After an incredible three-month run, the Dow Jones Industrials Average (INDEX: ^DJI) is taking a breather, and all three of the major indexes are showing large sell-offs today. What's the big news that's got everyone worried? The Federal Reserve said that another round of quantitative easing is unlikely. Although the Dow may test the 13,000 psychological threshold pretty soon, it is still trading up 7% for the year. Here is a look at how the major markets are faring right now.


Gain / Loss

Gain / Loss %

Ending Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average(162)(1.23%)13,036
S&P 500(19)(1.32%)1,395

Other big news
Though the news from the Fed is no doubt the big force here, there are a few other things investors should be watching today.

  • The Volatility S&P 500 (INDEX: ^VIX) is popping almost 11% right now. The measure is an oft-cited way to measure the implied volatility of the markets. At just 17, it is still way down from August, when the VIX crossed 45. As the VIX plunged, the Dow rose, bringing us to our current level. Many are looking at this pop as a sign that the multimonth run could be over with a pullback looming.
  • The eurozone continues to rear its head as the specter haunting the markets. Spanish borrowing costs spiked at bond auctions, thus perpetuating the worry about continued debt crises. The Europe Sector Index (INDEX: ^XEX) dropped 3%, its biggest misstep of the year.

The losers
Some stocks take bad news worse than others. Today it's year-to-date Dow starlets Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) and Alcoa (NYSE: AA) that are down the most on the Dow, recording 2.9% and 2.8% drops, respectively. Alcoa's broad international exposure hurt it in 2011, so it's no surprise that European worries would send it tumbling today. Though Bank of America is also down big, it's still up 66% for the year, so I wouldn't call this reason to worry.

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