Friday, August 29, 2008

Another Downer for the Markets

Amid political rhetoric and slumbering stocks, the major indices managed to work themselves low in the final "unofficial" week of summer.

With the advent of the Labor Day holiday, investors thought better of yesterday's euphoric rally and sold off in get-away fashion.

Dow 11,543.96 -171.22; NASDAQ 2,367.52 -44.12; S&P 500 1,282.84 -17.84; NYSE Composite 8,382.10 -84.02

For the week, the Dow closed 85 points lower, the NASDAQ lopped off 47, the S&P shed 10, while the NYSE Composite was virtually unchanged, adding 9 points.

It truly was a forgettable week in the financial markets. Things should get back to some semblance of normalcy in September. Over the past week, volume was a little better than half of what it normally is. Friday's NYSE volume was the lowest of the year.

A couple of economic reports told the real story of the US economy on Friday. Personal income fell in July, as did consumer spending. No real surprise there, just confirmation of what everybody already knew. Consumers are generally tapped out and doing more saving and conserving than spending.

On the day, declining issues trounced advancers, 3906-2277. New lows nearly doubled new highs, 126-65.

Oil, despite some volatility concerning Hurricane Gustav's effect on Gulf oil production, oil finished 13 cents lower, at $115.46. Gold lost $2.00, to $835.20 and silver was unchanged at $13.71

NYSE Volume 750,671,000
NASDAQ Volume 1,583,494,000

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