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Wednesday, 28 September 2011 | 21:03

DJ30 PointChange: -179.79 Level: 11010.9 NASDAQ PointChange: -55.25 Level: 2491.58 NQ100 PercentChange: -1.5 R2K PercentChange: -4.2 SP400 PercentChange: -3.4 SP500 PointChange: -24.32 Level: 1151.06 NASDAQ-Adv:401 Dec: 2116 NYSE-Adv:522 Dec: 2523

[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks got a bid in the early going, but a lack of leadership invited selling pressure, which accelerated in afternoon action, leaving stocks to settle at session lows with sizable losses.

Hope that a plan intended to bring stability fiscal and financial conditions in Europe is close to being presented helped take the stock market more than 3% higher during the course of the past two sessions. That also helped prop up stocks this morning, but early gains ultimately proved fleeting as participants resorted to selling after they failed to receive any details related to the rumored plan. Traders also turned against the euro, which was up about 0.7% at its session high, but finished with a fractional loss against the greenback.

A lack of leadership also made it difficult for stocks to hold off sellers. The listless action initially left stocks to spend most of the morning and early afternoon chopping along near the neutral line before pressure picked up in the final few hours.

Although weakness became widespread, materials stocks had to grapple with some of the most aggressive selling. Pressure, compounded by weakness among commodities, sent the sector to a 4.5% loss.

Broad market weakness imbued shares of Accenture (ACN 53.83, +0.18), which settled with only a modest gain after the stock had set a monthly high in response to an upside earnings surprise. Jabil Circuit (JBL 18.84, +1.46) also posted better-than-expected earnings, but its shares did a far better job of preserving gains. (AMZN 229.50, +5.29) stretched to a new weekly high amid a positive response to the release of its new family of Kindle products.

Despite the stock market's slide, Treasuries failed to find buyers. Instead, the benchmark 10-year Note moved lower once again, even after results from an auction of 5-year Notes proved solid. The auction drew a bid-to-cover ratio of 3.04, dollar demand of $106.4 billion, and an indirect bidder participation rate of 45.9%.

Data failed to portray an improved picture of economic activity. Total durable goods orders and orders less transportation slipped 0.1% during August. A 0.1% increase and a 0.2% decline, respectively, had been generally expected.

Advancing Sectors: (None)
Declining Sectors: Materials -4.5%, Energy -3.0%, Financials -2.9%, Industrials -2.4%, Health Care -1.7%, Consumer Staples -1.7%, Consumer Discretionary -1.7%, Tech -1.4%, Utilities -0.9%, Telecom -0.6%

Source: Briefing

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