Market Watch: Wall Street Plays the Waiting Game


Tuesday, August 12

Markets started strong Monday, but stagnated over the day as what appeared to be good news on the geopolitical front turned increasingly neutral. Trading was particularly light as investors waited for greater clarity on a variety of geopolitical issues.

Early Monday, Russian President Putin announced his intention to cooperate with Red Cross efforts to send humanitarian aid to Ukraine. But as the day went on, insiders saw few signs of the Russian military pulling back the thousands of troops stationed close to the Ukrainian border.

What’s more, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated he felt there was a ‘high probability’ of the Russian military extending its involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.

In the Middle East, the 72-hour cease fire between Israel and Palestine continued without incident, but there was little evidence of any movement towards a permanent solution.

Overall, Monday saw stocks climb marginally, with the S&P 500 up 0.28% and the Dow up 0.1%. NASDAQ rose 0.7% mainly on the strength of pharmaceuticals.

Monday Closing Bell

Dow Jones Industrial Average:  16569.98 (+0.10)

S&P 500:  1936.92 (+0.28)

NASDAQ: 4401.33 (+0.70)

Economic Watch: The main event for the rest of this week figures to be the reporting of second-quarter earnings for major retailers including Macy’s, WalMart and J.C. Penney. Experts such as Anthony Grisanti of GRZ Energy indicated a subpar performance could be cause for concern.

“If those consumers aren’t strong, if those numbers aren’t strong, I’m a seller,” Grisanti told CNBC.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department will release July’s job opening numbers.

The small business optimism index and monthly Federal Budget statement are also due out today.


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