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Earlier this morning, the NASDAQ was up over 17% YTD, well ahead of the Dow (down ~3% YTD) and the S&P (up ~2% YTD). The relative value of the NASDAQ to the S&P 500 is now over 2.0 and has been hovering around 2.0 for the past couple of days. It actually closed a fraction above 2.0 on Friday for the first time since February 2001.
On the final day of the quarter, all three major US indices are poised for their strongest performance since the second quarter of 2003, when the Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite were up 12% or higher for the quarter.
With one day left in the quarter, the Dow and S&P ended in positive territory as fund managers snapped up winners in an attempt to embellish their portfolios.
As investors look ahead to the second half of the year, the impact of the market's rally since March 9th, could provide insight into where some bets have been placed.
On a week where the US markets ended the day & week mixed, the major indexes are tracking to close the month mixed, but the quarter up almost 11% or greater, and the first half of the year in the green, except for the Dow.
The markets are still struggling and consumers are saving more, causing concern that a recovery will be slow. Art Cashin, floor director at UBS, weighed in Friday with his thoughts.
Just which way are the markets headed? Art Cashin, floor director at UBS weighed in Thursday. "The market's staggering a bit here," said Cashin.
First Quarter GDP was revised to a final drop of 5.5%, slightly better than was previously reported. This comes after the final numbers for Fourth Quarter GDP was down -6.3%, the worst quarter since Q1 1982 when economic "growth" was -6.4%. Here is a breakdown of where the economy is shrinking most.
Monday was the worst day for stocks in about two months. Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS offered his insights Tuesday.
The current three-month rally may have run out of steam as the Dow suffered a triple-digit decline yesterday, shedding 200.72 points or 2.35% to close at 8339.01. The Dow has closed with triple-digit losses three times so far in the past three weeks, and 31 times so far in 2009. This compares to 504 triple-digit in history, 84 of which occurred in 2008 including the largest 1-day point decline in history of 777.68 points or 6.97% on September 29.
Stocks suffered their worst one-day loss in two months driving the S&P 500 back into negative territory for the year.
"I think the market is going to struggle a little bit," said Cashin. "I think the wording of the Fed statement in the middle of the week is key. Can they take care of the 'bond vigilantes' and start to bring mortgage rates back down?"
Sunday was the official start of summer as the summer solstice, the day when the Earth's axis is most inclined toward / away from the sun, occurred. Here are the historical averages for the markets and last year's biggest gainers between the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox:
On a week where the US markets continued to stall with all major indexes negative for the week with quadruple witching, bank regulation, a sell off in energy, the markets await the Fed meeting next week closing mixed for the day on Friday.
Today is a quadruple-witch day. Quadruple-witching occurs on the 3rd Friday of every quarter when index futures, index options, stock options and stock futures expire on the same day. Here is a look at how quadruple-witches have affected the markets.
At the March 9 bottom, the banks were falling fast and behemoths like Google were at risk of falling out of the Top 20 biggest companies in the S&P 500. Three months later, that has changed significantly.
"I think this is probably the March rally beginning to roll over, the question is how much of a correction does it turn into," Cashin told CNBC. "There's going to be a lot of jockeying around in the next few days."
With the futures pointing south this morning, the Nasdaq could be down for the fourth straight day while the S&P and Dow are right behind with a potential third day of declines. If the day closes down, this will be the first time we have seen streaks like this in awhile.
New U.S. housing starts and permits surged in May from record lows; and the producer price index (PPI) rose at a slower pace despite higher gasoline prices. What does it mean for the stock markets? Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS, offered CNBC his insights.
The Dow Industrials briefly turned positive for the year earlier this morning. WAHOO! But wait…the S&P 500 turned positive for 2009 nearly one month ago and is now up over 4.5% this year. So why the performance lag in the Dow (compared to the S&P)?