Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bummer! Stocks Flushed on Final 2009 Day of Trading

There was a correction coming; we all knew that. Nobody apparently was aware that it was going to begin on the last day of trading for 2009, but that's exactly what happened. Call it tax-related or year-end jitters, any way you slice it, stocks took a real nosedive on December 31, wiping out all of the week's gains and more. In the Dow's case, just about all of December was swished away in one final day, leaving that index up a paltry 83 points for the month. The results for the S&P were better, as the 500 index ended December with a gain of about 20 points, though it still can't seem to shake loose from the 1100-1125 level.

Best of all was the NASDAQ, which ended the final month of the year 125 points to the positive, or about a 5% gain. That was the best news of the day, and the NASDAQ the best-performing index of not just the month, but the entire year.

Dow 10,428.05, -120.46 (1.14%)
NASDAQ 2,269.15, -22.13 (0.97%)
S&P 500 1,115.10, -11.32 (1.00%)
NYSE Composite 7,184.96, -56.28 (0.78%)

As one might conclude from the final figures, advancers trailed decliners on the day, 4171-2375, a pretty wide gap. New highs numbered 322, with 49 equities posting new lows. Volume was as utterly pathetic as it has been all week, the low velocity of trading potentially causing the losses to appear exaggerated.. or not, depending on your perspective. Surely, stocks have had a wonderful year, but ending this way just gives one pause. Are we really out of the woods, or are the players and movers and shakers who brought us disaster in 2008, giving us reason to believe that 2009 was a mirage and 2010 might not be as positive as some expect. We'll have to wait until Monday, January 4, for our first glint of what the new year may bring.

NYSE Volume 2,547,756,250
NASDAQ Volume 1,254,659,250

Commodity prices bounced around a bit, but ended mostly flat. Oil was up just 8 cents, to $79.36, while gold gained $4.00, to $1,096.50, and silver added 2 cents, to $16.82.

With 2009 now officially in the books, we wish all of you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

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