Dow Gains 157 Points but That’s Not a Reason to Celebrate

Dow Gains 157 Points but That’s Not a Reason to Celebrate
Michael Haddad

4:31 p.m. Earlier today, I wrote that the Dow Jones Industrial Average looked set to hold on to its midday gains. I was wrong.

At the time, the Dow was up 400.81 points, or 1.6%, while the S&P 500 had gained 1.6%, and the Nasdaq Composite had jumped 2.1% to 7179.57. My claim at that moment was that the market had started selling off soon after the start of trading after recent early rises, and the fact that it was near its highs are 12:31 p.m. suggested that the gains were here to stay.

Not quite. The market didn’t finish down, but the final gains were less than half of what they were just 4 hours again. The S&P 500 advanced just 0.5% to 2651.07, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 157.03 points, or 0.6%, to 24,527.27. The Nasdaq Composite gained 1% to 7098.3.

In some ways its even more disconcerting that the gains came late in the day. In a 2015 note, Bespoke Investment Group called trading at the open the “dumb money” because that’s when the market is at its noisiest, and that the “smart money”—usually institutions—trades at the end of the day “once all of the noise has been eliminated.”

It’s just one day, but the late day selling sure doesn’t feel like a good omen.

Write to Ben Levisohn at

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