Bulls Evacuate Wall Street on QE3 Comments
“The market started off in the black, but the buyers were slowly outnumbered and most U.S. equities finished in the red,” noted Schaeffer’s Senior Equities Analyst Joe Bell. “Crude oil experienced a sharp reversal in midday trading, which also put a damper on several sectors. Overall, defensive sectors and consumer staples once again took a leadership role.” Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) endured a wild ride, swinging nearly 163 points before solidifying a triple-point loss.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI – 13,457.55) climbed as high as 13,620.21 early in the session, and drifted to an intraday bottom of 13,457.25 in the last minutes of trading. After all was said and done, the blue-chip barometer gave up its perch atop the 13,500 mark — as well as its 10-day moving average — burning off 101.4 points, or roughly 0.8%.
All but five of the Dow’s 30 components took a hit today, with Caterpillar Inc.’s ( CAT ) 4.3% deficit leading the way. On the other side of the spectrum, The Home Depot, Inc. ( HD ) paced the few winning issues with a 0.6% rise.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,441.59) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 3,117.73) followed their fellow benchmark to losses for the day, relinquishing their footholds above support. The SPX slipped 15.3 points, or about 1.1%, dipping below the 1,450 level and its 10-day trendline.
Meanwhile, the COMP turned in the worst performance of its peers, sawing off 43.1 points, or almost 1.4%, to settle below 3,150. What’s more, the COMP breached both its 10-day and 20-day moving averages for the first time since early August.
The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX – 15.43) saw a second straight day of gains, jumping 1.3 points, or 9.1%. This marked the highest daily close for the market’s fear gauge since Sept. 12.
“Consumer confidence data was actually well ahead of expectations,” said Bell. “But that didn’t keep the market propped up for long,” especially after Philly Fed President Charles Plosser’s remarks about QE3.
Oil futures extended yesterday’s multi-week trek in the red, after Philly Fed President Charles Plosser said QE3 probably won’t do much to boost growth or hiring. As the dollar caught a lift, crude for November delivery trimmed off 56 cents, or 0.6%, to close at $91.37 a barrel.
Gold futures reached into positive territory today, following positive reports on housing prices and consumer confidence. However, thanks to the remarks by central banker Plosser, and a rising greenback, the commodity pulled back from its session highs. By the closing bell, December-dated gold inched higher by $1.80, or 0.1%, to land at $1,766.40 an ounce.