Market Wrap For Thursday, August 22: Nasdaq Woes Overshadow Jackson Hole
Thursday’s trading was even crazier than usual as the Nasdaq shut down in the middle of the day. For more than three hours there was no trading on the exchange no explanation as to what is going on.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 66.12 points, or 0.44 percent, to 14,963.67.
The S&P 500 gained around 14 points, or 0.86 percent, to 1,656.95.
The Nasdaq climbed 38.92 points, or 1.08 percent, to 3,638.71.
Initial jobless claims came in worse than economists were looking for at 336,000 versus 330,000. This is this also 16,000 higher than the previous week. Continuing claims were also worse than expected at three million while the analyst consensus was 2.96 million.
Following yesterday’s FOMC minutes, which left the market confused, several members of the Federal Reserve spoke today, but not Bernanke. The most notable comments came from Fisher, who indicated September is the right time for tapering. Markets didn’t seem to care much as they continued upward.
Fossil fuels moved up today with WTI crude breaking through the $105 level near the close. Brent saw less of a move, up 0.1 percent to $109.92 and natural gas climbed more than two percent to $3.54.
Similarly to fuel, precious metals ticked up a little bit today with COMEX gold and silver futures at $1,373 and $23.11 nearing the close. Platinum spot rose 1.63 percent to $1,540.03.
Agricultural commodities lost value today with corn down 3.88 percent, wheat down 1.35 percent, and live cattle futures down half a percent heading into the equity market close.
Treasury prices rose on the day. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT) climbed 0.78 percent to $102.95 nearing the close.
Yields were as follows on Thursday afternoon: The 2-Year Note was yielding 0.39 percent. The 5-Year Note was yielding 1.69 percent. The 10-Year Note and 30-Year Bond were yielding 2.9 percent and 3.88 percent at last check.
The U.S. Dollar gained a little value in Thursday’s crazyness. Late in the day, the PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE: UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, was up 0.23 percent to $22.03.
The EUR/USD was mostly unchanged, down 0.03 percent to $1.3351. Other movers included the USD/JPY pair that moved up 1.07 percent to 131.85. After the peso lost so much value yesterday, it recovered some of its gains.
Volatility and Volume
The VIX plunged on the session despite losses for the Dow and Nasdaq. Late in the afternoon, the VIX was down around 7.84 percent to 14.69.
Volume was light on the day. Around 85 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) shares traded hands compared to the three month daily average of 129 million.
GameStop (Nasdaq: GME) moved up 9.05 percent to $51.93 after the company reported strong Q2 results and raised its FY14 forecast.
SunEdison (NYSE: SUNE) got a boost to $7.88 for a 15.86 percent gain after the company announced its plans to spin off its semiconductor business.
The Hain Celestial Group (NASDAQ: HAIN) was also up, gaining 10.96 percent to $80.89 on upbeat Q4 profit.
Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) climbed 6.25 percent to $157.10 after the Nasdaq reopened.
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