Stocks fell for the 4th day in a row, leaving the Dow down more than 3% for the week. In addition this was the worst day for the Dow since June of last year. The reason for all the weakness this week has mainly been attributed to the turmoil in emerging markets. We came into the week focused on earnings of American companies, but traders were quickly distracted by weakness in overseas markets. The emerging market index is down by more than 8% for the year already.
By the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 318 points to finish the session at 15,879. The S&P 500 was down 38 points to close at 1790. Gold was up $5 to trade at $1267 per ounce, while oil was down $.41 to trade at $96.91 per barrel. The major energy story has been natural gas which has risen over 20% YTD. This very cold winter has had an effect on natural gas prices (insert your own global warming joke here).
It looks like “risk” is back in play in 2014. There is little doubt that complacency had reared its ugly head by the close of 2013. We really haven’t seen any serious corrections since late summer/early fall of 2011. Yes, maybe it was getting a little too comfortable. My guess is that after this week, that warm and cozy feeling market participants were experiencing as 2013 came to a close, is beginning to subside- at least a little bit. That may not be a bad thing after all.
Have a great weekend everyone. Stay warm.