In the early stages of the correction since the April peak, the final hour was actually the best hour as valuation seekers came in to buy. But after the infamous Flash Crash and an accelerating Euro crisis (where most of the news develops overnight), traders are quick to sell in the final minutes.
Since May 21, the S&P 500 [ .SPX ] has lost 0.2 percent on average from 3pm to 4pm, according to Bespoke Investment Group, the go-to source for intricate market data. During the first three weeks of the correction, the S&P 500 actually averaged a 0.1 percent gain.
The old Wall Street maxim states that the so-called smart money makes their move in the final hour after everyone else has shown their hand. If this is true, they are clearly not a believer in this market.
"In the final hour, risk managers are going to hedge funds and telling them to de-risk and that usually comes in the form of liquidating positions," according to Jon Najarian, co-founder of OptionMonster.com and TradeMonster.com.
The S&P 500 headed for a lower close today after 3M came out and said that overseas earnings may be hurt by a plunging Euro. This would be the third day in the row stocks have been sold in the closing bell.
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John Melloy is the Executive Producer of Fast Money. Before joining CNBC, he was an editor for Bloomberg News, overseeing the U.S. Stock Market coverage team.