S&P 500 Snapshot: Dithering Near the Record High on Mixed Signals

November 25, 2013

by Doug Short

The S&P 500 traded in a bit of a confused fashion during the morning, oscillating between its 0.23% and -0.23% intraday peak and trough in the first two hours of trading. The Second Estimate of Q3 GDP beat forecasts with its upward revision from 3.5% to 3.9%. But Consumer Confidence unexpectedly dropped, probably not a welcome signal as we approach the holiday shopping season. The index then dithered through the day in a narrow range, the only drama being whether it would log its 47th record close of 2014. It did not, ending the day with a fractional -0.12% decline. But perhaps tomorrow's close will give us a rationale for an extra helping of Thanksgiving dressing on Thursday.

The yield on the 10-year Note ended the day at 2.27%, its lowest close in over a month (the 2.25% on October 22nd).

Here is a 15-minute chart of the past five sessions.

Here is a daily chart of the index.

A Perspective on Drawdowns

How close was the October dip to an "official" correction, generally defined as a 10% drawdown from a high (based on daily closes)? The chart below incorporates a percent-off-high calculation to illustrate the drawdowns greater than 5% since the trough in 2009.

Click to View
Click for a larger image

For a longer-term perspective, here is a pair of charts based on daily closes starting with the all-time high prior to the Great Recession.

Click to View
Click for a larger image

Click to View
Click for a larger image

Website by the Boston Web Company