News Column

Major Averages Close Sharply Lower Amid Geopolitical Concerns

July 17, 2014

WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - With geopolitical concerns generating considerable selling pressure, stocks moved sharply lower over the course of the trading day on Thursday. The losses on the day more than offset yesterday's gains, with the Dow pulling back well off its record closing high.

Airline stocks showed a substantial move to the downside following news of a plane crash in Ukraine. Reflecting the weakness in the sector, the NYSE Arca Airline Index plummeted by 2.7%.

Brazil'sGOL (GOL) and American Airlines (AAL) turned in two of the airline sector's worst performances, falling by 7% and 4.1%, respectively.

Considerable weakness also emerged among natural gas stocks, as reflected by the 2.6% loss posted by the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index. The weakness in the sector came as natural gas for August delivery fell USD0.165 to USD3.954 per million BTUs.

Semiconductor stocks also saw significant weakness on the day, dragging the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index down by 2.5%. SanDisk (SNDK) helped lead the sector lower after reporting better than expected second quarter earnings but providing disappointing revenue guidance.

Biotechnology, housing, steel, and computer hardware stocks also moved notably lower, reflecting broad based selling pressure.

Meanwhile, gold stocks bucked the downtrend by the broader markets, moving higher along with the price of the precious metal. With gold for August delivery climbing USD17.10 to USD1,316.90 an ounce, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index jumped 2.5%.

The major averages closed firmly in negative territory but off their lows for the session. The Dow dove 161.39 points or 0.9% to 16,976.81, the Nasdaq plunged 62.52 points or 1.4% to 4,363.45 and the S&P 500 tumbled 23.45 points or 1.2% to 1,958.12.

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Source: Alliance News

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