Courtesy of Doug Short.
Futures gave us a “heads up” that markets would open lower. The S&P 500 sank at the opening bell and sold off for the first ten minutes of trading. A brief rally hit a wall at 10 AM, and the index slowly fell to its late-morning intraday low, off 0.815. But the buyers returned in intermittent wave to erase the worst of the gains. A surge in the final minutes of trading trimmed the loss for the day to a modest 0.20%. That snapped a five-day rally. The House and Senate are back in session tomorrow. The market’s “wait and see” mentality could very soon be tested as congress addesses (or not) the complex components of the Fiscal Cliff.
Here is a 5-minute look at today’s action.
The S&P 500 is now up 11.82% for 2012 but 4.06% below the interim closing high of September 14th.
From a longer-term perspective, the index is 107.9% above the March 2009 closing low and 10.1% below the nominal all-time high of October 2007.
For a better sense of how these declines figure into a larger historical context, here’s a long-term view of secular bull and bear markets in the S&P Composite since 1871.