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Is the Market Showing Signs of Weakness?

It's possible cracks are forming in the market.

Traders and investors are becoming more hesitant to make trades on individual stocks because they are worried the actions could spur more market volatility, The Wall Street Journal reports. The Down Jones Industrial Average tumbled 247.489 points on Monday alone, and investors tell the source that things are even worse when it comes to trading individual stocks and that it's growing more difficult to buy or sell.

"You try to get something done at one level, and if you take your eye off the screen, it can move to the next level," David Schiff, of JPMorgan Asset Management, said in an interview with the Journal.

One hedge fund manager told the newspaper that he had planned to buy $250 million worth of stock in a particular company, but had to abandon the effort after purchasing $20 million because the prices rose so quickly after he placed his order.

Another sign of economic conditions - consumer confidence - is also appearing unsteady, as stagnant wages, poor home sales and persistent unemployment gnaw away at Americans' optimism.

A metric from Deloitte, the Consumer Spending Index, combines initial unemployment claims, real wages, real home prices and tax burden to assess how consumers are likely to spend in the future. The index dropped from its August level of 2.51 to 2.39 last month, which means consumers may be slow to spend on more than just the essentials.  

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