US stocks close basically flat, after an early burst flickers out, and while it was a pretty quiet news day, at least as far as big headlines go, there’s a lot of cross-currents out there you need to keep in mind.
DJIA adds 3 to 9509 after rising as much as 82 in the morning; S&P 500 eases 1 to 1026, Nasdaq Comp slips 3 to 2018. Volume is surprisingly strong, with composite volume on the NYSE hitting 6.3B shares (above the daily average this year and especially curious given it’s the last week of August,), and picked up steam early in the afternoon, right as stocks started to tank.
Financials strong early, but finish down; there’s a lot of chatter floating around about banks’ strength, and how many will ultimately fail. But energy stocks rise as crude inches closer to $75/barrel. Of course, that’s not good for consumers, which may explain why consumer stocks fell.
The first of the government’s high profile stimulus programs, the so-called cash-for-clunkers program, expires tonight. But there’s a handful of others that are set to expire over the next four or five months, and we’ll start finding out just how strong the economy is as they go away. Madeleine and I discuss it here.