Fred Dickson, chief market analyst at D.A. Davidson, was more surprised by the staying power of Friday's stock rally than its reversal.
"The fact that a surprise that big triggered an hour-and-a-half-long rally was even more surprising," Dickson said, adding that market reaction to a pop in interest rates was likely the cause of the declines.
Year-end profit-taking was another theory as fund managers who have been playing it safe scramble for gains -- particularly in an up year.
"We're going into a part of the year where things are being driven by more than the news. You're dealing with portfolio performance and the pressures exerted on fund managers," said Cantor Fitzgerald U.S. market strategist Marc Pado in a recent interview. "That's what drives money into the market in December -- especially in an up year."October factory orders released by the Census Bureau Friday morning also lifted market sentiment. Orders increased 0.6%, which surpassed economists' forecasts for 0.2%. Aircraft and petroleum products ranked saw the greatest orders growth. The improved labor report pushed the U.S. dollar higher against foreign currencies as the dollar index was up over 1%. U.S. Treasury prices fell, as investors ditched safe-haven assets. The benchmark 10-year Treasury declined 27/32 as its yield rose to 3.480%. The short-dated two-year Treasury note was down 8/32 as its yield rose to 0.846%. Overseas, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.3%, and Japan's Nikkei rose 0.5%. The FTSE in London gained 0.2% and the DAX in Frankfurt rose 0.8%. Shares of Bank of America (CSCO) finished up by 3.3%, at $16.28 as investors applauded its