Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Stocks Suffer Heavy Losses in Biggest Two-Day Selloff in Two Months

Not since the uncertainty surrounding the government shutdown in October have stocks suffered through a two-day period such as the one ended Wednesday afternoon.

Stocks were lower at the open and never gained positive ground for the entirety of the session.

Besides the usual fears of Federal Reserve tapering in December (or soon thereafter, as everybody knows it's coming), the latest buzz comes from the far East, where talk of China's overcapacity in an enormous number of industries is fueling speculation of a slowdown in the growth rate of the world's most populous nation.

Another way of expressing overcapacity concerns is slack demand in consumer countries from the USA to the various Eurozone nations and Great Britain. All taken together, a slowdown could be coming at exactly the wrong time for the resident intellectuals at the Fed, who may see their hand forced to curtail - at least to some extent - their bond purchases.

The three-headed monster of slowing industrial growth, slack consumer demand and a pullback of stimulus appears ready to launch an attack on wary equity investors who have been mostly riding a liquidity gravy train for nearly the past five years.

While the two-day selling event may portend even more selling heading through December - usually one of the strongest months for stocks - the fact that the major averages have been down seven of the last nine sessions, belies the false move presented last Friday on November's blowout non-farm jobs data when the Dow was up nearly 200 points. Monday's five-point gain on the Dow was nothing more than a rounding error. Today and yesterday's losses have nearly given all of last Friday's gains back. The Dow is just 22 points above last Thursday's close, setting up this Thursday (tomorrow) as a potential mini-correction if the Dow closes below 15,821.51.

Technical damage has been done recently, both to blue chips and more speculative issues. The NASDAQ suffered the brunt of the selling today, losing nearly 1 1/2 percent on the day. Declining issues outnumbered advancers by more than a four to one margin.

Another concern is volume, which picked up in today's downside trading. Making matters even more bearish were the new lows, which completely subsumed today's new highs, 208-104, a key indicator for direction, and, if it holds, a sure signal for a market correction or outright bear market, something which is probably long overdue.

Happy Holidays? Depends upon which side of the trade you're on.

DOW 15,843.53, -129.60 (-0.81%)
NASDAQ 4,003.81, -56.68, (-1.40%)
S&P 1,782.22, -20.40 (-1.13%)
10-Yr Note 99.46 +0.30 (+0.30%) Yield 2.84%
NASDAQ Volume 1.78 Bil
NYSE Volume 3.46 Bil
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 1096-4603
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 104-208
WTI crude oil: 97.44, -1.07
Gold: 1,257.20, -3.90
Silver: 20.36, +0.041
Corn: 439.25, +3.25

No comments: