If the NYSE held a stock-trading session and nobody came, it would look a lot like what you saw today. US stocks sleepwalked through a slight August session, with the winds buffeting the global economy, making so people so nervous, leaving only a quiet murmur on Wall Street.
DJIA eases 1 to 10302, S&P 500 inches ahead just 0.12 to 1079, Nasdaq Comp adds 8 (0.4%) to 2182, with tech shares bolstered by Dell’s all-cash acquisition of 3PAR. NYSE volume is anemic, just 3.1B shares traded. It was, in fact, the lightest day this year.
But while stocks were somnolent, the action was in the Treasury market: the 10-year yield slid as low as 2.579%, lowest since March 2009. A 2.5-anything number on the 10-year yield should be getting people’s attention. The bond market is talking.
Today’s report from the New York Fed on manufacturing was taken pretty well by the Street. The manufacturing index in August rose slightly from July, but the numbers are still well below their spring levels, and pointing to a significant slowdown in activity. But at least we’re not Japan. Japan’s 2Q GDP positively cratered, with the upshot being that for now at least, China is the world’s second-largest economy.
Those are just more signs that the global recovery thing is flagging.
Elsewhere, Lowe’s reports 10% profit growth, kicking off a big week for retail earnings. Still, the company’s 2H outlook was guarded, and company expects weakness until jobs, housing recover.