We missed an interesting session yesterday with our quarterly survey so it is worth mentioning it today. The market was very volatile yesterday but sometimes that can cause a shakeout of sorts when it comes at the end of a correction. Also the NASDAQ hit a key moving average - the 200 day - which if nothing else is usually a place for momentum to reverse in the near term. Was that the end of the correction? Of course we never know until after the fact but creating a new low and then surging off it can sometimes signal a key reversal. As for today, the Federal Reserve continues to try to massage the market's nerves and Janet Yellen helped lift spirits, pushing the S&P500 up 1.05% and the NASDAQ 1.29%.
Stocks rebounded Monday after their roughest week in well over a month, as the Crimea vote for Russian rule came and went without as much fanfare. The S&P 500 gained 0.96% and the NASDAQ 0.81%. Stocks gapped up strongly at the open and stayed in a narrow range most of the session. Economic reports had U.S. industrial output rising in February; up 0.8 percent, and better than the 0.1 percent rise anticipated by economists. And, the March Empire State Factory Index climbed to 5.61 in March after a reading of 4.48 the prior month.
All quiet on the Western front Monday as investors came back after a weekend break from a very volatile week. The S&P 500 gained 0.16% and the NASDAQ 0.52%. New Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen testifies tomorrow and while no one expects a break from the normal song and dance that Bernanke offered it will be the first time we see the new Chair testify in Congress.
Well it was quite an interesting overnight session; probably as interesting as the actual U.S. market day. After Turkey came in with a large increase in interest rates yesterday, futures jumped sharply but sold off during the overnight session. In fact the indexes were down about 1% at the open today. Outside of the normal volatility in the hour right after the Fed announcement at 2 PM today, the actual session today was much quieter then the overnight action. In the end the S&P 500 fell 1.02% and the NASDAQ 1.14%.
It was another quiet session and sort of the exact opposite of yesterday; today the market gapped down and stayed in a narrow range - whereas yesterday the market gapped up and stayed in a narrow range. The S&P 500 fell 0.32% and the NASDAQ 0.20%. Most of the action was in very specific niches of the market, such as social media. News flow remains quiet. Next Tuesday and Wednesday the Fed has its last meeting of the year and some media types are saying they might taper but one would doubt Bernanke would do this at the end of his reign and just ahead of the holidays.