Well, why should today be any different? Yes, once again, on this final trading day of January, volatility was the name of the game. The 4th quarter GDP number came in a bit light at 2.6% (remember, the market was looking for 3.2%), but on the whole economic growth was slightly better in 2014 than 2013. Anyway, traders seemed tentative from the opening and although there were some bright moments for the bulls along the way (namely when reports about ISIS in Iraq made oil prices spike), stocks had a negative tone for most of the session. In the last hour of trading, buyers seemed to disappear and stocks tumbled to daily lows.
By the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 251 points to finish the day at 17,164. The S&P 500 was down 26 points to close at 1994. Gold was up $28 to trade at $1283 per ounce, while the aforementioned oil was up $3.05 to trade at $47.58 per barrel WTI. For January, the S&P was down about 3% and the Dow was down about 3.5%.
Remember, the old adage that as goes January so goes the year, would indicate that 2015 could be a challenge for investors. Of course, the S&P was down last January (about 2.5%), yet market averages had a good year overall, so you never know for sure. One thing we know for sure is that volatility has returned to the proceedings in a big way. Unfortunately, this type of volatility tends to distract investors and cause them to lose focus on what is important. Maybe, before we head into February, it might be a good time to review our 12 investing truths that we talked about in December.
Have a great weekend everyone.