The downward move in stocks today prompted somewhat of a multiple choice quiz for determining the cause of today’s pullback. Was the cause for the downturn weak economic news, or was the data actually too strong? Was it fear of a rate hike coming sooner than later, or was it that because of weak data that a rate hike may be delayed for some time? Is it the classic sell in May and go away? Was it the total state of complacency that market participants seem to have fallen into? Was it because most of us can’t remember the last time the market went down?
Whatever the reason/cause stocks retreated from the opening bell today and stayed in decisively negative territory for the entire trading session. By the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 190 points to finish the day at 18,041. The S&P 500 was down 21points to close at 2104. Gold was down $17 to trade at $1186 per ounce, while oil was down $1.59 to trade at $58.13 per barrel WTI.
As for that economic data, the Durable Goods number appeared to be as expected, though not real good, and the housing data seemed strong with both new home sales and prices rising. Nevertheless, traders had no interest in buying and once again as we head into the end of a month the market averages seem to be drifting back towards break even for the year (and that includes bonds).
With just three trading days left in the week, let’s see if the bulls have the stomach to make a stand, or do the bears finally have a little something going? Those bears haven’t been able to put together a streak of more than a few days for some time now. We’ll see.
Have a nice evening everyone.