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Wednesday, if you watched the market closely, you probably went to bed with a stiff neck. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was all over the place: +101, -193, +195


To close the session +183 points higher after traveling more than 500 points from the opening to the closing bell. Technically, DJIA 16,000 had to hold and it did; it could make a major breakout through 16,400.

Crude Awakening

The wild ride in the stock market arrived, courtesy of reactions to several news releases and developments, including a rebound in crude oil. However, crude oil had less influence than the harsh revelations that the U.S. service economy is slowing considerably. Nonetheless, crude soared into the closing bell once again- tickling the top of the down channel.

There was scuttlebutt about some OPEC and non-OPEC countries gathering soon as well as more rumors about Russia and Saudi Arabia calling a cease-fire.

Doves Flex

The ISM non-manufacturing index came in at its lowest level in 23 months, paced by a sharp deceleration of employment, new orders, and a major contraction in prices paid. The action seems more akin to what we would see at the end of a business cycle, not the beginning. That’s bad news for Fed hawks and the so-called duel mandate of jobs and inflation.


Still, hawks on the Fed are adamant about hiking rates, and doves seem set on proving that they have muscles and will flex them.

The news might have played a role in a big move in the U.S. dollar versus other currencies; it magically triggered a 300-point move higher in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which gets more than half its revenue from outside the United States.

The strong dollar sounds great and patriotic. In fact, U.S. companies make so much money outside of America (see table).

Financial Cry

The S&P 500 Financial index (ETF) found support yesterday, but make no mistake; the damage has been frightening. Some of the reasons include exposure to oil industry loans, exposure to overseas markets, and perhaps a reversal in the Fed rate-hike roadmap.

It was a good session for materials and energy; on a year-to-date basis, only utilities are higher.

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