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Wall Street's post-election sell-off may gather steam in the coming weeks as worries mount about the looming "fiscal cliff" and technical weakness suggests a possible correction ahead.
The benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 closed below its 200-day moving average - a measure of the market's long-term trend - on Thursday for the first time in five months, and ended below it again on Friday. More than half of the Dow components are trading below key technical levels.
"I don't think you have to panic here, but I think you really want to be looking for the market to move lower for the next couple of months," said Frank Gretz, market analyst and technician for Wellington Shields & Co., a brokerage in New York. "I think the next rally is the rally you want to sell."
At the heart of the market's worry is whether US leaders can come to agreement on some USD 600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases that are due to kick in early next year. Some fear dramatic cutbacks could send the US economy into another recession.
The prospect of higher tax rates in 2013 is driving investors to sell shares as they seek to decrease the tax impact from their positions this year and next.
"You would have thought the fiscal cliff scenarios would have been already mulled over and priced in, but they weren't. It's almost like the market has ADD
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