Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Reversal of Fortune, Part I

Said an equity trader named Corso:
"After last week, I certainly swore so
That the Dow was at pains
To give up its gains,
But this week it looks even more so."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its worst one-day drop for the year to date on Tuesday, falling 213.66 points, or 1.7%, to 12715.93. On the heels of a disappointing, holiday-shortened previous week, that made for a 4% decline over five trading days. After celebrating its best quarter in a decade, it's as if the market paused for reflection, looked around and didn't like what it saw. The Fed seemed to hint last week that no further stimulus would be forthcoming, and the European debt crisis heated up again on Tuesday, with rising Italian and Spanish bond rates reflecting renewed risk fears. Perhaps the rudest shock of all came from China, where we learned that sales of Caterpillar plunged 50% in March, casting doubt on both the company's prospects and the Chinese growth outlook.

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