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Dow Watch: It's Hard to Go Green

Stocks in this article: JPM

Updated from 1:51 p.m. EDT

Running in Place

( At 5:30 p.m. EDT)

Can't get much flatter than this. Through two trading sessions this week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down all of seven-hundredths of a point. It closed Friday at 8763.13, rose 1.36 points Monday and lost 1.43 points Tuesday.

Hundreds of millions of shares traded over 13 business hours, and that's it. Snooze. Plus, the index failed again to break into positive territory for the year, though it remains awfully close. Now it's at 8763.06, and it ended 2008 at 8776.39.

Meanwhile, the other major averages, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite, managed to climb. Of course it could be a lot worse. We could be down 500 points for the week on the Dow. I don't even want to think about the kind of commentary that would be inspiring.

We're moving in to summer, and there's just not a lot of news to drive the market. We have some Treasury auctions this week, word that the big TARP borrowers are getting to pay back the government, the beige book from the Fed, but it's been pretty quiet on the corporate front.

All told, 14 stocks were up, 14 were down and two held their ground. American Express (AXP) had the best day in terms of percentage changes, adding nearly 5% to $26.93. United Technologies (UTX) was the worst, down 1.7% at $55.52.

Too Close to Call

( At 1:35 p.m. EDT)

Once again, the Dow has gotten above 8800 for a time, only to lose momentum. Recently the index was down 9 points at 8755, so at that level it's about 20 points from breaking even for 2009.

Maybe the DJIA doesn't get there today. Hasn't been a great deal of movement either way thus far in the session, though of course plenty can happen in the next couple of hours.

I wonder if most people think the market is overbought here. It is up more than 30% in three months, and no one could argue that's a small move. If so though, what must you have thought when it was above 14,000 in October 2007? Maybe it has gone too far, too fast from the lows. Still, I would note that we're not yet back above 9000, much less 15,000.

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