After 4:00 pm ET: Today's much worse than expected new jobs number tanked the market on the open but that couldn't keep a good index down. The Dow Transport Index (DTX), a leader in market direction, promptly washed that news out right of its hair and marched back to end the day in the green, the only major index to do so. The other piece of good news is that while the VIX began the day at a new monthly high in the bull/bear transition zone, it finished markedly lower indicating that whatever was bothering investors didn't last long. The only spoil sport among the major averages was the tech-heavy Nasdaq which wasn't able to hold its current (and fairly major) support level at 3200. The fact that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) were off 12% and 5% respectively didn't help the Nasdaq's cause at all. (Note that Google broke $790 major support and Apple is testing $420.) A breakdown in tech just might be the early warning sign that the market is due for a pull-back.
Today's flight to safety was evidenced by the big jump in treasury and bond funds along with the overwhelming flow of funds into dividend-paying vehicles. Of the 82 issues on today's New High list, 66 of them (80%) pay a dividend. A disproportionate number were utilities and REITs (real estate investment trusts)--the "safer" industry groups. The surge in these issues was reflected by the rise in the REIT spyder (NYSEARCA:RWR) and the Utilities etf (NYSEARCA:XLU), both of which pay a dividend (2.8% & 3.7% respectively). Despite the recent rise in these issues, the XLU is still 11% off its pre-crash high while the RWR is 20% beneath its high.
Have a good weekend--hope your taxes are done!