After a quiet opening the S&P 500 had a steady decline to a low for the day in the 1343 area. The selloff was broad based ahead of meetings between party leaders in Washington. All the major averages then did an about face and quickly moved to the highs of the day after Congressional leaders addressed the media regarding progress being made on the fiscal cliff. Leaders from both sides claimed that they would get things resolved prior to the deadline.
The low for the day on the S&P 500 was just over 1343 and the move off the lows reached a peak of 1361. By the start of the last hour of trading the market was essentially flat on the day. In the final hour of trading 1350 on the S&P 500 acted as support and was a level where buyers came into the market.
Selling earlier in the day was sparked by weaker than expected industrial production numbers. Industrial production decreased during October by 0.4%. The consensus estimate was for a decrease of 0.1%. Certainly Superstorm Sandy had a negative impact on that number.
Financials, after a recent sharp selloff, rebounded today. Regional banks were especially strong. The area did see buyers step in when the markets weakened in the morning session.
In the late session buyers were active in the consumer discretionary, materials and homebuilding sectors. The homebuilding and building products area were particularly strong today. Building products traded 1-2% higher and many homebuilders were up over 3%.
Industrials are trading in line with the broader market. The larger multi-line industrials are trading based on the news from Washington. When the fiscal cliff worries gain steam they sell off and when the positive news came out from Washington midday the industrials spiked sharply higher.
Crude oil moved higher today on heightened Israel and Hamas tensions and a fire on an energy platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Natural gas closed just below the session high of $3.80 for a stunning weekly rise of 8.3%. Gold moved back and forth between gains and losses several times on the day before finishing slightly higher at 1714.80 an ounce.
The markets had a strong final hour of trading with the Dow up 0.37% higher and the S&P 500 up 0.48%.
Source: PFS Group