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Stocks fell Friday, erasing much of Thursday's oversold bounce but still finished with the a very positive quarter. The S&P 500 fell 0.45% and the NASDAQ 0.65% (another rough day for Mr. Apple). For the quarter the S&P gained 5.9% (and NASDAQ 6.2%), concentrated entirely on days that world central banks made announcements (or strong hints i.e. Mr Draghi) of coming easing actions. As for Friday the news flow for the economy was again poor with the Chicago Purchasing Managers index contracting for the first time since 2009. Consumer spending came in above expectation at 0.5% but it was due to a jump in gasoline rather than reasons people would prefer. Meanwhile incomes only gained 0.1% for the second straight month.
Markets opened lower, and fell as economic data hit but rallied mid day as results of a Spanish stress test on their banks was released; of course if you have been following along the past few years very few banks ever fail stress tests no matter the country. If only all our "tests" worked like this, the world would be a happer place, eh?
Late Thursday Nike warned of slowdown in China, the second straight quarter similar language was used. They join a litany of companies warning about global growth, yet the market has thus far mostly ignored such data.
As for the indexes they continue to consolidate the big central bank driven moves earlier in the month; things are tad more spiffy with the S&P 500 than the NASDAQ but the latter is hostage to Apple which has been quite weak of late:
There was also some interesting action in the corn market as the price jumped 5.6% as the USDA estimated that supplies hit their lowest levels in 8 years.
In other commodities gold and silver had fantastic quarters, thanks to central banks - gold jumped nearly 11% and silver 25%.
In some interesting news in the gold market, do you know what entity has the fourth largest old reserves in the country? Hint - it's not a country.
United States: 8,133 metric tons
Germany: 3,396 metric tons
International Monetary Fund: 2,814 metric tons
Exchange-traded funds and notes: 2,579 metric tons (includes SPDR Gold Trust)
Italy: 2,451 metric tons
France: 2,435 metric tons
All in all another strange week as a slew of bad economic data and earnings guidance warnings were absorbed but perhaps not totally appreciated. The markets corrected but still only fell at their worst 3% off their peak levels earlier in the month. We shall see if this climbing of the "wall of worry" can continue next week. Until then, enjoy booing the regular NFL refs this weekend.