Showing posts with label antitrust. Show all posts
Showing posts with label antitrust. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

US Stocks Bounce Back, But Close Flat on Weak Volume

Yesterday's deep decline was followed on Wednesday by the typical knee-jerk, snap-back, dead cat bounce rally, which occurred at the market open but quickly ran out of steam.

For the remainder of the session after 11:00 am EDT, stocks drifted about in a narrow range and volume was noticeably tepid, considering that Tuesday's volume was among the highest of the year. It was also confirmed that Monday's incredibly weak showing was the second lowest volume day of the year, yet another example of how, despite the best efforts of Wall Street hucksters and Federal Reserve pumping, individual investors and practically anybody who is not a fund manager or professional of some ilk simply does not want to be in this market for equities.

Today's lackluster showing was in spite of Alcoa's strong earnings report after the bell on Tuesday, a pleasant earnings kick-off surprise that was promptly disregarded.

For a day, at least, there was no imminent threat of currency or sovereign collapse coming from across the Atlantic where almost all European bourses registered modest gains.

There was little new with which to move markets, a condition which may change on Thursday, as initial unemployment claims and the March PPI figures are released prior to the opening bell. On Friday, JP Morgan Chase (JPM) and Wells-Fargo (WFC) announce first quarter earnings before the open.

In one of the more absurd wastes of taxpayer money, the nearly-invisible Attorney General, Eric Holder, unsheathed a his DOJ sword with a price- fixing antitrust lawsuit against Apple (AAPL) and five book publishers for colluding to fix prices of e-books sold on the iPad platform. Three of the named publishers have already agreed to a settlement, though several states are pursuing civil actions of their own. The suit seeks monetary damages. Apple had no comment.

Clearly, the Department of Justice is completely inept, pursuing nothing other than sure-win, low-hanging fruit variety lawsuits and the federal government is desperate for dough, though what they'll gain from this silly effort is akin to a teaspoon from a barrel of debt.

Dow 12,805.39, +89.46 (0.70%)
NASDAQ 3,016.46, +25.24 (0.84%)
S&P 500 1,368.71, +10.12 (0.74%)
NYSE Composite 7,905.74, +63.82 (0.81%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,504,835,625
NYSE Volume 3,724,551,250
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4435-1196
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 58-59
WTI crude oil: 102.70, +1.68
Gold: 1,660.30, -0.40
Silver: 31.52, -0.16