U.S. Markets Take a Dive

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There are still almost three hours of trading time left in New York, but with the Dow down by more than 228 points to 17,760.87, the Nasdaq down 42.02 points to 4,851, and the S&P 500 down 20.26 points to 2,045.9, it does not appear that the day is going to end well. Normally, I would wait until the trading day was over, but at this point on this particular day, how it ends is a fait accompli.

I’m not going to attempt to pin this very bad day on anyone or any one thing in particular. What I do want to bring to your attention is that it would be a bit of a mistake to compare the LSE with either the NYSE or the NASDAQ. Here’s why.

At first blush, especially if only scanning the headlines, people might be led to reason that it is no big deal, because the FTSE was down also. That may be true for the FTSE 100, which dropped by 20.49 points to 6,740.58, but it is NOT true for the FTSE 250, which posted a 48.34 point gain to 17,109.47.

The statistics that caught my attention were the contrasts in gainers and losers today.

  • By and large the LSE was relatively stable with nearly half (42%) of all share prices unchanged. The remaining stocks were split nearly equally between gainers (626) and losers (570).
  • By comparison, on the NYSE gainers were outnumbered by losers by more than 4-1 with only 530 gainers and 2.225 losers.
  • Over at the NASDAQ losers (1,838) outnumbered gainers (692) by more than 250%.
  • You thought that I forgot to mention the number of unchanged, didn’t you? Wrong! Eight on the NASDAQ were unchanged, and only two on the NYSE.

But wait! There’s more!

I took a gander at the Price x Volume comparisons of these three exchanges as well. For me, this is where the real story is buried.

  • The top ten shares by Price x Volume on the LSE were split between four gainers and six losers and a fairly close split on the multiples between 71 billion pence and 85 billion pence with Shell “B” shares (LSE:RDSB) shares gaining enough to nullify the drop in Shell “A” (LSE:RDSA) shares.
  • The top ten shares by Price x Volume on the NASDAQ include eight losers and only two gainers. Highlighting how bad it was, the two gainers were Ulta Salon Cosmetics (NASDAQ:ULTA) and NXP Seminconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI). Ever heard of those two? I didn’t think so. I can almost guarantee that you have heard of most of the losers: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Tesla NASDAQ:TSLA), Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), and the other two don’t even matter. Actually, Apple and Microsoft shares lost more ($5.5 billion) than all of the other losers combined ($4.0 billion).
  • Up until 6:28 pm UTC, all of the top ten by Price x Volume on the NYSE had decline, including ExxonMobil (NYSE;XOM), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), General Electric (NYSE:GE), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), Wells Fargo (NSE:WFC), and IBM (NYSE:IBM), a veritable who’s who of blue chips.

Bottom line: Don’t feel too bad. the LSE may have had a bad day, but on the other side of the Atlantic, the exchanges had really, really, bad, horrible day.

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