Dow Finishing Dismal May With a Whimper


If the markets close down today, it would be a fitting end to a grim month. Let's take a closer look at the three major indexes and drill down on the macro events moving the market.



Gain/Loss %

Intraday Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI)




Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC)




S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC)




Source: Yahoo! Finance.

With the last trading day coming to a close, all three major indexes witnessed declines of more than 6% during the month as European troubles continued to inch toward the precipice of outright disaster. Concerns are mounting that another round of Greek elections in June likely won't keep that country from being ejected from the eurozone. Losing Greece won't automatically kill the euro, so long as the European Central Bank can build a firewall around Spain and Italy. Unfortunately, that may be easier said than done, as money is pouring out of Spain and into safer places like U.S. Treasuries.

Greek shippers are down today, but DryShips' (NAS: DRYS) 7% plunge is as much about quarterly earnings (or the lack thereof) as it is concern regarding its country's return to the drachma. Oddly enough, Spanish bank Banco Santandar (NYS: STD) , which is sitting at the heart of the crisis, is actually up 1% today (although it's still down 12% for the month).

Things aren't great at home, either. The economic recovery enthusiasm seen at the beginning of the year has tempered dramatically. On top of news earlier this week of deteriorating consumer confidence and housing prices falling to near-post-crisis lows, GDP was revised down today and initial claims came in higher than anticipated. The jobs report tomorrow will definitely move the markets, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

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