(At 2:40 p.m. EDT)
A little over an hour remains in the second quarter of 2009, and like a defeated boxer, the
looks like its down for the count.
The sucker punch was the weaker-than-expected consumer confidence number I referenced earlier, and the blue chip stocks haven't been able to recover. Of course, not much has happened since the report's release, leaving the Dow lower by 100 points for the day.
I wish there was something more clever to say or some other headlines to report on, but it's a fairly quiet day in a holiday-shortened week. Volume is petering out as we head toward the July 4th holiday.
anchors have now been talking about municipal bonds for what feels like hours.
Perhaps the action will pick up as the week draws to a close, even if the volume doesn't. I nearly forgot that the
will post its nonfarm payrolls report for June on Thursday because of the holiday. With volume expected to be extremely light headed into the long weekend, it'll be interesting to see how volatile the market will be trading off that number.
Economists expect that about 375,000 jobs were lost this month, and the unemployment rate likely swelled from the 9.4% reported in May. I'm always interested in revisions to prior months, and I'll certainly be watching to see if May's loss of 345,000 is revised up or down.
For now, there's an awful lot of red on the Dow. Only
is trading higher. The laggards were led by a 4.8% drop in
(At 10:40 a.m. EDT)
So much for feeling confident.
If you look at a chart of the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
today, you'll notice it fell out of bed at 10 a.m. EDT following the release of the latest consumer confidence report. The Conference Board said the index dropped to a reading of 49.3 this month from 54.8 in May, well below economists' forecasts of 55.3. A component of the index that measures the present situation slid to 24.8 from 29.7 last month.
The Dow has fallen steadily since the report's release, having been up as many as 31 points earlier in the day. Lately down 100 points, the blue chip index is now negative for the month of June, which ends today.
There isn't much in the way of stock-specific news, suggesting the consumer confidence news is driving the decline. On the downside,
were the big losers, each falling 2% or more.
Only three Dow components remain in the black, including
, but each is only pennies higher.
Even the Conference Board itself acknowledged that the report was disheartening. Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's Consumer Research Center, said the decline in the index's present-situation component "continues to imply that economic conditions, while not as weak as earlier, are nonetheless weak."