Market Wrap for Wednesday, August 14: U.S. Stocks Fall Mid-Week; Commodities Finish Largely Higher
The U.S. stock market fell for most of Wednesday's trading session, finishing near its worst levels of the day.
The Dow shed more than 100 points, while the S&P and Nasdaq recorded relatively smaller losses.
While stocks were weak on the session, commodities were largely higher. Both long-term Treasuries and the U.S. Dollar were largely unchanged on the day.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 113 points, or 0.73 percent, to close at 15,338.
The S&P 500 lost 9 points, or 0.52 percent, to finish at 1,685.
The Nasdaq fell 15 points, or 0.41 percent, to 3,669.
Producer prices were unchanged in July after rising 0.8 percent in June. This compared to consensus expectations of a rise of 0.3 percent.
On a core basis, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, PPI was up 0.1 percent last month. This compares to a 0.2 percent gain in June and consensus estimates calling for a 0.2 percent gain in July.
Crude oil prices were mixed late on Wednesday. At last check, NYMEX crude futures were down 0.2 percent to $106.81 while Brent crude contracts had risen 0.32 percent to $110.17. Natural gas jumped 1.77 percent on the day to $3.34.
Precious metals rose on Wednesday despite a decline for stock prices. Heading into the close, COMEX gold futures were up 1.04 percent to $1,334.20. Silver contracts had risen 2.14 percent to $21.80. Copper futures added 0.59 percent to $3.3420.
The grains complex was also largely higher on the day. Corn futures climbed 1.79 percent while wheat was last trading up 0.19 percent. Movers in soft commodities included cocoa and coffee. Cocoa jumped 1.51 percent while coffee was trading up 1.70 percent.
After a steep sell-off on Tuesday, long-term Treasuries were mostly unchanged on Wednesday. Near the closing bell, the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT) was up 0.11 percent to $105.11.
Yields were as follows on Wednesday afternoon: The 2-Year Note was yielding 0.33 percent while the 5-Year Note was yielding 1.47 percent. The 10-Year Note and 30-Year Bond were yielding 2.71 percent and 3.75 percent, respectively.
The U.S. Dollar was also largely unchanged on the session. Heading into the close of equities, the PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE: UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, was down 0.02 percent to $22.09.
The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last trading down 0.01 percent to $1.3259. Other movers included the GBP/USD, which rose 0.39 percent, and the AUD/USD, which added 0.46 percent.
Volatility and Volume
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) rose a little less than 5 percent on the session. The closely watched barometer of volatility expectations finished the day at 12.88.
Volume remained lighter than usual on Wednesday. Around 67 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) shares traded hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 133 million.
A recent rally in shares of WageWorks (NASDAQ: WAGE) continued on Wednesday after the company priced an offering of common stock. The shares were last up a little less than 12 percent late in the day.
Shanda Games (NASDAQ: GAME) jumped around 11 percent on the session after opening the day near the unchanged mark. The reason for the activity in the stock was not immediately obvious.
First Majestic Silver (NYSE: AG) jumped a little less than 10 percent on Wednesday after the company's fiscal second-quarter earnings results.
Silver Spring Networks (NYSE: SSNI) plunged around 30 percent on the session after the company's partnership with Vodafone failed to win an important telecom contract from the U.K. government.
Chinese ADR E-Commerce China Dangdang (NASDAQ: DANG) lost around 12 percent on now significant news on Wednesday.
A day after a sharp rally, Renren (NYSE: RENN) was hit by profit taking. The shares closed lower by more than 8 percent.
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