Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Stocks Lose Luster In Late Trading

Getting the usual Monday morning boost, stocks experienced widespread gains throughout the day but faded badly into the close, with the Dow suffering the worst, dropping 80 points off its early afternoon high at 25,402.83.

The blue chips ended the day with a gain of just less than six points, the smallest percentage higher (0.02%) of the major indices.

Monday's subdued trading preceded the signing of an historic agreement to denuclearize North Korea, signed Tuesday morning, Singapore time, by President Trump and North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. The late-day selloff might have been a precursor to more meaningful action to come Tuesday and Wednesday as the Federal Reserve plans a widely-anticipated increase to the federal funds rate, also known as the overnight or interbank rate, the price banks pay to loan funds to each other or to and from the Federal Reserve.

With the FOMC set to open the rate policy meeting on Tuesday and conclude Wednesday afternoon, treasury bonds displayed relative quiet, though yields rose moderately across the treasury spectrum.

Most worrying to bond traders and economists is the continuing flattening of the yield curve, as it approaches possible inversion, a condition that has presaged every recession since 1955.

The 2-10-year spread reached its lowest point in the current cycle, dropping to 43 basis points. The 5-30 spread stood at a mere 30 basis points (0.30%) at the close of trading Monday.

Further rate hikes by the Fed treated to choke off investment and send shorter maturities higher while longer ones stand firm. Both the 5-year note and 30-year bond have risen in yield by six basis points since June 1, though the stability is not expected to last long past this week's FOMC meeting.

As far as trading is concerned, there is likely to be a period of quietude Tuesday and Wednesday morning, leading up to the policy announcement at 2:00 pm EDT.

Dow Jones Industrial Average June Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
6/1/18 24,635.21 +219.37 +219.37
6/4/18 24,813.69 +178.48 +397.85
6/5/18 24,799.98 -13.71 +384.14
6/6/18 25,146.39 +346.41 +730.55
6/7/18 25,241.41 +95.02 +825.57
6/8/18 25,316.53 +75.12 +900.69
6/11/18 25,322.31 +5.78 +906.47

At the Close, Monday, June 11, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 25,322.31, +5.78 (+0.02%)
NASDAQ: 7,659.93, +14.41 (+0.19%)
S&P 500: 2,782.00, +2.97 (+0.11%)
NYSE Composite: 12,856.96, +24.89 (+0.19%)

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