Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Slipping Over the Fiscal Cliff? Stocks Dumped at End of Day

Today's late day action isn't what has been the norm for this artificially-pumped-up market for the last three-and-a-half years. Normally, at the end of the session, the markets stage a "miracle" rally out of the blue, then send futures soaring into the next day's trading.

Today was a little bit different and investors better get used to it or get out, go short or just suffer losses.

Fear of the US going over the fiscal cliff and sending the economy into a tailspin recession would be an unabashed disaster, but that seems to be more on the mind of traders than anything else these days. The problem is that the issues facing the US government aren't going away soon and aren't likely to be solved by a president who's done little in four years and a congress that's done nothing good for the American public for the past 12.

So, after taking on a 67-point loss on the Dow in early trading, stocks regained their momentum (what little there was), based largely on results from Home Depot (HD) which beat third quarter estimates and was traded up to a 12-year high on the day. As has been the pattern recently, however, the rally which took the Dow up 83 points was quickly sold off, and, in the final hour of trading, stocks took the beating they so richly deserved in the morning.

If not for the bogus midday rally (which, remarkably, was a pan-Atlantic event, taking all European stock indices up sharply at the closes of their sessions), the Dow may well have suffered a 100+ loss, but the day-trading crowd that controls all buying and selling with their wickedly fast HFT computer algos couldn't have that, so, the small loss is what got cooked into the day.

With no economic news and very few significant companies reporting third quarter earnings, the markets are stuck with waiting on the government for solutions, and, from what we've seen here and in Europe and Japan, that can be a long and painful wait.

The action continues tomorrow, with just two days left before options expiration on Friday. This current round hasn't been pretty nor profitable for many.

It was the fifth straight day in which new lows topped new highs (and by a widening margin) and the same for the A-D line being negative. all of the major indices are trading below their 200-day moving averages, with no relief in sight.

Dow 12,756.18, -58.90 (0.46%)
NASDAQ 2,883.89, -20.37 (0.70%)
S&P 500 1,374.53, -5.50 (0.40%)
NYSE Composite 8,023.23, -30.83 (0.38%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,814,780,250
NYSE Volume 3,427,123,250
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 1773-3741
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 56-249
WTI crude oil: 85.38, -0.19
Gold: 1,724.80, -6.10
Silver: 32.49, 0.035

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