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Thursday, July 1, 2010

WALL ST. >>> DJIA Sheds 96 Points in Eleventh-Hour Sell-Off

Gloomy Finale to Ugly 2Q; Dow Hits New 2010 Low
Wall Street capped off its worst second quarter in nearly a decade in appropriately bearish fashion on Wednesday as a late-day slide backed by more economic and fiscal jitters left the Dow at its lowest level in almost eight months.
In another bearish sign, U.S. markets gave up early gains and ended the day near their lowest levels of the session. It’s not clear if the last-minute wave of risk aversion was triggered by any new developments, but fears about a global economic slowdown were reinforced throughout the day by Moody’s putting Spain on review for a credit downgrade and a significantly weaker-than-expected private-sector jobs report.
The selloff was particularly troubling given the fact it occurred just a day after the Dow tumbled 268 points and broke well below the closely-watched 10000 mark. For the most part, bargain-hunters failed to materialize, leaving the benchmark at its lowest close since November 3, 2009 and mired in a five-day slump, its first since March 2009.
It was also a bearish finale to an ugly second quarter that marked the Dow’s first quarterly decline in more than a year, worst quarter overall since the first quarter of 2009 and weakest second quarter since 2002.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA – 9,774.02) accelerated its decline in the final hour of trading, swallowing a loss of 96.3 points, or 1%. In fact, 29 of the index's 30 blue chips ended lower, with Alcoa Inc. leading the laggards and 3M Company bucking the trend. After giving up more than 3.5% in June, the Dow settled its second straight month beneath its 20-month moving average.
For the quarter, the blue chips fared even worse, shedding 10% - the worst quarterly loss since their 13% deficit in the first quarter of 2009.
Following the Dow's dismal lead, the S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,030.71) finished with a loss of 10.5 points, or 1%, to give up short-term support in the 1,040 region.
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 2,109.24) settled 25.9 points, or 1.2%, in the red. For the month, the SPX gave back 5.4%, while the COMP backpedaled 6.6%; for the quarter, both the SPX and COMP shed 12% -- their worst quarter since late 2008.

Crude futures finished in the red today, thanks to disappointing data on domestic stockpiles. The Energy Information Administration said total petroleum products inventories rose by 3.6 million barrels last week, while total demand declined by 500,000 barrels. Against this backdrop, crude for August delivery shed 31 cents, or 0.4%, to end at $75.63 per barrel. For the month, the front-month contract advanced 2.7%, but snapped a five-quarter run higher, ending the second quarter on a loss of 9.3%.

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