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An hour before the market opened, Thursday morning's weekly unemployment claims came in better than expected. Pre-market futures improved, but remained in the shallow red. The S&P 500 experienced a light selloff in the morning, rallied to its early afternoon interim high, up a fractional 0.14%. Afternoon selling accelerated around 2:30 and the index hit its intraday low, off 0.59%, five minutes before the close. But in those last five minutes the loss was trimmed to 0.37%.

The US markets followed the worldwide trend of modest declines: The Nikkei -0.66%, the Shanghai -0.59% and EURO STOXX 50 -0.41%. The hawkish comments of Philly Fed President Plosser on Bloomberg TV probably didn't help. Of course, he's not a voting Fed member this year.

Here is a snapshot of Thursday:

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Here is a 15-minute chart of the week so far.

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Although the 5-day rally ended, there was no surge in volume behind the reversal.

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The S&P 500 is now up 14.06% for 2013 and 0.37% below the all-time closing high of May 8th.

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For a better sense of how these declines figure into a larger historical context, here's a long-term view of secular bull and bear markets in the S&P Composite since 1871.

Source: S&P 500 Snapshot: The 5-Day Rally Ends