Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Stocks Get Sent on Wild Ride by ADP, FOMC

The Wall Street Casino is a dangerous place to play with money. One would have at least as good a chance f
"winning" at any of the establishments lining the Las Vegas Strip. At least there, high rollers play by the same rules, with the same odds. It's not that way at all on Wall Street, where the chances of stocks, bonds or entire indices are likely predetermined and those deemed "too big to fail" win all the time, mostly at the expense of other players.

Today's excursion into madness began with the release of ADP employment data for July, which showed a gain of 200,000 jobs in the month. Stocks started slowly, but by 10:30 am EDT - just an hour into the trading day - the Dow Jones Industrials were up by 114 points, and that was the high of the day.

With the Fed's FOMC announcement looming at 2:00 pm EDT, the slide back close to unchanged was obvious, the Dow slipping into the red shortly after the Fed announced it was doing nothing, for now, giving no indication of whether it intends to roll back its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases, which many analysts were predicting would begin in September.

The Dow zoomed back up to nearly an 80-point gain by 3:00 pm EDT, but then the selling resumed, taking into negative ground again just prior to the close. The S&P closed fractionally lower, though the NYSE Composite and NASDAQ ended the day in positive territory.

This summer's stock market is about as normal and predictable as a 14-year-old. There's no telling what may happen next, as good news is interpreted as good sometimes and bad others, and vice versa with bad news.

What's certain is that fundamentals don't matter at all and that's a dangerous place to invest, if that's what one wants to call it. Money is safer in one's pocket or lent to a neighbor or friend, even if they are poor risks. On a daily basis, the rug gets pulled out at some point, for some traders.

Best bet is to make sure you're not standing on it.

Dow 15,499.54, -21.05 (0.14%)
NASDAQ 3,626.37, +9.90 (0.27%)
S&P 500 1,685.73, -0.23 (0.01%)
NYSE Composite 9,558.81, +2.64 (0.03%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,870,515,500
NYSE Volume 4,183,349,250
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3425-3078
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 389-92
WTI crude oil: 105.03, +1.95
Gold: 1,312.40, -11.60
Silver: 19.63, -0.052

No comments: