Some described Wednesday’s trading as “mixed,” but a more apt description would be “mixed up.” The day started with a computer glitch that had an impact on the first 45 minutes of trading in 148 stocks, some of which appeared to trade at 20 times their normal volume and rose as much as 4.8% in minutes. The NYSE electronic safeguards kicked in preventing a “flash crash” similar to that of 2010, but many stocks halted trading until the problem was cleared, and the exchange said that some trade adjustments would be made.
The Fed’s much-expected announcement to continue with its present policy went off as anticipated. But the central bank noted that economic activity had “decelerated somewhat over the first half of this year.” That’s a shift from their assessment in June that the economy had been expanding moderately this year. The Fed’s next meeting is Sept. 12-13, but more easing could take place between meetings. After the Fed’s announcement, stocks fell and the U.S. dollar rose.
At Wednesday’s close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 33 points at 12,976, the S&P 500 fell 4 points to 1,375, and the Nasdaq was down 19 points at 2,920. Volume on the NYSE may be adjusted due to the glitch, but has been reported at just over 1 billion shares, while 488 million shares traded on the Nasdaq. Decliners outpaced advancers on the Big Board by 1.6-to-1, and on the Nasdaq, decliners were ahead by 2.9-to-1.
Unlike the other indices, the Nasdaq is still confined to a trading range defined by a five-month triangle. Just as it appeared that the index would break from its bearish resistance line at 2,960, it reversed down from the line and closed near its low of the day at 2,918. The immediate support for the Nasdaq is the 20-day moving average (green line) at 2,917, and the next support is its 50-day moving average (blue line) at 2,880. (more)