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3:29 p.m. That got a whole lot worse. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has dropped 103.12 points, or 0.4%, to 24,208.07, while the S&P 500 has slipped 0.6%, to 2652.74, and the Nasdaq Composite is off 0.6%, to 7076.51.
Dow Slips as Dollar Soars
12:18 p.m. Remember I said I'd only come back when things changed? Well, things changed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has declined 9.36 points to 24,301.83, while the S&P 500 has fallen 0.4% to 2659.90, and the Nasdaq Composite has dropped 0.7% to 7072.68.
Why's the market falling? Investors may be starting to fret about the strengthening dollar. The U.S. Dollar Index has risen 0.3% today, and is up 1.8% this month. The rising dollar makes U.S. exports less competitive, and also hits commodity prices. Materials and industrials are two of the hard-hit sectors today. They might also be worried about reports on an Israeli attack in Syria that may have killed 16 Iranian advisers, which would explain oil's rise in the face of a stronger greenback.
70 Points? 160 Points? Whatever It Is, the Dow's Still Up
11:20 a.m. For where the market is now, see the 10:10 a.m. update below. And that means we seem to have established a range in the Dow between up 75 points and up 170. I'll keep quiet until something happens to change that, and just be content with the fact that stocks are still higher on the day.
Did I Say 160 Points? The Dow's Gain Has Been Cut in Half
10:29 a.m. No sooner than I hit send that the gains start to slip away. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen 76.1 points, or 0.3%, to 24387.29, while the S&P 500 has advanced 0.3% to 2676.72 and the Nasdaq Composite has added 0.5% to 7152.65.
Dow Gains 160 Points as Angsty Market Gets Less
10:10 a.m. A strong market has gotten stronger this morning. The S&P 500 has advanced 0.4% to 2681.46, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 166.47 points, or 0.7%, to 24,477.66. The Nasdaq Composite has risen 0.6% to 7163.17.
It seems that many of the worries that have plagued the market are easing this morning. The 10-year yield has ticked lower to 2.95%, while earnings have been solid. In fact, even before today's news, Oppenheimer's John Stoltzfus was telling investors that "sell in May and go away" may not apply this year. "Consider that this year's market angst has been'front-end loaded' for most of the first quarter and into the start of the second quarter," he writes. "We can't help but think the veritable kitchen sink of worry and problematic news items that have been hurled at the bull market this year might have pushed a less resilient and well established bull run to lower lows and higher levels of volatility than have been seen so far."
7:43 a.m. It's up, up and away this morning as Dow Jones Industrial Average futures have gained 104 points, or 0.4%, while S&P 500 futures has advanced 0.3%, and Nasdaq Composite futures have risen 0.5% amid earnings and M&A.
Sprint (S) and T-Mobile US (TMUS) are both off this morning after agreeing to merge, while McDonald's (MCD) has gained 1.1% to $160 as the market waits for its earnings. On the macro front, China's Manufacturing PMI came in above expectations, and we'll be looking ahead to the Fed's monetary policy statement on Wednesday.
As we constantly remind out readers, stocks haven't done a very good job of holding onto their gains recently. If nothing else, a positive day today helps set the market up a little bit better for May.