Dow Puts in Worst Month of May Since 1940 !

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by zanek, May 28, 2010.

  1. zanek


    NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks finished Friday's session with another down day, tumbling sharply after reports that Fitch downgraded Spain's long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings to AA+ from AAA, all while maintaining a stable outlook. Though stocks had been paring losses in the afternoon, the major indices turned decidedly lower at the close, also weighed by a mix of economic data and as traders prepared for a long holiday weekend.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 122 points lower, or 1.2%, at 10,137, also turning in its worst May performance since 1940, when it lost 21.7%. The S&P 500 shed 14 points, or 1.2% at 1089, while the Nasdaq ended 21 points down, or 0.9%, at 2257.

    In May, the Dow was down 871.98 points, or 7.92%, snapping a string of three monthly gains. It was the biggest monthly point and percent drop since February 2009.

    Despite volatile trading that took its cue largely from negative sentiments toward the eurozone, the Nasdaq and the S&P closed higher for the week, adding 1.3% and 0.2%, respectively. The Dow lost 0.6% since last Friday's close.

    "It's a little surprising, I guess," said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Banyan Partners, about the timing of the downgrade. "But, at the same time, we probably should have expected it given everything we've heard. That, combined with a relatively slow day, is only giving the markets a reason for going lower."

    "So Fitch downgrades Spain from AAA to AA+. Fine. But then they put a 'stable' outlook? Seriously," wrote Tom Graff, managing director at Cavanaugh Capital Management and RealMoney columnist, in a contributor post. "That would imply that something has happened to make Spain a moderately higher risk, but that the situation is otherwise stable. That is entirely not the case with Spain. The Spanish people are facing some pretty severe budget cuts and/or tax hikes. These may cause GDP growth to decline, further pressuring the public sector. I'm not saying Spain can't do it. They just might. But to call it 'stable' is asinine."

    Even before the downgrade, which forced the euro into retreat, stocks appeared to take a step back following a large Thursday rally. One market participant said the coming Memorial Day weekend, coupled with some uneasy details in the morning's economic data releases, were enough to cast a pall.

    "Traders are squaring positions going into the long weekend," said Alan Gayle, senior investment strategist at RidgeWorth Investments, earlier in the day. "The market seems to be focusing on the flat spending number in April, confirming the consumer is off to a slow start in this recovery"

    "Between the flat spending and the dip in the employment component of the Chicago Index, I think that's giving some softness to the day," he added.

    Overseas on Friday, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.7%, and Japan's Nikkei jumped 1.3%. The FTSE in London slipped 0.1%, while the DAX in Frankfurt gained almost 0.2%
  2. Actually the headline for the thread is wrong. Although the magazine article is correct.

    Even the wording of the post suggests it. It was the worst MAY since 1940 not the worst month.
  3. I changed the OP's thread title to remove the sensationalist factor and put accuracy there instead. Thanks, Kiwi.
  4. zanek


    I actually just copied the headline from Google Finance. There wasnt any intention to be sensationalist on my part.
  5. Can anybody tell me what happened in June 1940? For the rest of 1940? That would be a bit more illuminating.
  6. Coolio


    I think German social policies starting in 1939 provided somewhat of a grim outlook for the markets.
  7. aresky