Markets closed down on Wall Street today: Dow -0.12%, S&P -0.14%, Nasdaq -0.43%, Oil +0.60%, Gold +0.21%.
On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) climbed to $98.45. Precious metals were also up today, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) climbing to $1,600.20 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) gaining 1.19% to just break $40 an ounce.
Today’s markets were down because:
1) Debt debate. Investors weren’t so much wary of the markets as they were distracted, resulting in a rather ho-hum day of trading. While the Gang of Six plan introduced in the Senate yesterday is gaining steam, so is the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, which was pushed through the House by the Tea Party. The act was passed by the Republican majority in the House, but won’t make it through the Democrat-dominated Senate, while the Gang of Six plan, technically bipartisan, has a better chance of being passed by the Senate than the House. And in the meantime, we’re another day closer to the Treasury’s August 2 deadline and still no debt ceiling deal.
2) Yesterday’s rally. After all three major indices posted huge gains, including the Dow (NYSE:DIA), which had its biggest one-day rally of the year on Tuesday, markets were bound to slump as investors fell back down to reality. Existing home sales slipped in June and traders took profits. Still, today’s minor losses only give back a fraction of yesterday’s gains.
3) Apple. After releasing its earnings report yesterday, Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock bounced, closing today up 2.67%, making it one of the biggest gainers on the Nasdaq. Unfortunately, one tech company’s good news is another’s bad. Competitors Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) all closed out the day well into the red.