Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Markets Lower, But Not By Much

Once again, US equity markets showed incredible resiliency, closing with tiny losses in the face of dour economic news and a sputtering trading regimen.

With options expiration just two days away, stocks skidded close to support levels, but by the end of the day had recovered most of the lost ground and finished with modest losses.

The biggest news of the day was threefold: Warren Buffett and Goldman Sachs announced a $500 million initiative for lending to small businesses; American Express (AXP) Announced the purchase of AOL founder Ted Case's Revolution Money, a PayPal competitor; and October housing starts fell 10.6% from September and 30.6% from a year ago.

All of that news hit the street before the opening bell, the slack housing data contributing to an overall slide right out of the gate.

Dow 10,426.31, -11.11 (0.11%)
NASDAQ 2,193.14, -10.64 (0.48%)
S&P 500 1,109.80, -0.52 (0.05%)
NYSE Composite 7,226.71, -7.35 (0.10%)

By the end of the day, however, stocks stood just below where they had at the end of Monday. For the full session, declining issues beat advancers, 3716-2726. New highs beat new lows, 324-67. Volume was, as has been the case since Spring, weak.

NYSE Volume 4,902,849,500
NASDAQ Volume 1,951,870,250

Oil finished higher, up 44 cents, at $79.58. Gold rose $1.90, to $1,141.30, but was up over $1,151.00, a new record. Silver continued to ascend, up just 3 cents, to $18.42.

Trades will continue to be pushed along by the usual suspects: the US Dollar and options expiration, though the latter may not have much impact after mid-day tomorrow.

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