Disappointing economic data, coupled with the tragic Boston bombing at the beginning of the week, pushed the equities market and stock exchange traded funds off their all-time highs.
Despite trimming some of the losses experienced earlier in the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was set for a weekly loss of 2.4% in afternoon trading Friday, Nasdaq Composite dipped 2.3% and S&P 500 was 1.9% lower.
“You’re just seeing a little bit of a snap-back rally,” Sean Kelly, head of institutional cash-equity trading at Knight Capital Group Inc, said in a Wall Street Journal report. “We are seeing buyers, but it’s not really strong-conviction buyers. It’s more of a lack of activity from the selling side. The market has come down a little too far too fast, and you see people trying to buy what they consider to be some cheap stocks down here.”
In the U.S., we witnessed rising jobless claims, flat manufacturing, a drop for the index of leading economic indicators and some lackluster earnings reports. Overseas, the China revealed lower-than-expected GDP growth and the Eurozone recession continues to weigh on global markets.
In the commodities space, gold plunged under $1,400 for the first time since 2011, while gold related ETFs, like SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), experienced heavy redemptions.