Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Vapor Rally Runs Out of Steam

When rallies are built on nothing but hope and hype, i.e., pre-market futures - which were up outlandishly this morning - the end result is usually something along the lines of what happened today.

For the Dow, it meant, by the close, giving back nearly half the gains it had built by midday. For the NASDAQ and the S&P 500, the results were worse, being that Apple (AAPL) was whacked again today, losing another 2.5% on top of sizable losses earlier this week.

The NASDAQ gave up all of its gains and then some, finishing in the red, while the S&P gained just over a point-and-a-half by day's end.

There was nothing pushing this rally besides the absence of any kind of news, which, in current Wall Street parlance, is meant to be good news. Any hint of further malaise in Europe or on the US housing or employment fronts - which had already been well-disseminated earlier this week - would have sent stocks screaming for mercy into the weekend.

As such, nothing other than a few earnings reports were just barely enough to keep the stock wizards occupied, though the same classic bear market chart pattern as on Thursday emerged: up in the morning with a sell-off the remainder of the day.

Dow 13,029.26, +65.16 (0.50%)
NASDAQ 3,000.45, -7.11 (0.24%)
S&P 500 1,378.53, +1.61 (0.12%)
NYSE Composite 8,025.44, +29.52 (0.37%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,892,790,000
NYSE Volume 3,799,865,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3535-2076
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 182-60
WTI crude oil: 103.05, +0.78
Gold: 1,642.80, +1.40
Silver: 31.65, -0.13

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