Markets Sell Off On Italian Election Results

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The Dow was lower by 1.55% and the S&P 500 fell by 1.83% today as the market saw a steady decline all day turn into a rout in the final hour of trading. An election, Italian style, caused a selloff not matched since there was a selloff in November 2012 following the U.S. election.

The Italian PM election took center stage today. Prior to the election it looked as if Bersani was the favorite to win. But, again, Burlusconi has made his presence felt. He now commands a blocking minority in the Senate. It remains to be seen what sort of majority Barsani can put together. The election is simply a mess and put foreign markets under heavy pressure overnight.

Bonds and defensive stocks outperformed today. Healthcare, utilities and telecom were the best relative performers. Cyclical stocks were the laggards today. Fed Chairman Bernanke will give his semi-annual Humphrey Hawkins report tomorrow and Wednesday. His presentation will generate several headlines over the next few days.

Commodities were mostly higher today. Precious metals, copper, crude and natural gas all traded ahead of the tape. Gold and silver both traded higher by more than 1%. 

Financials were the weakest sector of the market today. There was little in the way of company specific news. The macro picture weakened on the Italy election news. Financials have sold off considerably whenever there has been negative news form the European front over the past several months.

Industrial names were mixed today. The early cycle names traded better than the overall market and late cycle names lagged the averages. Aerospace and defense names were lower, led to the downside by Boeing.

Energy trailed the tape today. Crude traded off slightly but natural gas was hammered lower by almost 4%. Refiners received good news on continued strength in crack spreads. The group has had a massive move higher over the past several months and saw profit taking today.

Telecom/cable and utilities traded ahead of the market today as investors added to the defensive areas of the market.

Source: PFS Group

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