Shorts covered in Treasuries ahead of Friday's data and as Wall Street's malaise intensified. There was also some unwinding of hedges associated with the recent spat of corporate offerings. Meanwhile buyers were scarce in equityland which contributed to the better than 1% declines the major stock indexes.
Indeed with the fast approaching Dec. 8 Iraq deadline to declare its weapons of mass destruction, and more reports of terrorists incidents around the world, there was little incentive to go long stocks. The moves in the markets may have been exaggerated, however, by a heavy snowfall on the East Coast which thinned trading rooms through the day.