Depending upon your individual point of view, Friday's trading was either remarkable or expected.
Following Thursday's ramp-up on news that retail sales were still slumping - leading many to believe the Fed would not dare raise rates next week - stocks opened the day in the red and remained there.
This being a triple-or-quad witching options expiration day, the downdraft could signify many things, but mostly that traders had done their best to capitalize on Thursday, before the rush to close out positions.
That's the most reliable explanation for Friday's fumble, though hardly one adequate enough.
The week ending on a downbeat means little, except that there was some selling in the face of uncertainty over the weekend and leading up to the FOMC meeting Tuesday and Wednesday.
Despite the considerable volatility in play, Dow and S&P stocks ended the week roughly where they began, the NASDAQ was ahead by more than two percent, with the NYSE Composite three-quarters of a percent lower, leaving everyone equally confused.
Betting types will be putting their money on the Fed leaving rates unchanged at the upcoming meeting, not wanting to damage the chances for Hillary Clinton any further than the candidate has done so herself.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,123.80, -88.68 (-0.49%)
5,244.57, -5.12 (-0.10%)
2,139.16, -8.10 (-0.38%)
10,529.83, -73.11 (-0.69%)
For the Week:
Dow: +38.35 (0.25%)
NASDAQ: +118.66 (2.31%)
S&P 500: +11.35 (0.53%)
NYSE Composite: -80.00 (-0.76%)