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Friday, 18 November 2011 | 00:00
DJ30 PointChange: -134.86 Level: 11768.3 NASDAQ PointChange: -51.62 Level: 2586.45 NQ100 PercentChange: -2.3 R2K PercentChange: -1.5 SP400 PercentChange: -1.9 SP500 PointChange: -20.78 Level: 1215.16 NASDAQ-Adv:710 Dec: 1787 NYSE-Adv:577 Dec: 2445

[BRIEFING.COM] Continued lack of leadership caused stocks to struggle in the face of resistance, which ultimately gave way to a technical breakdown that resulted in steep losses for the major averages.

Sellers hit stocks at the open. The major averages fought back some, but their efforts lacked leadership. That hampered the broad market and kept it from poking into positive territory. Most notably, though, a barrage of selling was brought about by the inability of the S&P 500 to push back above a rising trendline that formed the bottom of a triangle pattern and a simultaneous pullback by the euro.

The slide stabilized once the S&P 500 found the 1210 zone, setting a near one-month low, but stocks never really rebounded from there. The euro also drifted into the close, resulting in only a fractional gain for the day. It is on pace for a 2% weekly loss.

Participation picked up in response to the market's volatility. In recent session's share volume has been anemic, but today it approached 1 billion on the Big Board.

Market movement distracted participants from a dose of generally pleasing data, which featured the latest weekly initial jobless claims count. Initial jobless claims for the week ended November 12 totaled 388,000. Not only is that less than the 398,000 initial claims that had been broadly expected, it marked the lowest initial claims level since April.

Housing starts in October hit an annualized rate of 628,000, which is little changed from the downwardly revised rate of 630,000 units in the prior month, but greater than the pace of 604,000 that had been generally expected. Building permits set an annualized pace of 653,000 to exceed the rate of 603,000 that had been anticipated. Building permits in the prior month had trended at an annualized pace of 589,000.

The Philadelphia Fed Survey for November slipped to 3.6 from 8.7 in the prior month. Many had expected to ease to just 7.5.

Advancing Sectors: (None)
Declining Sectors: Telecom -0.5%, Consumer Staples -0.5%, Utilities -0.6%, Health Care -1.2%, Consumer Discretionary -1.7%, Industrials -1.8%, Financials -2.1%, Energy -2.1%, Tech -2.2%, Materials -2.9%

Source: Briefing

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