Indexes shot out of a cannon Friday as it looked like stocks were going to build on the breakout over year highs accomplished yesterday but news that Russian forces potentially had entered Ukraine late in the day let to a sharp bout of selling and created mixed indexes at the close. The S&P 500 still finished up 0.28% while the NASDAQ dropped off 0.25%. Obviously any serious issue in Ukraine would be a potential short term issue for an overheated market.
Stocks finished off their worst month of 2013, in losing fashion. The S&P 500 dropped 0.32% and NASDAQ 0.84%, essentially washing away yesterday's gains as many headed off early for the holiday weekend, while others did not want to extend their exposure to stocks ahead of potential bombings of Syria in the coming days. For the month the S&P 500 fell 3.1% and the NASDAQ 1.0%. It was a very slow motion correction this month. There were two economic reports but they were mostly ignored.
Like Joe Joe DiMaggio's historic hitting streak, the 20 week run of positive Tuesdays for the Dow Jones Industrial Average finally came to an end. But not without a strong effort - after a mid afternoon sell off bulls came back into the index and had it within 0.2% of a flat, before some selling hit in the closing moments of the day. Tuesday was a relatively quiet news day but we saw a morning bounce turn into a bout of selling later in the session. QE this or QE that, we are in the first real multi week selling pressure of the year as this is the 3rd week without much participation by the bulls. The markets remain short term oversold but the bounces are wimpy. The NASDAQ fell 0.55% and the NASDAQ 0.58%. (The Dow was down 0.5% for those curious)
Interesting session Tuesday as both the NASDAQ and S&P 500 made runs at early November highs but were rejected intraday, thus failing to create a new higher high - reversing the intermediate term pattern of lower new highs. However, the smaller cap oriented Russell 2000 did clear the highs from early November. Reasons cited for today's move was a much better than expected business confidence report out of Germany, more quantitative easing from the Fed to be delivered tomorrow as well as progress on the fiscal cliff.
Wednesday was a typical Thanksgiving week session with a modest upward drift on extremely light volume; the S&P 500 gained 0.2% and NASDAQ 0.3%. Overnight futures were hit over 0.5% on news that European finance ministers did not agree on a deal to release a new package of money to Greece but by today's open those losses were recovered, showing the upward bias in markets. This same news a week ago would have hurt the markets. In economic news, weekly jobless claims were well above 400,000 for the second straight week but Sandy continues to play havoc with the numbers.