Friday, June 29, 2007

More Worrying Signs of Market Weakness

Yesterday the Fed said it would hold the fed funds rate steady at 5.25%. This was widely expected. But market traders were placing bets on the wording of the statement. They said if the Fed took "elevated" out when referring to inflation, we would see a nice rally. The dreaded word is gone, yet the Dow finished slightly lower for the day.

The Blackstone Group was one of the most highly anticipated IPOs in recent times. It went public last Friday. The offering price was $31 per share. As commonly happens with an IPO, the stock opened much higher. It finished the first day of trading at $35. That's considered a success. But the stock has closed lower every day since. Just two days later, it was selling below the offering price. That's considered a miserable failure. Compare Blackstone to Google, which never sold below its offering price.

In recent periods, investors were reacting positively to all news. Good news was considered grounds for a rally. So was bad news. But now there seems to be more skepticism in the markets. Even on days when stocks initially rally, they later give up much of the gains. This bull market is losing its steam.