Friday, June 26, 2009

Stocks End Week Quietly Mixed

Stocks suffered through another listless session, though on much higher volume, finishing the day and the week in the red on all major indices excepting the NASDAQ which finished above the break even line both on the daily and weekly measure.

It was the second straight week that the market had closed lower, though the extent of the losses were marginalized by Thursday's strong showing.

The weekly figures are: Dow, -101 points; NASDAQ, +11; S&P 500, -2; NYSE Comp., -27.

Dow 8,438.39, -34.01 (0.40%)
NASDAQ 1,838.22, +8.68 (0.47%)
S&P 500 918.90, -1.36 (0.15%)
NYSE Composite 5,906.96, -4.07 (0.07%)

Advancers continued their trend of dominating the losing issues, 3961-2356. New highs beat out new lows for the second straight session, 129-58. That is the largest number of new highs on any single day since the middle of 2007, just about two years ago. Those new high-new low numbers are a little difficult to believe, especially since the Dow stood above 11,300 at this time a year ago.

As mentioned above, the volume numbers were rather outsized as compared to recent days. That level of volume could mean that funds are doing some early window dressing (or house cleaning) as the quarter - and the month - comes near a close. Tuesday will be the final trading day for June and the 2nd quarter. Nearly half of Friday's volume came in the final minutes of trading, making the numbers all the more suspicious.

NYSE Volume 2,310,427,000
NASDAQ Volume 3,659,184,000

Oil took a breather, losing $1.07, to $69.16. Gold continued to trend slowly higher, gaining $1.50, to $941.00. Silver tacked on 12 cents to close at $14.16.

Following Thursday's powerful move, Friday's action has to be considered a complete flop. There simply was no continuation of the rally, not surprising in this environment. That late day volume spike is strange, though and may have been a rebalancing by index funds or something to do with Cisco and the Travelers being added to the Dow, but it is probably something more nefarious than that.

Investors are still a little bit rattled and unsure, as there have been an equal number of encouraging and discouraging sings in economic data of late. Next week may well be more of the same slow pace, especially leading up to the Independence Day Holiday, with all exchanges closed on Friday, July 3.

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