Dow and Nasdaq Back to Losing Ways as Facebook Continues to Fall

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Well, you didn't think yesterday's market jump would last, did you? As I said in yesterday's market update, investors need to get ready for a wild week. Today is following through on that forecast of volatility ahead. The VIX, widely known as the market "fear measure," has soared 9.46% as of 2 p.m. EDT. That spike in the VIX dovetails with markets moving sharply lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) is down 1.06% while the Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC) has seen its own 0.96% drop.

What's happening today?
Positive news yesterday out of the housing sector -- housing prices fell at their slowest rate in more than a year -- was counteracted today. The index of pending home resales saw a 5.5% drop according to data released today. That can be compared to a 3.8% gain in the prior month. The May results were below even the most bearish estimates.

Beyond the U.S., European stocks actually saw a worse day. The UK's FTSE 100 was off 1.74%. Investors continue to fret about Greece, but that's always with an eye toward larger countries with their own host of troubles. Spain took center stage today after its debt saw another downgrade, this time from Egan-Jones Ratings, which pushed its rating to BB-minus. Oh, and that's with a negative outlook.


In the wider market
Facebook (NAS: FB) continues being a huge mover. While off from yesterday's volume of 78 million shares changing hands, at 2 p.m. Facebook was already crossing the 40 million mark. While its shares rallied at the beginning of the day, they've continued selling off and are currently down 2.5%. The company continues to fall in spite of a series of positive analyst notes including a $44 price target from Wedbrush Securities.

Of the biggest losers, Pep Boys (NYS: PBY) is off 20% after buyout talks collapsed. The takeover was valued at $804 million, but after its drop today Pep Boys sits at a value of just $468 million.

Not surprisingly given data that points toward a worsening housing market, banks were among the worst performers today. Financials are down 1.6%, while energy saw the largest loss today. That sector is down 2.4% as oil dropped below $88 per barrel.

Take the long-term view
That's it for this market checkup. While staring at stock screens all day can be bad for your health, the best investors don't pull out of the market. Instead, they find stocks they can live with for the long haul. Check out The Motley Fool's special report on long-term investing, where you'll find three promising stock picks for long-term investors, along with some tips on how to invest for your golden years. It's free, but don't wait -- get your report today while it's still available.

At the time this article was published Eric Bleeker owns shares of no companies listed above. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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