Trader Talk

Behind a Wild Trading Day

The Dow Industrials opened up 140 points up but in less than 2 hours it was down 140 points. It's a rare day when the Dow moves 300 points in a day — even rarer when that happens in 2 hours. What's the problem?

There were 3 points in the day when selling pressure was intense, reflecting 3 separate issues: 1) at the open, when a "sell the rally" attitude prevailed among traders who had bought early on Friday, 2) at 10am ET, when the ISM came in below expectations, and 3) at 11:30am ET when Europe closed.

The only good news: selling pressure dramatically dropped off after Europe closed at 11:30am ET. Once that was finished, stocks began drifting upward, though on light volume.

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