Market Wrap For September 30: Debt Ceiling And Government Shutdown Loom
Markets finally seem to be aware that a debt ceiling is coming. There probably won’t be as much of a sell off as was witnessed saw in 2011, when markets dropped more than 15 percent, because the chaos is now predicted.
Helping to simplify things was a lack of economic data on the day.
The other big news item was the opening of Obamacare health insurance exchanges tomorrow. While many seem to think free health care is coming, insurance rates are expected to be higher for young adults, while cheaper for the elderly.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 128 points, or 0.84 percent, to close at 15,192.67.
The S&P 500 lost 10.20 points, or 0.60 percent, to 1,681.55.
The Nasdaq fell 10.12 points, or 0.27 percent, to close at 3,771.48.
The Russell 3000 lost 6.06 points, or 0.60 percent to close at 1,010.74.
Brookfield Office Properties (NYSE: BPO) got a boost, closing up 13.71 percent to $19.07 after Brookfield Property Partners (NYSE: BPY) proposed to acquire Brookfield Office Properties for $19.34 per share.
Mellanox Technologies (NASDAQ: MLNX) also closed up, gaining 5.90 percent to $37.97 after the company announced general availability of MetroX solutions.
McEwen Mining (NYSE: MUX) closed down, falling 5.14 percent to $2.40 following a Seeking Alpha article commenting on news of an Argentinian taxation raid on mining companies.
Asian markets were mostly lower on the day with Japan’s Nikkei down 2.06 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng down 1.5 percent. The Shanghai composite index recorded gains of 0.68 percent over night.
Europe took a hit on the day. The Euro Stoxx 50 index, which tracks 50 eurozone blue chips, was down 0.9 percent. England’s FTSE dropped 0.77 percent, and France’s CAC fell 1.03 percent.
Energy prices were mostly unmoved Monday with WTI crude testing the $102 level several times. At last check WTI was trading at $102.44, down 0.17 percent on the day while Brent crude futures closed flat at $108.43. Gasoline futures were the biggest loser, down 1.55 percent to $263.47. Natural gas lost three cents to end the day near $3.56.
Precious metals took modest losses on the day. Near the close, COMEX gold futures were down 0.75 percent to $1,328.40. Silver contracts were last trading down 0.63 percent to $21.65. Copper fell 0.21 percent on the day to $332.00.
Despite government default concerns, the dollar was unchanged heading into the equity market close. Late in the day, the PowerShares ETF (NYSE: UUP) that tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, was unchanged at percent to $21.64.
The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last up 0.29 percent to $1.3526 after an early morning rally. The only significant mover on the day was England's pound, with the GBP/USD up 0.26 percent to $1.6187 heading into the equity market close.
Volume and Volatility
The CBOE measure of S&P 500 volatility (VIX) jumped higher Monday, marking three straight days of gains. At last check, the VIX was up 8.02 percent to 16.70.
Volume finally picked up after several weeks of limited trading. Around 110 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) shares traded hands on the session compared to a 3-month daily average of 125 million.
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