The various indices opened lower today and kept sinking as the morning moved along. The DOW reached a decline of as much as 184 at its low while the  S&P 500 dropped 20 and the NASDAQ was off by as much as 50 points. The historic streak ended today with the NASDAQ closing down 16 points. The S&P and DOW fought back to end the day at losses of 4 and 63 points respectively. The Vix loved this activity and climbed 2% higher to finish at 11.54. 

Some of the recent winners declined such as DOW components BA, DIS, plus the smaller regional banks which have been the real strong performers of late.  The Russell 2000 Index of small stocks had the largest gain last year of almost 20%…but it was down 30 today and closed lower by 12.  The entire financial group had its worst day since last July 5th.

The winners today were AMZN and LOW plus the drug makers like DOW component MRK and LLY and MCK.

Economic reports showed that weekly jobless claims rose to 247,000 and the December import price index gained 0.4% on an obvious higher energy price situation versus the previous month.

Bond yields declined with the 10-year Treasury note down to 2.31% on some flight to quality buying. The Euro was up to 1.06 and the yen is now at 114. Gold prices moved higher on the safety scenario as well.  Crude oil prices were higher to $53.85 a barrel.

This week’s most dynamic session could be tomorrow because we will see the always important December retail sales report in addition to December P.P.I. There will also be the initial reading for the January University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. More significantly will be the start of the fourth-quarter earnings season with some important large financials reporting: JPM plus BAC, WFC, BLK and PNC.

Donald Selkin

These are excerpts from Don Selkin’s Daily Market Notes, abbreviated and updated with permission from the author.Don Selkin is the Chief Market Strategist at Newbridge Securities Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC and provides the Fair Value analysis for CNBC each morning.  The commentary provided in this Market Letter is intended to provide our customers with timely market analysis and should not be considered a research report.  This Market Letter may contain, and is limited to: Discussions of broad based indices; Commentaries on economic, political or market conditions; Technical analyses concerning the demand and supply for a sector, index or industry based in trading volume and price; Statistical summaries of multiple companies’ financial data, including listings of current ratings; and, Recommendations regarding increasing or decreasing holdings in particular industries or securities.  This Market Letter does not make a financial or investment recommendation or otherwise promotes a product or service of the firm.   This Market Letter contains only news, facts, and commentary on information previously reported from a news source believed to be accurate and reliable by the author.  These news sources include the following:  {Bloomberg Financial, Reuters, Associated Press}.