02 September, 2008

Markets start hot after Gustav potential negated, gains can't hold

Hurricane Gustav came and went through the US Gulf region without anywhere near the devastation of Katrina three years ago. On this news, commodities fell, led of course by oil, dropping around $7 in the early going, before oil settled at around $110 a barrel.

The Dow led the majors with a morning gain of over 200 points (1.7%), followed closely behind by Nasdaq and the S&P. Sector-wise the morning rally was broad, except of course for Energy and Materials. Energy as a sector was down almost 5% at the end of the day.

A fall in the Supply Management Manufacturing index to 49.9, which below 50 means contraction, added to the skittish nature of nervous trading on the day. From the morning highs, the downslope of the US majors (Dow, Nasdaq and S&P) mirrored one another leading to a day filled with red quote boards. The Dow finished down 26 points, the Nasdaq down 18 and the S&P down 5.

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