Markets closed mixed on Wall Street: Dow +0.54%, S&P +0.18%, Nasdaq -0.29%, Crude +0.2%, Gold +0.12%.
On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) barely moved to close at $95 a barrel, while precious metals were mixed with Gold (NYSE:GLD) adding a couple bucks to $1,527 and Silver (NYSE:SLV) dropping a bit.
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Today’s markets were mixed because:
1) Banks caught in the middle. Normally the top banks (NYSE:KBE) are birds of a feather, all in the green or all in the red. But today they’re all over the map with Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) showing gains today while Citigroup (NYSE:C) and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) suffered losses. Don’t Miss: How Badly Will a Greek Default Hurt US Banks?
2) How do you solve a problem like Greece? It’s as if everyone’s been waiting for Greece to implode or break off and float into the Mediterranean Sea. Instead, bad news steadily trickles in manageable doses. No restructuring yet, no default. The euro, though down, is still trading above where it was last summer. People are frozen in their tracks, wondering whether to run scared or wait it out. It’s like watching a train wreck at 15 miles per hour.
3) Indecipherable data reports. Yesterday the National Association of Homebuilders (NYSE:XHB) told us confidence was down for June, but then today we hear from the Commerce Department that housing starts, building permits, and housing completions were all up last month. Jobs data shows a 16,000 decrease in jobless claims, which is good news, but jobless claims still remain over 400,000, which is bad news. People are looking for economic cues from these reports and just aren’t getting a solid answer. Some things are getting worse, some are getting better, and everything is moving slowly.