Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Markets Barely Budge on Quiet News Day

In the headline-driven market that has evolved into what passes today for what used to be among the finest equity discounting exchanges in the world, there was very little upon which investors could base a trade.

Europe was relatively calm, even though Moody's downgraded all Spanish banks after the close on Monday and Crete has become the latest nation to be seeking assistance from the European Union.

There was the badly out-dated Case-Shiller 20-City Index, which was up 1.3% in April from May, but fell 1.9% from a year earlier. The 10:00 am EDT June consumer confidence reading of 62.0 - down from 64.4 in May - did nothing to bolster sentiment.

Thus, US markets fell and rose over the course of the session, ending the session with marginal, almost worthless gains. Volume was poor, as usual, the advance-decline line improved over Monday's performance, but new lows outnumbered new highs for the second straight day.

All of this inactivity in a dull session gives rise to feelings - as opposed to yesterday's gloomy assessment - that this market may wish to move in a sideways pattern for the summer's duration. Most indicators are such that any good news is followed by bad, even though the usual chorus of "stocks are cheap" can be heard from the perma-bull crowd.

Such a market gives rise to feelings of anxiety over the future, but an urge to take a flier here and there, so, while wild swings in either direction are possible, the overall trend may be to drift, and quite possibly to edge lower.

It's a real guessing game at this point, with so many balls in the air, so to speak.

Any movement may be caused by Thursday's initial unemployment claims or what new nonsense comes out of the EU summit this Thursday and Friday.

Dow 12,534.67, +32.01 (0.26%)
NASDAQ 2,854.06, +17.90 (0.63%)
S&P 500 1,319.99, +6.27 (0.48%)
NYSE Composite 7,527.08, +35.21 (0.47%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,592,364,125
NYSE Volume 3,366,000,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3352-2202
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 132-136
WTI crude oil: 79.36, +0.15
Gold: 1,574.90, -13.50
Silver: 27.04, -0.48

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