Top 3 Reasons Markets were Down Ahead of the Rapture Craze

Markets closed down on Wall Street: DJI 0.74% SP500 0.77% Nasdaq 0.71% Gold 1.29% Oil 1.19%.

Markets started down, attempted to recover at lunch, and got slapped back down in the late afternoon. On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) found a bid as traders start placing their first bets around the new tension between the US and Israel. Gold (NYSE:GLD) retook $1,500 and closed at $1,511.50, while Silver (NYSE:SLV) didn’t have the same luck.

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Today’s markets were down because:

1) Retailer earnings are flowing in and input costs are crushing margins. Last night Gap (NYSE:GPS) reported earnings and the stock got folded 17%. Although there are store-specific problems, higher cotton costs are going to keep retailers (NYSE:XRT) from enjoying the summer and possibly beyond. This theme was reiterated by Aeropostale (NYSE:ARO) and The Wet Seal (NASDAQ:WTSLA).

2) Two milestones were overtaken in the background. If you are still bitter Bill Gates stole IP from IBM to create Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), revenge is yours. Today IBM’s (NYSE:IBM) market cap finally eclipsed Microsoft. IBM is now worth over $208 billion while Microsoft remains in the lowly high $207 billion range. On another note, streaming video company Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) now has more subscribers than Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) — making Netflix the king with more subscribers than any U.S. cable or satellite provider.

3) Let’s face it: LinkedIn! LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) may be trading at twice the price it was less than 48 hours ago, but it still got off to a positive start this morning. Unfortunately for shareholders, the irrational exuberance on Day 2 wasn’t the same and the stock was in a downtrend until it closed down 1.23% at 93.09. This could just be some healthy profit taking, or it could be the beginning of a pattern established by other Web 2.0 darlings Demand Media (DMD) and RenRen (NYSE:RENN). Don’t Miss: “LinkedIn Now has a Price-Earnings Ratio Making Blush

Bonus: Results are in. Here’s Your Cheat Sheet to this Quarter’s Dow 30 Earnings.

Now that you’re in the know, enjoy the weekend!