Dow down nearly 200 points as uncertainty returns

  @maureenmfarrell September 20, 2013: 4:34 PM ET
Dow weekly chart 4:29pm

Click chart for more markets data.


More uncertainty. That's what investors will be faced with for the next few months. And we all know how much the market hates uncertainty.

A glut of unanswered questions pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than 180 points Friday. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed down between 0.4% and 0.7%.

The selling spread beyond stocks. Oil prices fell more than 1%, and gold dropped nearly 3%. European markets and Asian markets were mixed.

So what are the biggest questions for investors?

  • When will the Federal Reserve finally begin to cut back on its $85 billion a month bond-buying program?
  • Will the U.S. government shut down on October 1st?
  • Will the U.S. government default on its debt?
  • And what will corporate earnings look like next month?

Click here for more on stocks, bond, currencies and commodities

Good news had helped the Dow and S&P hit record highs earlier in the week. Even with Friday's sell-off, stocks ended the week up between 0.5% and 1.3%.

Investors got a momentary respite from a barrage of worries. The Fed pleasantly surprised the market Wednesday by deciding to hold off on tapering its quantitative easing program. And the threat of a U.S. strike in Syria no longer appears imminent.

But traders clearly seemed more worried heading into the weekend.

Related: Crowds gather for new iPhones

Blackberry's woes get worse: Shares of BlackBerry (BBRY) dropped more than 17% after the company announced losses of nearly $1 billion for its second quarter and plans to cut 4,500 jobs.

iPhone fumbles? The lines may have been long for Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500)'s newest iPhones, but investors aren't racing to buy up Apple's stock. It's down more than 33% over the past year, and as sales for the latest iteration of the iPhone kicked off in stores in the U.S., China and seven other countries Friday, Apple's stock moved down another 1%.

One trader on StockTwits thinks the long lines might actually mean that there's room for the stock to run: "$AAPL Being accumulated like Chess rivals pieces by Kasparov, (despite mkt sell off)," said Bizfinder. But another trader isn't so sure: "$AAPL Just gonna assume that a 'positive surprise' is not possible now and that the good news has been baked in for the weekend," wrote jarym.

Never ending woes for Olive Garden?

Darden Restaurants (DRI, Fortune 500), which operates the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains, reported weaker-than-expected sales and profits. Darden also said it's planning workforce reductions. The stock slipped more than 7%. One trader suggested this could be a bad sign for the economy. Consumers may be pulling back.

"Olive Garden used to be the go-to chain for the middle class. What's happened? Red Lobster SSS also down 5.2%. No splurging. $DRI," said TraceyRyniec.

Related: Fear & Greed Index is getting greedy once again

The all-time high club: A slew of companies hit all-time highs, including Netflix (NFLX), Tesla (TSLA), Amazon (AMZN, Fortune 500), and Facebook (FB).

Priceline's (PCLN) stock continued to rise as well. It appeared set to finish above $1,000 a share for the second straight day..

Two IPOs off like rockets: It was a great day for companies with incendiary themed names to debut.

Shares of ad buying platform Rocket Fuel (FUEL) and cybersecurity firm FireEye (FEYE) both nearly doubled from their IPO prices. To top of page

Join the Conversation
Sponsored by
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
Nasdaq 4,095.52 9.29 0.23%
S&P 500 1,864.85 2.54 0.14%
Treasuries 2.72 0.08 3.19%
Data as of 7:21am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.15 0.02 0.12%
General Electric Co 26.56 0.44 1.68%
Cisco Systems Inc 23.21 0.18 0.78%
Alcoa Inc 13.56 0.14 1.04%
Microsoft Corp 40.01 0.00 0.00%
Data as of Apr 17
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.36%4.24%
15 yr fixed3.39%3.26%
5/1 ARM3.36%3.27%
30 yr refi4.34%4.22%
15 yr refi3.38%3.24%
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
Rate data provided
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.