Friday, June 17, 2011

Desperate Late Rally Bumps Dow to First Gain in Seven Weeks

What an absolute mockery the US stock markets are.

With stocks deteriorating late in the day, synchronized buying in the final 4 minutes brought the Dow Jones Industrial average back over 12,000, and to the first positive close in seven weeks.

The S&P move, similar in time frame, was even sillier, getting the widely-watched average to close exactly 0.52 higher than it ended last week. The Dow was up 52 points for the week, while the NASDAQ finished up the week a loser, down 27 points. Apparently, the genius brain trust on Wall Street missed that one.

In a few words, stocks are still very weak and the issues causing the weakness have yet to be resolved.

Dow 12,004.36, +42.84 (0.36%)
NASDAQ 2,616.48, -7.22 (0.28%)
S&P 500 1,271.50, +3.86 (0.30%)
NYSE Composite 8,000.11, +36.51 (0.46%)

For the first time in a while, advancers carried the day, unconvincingly beating declining issues, 3857-2774. On the NASDAQ, there were only 28 new highs and 113 new lows. The NYSE saw 25 new highs, but 48 new lows, making the combined totals favor the new lows for the 11th straight session, 161-76. Volume was healthy, having much to do, as did the general gains, with quadruple witching on options expiration. Beginning next week, with the options play out of the way, stocks can get right back to falling off the table again.

NASDAQ Volume 2,491,541,250
NYSE Volume 4,925,850,000

Crude oil was hammered down again, losing another $1.94, to close out the week at $93.01. Gold finished up $10.80, at $1540.00, while silver added 31 cents, to $35.90.

Economic data was muted, with the Conference Board's Index of leading Indicators up 0.8% for May, while the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index backtracked from 74.3 in May to 71.8 in June.

It was a wild week for everyone, even those of us who only report on the madness.

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