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Don't read too much into Wednesday's declines

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

A confusing trading day.

The simplest explanation for the midday weakness is that stocks are having a problem because 10-year bond yields have moved up on Wednesday in two waves, one at the opening of the stock market and then another in midday.

That's true, but there's another interesting pattern that is evident. It's not unusual to see moves in stocks and sectors that have had outsized gains and losses as the end of the quarter approaches.

What sectors had notable gains this quarter? Solar stocks, Biotech, and Semiconductors.

What sectors have declined the most today? Solar, biotech and semiconductors.

Hm.

What sectors had notable declines this quarter? Oil Service, Steel, and the euro/dollar.

What sectors have gained the most today? Oil service, steel, and euro/dollar.

Hm.

I don't think anyone should try to read too much into this. The bottom line is that just about everything is smack in the middle of the trading ranges they have been in this year.

The S&P 500 has moved between roughly 2,000 and 2120 this year...at 2074, it's right in the middle of the range.

10-year yields have moved between roughly 1.6 percent and 2.2 percent; at 1.9 percent right now, that's right in the middle of the range.

Oil has moved between roughly $43 and $54. At $49, that too is right in the middle of the range.


  • Bob Pisani

    A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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