Markets closed down on Wall Street: DJI -0.19% SP500 -0.27% Nasdaq -0.45% Gold -0.44% Oil –1.57%.
Today’s markets were holding up well until the later afternoon when traders seemed to hit sell buttons into the close. Japan (NYSE:EWJ) seems to be having some more radiation issues and the Middle East is in full blown battle.
Today’s markets were down because:
1) Consumers are still holding on. Although Oil (NYSE:USO) prices are starting to unnerve economists, today’s Department of Commerce data shows a consumer still operating according to the USA DNA. (See “The Number One Reason the US Consumer Will Be Back“) But with February’s data behind us, investors chose to sell shares of retailers Walmart (NYSE:WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT), Costco (NASDAQ:COST), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).
2) Telecom dialed into animal spirits. As analysts continue to digest the pros and cons of the landmark AT&T (NYSE:T) bid for T-Mobile, investors seem to think the sector is ripe for more power over the consumer. AT&T and Sprint (NYSE:S) popped 2% while Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS) each jumped ~1.5%. Keep your eye on this sector as investors continue making long term bets. If you’re looking for similar ideas, These Well Priced Dividend Stocks with Profits Made Our Screen.
3) Oil and Gold (NYSE:GLD) got volatile. After Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Charles Plosser said the Fed should plan to raise rates to 2.5% over a year while reducing their balance sheet $1.45 trillion, a wave of gold (NYSE:GLD) bugs and silver (NYSE:SLV) lovers continued to take profits. Oil (NYSE:USO) also seemed to chop around as traders didn’t have a pure reason to push shares firmly one way or the other.
Now that you’re in the know, time to hear what President Obama has to say about Libya tonight.