Stocks had a quite volatile session to kick off the fourth quarter of 2012, as the market initially gapped up on news Spain's bank bailout would be smaller than originally anticipated. Then at 10 AM a better than expected report on manufacturing caused stocks to surge to highs of the day. After a few hours of sideways action, stocks reacted negatively to a Q&A session with Fed head Ben Bernanke, and took another leg down later in the afternoon. A small round of buying late in the session took stocks off their lows but this was certainly very different than some of the sleepy sessions seen a month ago. In the end the S&P 500 gained 0.3% while the NASDAQ fell 0.1%; weakness in Apple (-1.1%) again weighed on the latter index.
Google (GOOG) at $250 billion pased Microsoft (MSFT) at $247 billion to become the world's second largest technology company.
Purchasing manager indexes in both Europe and China were contractionary, and Euro region unemployment stood at 11.4% for the third straight month, a record since records began in 1995. So markets continue to ignore just about all bad news, looking ahead to a "brighter tomorrow".
As for the major indexes, looking at it from a longer term outlook we see the S&P 500 continues in the second major ascending channel of the year, and remains above April highs.
NASDAQ however is more choppy (as in chopped Apple's) and is now back below the highs earlier in the year.
Looking ahead to the rest of the week, key reports are ISM Non Manufacturing Wednesday, the Federal Reserve minutes from the mid September meeting on Thursday, and the monthly employment report Friday. Of course we are in QEinfinity whatever the data is....
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