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Market Report: May 6, 2010 -- 4:35 PM ET
Moving the Market:
Technical levels breakdown as selling gains momentum. Greenback gains again to stand at new 52-week high against competing currencies. Weekly jobless claims count comes with little overall surprise. Geithner to speak at 9:00 AM ET and Bernanke to speak at 9:30 AM ET.
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16:35 ET Dow -347.80 at 10520.32, Nasdaq -82.65 at 2319.64, S&P -37.75 at 1128.15
[BRIEFING.COM] Another broad-based wave of high-volume selling sent stocks to their worst percentage loss in more than one year, but things could have been far worse since the Dow was actually down nearly 1,000 points in its worst intraday drop on record.
Weakness was widespread for the entire session as participants showed an aversion to risk. That theme caused sovereign debt credit spreads to widen and many of the global indices to drop so much that the Dow Jones World Index fell 2.7% in its worst single-session percentage slide since February.
U.S. equities found little support as the Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 spent the first part of the session with broad-based losses. Follow through selling caused a breakdown in technical support, including a violation of the 200-day moving average. Selling soon went from frantic to panic as the Dow dropped nearly 500 points in five minutes. That gap down put the Dow nearly 1,000 points into the red.
Though there was talk that a program or system error led to the cascade of selling, media reports indicated that the major exchanges said there was now error on their part.
While stocks had looked to be headed for something awful, computer programmed trades quickly clicked to buy and drove the Dow back up several hundred points in a matter of minutes. The Dow closed almost 650 points above its session low, but it still lost nearly 350 points on the session.
Few were able to stage a gain this session. In fact, some 97% of the names in the S&P 500 logged a loss. Such weakness culminated in the worst percentage loss for the S&P 500 this year. What's more, the benchmark index has now lost more than 6% during the course of the past three sessions, which makes for its worst three-session slide in over 12 months.
Volatility surged as a result of the midafternoon selloff. The Volatility Index was actually up more than 60% at its session high. That put the "fear gauge" to its highest level in more than one year.
An interest in safety drove the dollar to a new one-year high against competing currencies. It finished 0.9% higher.
Most of the greenback's gain came against the euro, which remained weak in the wake of the European Central Bank's decision to keep its target interest rate unchanged at 1.00%, as expected. News that Greece passed planned austerity measures in a nonbinding preliminary vote failed to help the euro, too.
Despite strength in the dollar, market participants chased gold prices to 2010 highs. The yellow metal closed pit trade at $1197.30 per ounce, up 1.6%.
Treasuries also spiked -- so much that the benchmark 10-year Note climbed more than one point and its yield fell below 3.40 for the first time this year.
Trading volume was its highest level all year as more than 2.5 billion shares exchanged hands on the NYSE this session. The heightened participation is frequently associated with increased conviction among market participants.
In economic news, the latest weekly jobless claims count showed 444,000 initial claims were filed for the week ended May 1 and 4.59 million continuing claims were recently recorded. Both were generally on par with expectations, but the data was largely an dismissed ahead of the government's official nonfarm payrolls report tomorrow morning.
Advancing Sectors: (None)
Declining Sectors: Financials (-4.1%), Consumer Discretionary (-3.5%), Energy (-3.4%), Industrials (-3.3%), Tech (-3.3%), Materials (-3.1%), Utilities (-2.7%), Health Care (-2.6%), Telecom (-2.4%), Consumer Staples (-2.4%)
Nasdaq -82.65 at 2319.64... S&P Midcap 400 -3.4... NYSE Adv/Dec 173/26... Nasdaq Adv/Dec 330/2418.
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Weekly & Daily Stock Earnings Calendar:
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Fuel Systems Solutions FSYS 5/6 8am .93EPS
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