Market Wrap For Thursday, September 12: Volume Light Over Possibility Of Syrian Fight
“I think one of the basic reasons men make good friends is that they can make up their minds quickly,” said Marilyn Monroe.
This certainly wasn’t the case Thursday as equity markets shot up and down throughout the day, eventually closing lower.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose dropped 25.96 points, or 0.17 percent to close at 15,300.64.
The S&P 500 fell 5.71 points, or 0.34 to close at 1,683.42.
The Nasdaq gave up 9.04 points, or 0.24 percent to close at 3,715.97.
The Russell 3000 dropped 4.09 points, or 0.4 percent to close at 1,008.14.
After a period of silence, news regarding Syria came out of Capitol Hill and abroad today. Multiple sources reported that Assad will work with the UN regarding chemical weapons allegations as long the the United States stops funding “terrorists." John Kerry later announced that a United States strike will not be necessary, assuming Assad gives up chemical weapons.
In an effort to gain cell phone market share, Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) dropped prices of the iPhone 5C (from $99 to $79) and 5S (from $199 to $189) for tomorrow’s preorders.
Continuing and initial jobless claims crushed analysts estimates and showed strong week over week improvement. Initial jobless claims fell from 323,000 to 292,000 while continuing claims dropped from 2.94 million to 2.87 million.
Pandora Media (NYSE: P) shot up 12.11 percent to $23.97 after the company appointed ex-aQuantive head Brian McAndrews as its new chief executive.
The Men's Wearhouse (NYSE: MW) traded down 12.10 percent to $34.08 after the company reported a 28 percent drop in its second-quarter earnings and lowered its full-year forecast.
The ExOne (NASDAQ: XONE) fell 11.33 percent to $55.54 after the company priced its 2.656 million share public offering at $62 per share.
Volume and Volatility
As expected with dramatic swings, volume was light for the day. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) saw volume of just 79.5 million today, compared to the ten day average of 111 million. Many investors are sitting on the sidelines while they wait for more substantial news about Syria. Friday is Yom Kippur, so volume will most likely be weak then too.
Heading into the equity market close, the CBOE measure of volume (VIX) was up 3.55 percent on the day. This comes after six consecutive days of reduced volatility.
Fossil fuels picked up value with Thursday’s Syria comments. WTI crude gained 0.96 percent to reach $108.59 while Brent added 1.16 percent to $112.79. Gasoline and natural gas are the day’s biggest winners, up 1.95 percent and 2.1 percent heading into the close.
Precious metals took a beating as investors downgrade the possibility for war with Syria. At last check gold futures were down 2.87 percent to $1,324.7 and silver futures fell 5.21 percent to $21.97.
The US dollar was mostly unchanged on the day. The PowerShares ETF (NYSE: UUP) that tracks the dollar versus a basket of foreign currencies was at the open price $22.01 heading into the close.
The EUR/USD pair fell 0.1 percent to 1.3298 with the USD/JPY couple down 0.44 percent to 99.45. Another big mover includes the USD/TRY (Turkish Lira) which rose 0.98 percent.
After opening higher, bonds ticked downward to close at a loss. The iShares 20+ year Treasury ETF (NYSE: TLT) was down 0.12 percent nearing the final bell.
Asian markets were mixed overnight. The Shanghai index rose 0.64 percent with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 0.07 percent. Japan’s volatile Nikkei fell just 0.26 percent on the day.
Following suit, European equity markets were largely mixed. The Euro Stoxx index, which tracks 50 euro zone blue chips dropped 0.05 percent. London’s FTSE added 0.01 percent, and France’s CAC dropped 0.3 percent.
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