The Dow was down 41 Thursday to 9821 and the S&P 500 was off 3 at 1027. The Nasdaq fell 7 to 2101. Financial stocks were the worst performer, down 0.9 percent though a turn during the day in Goldman Sachs seemed to help lift the sector from a near 3 percent decline. The best performers were consumer discretionary shares, up 0.8 percent, then telecom, up 0.4 percent and consumer staples, up 0.2 percent.
Currencies defied recent trends, with the euro rising and dollar sinking. As the euro rose, risk assets, however, did not follow its move up but stayed under pressure with the dollar. The dollar moved lower on concerns about the U.S. economy, a break from current patterns. Traders said it is still unclear whether the trend will be anything more than fleeting. Brown Brothers Harriman said the euro's break of $1.25 Thursday signals further losses for the dollar.
"I think the market is overdone on the downside," said Steve Massocca of Wedbush Securities. "I think a log of fear and panic came in. I think the economy is slowing. I don't think we're going to see anything like 2008. I think certain stocks have gotten cheap again."
He said the market has been ignoring the positives. "The Monster index was good today, some of the car sales numbers were good today. They're not all bad," he said.
He also noted that Georgia Pacific joined other paper companies in raising container board prices this week. Rising container board prices are viewed as a positive sign of economic activity, if they stick.
Paul LaRosa, chief market technician with Maxim Group, said the Russell 2000, the fourth of the key stock indices broke down Thursday, confirming the same move made by the Nasdaq Tuesday and the Dow and S&P 500 Wednesday. The Russell broke below 607.
"Where could we go? I think it's a real possibility between 8500 and 9000 on the Dow," he said. "...Now's not the time for someone to go in. I think there could be further damage. It looks like sometime in the summer we'll bottom out, hopefully and that's probably a good time to put a toe in the water and start to accumulate."
On the S&P, his initial target is 950, and his secondary target is around 875.
LaRosa does still like gold and sees its decline as a potential buying opportunity. "I know it was down sharply but it's still in a longer bullish trend. If it dips another 3 to 5 percent, it's a buying opportunity," he said, nothing that would be around 112/113 on the GLD ETF.
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