The major U.S. stock benchmarks fell for the fifth consecutive day as oil prices resumed their slide and the Swiss central bank unexpectedly lifted a three-year cap Euro exchange rates put in place to keep the Franc from appreciating too much and damaging Switzerland’s export-driven economy. Adding to the volatility was a surprise rise in weekly jobless claims to a four-month high at 316,000 and a series of disappointing quarterly earnings reports from the financial sector including Bank of America and Citigroup.
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After snapping a three day losing streak with yesterday’s big gain, Nymex crude resumed its downward slide falling 4.6% to settle at $46.25 per barrel down $2.23. Gold prices rose 2.45% as the precious metal climbed $30.3 to settle at $1,264.8 per ounce.
The Dow Jones Industrial average slipped 106.38 points or 0.61% to close at 17,320.71. The S&P 500 was down 0.92% and closed at 1,992.67 down 18.67 points.
The NASDAQ Composite was down 1.48% to close at 4,664.71 down 68.5 points while the tech heavy NASDAQ 100 was down 1.36% or 56.19 points to end the day at 4,089.65.
The Small cap Russell 2000 was down 1.9% 22.35 points closing at 1,154.71. The FOX50 closed at 1,393.39 down 1.09% or 15.36 points.