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Thursday, 08 September 2011 | 21:00

DJ30 PointChange: -119.05 Level: 11295.81 NASDAQ PointChange: -19.80 Level: 2529.14 NQ100 PercentChange: -0.4 R2K PercentChange: -2.1 SP400 PercentChange: -1.4 SP500 PointChange: -12.72 Level: 1185.9 NASDAQ-Adv:616 Dec: 1933 NYSE-Adv:665 Dec: 2359

[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks slid to a 1% loss amid a lack of leadership today. Financials were a considerable source of weakness.

Following a near 3% surge in the prior session, stocks came under pressure this morning. The shift in sentiment came largely in response to mixed action abroad after analysts at Fitch stated that there is potential for both China and Japan to be hit with a debt rating downgrade. The decision by the European Central Bank (ECB) to keep its target rate at 1.50%, without the mention or introduction of any new monetary policy instrument, also dampened the tone of early trade. ECB President Trichet further dampened the mood by announcing a downward revision to the region's GDP forecast.

The latest weekly initial jobless claims count also proved displeasing. Initial claims climbed 2,000 from the prior week to 414,000, which is greater than the 400,000 claims that had been expected, on average, among economists surveyed by

Little attention was paid to the July trade deficit, which totaled $44.8 billion after it had been at $53.0 billion the month before. A deficit of $51.5 billion had been expected.

Stocks managed to overcome the early weakness, however. The upturn was helped along by tech stocks, which ultimately faltered to finish with a 0.4% loss after they had been up more than 1% at their session high.

Since the start, financials hampered the broad market. Their weakness eventually dragged down the rest of the market and gave sector a 2.3% loss.

Broad market selling pressure picked up around the same time that Fed Chairman Bernanke delivered a speech to the Minnesota Economic Club. Bernanke offered no new clues about the Fed's plans for monetary policy and the economic outlook, but reminded market participants that a range of tools remain available to the Fed.

Advancing Sectors: (None)
Declining Sectors: Utilities -0.1%, Consumer Staples -0.2%, Tech -0.4%, Telecom -0.6%, Health Care -1.1%, Materials -1.2%, Energy -1.2%, Consumer Discretionary -1.3%, Industrials -1.5%, Financials -2.3%

Source: Briefing

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