Oil prices fell for a ninth straight day
After Wednesday's post-midterms rally, U.S. stocks took a breather today. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) surprised no one by standing pat on interest rates, and said it "expects further gradual increases" to rates. Energy stocks, in particular, took a beating, as oil prices fell into bear market territory -- down 20% from their October high -- and suffered a ninth straight loss. However, while the S&P snapped its three-day win streak, the Dow reversed higher in the final minutes of trading, but ended a string of 14 straight triple-digit moves.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:Analyst: This shipping stock is on sale at current levels. Square earnings received a mixed reception from analysts. This retail giant could rally into the holidays. Plus, Monster faces stiff competition; Nvidia stock suffers pre-earnings; and how subscribers made big bucks on Crocs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 26,191.22) spent most of the session lower, but ultimately eked out a gain of 10.9 points, or 0.04%. Twenty of the 30 Dow stocks ended higher, led by 3M Company's (MMM) 1.4% gain. Caterpillar (CAT) paced the 10 declining blue chips, dropping 2.7%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,806.83) fell 7.1 points, or 0.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,530.89) fared the worst of the three, dropping 39.9 points, or 0.5%.
The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 16.72) added 0.4 point, or 2.2%.
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert
Oil prices fell into bear market territory -- down 20% from their October peak -- with crude suffering its ninth consecutive drop amid oversupply concerns. Oil for December delivery fell $1, or 1.6%, settling at $60.67 a barrel.
December gold futures also edged lower today. The precious metal fell $3.60, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,225.10 an ounce. The malleable metal's losses continued in electronic trading, as the dollar strengthened following the Fed announcement.