Top 3 Reasons Markets were Down to Start Earnings Season

Markets closed down on Wall Street: DJI +0.01% SP500 -0.28% Nasdaq -0.32% Gold -0.41% Oil -3.4%.

Markets were in a downtrend from the open. But the big news was Oil’s (NYSE:USO) spill $3.84 to $108.95. Gold (NYSE:GLD) pulled back a bit and Silver (NYSE:SLV) investors took profits after the precious metals hit new highs last week. (See “Gold Is Gleaming Brighter On the Breakout“)

Today’s markets were down because:

1) Oil (NYSE:USO) prices are starting to push gas to scary levels. As earnings season kicks off, we are particularly concerned about how consumers are reacting to bigger hits at the gas pump. If you believe in buying the dip, Chevron (NYSE:CVX) continues to make 52-week highs after the stock has broken above prices not seen since 2008. Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) have also benefited from the rise in gas prices. Don’t Miss Oil ETFS: The Top 10 Exchange Traded Funds for Your Oil Investing List.

2) The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:NYX) gave the Nasdaq OMX Group (NASDAQ:NDAQ) and Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE) the finger. Although the NYX is reportedly getting a better bid from companies on the home front, Deutsche Börse is not sweetening the deal because the NYX has rejected rival bids from NDAQ and ICE. Too bad the Oscars are over, because this deal is going to get dramatic before the dust settles.

3) Earnings season kicked off after the bell. Alcoa (NYSE:AA) beat earnings by a penny, but revenues came in a tad lighter than expected. However, CEO Klaus Kleinfeld offered a positive outlook. The stock was halted after a quick rise, but is now down 3.88% after hours. Don’t Miss our Cheat Sheet to Alcoa’s Earnings! Or, Check Out: Chart of the Day: S&P 500 Quarterly Earnings Recap.

Now that you’re in the know, enjoy the end of the NBA season!