The Nikkei's -6.35% swan dive triggered some pre-open jitters for U.S. markets yesterday, but reasonably good retail-sales helped ease fears. The S&P 500 hit its -0.28% intraday low Thursday in the first eight minutes of trading and then rallied steadily through the day. The last 30 minutes often sees some trading drama, but nothing of significance today. The buying accelerated for a few minutes to the intraday high, up 1.66% in the final 15 minutes. Some late selling trimmed the gain to an impressive 1.48%. At the end of the day, the U.S. indexes thumbed their collective nose at Japan's market woes.
Is the correction over? If so, it has been relatively slight: Based on daily closes the decline was -3.61% from the May 21 June 5, ten sessions. If we calculate from intraday highs and lows, the correction thus far is -5.27% from May 22 to June 6 -- the intraday high and low shifted one day forward.
Daily volatility has certainly been high of late. Yesterday the S&P 500's intraday range was a whopping 1.94% from low to high, topping Wednesday's 1.66%. Of the 113 market days in 2013, Thursday's range was at the 96th percentile, up from Wednesday's 93rd percentile.
Here is a 15-minute look at the week so far.
Perhaps its just a coincidence, but the 50-day moving average was the approximate point of rebound last week and again this week. Note, however, that Thursday's trading volume doesn't underscore a sense of conviction, but this is summer season for the market, even though the season doesn't officially begin for another seven days.
The S&P 500 is now up 14.74% for 2013 and 1.97% below the all-time closing high of May 21.
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.