Is the big 2013 rally peaking?
Maybe. The S&P 500 has been unable to push through to new highs. There are worries again about Europe, and Oracle's earnings weighed on investors.
It may be peaking in part because global markets are worried, yet one more time, about Europe and the euro. The Cyprus crisis is making things a little hairy -- because of fears that a run on Cyprus' banks will set off runs on banks in Italy, Spain and elsewhere. So far that hasn't happened, but that hasn't stopped the fretting.
The rally could also be peaking because it's mid-March, and the market tends to slump in the spring. And it's peaking because it looks a bit overbought.
All that said, the Standard & Poor's Index ($INX) fell 13 points to 1,546 on Thursday. The index is down some 19 points from its 2013 high of 1,563.23, set on March 15. That close, in turn, was just roughly 2 points below its all-time closing high of 1,565.15, set on Oct. 9, 2007.
The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) were down 90 points to 14,421. The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) dropped 32 points to 3,223. The major indexes' losses were their worst since Feb. 25.
It's the S&P 500 that's got our attention. That 2007 all-time closing high has emerged as a strong resistance point. Every time the index closes in on 1,565, sellers take profits.
Maybe it's because of Cyprus. Maybe it's because 85% of the stocks in the index are trading above their 200-day moving averages. Historically, every time that percentage moves above 80%, it sets the stage for a pullback. Not right away, but within a few weeks.
Lastly the relative strength indexes of the major indexes recently hit levels that cried out, "Pullback!" These measure momentum, and when they top 70, the odds of a sell-off increase. The S&P 500 and Dow topped 90 on March 15. They ended Thursday at 65 and 74, respectively.
The obvious question is, then, if the market is peaking, what does that mean? There is not a clear picture yet. Bears are convinced Europe and/or China will sink the global economy.
Bulls believe the S&P 500 will push to new highs in 2013. The question is when: now or later on. Meanwhile, U.S. economic trends have been gaining strength, especially real estate and automotive. The jobs picture looks to be improving; jobless claims are at levels not seen since early 2008.
And don't forget the the Federal Reserve. The central bank, as Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday, is in no rush to start raising rates -- because it worries about Europe and recent softness in domestic manufacturing.
The market weakness on Thursday was concentrated in materials, financial and technology stocks.
Oracle (ORCL) was off $3.47 to $32.30, its worst one-day loss in a couple of years. It was the worst performer among S&P 500 stocks and stocks in the Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX). Blame a big earnings miss, reported late Wednesday, which the company attributed to a weak performance by its sales team. The Nasdaq-100 was off 31 points to 2,775.
Add to that slides by networking companies Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Juniper Networks (JNPR) after a downgrade. Cisco was the weakest of the 30 Dow stocks, but its decline also affected Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and IBM (IBM).
Airgas (ARG) was the second-worst S&P 500 performer after Oracle. Chemical companies Eastman Chemical (EMN) and FMC Corp. (FMC) were also among the 10 worst performers.
Yahoo (YHOO) and BMC Software (BMC) were the Nasdaq-100 leaders. Yahoo jumped after an upgrade.
More on Top Stocks
Yup it all depends, on what and where you are invested....?
And then we could run out the banner...How much ?....Everyone has a limit...
Not everyone has great ideas..
But mindsets, mean a lot..
Usually don't pay to get Greedy, when investing...
But slow and steady....DOESN'T always win the race either. Sometimes..?
But running for the exts....Hardly ever pays long term..
And many had trouble understanding that...imo.
Be it Fear or Greed....Middle of the Road, has it's rewards.
Got a few $$$ to invest, if the market takes a break (the more the better) I'll use that to invest a little more.
Why don't we learn? Because the people in later bubbles are not the same people who were in the earlier bubbles who well learned not to do it again, as all people always will learn 99.9% of their lessons in life from their own personal experiences, and are unwilling or unable to learn well from others' experiences and mistakes. They always "think" that this time will be different. That is called.....hope.That is why we still make the same dumb mistakes we have always made as a species and will always continue to do so. The special ones who can and do learn well from others' experience mistakes are the true pioneers of human species progress, but they are too few to make a significant positive difference. And getting fewer.
Our "Andy" was elected about 1992....We just called him Bubba....
Or his momma called him William Jefferson.
Do you notice the bears are right wingers?It`s no secret the far right would love to see
a depression.Hotdogs like Rubio would be quick to blame Obama.
MORE ON MSN MONEY
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
John Stumpf acknowledges that growth has been slow, but he says he's still optimistic.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.