Thursday, December 12, 2013

Stocks Pounded Lower Again; December a Month of Not-so-Happy Holidays

Declines in equity prices are beginning to get a little bit serious, with the Dow Jones Industrials taking another 100+ point hit on Thursday after retail sales for November came in strong, but were unable to inspire confidence in the consumer sector, and unemployment claims shot up beyond expectations, to 368,000, not the kind of number expected during what is supposed to be the "busy" holiday shopping season.

Since the peak of 16,097.33, reached the day before Thanksgiving (November 27), the Dow is off 357 points, putting in a new interim low today. Still, that's a loss of just over two percent, not anything to get excited over, but the trend since Black Friday has been pronounced, with just two up days in the past 10 sessions.

Worse, new lows have taken a huge edge over new highs as of today, portending further losses should the trend extend.

The selling spilled over into precious metals, with gold and silver reversing gains made yesterday. Selling off of the metals may be a precursor of more asset depreciation, or, it could be just more of the constant discrediting of gold and silver as stores of value. It's a preposterous argument, made manifest by the fact that precious metal prices are derived from paper trading, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the intrinsic value proposition which only physical objects hold.

Overall, it's just getting a little too ugly for speculators with the year-end arriving in just 12 trading days.

DOW 15,739.43, -104.10 (-0.66%)
NASDAQ 3,998.40, -5.41 (-0.14%)
S&P 1,775.50, -6.72 (-0.38%)
10-Yr Note 98.86 -0.15 (-0.15%) Yield: 2.88%
NASDAQ Volume 1.75 Bil
NYSE Volume 3.28 Bil
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2513-3135
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 66-314
WTI crude oil: 97.50, +0.06
Gold: 1,224.90, -32.30
Silver: 19.45, -0.903
Corn: 434.25, -5.00

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