With five straight days of gains, the markets had their best week in two years leading up to the Fourth of July weekend. But as we return from the weekend’s fun in the sun, markets are mixed, with only the Nasdaq (NASDAQ:QQQ) showing minor gains.
Markets closed mixed on Wall Street today: Dow -0.10%, S&P -0.13%, Nasdaq +0.35%, Oil +2.02%, Gold +2.25%.
On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) jumped back up to nearly $97 a barrel. Precious metals also took a turn, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) rising to $1,516, while Silver (NYSE:SLV) was up 5.49% to $35.56.
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Today’s markets were mixed because:
1) Portugal may be the new Greece. Moody’s cut Portugal’s credit rating by four levels to Ba2, two notches into junk territory. Moody’s says Portugal will need a second bailout, like the one currently being planned for Greece, before it can return to capital markets.
2) May factory orders. This data may have been the one bright spot in a gloomy day of trading, and along with energy sector gains, one of the only reasons markets weren’t as bad as they could have been. New orders for manufactured goods rose $3.5 billion in May, or 0.8%, to $445.3 billion after decreasing 0.9% in April.
3) Poor financials. Stocks dropped today for the nation’s biggest financial firms: JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Citibank (NYSE:C), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), and just about every other financial stock trading on the NYSE. And when the banks have a bad day, everyone has a bad day. The New York Stock Exchange’s gainers were roughly even with decliners in today’s trading.
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