The S&P 500’s First 1% Drop in Two Months

For the first time in two months, the S&P 500 lost more than 1% yesterday. The market didn’t start out so poor yesterday but traders got nervous after Charles Plosser, the head of the Philadelphia Fed, said that QE3 won’t work. Specifically, Plosser said that by pinning so much on the policy, the Fed is risking its credibility. My initial reaction is that I’m afraid that happened a long time ago.

The market slowly moved down towards yesterday’s closing bell. Financial stocks were particularly hard hit. Members of our Buy List like AFLAC ($AFL), JPMorgan Chase ($JPM) and Nicholas Financial ($NICK) were surprising losers.

The market is still nervous about events in Europe. The austerity policies have led to more riots in Greece. There are also protests in Spain and bond yields there are back over 6%. The government there is prepared to ask for a bailout. In China, the Shanghai Composite has fallen to a 3.5-year low.

The key metric that’s on everyone’s mind is the bond market in Europe. The authorities there have made it clear that they intend to defend the euro. That would lead me to believe that yield spreads would tighten. That had been happening but now the yields are moving in the other direction.

Posted by on September 26th, 2012 at 9:27 am

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