The sinking Standard & Poor's 500 stock index caught up with one of its plummetting peers today, closing at a new low for the year, a nadir reached last week by the Nasdaq Stock Market composite index.
The S&P fell a little more than 2 points to 1,084.07. The Nasdaq composite lost another 10 points, dropping to 1,839.02. The Dow Jones industrial average slipped about one-third of a point to 9,961.92.
Today's new bottom for the S&P left little doubt that the whole market is tanking.The S&P, which professional investors regard as the best overall measure of the stock market, generally does not move as dramatically as the Nasdaq Composite index, which is dominated by technology stocks and includes lots of little companies, whose stocks are volatile.
The Dow, whose 30 blue chip members are the cream of the market, is still about 55 points above its low point for the year, when it reached 9,907 at one point during trading on May 17.
As has often happened recently, stocks opened higher today, then started to slip. That pattern reflects the weakness of the market. Orders to buy stocks are waiting when trading begins in the morning, but once those are filled, little new business flows in and the market gradually looses momentum.
More and more investment strategists and online trading advisers are cautioning traders that this is a good time to keep money in cash, because they see no obvious catalyst that could turn the market around.
With the market so weak, Wall Street is wondering what will happen to the planned initial public offering by the Internet search company Google, which today proposed making it one of most expensive IPOs ever.
In an SEC filing, Google said it hopes to sell the stock for between $108 and $135 a share. Only one other IPO has ever gone out at more than $100 a share, Bloomberg reported. That was the revamped Chicago and Northwestern railroad, a business with billions of dollars in hard assets, not an Internet company.