The US stock market has declined today, as the Dow is poised to end its streak of five consecutive weeks of growth.
Friday, September 12, 2014
The index fell 0.2%, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.3% and the Nasdaq slipped 0.2%.
The market has suffered somewhat from a lack of major activity that could provide influence. The next event analysts are looking toward is the Federal Reserve meeting this coming Wednesday, during which investors expect a clue on the timing of an interest rate hike.
"There's no catalyst, really, to crack the market," Brett Mock, managing director at brokerage firm JonesTrading Institutional Services LLC told the Wall Street Journal. "The Fed next week will be in focus, but the market hasn't really moved either way enough to get players more engaged."
American Wealth Management President Laif Meidell told Market Watch that he is not concerned by the market’s sluggishness. If anything, he said, stocks are due for a slight regression after success in recent weeks.
With the flatness in the market, traders are clinging to any type of news that may provide insight. Meidell believed the Federal Reserve meeting will be a “non-event” and that investors are “trying to get its arms around what the next play is.”
Meidell also told Market Watch that the next few weeks will likely be a slow period, but it is certainly possible to revisit the highs – such as the S&P 500’s time above 2,000 points – before the end of 2014.
Sales and consumer confidence support rate hike
The little movement that occurred was likely the result of consumer sentiment and sale data released today, Bloomberg reported. The Commerce Department released a report indicating a 0.6% gain in retail sales for August over July, while the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index predicted a 1.9 point rise from August to September.
If the Fed reads these numbers as a strengthening economy, it may consider raising interest rates sooner than initially expected in the first quarter 2015.
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