Housing numbers were strong and we did see a positive read for February Consumer Prices (remember the Fed is hoping desperately for some inflation), but market participants seemed to have no interest in buying stocks today. Market averages hovered around the break-even mark for most of the early part of the trading session, but fell firmly into negative territory as the afternoon wore on.
By the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 104 points to finish the day at 18,011. The S&P 500 was down 12 points to close at 2091. Gold was up $5 to trade at $1193 per ounce, while oil was mostly unchanged as WTI traded near $47.48 per barrel.
As mentioned the CPI did tick up just a bit after January’s somewhat shocking negative number (remember negative is deflationary), so that could be a sign of normalization as we go forward. If job creation hangs in there and we get a little inflation, the Fed might be able to proceed with the desired tightening monetary policy that the markets have been awaiting. Even so, we would have to see much more economic robustness and inflationary pressures for any tightening attempt to be more than a token gesture. Let’s see if the if traders can find anything to get excited about as the week unfolds.
Have a nice evening everyone.