Markets closed down on Wall Street today: Dow -1.13%, S&P -1.67%, Nasdaq -1.96%, Oil -3.53%, Gold -3.10%.
On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) fell to $98.97 a barrel. Precious metals were also down, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) falling to $1,719.30 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) fell 6.82% to settle at $31.52.
Today’s markets were down because:
1) Europe. Germany continues to object to letting the European Central Bank act more aggressively to contain the crisis, while France, finding itself in danger of contagion as bond yields climb to euro-era highs, renews its efforts to convince Germany that ECB support for Europe’s rescue fund is the best, and possibly only, way to counter the debt crisis. With the euro zone’s two largest economies divided, Greece and Italy still trying to get their footing with new governments, the situation in Europe was more than enough to rattle investors today.
2) Jobless. Initial jobless claims came in lower than expected at 388,000 for the week ending November 12, down from 390,000 in the week prior, a figure that was the lowest since April. Any number below 400,000, if sustained for a significant amount of time, implies that the economy is adding jobs, and that unemployment is in decline. However, with the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York and around the world grabbing headlines, and Europe continuing to be at the forefront of business and economic news, U.S. economic data just wasn’t enough to buoy markets.
3) Tech. Although Angie’s List (NASDAQ:ANGI) hit a home run with its initial public offering today, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), and Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) were among the many tech stocks weighing down the market as the entire computer industry has been hit by a decline in Western European PC shipments.