Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Day After: Stocks take Biggest Losses of Year; Gold, Silver Smashed

There was no place to hide for investors of any stripe on the day after the Fed's dramatic announcement on Wednesday that it planned to reduce asset purchases later this year.

Stocks, bonds, and commodities were all priced lower, reflecting the possible reality that the world's economy would not be propped up indefinitely by the Federal reserve's money-printing schemes of quantitative easing (QE) and zero percent interest rate policy (ZIRP).

Following Wednesday afternoon's sharp selloff, Thursday quickly turned into a blood bath, with all of the major averages breaking through support at 50-day moving averages and precious metals dropping to levels not seen in roughly three years.

Godl was down nearly $100/ounce at 4:00 pm EDT, with traffic shifting from the Comex and Globex to Asian markets which are sure to feel the after-effects of the West's massive breakdown.

Despite the huge moves in equities, the major indices are still only down less than five percent from all-time closing highs made late in May, but the abruptness of the moves in all markets was an unexpected shock to portfolios everywhere.

The 10-year note hit a three-year high yield, but pulled back slightly to end the day at 2.39. The five-year also closed at multi-year highs of 1.26% and the 30-year bond finished at 3.48%, 33 basis points higher than a month ago.

Fallout from today's moves in the markets will be far-reaching and should be considered the beginning of a new paradigm, one in which interest rates will continue to rise as (and if) the economy continues to improve, a scenario not fully bought into by everyone. While housing has shown strength in recent months, higher interest rates can only slow the growth potential as home-buyers will be able to afford less for their money or may delay purchases altogether.

Gold and silver were especially hard hit, with gold finishing below the $1300 level and silver under $20 per ounce.

With no real economic data of note and earnings still two to three weeks away, the markets will have to find some kind of stabilizing catalyst in the final week of June or heading into the Independence Day holiday the first week of July, investors will find themselves truly independent... of profits, assets and good trading ideas.

Everybody knew this day of reckoning was coming, though few thought it would be so soon and appear with such ferocity. Trading volume was at the highest level of the year, significant in that tomorrow's quarterly options expirations may have been closed out earlier than most had planned, rendering tomorrow's triple-or-quadruple-witching day moot.

Advancing issues were dwarfed by decliners, which outpaced them 9-to-1. New lows exceeded new highs, 436-59.

The losses on major indices were the worst since November 7, 2012, the day after the re-election of Barack Obama. It's not just coincidence that stocks would take their biggest tumbles on the day after electing the worst president in American history (he's easily outdone GW Bush, already) and the day following the tactical blundering of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. We are a nation of sheep led by abject morons.

Dow 14,758.32, -353.87 (2.34%)
NASDAQ 3,364.64, -78.57 (2.28%)
S&P 500 1,588.19, -40.74 (2.50%)
NYSE Composite 8,996.35, -259.36 (2.80%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,961,153,875
NYSE Volume 5,276,584,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 685-5966
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 59-436
WTI crude oil: 94.94, -3.30
Gold: 1,278.00, -96.00
Silver: 19.56, -2.063

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