell, keep an eye out for earnings reports from Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB), Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM), and eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY).
  • Russian Revival: Oil prices ended at a two-week high today on news Russia is open to cooperation with OPEC nations in aiming to reduce the global glut of supply. WTI prices added 2.7% to reach $32.33 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil crude – priced in London – gained 4.1% to reach $33.10. The news of Russia’s possible cooperation offset supply concerns after the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that U.S. crude inventories increased by 8.4 million barrels last week.
  • On Tap Tomorrow: On Thursday, traders will keep an eye on weekly jobless claims and an update on durable goods. In addition, the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index and the Pending Sales Index will be in focus. Companies set to report quarterly earnings include Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA), Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA).

Stocks to Watch: BA, CAT, AAPL, GOOG

  • Stocks to Watch No. 1, BA: Shares of Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) had one of their worst days in their 44 years as a public company. Shares slipped 8.9% after the firm fell short of fiscal fourth-quarter earnings expectations and Wall Street guidance projections. The company also announced plans to cut production of its 777 airplanes.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 2, CAT:Shares of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) fell more than 1.4% after the global agricultural and construction equipment giant announced significant declines in machine sales last month. The news comes during a global economic slowdown and as companies continue to cut capital expenditures for 2016.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 3, AAPL: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) were off as much as 6.5% after the company reported earnings after the bell yesterday. The company reported its slowest growth rate ever in terms of iPhone sales, and the firm forecast its first quarterly revenue decline in roughly 13 years. The firm lost more than $20 billion in market value and is in danger of losing its top position in market capitalization to tech rival Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) if shares continue to decline. However, there is a bullish case for AAPL stock and why its new price target involves a 35% gain from current levels. Read it here.
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