Sluggish Day in the Market; Friday Can’t Come Soon Enough

August 29, 2012 /

“Well, we’re a day closer to Friday and the Jackson Hole speech by Fed President Ben Bernanke,” said Schaeffer’s Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick.

“Similar to the past few days, we didn’t move. Volume is incredibly light as everyone continues to wait for the central banker’s comments.” In low-volume trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) spent the session bouncing all around breakeven, and finally found a roost in negative territory.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI – 13,102.99) tallied its second consecutive loss, dropping 21.7 points, or 0.2%. Nineteen of the Dow’s 30 components posted deficits, with Hewlett-Packard Company’s ( HPQ ) 1.8% loss leading the way. Intel Corporation ( INTC ) lead the nine outperforming blue chips with a 0.6% rise, while The Walt Disney Company ( DIS ) remained unchanged.

Once again, the S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,409.30) turned south for the day, and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 3,077.14) inched into the green. The SPX was nearly flat, dropping 1.1 point, or 0.08%, while the COMP added roughly 4 points, or 0.1%.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX – 16.49) was slightly higher for the session, gaining 0.9% to settle below its intraday high of 16.92.

“Today’s S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite data was another step in the right direction for housing,” said Detrick. “Sure consumer confidence was weak, but I continue to think that housing holds the key to this recovery. Should housing continue to actually lead our economy, it could be a nice sign that overall growth is coming later this year.”

After three straight down days, crude futures got a boost on the potential impact of supply disruptions from Gulf of Mexico due to the recently upgraded Hurricane Isaac. October-dated oil increased 86 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $96.33 a barrel.

Conversely, gold futures turned lower and halted their three-day winning streak. Ahead of Friday’s widely anticipated comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, speculators cashed in their profits and stayed on the sidelines. By the close, gold for December delivery trimmed off $5.90, or 0.4%, to end at $1,669.70 an ounce.


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