U.S. equity traders held the flat line at the close of trade after a roller coaster ride lower that maintained prices close to a four month high. The tone was decidedly negative in the morning session, but managed to scrape higher as oil prices closed below the important $60 a barrel level that many had thought could get hit in early trade. The S&P held support, and also held this year’s 30% gains, albeit on dramatically light volume.
In trade on Tuesday the XLF, the financial sector ETF, dropped 0.26 points (-2.1%) to trade at 12.00, and reversed a very positive period of trade last week. It moved lower on strong volume; 206m ETF's changed hands, above the ten day average of 200m. Without a solid period of trade from the banking sector the main equity markets are going to struggle to hold the higher ground, and although lower in trade on Thursday recent moves have increased the Financial Sector value dramatically from the test of $6 in March.
The DOW finished at 8469 after a gain of 50 points (0.6%), while the S&P traded at 908, lower by 0.1%, and the technology-heavy NASDAQ traded at the 1716 area, after moving down by 15 points or 0.8%.
European markets opened lower for a second consecutive day, following negative U.S. futures and the negative close seen in the Asian markets.
The European markets were mixed in trade on Tuesday, and unable to spark any positive momentum. The German Dax closed at 4854 (-0.2%), the London FTSE closed at 4425 (-0.2%), and the French Cac 40 stood at 3231 with a loss of -0.4%.
Following three days of Holidays, the Japanese Nikkei soared tonight more than 4%. Almost every sector in the index rallied, with the financial sector on top of the list. Other important gains were observed in the commodity stocks, as crude oil surged 5% during the U.S. session, and in goods manufacturing sales, on positive U.S. employment data.
Overnight, the Japanese Nikkei declined 153.37 points (1.62%) to 9,298.61. The Australian S&P/Asx slipped 48.80 points (1.24%) to 3,877.20. The U.K. gained 3.69 points (0.08%) to 4,439.19, while the German Dax added 35.44 points (0.73%) to 4,902.35.