First quarter earnings from major Wall Street players this week have tempered the possibility for equity gains, and have added to the disjointed feel that the markets have after a four day period of no European trade. Asian markets had initially tried to hold steady, and were helped at the closed by positive European trade patterns, but that all came to a juddering halt once the Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq components began their trading day.
Volume levels were light, and there was no reason it seemed to stand in the way of the short momentum ahead of some very important economic releases to come this week. The technical side of the S&P is signaling a long near-term mode, but that will be tested if 830 and then 820 are tested as support. A linear regression channel is acting as support at 830, and holding as resistance at 860, a price area that most trade desks would be happy to hold.
On Tuesday afternoon the NYSE posted loses that averaged 1.5%. The DOW was on 7900 after a loss of 150 points (1.8%) while the S&P traded at 840, lower by over 2%, and the technology-heavy NASDAQ traded at the 1620 area, after moving down by over 30 points (1.9%).
In trade on Tuesday the XLF, the financial sector ETF, dropped over 0.65 points (5.8%) to trade at 10.45 on decent volume; 230,000,000 ETF's changed hands, close to the daily average. The banking sector was dropped lower on news that Goldman Sachs had issued $5b in share certificates to cover TARP fund repayments, something that dragged all financial sector components lower. The Dax, FTSE, and Cac 40 all gained in a synchronized move higher in early trade, and never looked back, even in the face of some early U.S. selling pressure.