THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2014...
U.S. stocks turned lower on Wednesday, following the S&P 500's biggest jump in a year, as investors considered the fatal shooting of a soldier in Ottawa, reports of gunfire in the halls of Canada's Parliament and oil falling to a more-than two-year low.
A military guard died after getting shot at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, with multiple rounds then reportedly fired at the adjacent Parliament building. The gunfire followed increased worry about terrorist attacks in Canada, where a radical jihadist ran over two soldiers in a suburb of Montreal on Monday, killing one.
"It hits close to home, and with everything going on in the world, perhaps it's a contributor," Stephen Carl, head equity trader at the Williams Capital Group, said of the situation in Canada's capital, where lawmakers reportedly had barricaded themselves in their offices. "You don't know what's going on there is Ottawa; as we've seen over the last couple of weeks, people buy protection on news or perceived news out there," JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade, said of the CBOE Volatility Index, a measure of investor uncertainty, which jumped nearly 15 percent to 18.42.
Equities began to ease gains as the price of oil turned lower after data had U.S. inventories rising more than expected. "For the market to regain footing, we need the price of oil to stabilize," said Anastasia Amoroso, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds.
After a 39-point gain and 154-point fall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 0.9 percent. The S&P 500 shed 0.7 percent, with energy falling hardest among its 10 major industries. Around noon, S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures "gave up their gains and turned down as oil weakening dragged down many of the oil names," wrote Elliot Spar, market strategist at Stifel, Nicolaus & Company. "In the very short-term I expect the S&P 500 to back off and test 1,907 to 1,905," Spar added. The Nasdaq declined 0.8 percent.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for December delivery fell $6.20 to $1,245.50 an ounce and crude-oil oil futures for December turned lower, down $1.97 to $80.52 a barrel, its lowest since June 2012.
The U.S. dollar gained against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, used in figuring mortgage rates and other consumer loans, rose to 2.223 percent.