4:15 pm : The Russell 2000 crosssed the 1,000 level for the first time ever today and the S&P 500 established a new all-time, intraday high. Those were some of the more memorable highlights of what was an otherwise nondescript day of trading.
By and large, there just wasn't a lot of conviction on the part of either buyers or sellers. The major indices spent time on either side of the unchanged line, but never put a whole lot of distance between themselves and that point for most of the day.
The lack of conviction was owed in part to a lack of stirring catalysts. There was some M&A activity, which included Yahoo! (YHOO 6.58, +0.06) buying Tumblr for $1.1 bln in cash, Vista Equity Partners buying Websense (WBSN 24.76, +5.53) for $1.0 bln in cash, and Actavis (ACT 127.13, +1.63) acquiring Warner Chilcott (WCRX 19.60, +0.39) in an $8.5 bln stock deal. Those transactions, though, didn't have market-moving punch.
All there mostly was today was a lot of sparring coming off last week's 2.1% gain in the S&P 500. Nobody got hurt, except perhaps in the precious metals space, which got hit early on chatter of a possible forced liquidation trade that knocked silver prices down close to 4.0%. Silver, however, made a resounding comeback, knocking out short sellers to settle the day up nearly 2.0% at $22.79/oz. That comeback, which was aided by a weakening dollar, helped boost other commodities like gold ($1389.00, +24.30) and oil ($96.71, +0.69).