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Another last-hour stock sell-off ends second quarter in a funk

UPDATED at 4:10 p.m.:

Another last-hour stock sell-off sent Wall Street to one of its worst quarters in a year or more.

Stocks staged a tepid comeback at opening today and churned along in a narrow range for most of the day. But then, right around 3 p.m. -- as regular as clockwork -- the sell-off began. Here's how it ended up:

The Dow closed down 1 percent at 9,773.49. The Dow is down 10 percent for the second quarter of this year and has dropped for the past four sessions. Each of the 30 Dow components is down for the quarter.

The broader S&P 500 closed down 1 percent at 1,030.67. The S&P 500 is down 12 percent for the quarter.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq closed down 1.2 percent at 2,109.24. It was down 12 percent for the quarter. It was the Biggest drop since the fourth quarter of 2008.

It was a bad quarter across the board. Housing stocks were down 21 percent and materials stocks were down 16 percent.

Some of the last-hour sell-off today came from mutual fund mangers and other managers selling their poorly performing stocks before the quarter ends. They do this in order to make their overall portfolio look better to their clients in the quarterly reports.

Stocks stage tepid comeback

10:07 a.m.: Everyone wondered how Wall Street would respond after Tuesday's big, triple-digit sell-off, and the answer so far is: Eh.

Wall Street is green, but it's hard to call it a relief rally. Still, after Tuesday, it's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

In the first 30 minutes of trading on Wednesday, the Dow is up 0.17 percent.

The broader S&P 500 is up 0.43 percent.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq is up 0.73 percent.

The Dow crashed down through the 10,000 and 9,900 levels on Tuesday, on fears from Europe and China and weakening consumer confidence in the United States. The Dow is trying to push back up through the 9,900 number for Wednesday.

In other news today, the European Central Bank, or ECB, said today that banks on the Continent borrowed less than expected, suggesting they are healthier than thought. Financials in the European exchanges rose in response.

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 30, 2010; 4:10 PM ET
Categories:  Wall Street  
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Why won't that thing trend?

Posted by: blasmaic | June 30, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

This is mild. I model the economy for a living and I predicted a drop of between 3.0% and 3.6% today. Maybe tomorrow? In any event, the market is on a precipice and is going to fall and fall over the coming months. I predict it will plunge below 8,000 before the end of the year and next year the bottom falls out.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | June 30, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

(i would join with many quite merely to say that coverage of "current events" (of major interest/importance?), such as about any "ecomomic funk," etc., serve as a rather funky, even mocking, understatement of sorts--tho, or course, such truly is, to a "reasonable extent," a somewhat accurate assessment of what funk seems to pass for another version of "business as usual," another rendering that many evidently prefer, while led to expect more, etc., and inasmuch as many wanting to "serve the public interest" might continue much as Mr. Ahrens probably will, etc., and while many private profits/entitlements seem assured, etc.)

Posted by: cdmcl3 | July 1, 2010 2:02 AM | Report abuse

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