Bernanke hints that the Fed may taper off QE

GandolfiniWhat started out as a relatively slow day on Wall Street led to an afternoon plunge as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke took hold of the microphone.  Helicopter Ben as many of us traders like to call him, discussed the possibility of tapering off the current QE program later this year, sending the markets into an instant tail spin.

The DOW closed out the day down 206 points at 15,112, literally putting in the bulk of its losses just after 2:00pm when the FOMC Rate Decision was released.  The Nasdaq dropped 39 points to close at 3,443 and the S&P gave up 23 points or 1.38% to close down at 1,629.  Like the Dow, both indices were off to a slow start as well but once word got out that the trillions of dollars of bond purchases might be coming to an end, things turned red.

In other news worth mentioning, gold continues its decline, currently off over $34 an ounce down to $1,340 on the COMEX division of the NYSE.  I’m sure you all remember the hysteria six months ago regarding gold and the possible break of the $2,000 level.  Just a short six months later, we’re right back down to multi-year lows for the metal.  As you can imagine, this is also greatly affecting junior mining companies across the globe as well as many ETF’s based on the daily fluctuations of gold.  It’ll be interesting to see where this all ends up in the coming months.  Could we see sub $1,000 gold prices?  That’s anyone’s guess.

In other random news, James Gandolfini likely best known for his role in HBO’s blockbuster series The Sopranos, has died while vacationing in Rome.  Early reports suggest the burly actor may have suffered a heart attack.  Rest in Peace, Tony Soprano…

That’ll do for our update today.  Keep an eye on the markets as we head into the weekend.  Japanese markets opened about an hour ago and are already dipping into the red, following Bernanke’s little chat earlier today. For any currency traders, also keep your eyes on the YEN/USD as we’re seeing some pretty good volatility which may only increase as the session continues.  Thanks for reading everyone and have a great afternoon.