Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

USRant: Late Day Blastoff...

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What a striking performance in the last (nearly) two hours. From a disappointing day for the bulls (an early rise which reversed awfully until 2:15 p.m.) the market put on its best shiny tracksuit and its new flash runners and blasted out of the blocks. And as with recent moves, there appeared to be absolutely no catalyst whatsoever.

Fed Open Market Operations

None... go figure...

Index Performance

After opening with a little spurt, the US market reversed quite savagely mid-session; at 10 a.m. the Dow was up just about 80 points... but by midday it was back at about square, and by 2 p.m. it was down about 80 points. then, all hell broke loose - with no real catalyst. The US indices shot upwards as if propelled by some sort of Plunge Protection Team armed with indeminification against losses.

To put the last two hours in perspective, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 220 points during that time, eventually closing with a gain of 146.24 points (1.16%) to 12735.31 points.  On a close-close basis the S&P500 rose 18.94 points (1.36%) to 1409.13 points - after dipping below 1380 at 2:15 p/m. NY time.

Oddly enough, the Home of Beta did not react with the sort of alacrity that one would expect in a goosed market. The Nasdaq Composite rose 34.04 points (1.39%) to 2474.55 points - sure, it performed better than either the Dowager or the Spee, but seriously you would expect a 3% rise on a day like today. The Nasdaq100 rose 38.87 points (2.03%) to 1949.2 points - again, not to be sneezed at, but not really impressive either.

Volume and Market Internals

Total Volume traded on the NYSE was a massive 5.17 billion shares. Of this, 3.06 billion traded in advancing issue (of which there were 1918) while 2.06 billion traded in losers (which numbered 1425). Only 45 NYSE shares traded at new 52-week highs, while 725 stocks hit new 52-week lows..

Over at the Nasdaq, total trade volume hit 2.79 billion. The 1440 advancing issues traded a total of 1.63 billion units, and 1.13 billion shares traded in the 1616 losers. Notice that? The internals were really not that flash.

New Highs traded on the NASDAQ: 53, compared with 659 stocks making new 52 week lows.

Precious Metals

The Feb 08 contract in Gold (GCG8) dipped $-2.70 (-0.31%) to $877.60 an ounce: the day after a new record high, time to take the nuffnuffs to the cleaners again.

Ditto for Silver - the front month (Mar 08) contract in Silver (SIH8) dipped 10c (-0.63%) to $15.715 per ounce.

Texas Tea

The Feb 08 contract in Crude Oil (CLG8) dipped another -0.67 (-0.7%) to $95.66; it got as high as $97.40 briefly, but then sagged when inventories were a bit better than expected (although they still dropped by 6.5-odd million barrels.