Friday, October 12, 2012

Stocks Erase Early Gains, Close Flat

Eerily similar to Thursday's trading pattern, stocks rode early gains until 10:00 am EDT, then quickly sold off, spent the rest of the session in the red and finished flat.

The drop in equities coincided neatly with the release of the University of Michigan's October Consumer Sentiment survey, which showed a reading of 83.1, after posting a 783 figure in September. Either the respondents to the survey have been enjoying some good life, or, like other economic data releases over the past month or so, the data is being rigged in advance of the November elections.

Such conspiracy theories have been gaining traction in recent days, and barely anyone would be surprised, at this point, if some of them were proven valid.

While the indices ended flat, the advance-decline line experienced serious deterioration, suggesting that there were few buyers in the market and those were very selective.

Otherwise, it was a lackluster day for equities. JP Morgan (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) both reported third quarter earnings prior to the opening bell and both beat on the earnings side, though Wells missed revenue projections. Both stocks sold off during the trading session, due, in part, to one of the unexpected consequences of ZIRP and QEternity by the Federal Reserve: with borrowing and lending rates so low, banks are finding it difficult to make money.

Put that in the Keynesian "I told you so" file and have a happy weekend.

Dow 13,328.85, +2.46 (0.02%)
NASDAQ 3,044.11, -5.30 (0.17%)
S&P 500 1,428.59, -4.25 (0.30%)
NYSE Composite 8,227.08, -29.51 (0.36%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,545,540,250
NYSE Volume 3,132,356,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 1930-3489
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 109-61
WTI crude oil: 91.86, -0.21
Gold: 1,759.70, -10.90
Silver: 33.67, -0.413

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