Volatility was back in the markets on Thursday as the Dow swung
triple digits only to close the day near the flat line. The
catalyst for the mid-day sell-off, after the major averages opened
near unchanged, was remarks from Senator Harry Reid who said that
the United States may be poised to go over the "fiscal cliff." The
Dow was down well over 100 points at its worst levels, but a late
day rally erased most of the market damage by the close.
The Dow finished the session down just 18 points at 13,096 on
Thursday. The widely watched blue-chip index traded in a range
between 12,964 and 13,142.
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:
) shed 0.13 percent to close at $141.56. Volume was heavier than
normal despite it being only two days after Christmas. Around 147
million SPY shares traded hands on the session versus a three-month
daily average of 137 million.
The PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF (NASDAQ:
), which tracks the performance of the Nasdaq 100, lost 0.16
percent to trade at $64.40. At its worst levels of the day; the
Nasdaq 100 traded down over 1 percent.
Crude oil was largely unchanged after a Wednesday rally. NYMEX
crude futures, the U.S. benchmark, were last trading up 0.04
percent to $91.05 in the electronic session while Brent contracts
had lost 0.09 percent to $110.97. In ETF trading, the United States
Oil Fund (NYSE:
) closed the equity session up 0.15 percent to $33.19.
Precious metals were higher on the day. In electronic trading,
COMEX gold futures were last up 0.23 percent to $1,664.50 while
silver futures had added 0.55 percent to $30.20. The heavily traded
SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSE:
) closed the equity session with a gain of 0.22 percent to
Treasuries rose for much of the day as the stock market was
falling, but gave back some of their gains when equities snapped
back in the afternoon. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond
) rose 0.34 percent to $122.61. The yield on the 10-Year Note fell
2 basis points to 1.73 percent.
The U.S. dollar was essentially flat on the day. The PowerShares
DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE:
), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of
foreign currencies, added 0.02 percent to $21.76. The closely
watched EUR/USD pair was last trading up 0.08 percent to
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