Market Recap: Stocks Pullback as Investors Await Political Transitions

Markets closed down on Wall Street today: Dow -0.61%, S&P -0.95%, Nasdaq -0.80%, Oil -0.87%, Gold -0.38%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) fell to $98.13 a barrel. Precious metals also declined, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) falling to $1,781.30 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) fell 1.17% to settle at $34.28.

Hot Feature: Merkel Pushes for Stronger Unity of EU Nations

Today’s markets were down because:

1) Europe. Following Friday’s big rally, markets witnessed a slight pullback today as investors grew wary of whether political transitions in Italy and Greece would be enough, in and of themselves, to effect the necessary changes to see the region through it’s sovereign debt crisis. That uncertainty led investors to reel in their enthusiasm until further developments prove the interim governments’ mettle.

2) Apple and Amazon. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) sold off to a 5-week low today after a bearish note from Goldman’s Bill Shope inferred that iPad demand could be a bit soft, and that a cheaper iPad could be needed to encourage price-sensitive tablet buyers. Meanwhile, though fairing poorly against the iPad in its first round of reviews, Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire tablet has the benefit of being significantly cheaper than its main competition, allowing Amazon shares to move counter to market trends today. Apple closed down 1.39% while Amazon closed up 0.71%.

3) Banks. Financial stocks were under pressure, with JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) leading the Dow’s decline, while shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), and Citigroup (NYSE:C) all fell more than 2%.

BONUS: Are Big Banks Boosting Revenue With Hidden Fees?