Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dow Tanks, Takes Other Averages with It as Global Slowdown Concerns Mount

There was no last hour rally for stocks on wednesday, no reprise of the late-day rallies that typified behavior through the summer and into the early days of fall.

Investors were taking profits and worried about the future after Alcoa (AA) kicked off 3rd quarter earnings season after the close Tuesday with a downbeat outlook, calling for reduced demand for aluminum in a worldwide slowdown.

The leading global producer of aluminum reported a third quarter net loss of $143 million, or -13 cents per share, compared with a profit of $172 million, or 15 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding one-time items, adjusted profit was 3 cents per share, which beat consensus estimates which were calling for a roughly break-even quarter.

The company lowered its 2012 growth forecast for aluminum from seven percent to six, saying weak demand from China was the leading cause for the revision.

The Dow led the indices into the red, dragging the S&P and NASDAQ lower throughout a session which witnessed slow deterioration in share prices from the open into the close as an IMF report released on Tuesday, calling for lower 2013 growth worldwide, continued to weigh on markets.

Adding to the chorus calling for slowing growth, OPEC said that current production levels were ample heading into 2013 as demand continues to wane. That sent oil prices tumbling from early-day gains to a loss at the close of floor trading.

It was the third straight negative day on the Dow, the fourth for the S&P and NASDAQ and the first triple-digit loss on the Dow since July 23-24.

Stocks have been moving lower this week after reaching an interim high of 13,610.15 on the 5th of October, the day the non-farm payroll data was released. Since then, stocks have moved markedly lower, with the Dow down two percent in the first three days of this week, closing today just above the 50-day moving average.

The NASDAQ, the worst performer of the major indices this week, broke through its 50-day moving average on Tuesday and failed to recover today, spending only a few brief moments this morning on the plus side before deteriorating through the session.

Also hovering dangerously close to its 50-day MA, the S&P 500 has been down since making a double top on the 5th of October.

The two most robust indicators, the advance-decline line and the new highs - new lows metric continued to deteriorate, with the NASDAQ showing more new lows than highs for the second straight session, 32-53, and new highs holding a very slim edge - 42-33 - on the NYSE. Cumulatively, new lows outpaced new highs 86-74.

All this occurred without any assistance from Europe, where stocks were lower in nearly all Eurozone nations. Meetings scheduled for next week to hammer out bailout details for various countries and banking systems are seen to be troublesome and also weighing on sentiment, which has recently turned negative.

Dow 13,344.97, -128.56 (0.95%)
NASDAQ 3,051.78, -13.24 (0.43%)
S&P 500 1,432.56, -8.92 (0.62%)
NYSE Composite 8,220.62, -58.48 (0.71%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,763,862,625
NYSE Volume 2,927,658,250
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2271-3218
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 74-86
WTI crude oil: 91.25, -1.14
Gold: 1,765.10, +0.10
Silver: 34.11, +0.124

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