The economic data was light, and little progress was made in either Greece or Washington. The banks got a boost as the latest word from Basel was spun as less stringent than expected and Bank of America (BAC) was upgraded at Rochdale Securities.
So as June (and QE2) winds down this week, the third quarter looms and Standard & Poor's, which announced plans to add Accenture (ACN) to the S&P 500 after the closing bell, noted that the next three months haven't been kind to equities for roughly the past two decades. Since 1990, the S&P 500 has fallen an average of 0.9% in the third calendar quarter vs. a gain of 1.9% for all four quarters.
There's some hope in near-term, given how poorly the market has already done over the past two months."Since the S&P 500 has fallen in seven of the last eight weeks, however, the market may be ripe for a counter-trend rally, particularly since the bar has been set so low heading into Q2 earnings reporting season," wrote S&P Chief Investment Strategist Sam Stovall, who notes Wall Street analysts have taken earnings estimates down roughly 0.6% in the past month, according to data from CapitalIQ. But Stovall goes on to say that S&P's view is still that more seasonal challenges could lie ahead for equities, and that "technical factors continue to point to a deepening pullback or correction, and fundamental forecasts may be starting to acknowledge these slowing conditions." Tuesday's economic data is will get some attention, mostly the read on consumer confidence for June at 10 a.m. ET since it will provide some insight into more recent conditions. The consensus is 60.7 vs. 60.8 in May. The other report is the S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices for April, which is due at 9 a.m. ET. Given there have been virtually no indications that the housing market is ready to start even a slow climb higher, it's hard to expect much from this index, which looks both national trends and changes in 20 metropolitan regions of the country. The consensus is a 3.9% decline. On the corporate front, Microsoft (MSFT) will now need to back up its nearly 4% rally on Monday, which was fueled by expectations the company could be moving up the release of its next version of Windows to April 2012 from fall as well as buzz about cloud versions of its Office software suite.
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