After yesterday’s awful showing, stocks experienced another day of volatile trading. The non-farm payroll number was slightly less than expected with 209,000 new jobs created in July, and this seemed to calm what looked to be a sizable down bias in premarket futures. At first glance it seemed like a goldilocks number, not too strong (you know, good news is bad news) and not too weak. The weak index futures turned into to early market gains as trading began, but by midday we were down another 100 Dow points and searching for buyers. Stocks did recover some as the afternoon wore on, but the damage for the week was already done.
For the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 69 points to close at 16,493. The S&P 500 was down 5 points to finish the day at 1925. Gold was up $12 to trade at $1294 per ounce, while oil was down $.56 to trade at $97.61 per barrel WTI. The Dow has now drifted into negative territory for the year and the S&P has given up a lot of its gains too. For July the S&P was down 2%. We haven’t seen that in a while.
One more thought on yesterday and market risk in general. If you see the market down 2% in a given day and you find yourself unable to sleep at night, or just upset in general, then you might be traveling a bit too fast on the path to your goals, or perhaps you’re on the wrong road altogether. If you are a client, you know we try to make sure that the volatility that you experience on your path fits your temperament and feeling toward risk. For those of your who are not clients of ours, make sure that your investment accounts are positioned in a manner that reduces volatility to a level you can live with, because if you don’t, downturns will discourage you and you will exit at just the wrong time.
It was a busy and somewhat difficult week. On the whole, the economic data was positive (that actually was the problem) as were corporate earnings, but the global unrest surely weighed on the market psyche. Let’s see how next week unfolds.
Have a great weekend everyone.