Category: Dr. Duke's Blog
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The markets continued to trade in low volume and largely sideways today as traders await the announcement from the FOMC tomorrow afternoon. SPX traded down as far as $2005 before recovering to close at $2016 for a $4 loss today. RUT didn't recover, closing down $18 at $1067. Volatility was flat with the VIX unchanged at 16.8%. Trading volume was flat with two billion shares of the S&P 500 companies trading, identical to yesterday's volume. Trading volume rose 2% on the NYSE and also rose 5% on NASDAQ.

Retail sales reported a decline of 0.1% for February, but that was an improvement over the -0.4% decline in January. What is everyone doing with their savings at the gas pump? The PPI for February declined 0.2%, down from a 0.1% increase in January. The Empire manufacturing survey (New York Federal reserve) increased to 0.6 in March, up from last month's -16.6.

Economic data continue to be pretty weak. It doesn't seem likely that the Fed will increase interest rates at this meeting, but who knows? I don't think we will see much movement in the market between now and 2 pm ET tomorrow.