The Week In Review


Week in Review: Stocks Wobble Ahead of Jobs Data

On Monday, The major averages registered modest gains with the Dow Jones Industrial Average leading the way, adding 0.8%. The Nasdaq eked out a gain of 0.2% while the S&P 500 climbed 0.5%. The Dow outperformed as Merck (MRK 48.19, -0.41) and Intel (INTC 24.59, -0.06) boosted the price-weighted index from the opening bell. Merck rose 3.8% after the company presented the interim results of one of its trials while Intel gained 4.0% following the weekend public debut of its fourth generation processors.

Tuesday's session ended in negative territory as the S&P 500 shed 0.6%. Equities opened the session on an upbeat note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average appeared poised for its 21st consecutive Tuesday of gains. However, that changed midway through the trading day when the major averages dipped into the red, where they remained until the close. The afternoon weakness left eight of the ten sectors in the red, but was most noticeable among cyclical groups as energy, financials, and industrials lost between 0.6% and 0.9%.

The S&P ended Wednesday's session with a loss of 1.4% after steady selling persisted throughout the day. All ten sectors ended in the red as declining issues outpaced advancers by a 4.4 to 1 ratio. Cyclical groups were among the main casualties of today's selloff as four of six growth-oriented sectors saw losses in excess of 1.6%. The materials space fell 2.1% amid sector-wide weakness. Only gold miners were able to escape the selling pressure as the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX 28.99, -1.31) added 0.3%.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 settled higher by 0.9% despite having to endure early weakness brought on by volatility in the foreign exchange market. The Dollar Index faced heavy selling pressure into the early afternoon, and was down as much 1.8% before bouncing off its 200-day moving average. Although many currencies were boosted by the dollar selloff, none was greater than the strength of the Japanese yen, which at its best levels was up more than 3.0% against the greenback at 95.89. The significant movements in the foreign exchange market were followed by chatter suggesting a forced liquidation trade may have been the culprit behind the sharp downdraft in the dollar.