That put pressure on consumer discretionary and tech stocks, dragging down the Nasdaq Comp and S&P 500. DJIA scratched out a slight gain, mainly on strength in Exxon and Chevron.
Consumers are very worried about the jobs picture, and while Wall Street loves to dismiss jobs as a lagging indicator, clearly Main Street views it differently. (And that’s essentially what I said on WSJ.com’s News Hub today.)
DJIA adds 14 to 9882, S&P 500 drops 4 (0.3%) to 1063, Nasdaq Comp falls 26 (1.2%) to 2116. The DJ Transports also fell for a third session, dropping 1.8% today, and 6.1% over the stretch.
Also today, Case-Shiller reported that home prices rose on a monthly basis for the third month, although they’re still off roughly 10% from a year ago. Before this crisis, the idea of home prices dropping at all was unthinkable (and of course that overconfidence led to a couple of problems, you might say,) so it’s telling that people get excited about a 10% drop.
And Case-Shiller noted that the expiration of the home-buyer tax credit as well as higher unemployment could dampen prices.
That jobs thing, in fact, could lag so much that it might just drag the whole economy through the mud for a spell longer than any time frame that looks like the right side of a “V.” Just a thought.