Monday, November 14, 2011

Wall Street Starts Week on Down Note, Sluggish Volume

There was no follow-up to last week's furious upside rallies on Monday, as traders sought catalysts for profit but found few. Oddly, given that the news over the weekend indicated something of a simmering in the ongoing European debt crisis, volume was at mid-summer levels or lower, marking one of the lowest trading volume days of the year.

Just as everything was up on Friday, just about all asset classes showed losses on Monday, including stocks of all flavors, led lower by shares of financial companies, including the world's favorites, Goldman Sachs (GS -2.37, 99.29), Citigroup (C -0.95, 28.38) and Bank of America (BAC -0.16, 6.05), which just can't seem to get out of the six-dollar range, to the chagrin of Warren Buffett and countless speculators who believe that bank stocks are a bargain (like uber-bank-bull, Dick Bove).

All sectors finished in the red, with consumer cyclicals showing the smallest loss (-0.31%).

Still, the most pronounced factor of the session was the sheer lack of velocity, as though some of the big brokerages had turned off the HFT computers and handed the trading back to humans. The trading marked the third-lowest volume of the year.

It would be nice if that actually happened, but one can hope and dream. Meanwhile, there just doesn't seem to be much interest in buying or selling much of anything, at least for today.

Dow 12,079.44, -74.24 (0.61%)
NASDAQ 2,657.22, -21.53 (0.80%)
S&P 500 1,251.88, -11.97 (0.95%)
NYSE Composite 7,496.71, -79.47 (1.05%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,401,417,000
NYSE Volume 3,075,054,250
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 1384-4266
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 81-82
WTI crude oil: 98.14, -0.85
Gold: 1,778.40, -9.70
Silver: 34.02, -0.66

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