Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Beginning And An End: Stocks And Oil Hit The Skids

Tuesday marked a beginning and an end in more ways than just the day and date.

On the one hand, today was the start of the trading week, shortened by Monday's Memorial Day holiday. On the other, it was May 31, the final trading day of the month, a date normally associated with the buying of stocks as "window dressing," wherein funds pad their holdings with the most favored stock offerings.

As days go, this one was a downer for stocks, with the major averages taking a deep dip before a late-session rally brought the S&P and NASDAQ respectively closer to breakeven and into positive territory. The Dow suffered the worst, losing nearly 150 points before ripping off a significant portion of the losses in the closing hour, ending with a drop close to 1/2 percent.

Thus, the day's trading may have marked the start of another downtrend for stocks, following the massive gains of the prior week. Notable was trading in WTI crude oil futures, which tested the $50 mark before falling off to close more than a dollar lower. Oil has been on a tear since bottoming out at $26 per barrel in mid-February.

An astonishing feat of market movement, the price of crude has nearly doubled in just over three months, but the phony pumping may have come to a quick end. Time will tell if $50 turns out to be a price too high to bear and whether stocks will begin a hasty retreat, having tested the top of the short-term range.

Investing and market-watching alike have become spectator sports of sorts for many, depending upon the level and length of financial repression one can endure, both of which have been in play for far too long.

S&P 500: 2,096.96, -2.10 (0.10%)
Dow: 17,787.20, -86.02 (0.48%)
NASDAQ: 4,948.05, +14.55 (0.29%)

Crude Oil 48.83 -1.01% Gold 1,217.50 +0.07% EUR/USD 1.1133 +0.03% 10-Yr Bond 1.83 -0.92% Corn 406.50 -1.51% Copper 2.08 -1.40% Silver 16.00 -1.65% Natural Gas 2.71 +1.61% Russell 2000 1,154.79 +0.38% VIX 14.19 +8.16% BATS 1000 20,677.17 0.00% GBP/USD 1.4486 +0.04% USD/JPY 110.7115 -0.03%

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