The stock market recorded its fifth straight session of losses, with the Dow Jones closing at 15,821 points and the benchmark S&P 500 at 1,785, both indices losing an average of nearly one-and-a-half percent from their all-time highs. The financials were the hardest hit sector, losing an aggregate of nearly 1% from prior, while consumer cyclicals led an otherwise bleak session.
At stake yet again is the Federal Reserve’s QE tapering concerns, with all eyes pointing towards the release of the Labor Department’s jobs numbers : a better than expected performance could sway the Fed to cut down on its bond buy back program, potentially leading to a stronger dollar and a weaker equities market.
However, CNBC reported that U.S. Census employees faked job responses, citing a NY Post source. It’s alleged that a census survey-taker was caught making up numbers, and that certain officials within the organization encouraged this behavior. Fueling the controversy, it is also alleged that an increase in the fabricated numbers occurred ahead of the 2012 election.
(Link to CNBC story : http://www.cnbc.com/id/101249631 )
The performance of the U.S. Dollar was volatile this week, with the greenback challenging the 81 level on Monday but softening over the next several days. Traders are closely monitoring the jobs report for directional clues to the overall markets.
The Dollar/Yen also took a hit this week, as Fed-tapering fears led to speculative sell-offs in Japanese equities, this despite the fact that the Bank of Japan re-affirmed their inflationary policies.
Euro/Dollar reversed trends in the FOREX market by closing higher based on somewhat hawkish remarks by European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, in which he confirmed that further monetary loosening is not immediately likely.
Winners & Losers
The winner for this week is Tiffany’s, ticker symbol TIF :
- Shares closed up nearly 11% from last Thursday’s session and is up 57% year-to-date, bucking the recent trend in the overall markets.
- Although Tiffany’s is taking advantage of the bifurcated consumer retail market by targeting high net-worth individuals, 11 out of 17 analysts watching this stock have holds, suggesting a lack of confidence for a sustained upswing.
The loser for this week is Lions Gate Entertainment., ticker symbol LGF.
- Shares are down nearly 5% from last week’s session, likely due to concerns regarding Lion’s Gate’s ability to remain profitable in a steadily declining industry.
- Despite the common notion that the film industry is recession proof, total movie ticket sales in the U.S. has been moving south since 2002, and an increase in R-rated films over the last two years is capping revenue potential from demographics segmentation.
- The precious metals market was volatile this week, with gold closing down to $1,226 after briefly hitting $1,240 from accumulation from a single buyer. Silver’s downtrend was on par with gold, closing down to $19.54, as traders watch for further economic indicators.
Palladium bucked the bearish trend in the metals, closing up over a percent from prior session. An improvement in consumer cyclicals, specifically the automotive sector, contributed to the relatively strong gains.