Friday, June 28, 2013

First Half Boffo for Stocks, But Ends on a Stinker

As odd as the recent equity market has been, today's action ranked right up there in bizarro-land.

First, the Chicago PMI was leaked a few minutes early (which has been alleged to have happened at least twice in the past), sending stocks screaming lower. The 51.6 figure was well below estimates of 55.0, sending stocks to their lows of the day just after 10:00 am EDT, the Dow off by some 140 points. An hour later, however, all was forgotten and presumably forgiven, as the Dow briefly peaked above the flat line.

The remainder of the session had the NASDAQ modestly higher, the S&P hugging the unchanged mark and the Dow drifting about in the red.

That was until the very final minutes of the day, when the Russell 2000 rebalancing sent stocks screeching lower once again, all of the indices finishing near their lows, ending the first half of the trading year with a resounding thud.

Even though US stocks have out-performed just about every other asset class on the planet over the first six months of 2013, the last month has been quite the disappointment, June being the only down month of the year for the major averages, and the first down month for the Dow Industrials since November, 2012.

For the week, the Dow gained 110 points, down both Monday and Friday, while up sharply mid-week. The NASDAQ picked up 46 points for the week, while the S&P 500 added 13.85. Each of the indices closed out the month, the second quarter and the first half below their 50-day moving averages.

While gains in equities were easy to come by in the first half of the year, the second half holds many challenges, especially with many funds and big hitters already sitting on impressive gains. Most of the major brokerages have been diddling with second half projections, most of they of the rosy variety.

We shall see as the market opens with a holiday shortened week on July 1.

Gold reversed course from yesterday's manic selloff, while silver added more than 5% on the day, a possible market reversal for the precious metals.

Dow 14,909.60, -114.89 (0.76%)
NASDAQ 3,403.25, +1.38 (0.04%)
S&P 500 1,606.28, -6.92 (0.43%)
NYSE Composite 9,121.62, -21.94 (0.24%)
NASDAQ Volume 2,274,401,750
NYSE Volume 4,899,537,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3342-3116
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 214-53
WTI crude oil: 96.56, -0.49
Gold: 1,231.30, +19.70
Silver: 19.57, +1.037

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