Markets finished lower Wednesday with both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 falling roughly .4%. For the Nasdaq it was its 6th losing session in the last 8 and its third of its last 5 CLOSING below its 50 day SMA. The coming days should offer some clarity as moving below that important line could wash out some excess, but an ideal scenario would be a rapid climb back above it. When the benchmark was below its 50 day SMA last December and this January and February it never fell to far away, but volume was a bit more subdued then. Recently volume has been hefty and it is a concern. The selling was broad with declining stocks outpacing advancing issues by 2 to 1 on the NYSE and the only major sector to escape todays weakness was the defensive consumer staples. On the economic front private payroll data was weak today, but some commodities are indicating a potential improvement. Two of the most notable resources that investors equate with growth are crude and copper. Crude has gained approximately 40% since mid March and copper as viewed by the JJC recorded a strong gain last week of more than 7% in robust volume. The consumer which accounts for 2/3rds of GDP may still be weary. Names in the group like SODA, NDLS and FOSL all fell after reporting numbers. They are down 58, 53 and 30% from recent 52 week highs as well. WFM at the time of this writing slumped 11% after hours following a release of its own.
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