"Another day, and more selling," observed Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "The S&P 500 Index (SPX) is now down five straight days, the longest losing streak in 2013, matching the streak that coincided with the fiscal cliff drama in late December. Afternoon concerns over Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) cutting orders sparked some weakness. Although WMT said this report was erroneous, the shares still closed 1.5% lower." Adding insult to injury, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) also finished in negative territory, marking its own five-day losing streak.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,273.26) spent most of the day in the red, touching a session low of 15,253.16 just before 2:00 p.m. ET. By the closing bell, the index was down 61.3 points, or 0.4% -- bringing its losing streak to five days. JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) led the blue-chip bellwether's six advancers with a gain of 2.7%, while Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) paced the 22 decliners with a loss of 1.5%. Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and DuPont (NYSE:DD) remained unchanged.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,692.77) was also parked in negative territory for much of the session, although it touched an intraday high of 1,701.71 around noon. Nevertheless, the index was back in the red by the close, finishing 4.7 points, or 0.3%, lower -- marking its longest losing streak since late December. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,761.10) shed 7.2 points, or 0.2%.
Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 14.01) started the day off higher, but ended the session with a loss of 0.1 point, or 0.5%. The "fear barometer" is on pace to finish a third consecutive week below its 20-week moving average.
A Trader's Take:
"Small-caps continue to hold up very well," Detrick noted. "Even financials, which had been lagging by a wide margin, bounced some today. Nonetheless, with all the uncertainty that is swirling around the upcoming Washington budget drama, traders are clearly treading lightly here."
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