Market breakout cancelled or just delayed?

Saturday, April 5, 11:45 a.m.

In Thursday’s post I noted that the S&P 500 had closed at a fractional new high on Wednesday, and Dow Theory followers were looking for the DJ Transportation Avg. and DJ Industrials to break out to new highs together, as a confirmation of an important upside breakout by the overall market.

It looked promising in the early going yesterday, when the Dow was up 60 points in its initial reaction to the jobs report. But it soon rolled over in a sell-off that closed it down 159 points, actually an ugly downside reversal day.

So was the ‘breakout’ by the S&P a breakout, or another failure at a short-term triple-top, as occurred from the December top? 

040514e

And did the failure of the Dow Industrials to break out constitute a non-confirmation of the breakout by the Transportation Average, which would be a negative by most Dow Theorist interpretations. Or was its breakout just delayed by a kneejerk jobs report reaction?

040514c

Was the spike down by the Nasdaq to a three-month low, below its level at the end of last year, a sign that the previous market leader on the upside, is now leading on the downside?

040514f

For the moment the hoped for break out by the blue chips to new highs has been at least delayed. But all in all, no real damage has been done.

However, it does illustrate how quickly things can change, and the risk as we near the end of the market’s favorable season this year, and does have us watching our intermediate and longer-term indicators closely.

There are very few important economic reports scheduled to be released next week, which will leave the market free to contemplate the first quarter earnings reports that will begin trickling in, as well as anticipating GDP growth for the first quarter, which will be reported on April 30.

Other Voices:

Patti Domm, CNBC: “After Friday’s momentum meltdown, traders are watching to see if once high-flying Internet, social media and biotech names can stabilize in the week ahead or whether they will ensnare the broader market in a bigger downdraft.”

James Paulson, Wells Capital Management: “When it broke the upward tilt in the S&P, most of the S&P held together except for tech. My feeling is next week we get some buyers looking at these values that were created by the selloff. . . . . I think it’s going to bring in some buyers next week, and we’re going to focus on the fact that the economic momentum is still here.”

Joshua Brown, editor The Reformed Broker: "Oh man. Rough week. All the momentum favorites have been hammered, good companies thrown out with bad ones. . . . . names like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Yelp have been absolutely pummeled. . . . . A fun fact – the biotech sector was up 21% year-to-date in the middle of February and as of yesterday it’s negative on the year. . . . . One thing that will probably not work is to just assume that everything will be back to where it was once the storm passes. Markets don’t work that way. Traders fall out of love with some stocks and become enamored with others; stories and narratives fall apart; Institutional investors become satiated and unwilling to eat any more of a particular cuisine, regardless of fundamentals.”

Did gold find support at its 30-week m.a.?

Gold had been rallying off a double-bottom so far this year until extra volatility struck, with an additional spike up in reaction to the Russia/Ukraine war worry, and then a spike down after the war scare went away.

The short-term downside momentum continued for two more weeks.

But did gold find support this week at its important 30-week m.a.?

040514k

To read my weekend newspaper column click here:   The Market’s Annual Seasonality is a Real Concern This Year

Subscribers to Street Smart Report:

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Yesterday in the U.S. Market.

A typical triple-digit Dow reaction to the monthly jobs report, this one to the downside. The Dow closed down 159 points, or 1.0%. But the rest of the market was much more negative. Volume jumped to almost 0.8 billion shares traded on the NYSE, more than 2.1 billion on the Nasdaq.

The Dow closed down 159 points, or 1.0%. The S&P 500 closed down 1.3%. The NYSE Composite closed down 0.8%. The Nasdaq plunged 2.6%. The Nasdaq 100 closed down 2.7%. The Russell 2000 closed down 2.4%. The DJ Transportation Avg. closed down 1.5%. The DJ Utilities Avg closed up 0.4%.

Gold surged up $18 an ounce to $1,303 an ounce.

The U.S. dollar etf UUP closed down 0.1%.

The 20-yr bond etf TLT closed up 0.7%.

Asian markets closed mixed in their last session of the week.

Asian markets closed mixed Thursday night (Friday in the U.S.), but up for the week. 

Among individual markets Thursday night:

Australia closed up 0.2%. China closed up 0.7%. Hong Kong closed down 0.2%. India closed down 0.7%. Indonesia closed down 0.7%. Japan closed down 0.1%. Malaysia closed down 0.3%. New Zealand closed up 0.1%. South Korea closed down 0.2%. Singapore closed down 0.2%. Taiwan closed down 0.2%. Thailand closed up 0.1%.

European markets closed up yesterday:

The Europe Dow closed up 0.5%.

Among individual countries:

The London FTSE closed up 0.7%. The German DAX closed up 0.7%. France’s CAC closed up 0.8%. Belgium closed up 0.1%. Greece closed down 0.6%. Ireland closed up 1.0%. Italy closed up 0.8%. The Netherlands closed up 0.4%. Norway closed up 0.6%. Portugal closed down 0.6%. Spain closed up 0.9%. Switzerland closed down 0.2%.

Global markets for the week. 

THIS WEEK (April 4)
DJIA 16412 + 0.6%
S&P 500 1865 + 0.4%
NYSE 10517 + 0.8%
NASDAQ 4127 - 0.7%
NASD 100 3539 - 0.9%
Russ 2000 1153 + 0.2%
DJTransprts 7570 + 1.6%
DJ Utilities 531 + 0.9%
XOI Oils 1,546 +2.5%
Gold bull. 1,303 + 0.8%
GoldStcks 93.30 - 0.1%
Canada 14393 + 0.9%
London 6695 + 1.2%
Germany 9695 + 1.1%
France 4484 + 1.7%
Hong Kong 22510 + 2.0%
Japan 15063 + 2.5%
Australia 5428 + 1.0%
S. Korea 1988 + 0.4%
India 22359 + 0.1%
Indonesia 4857 + 1.9%
Brazil 51063 + 2.6%
Mexico 40598 + 1.4%
China 2155 + 0.8%
LAST WEEK (March 28)
DJIA 16323 + 0.1%
S&P 500 1857 - 0.5%
NYSE 10434 + 0.4%
NASDAQ 4155 - 2.8%
NASD 100 3571 - 2.2%
Russ 2000 1151 - 3.5%
DJTransprts 7451 - 0.9%
DJ Utilities 527 + 1.0%
XOI Oils 1,509 +2.2%
Gold bull. 1,293 - 2.9%
GoldStcks 93.36 - 5.2%
Canada 14260 - 0.5%
London 6615 + 0.9%
Germany 9587 + 2.6%
France 4411 + 1.7%
Hong Kong 22065 + 2.9%
Japan 14696 + 3.3%
Australia 5376 + 0.4%
S. Korea 1981 + 2.4%
India 22339 + 2.7%
Indonesia 4768 + 1.4%
Brazil 49768 + 5.0%
Mexico 40048 + 0.1%
China 2137 - 0.3%
PREVIOUS WEEK (March 21)
DJIA 16302 + 1.5%
S&P 500 1866 + 1.4%
NYSE 10392 + 1.0%
NASDAQ 4276 + 0.7%
NASD 100 3653 + 0.7%
Russ 2000 1193 + 1.0%
DJTransprts 7515 + 0.5%
DJ Utilities 522 - 0.1%
XOI Oils 1,477 + 0.5%
Gold bull. 1,332 - 3.6%
GoldStcks 98.51 - 7.2%
Canada 14335 + 0.8%
London 6557 + 0.5%
Germany 9342 + 3.2%
France 4335 + 2.8%
Hong Kong 21436 - 0.5%
Japan 14224 - 0.7%
Australia 5354 + 0.1%
S. Korea 1934 + 0.8%
India 21753 - 0.3%
Indonesia 4700 - 3.7%
Brazil 47380 + 5.4%
Mexico 40021 + 5.5%
China 2143 + 2.1%

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This past week’s economic reports:

Monday reports were that the Chicago PMI Index, fell from 59.8 in February to 55.9 in March, its lowest level since last August. The consensus forecast was for an improvement to 60.0. The Dallas Fed’s Mfg Index improved to 4.9 in March from 0.3 in February, better than the consensus forecast of 3.0.

Tuesday’s reports were that the ISM Mfg Index ticked up from 53.2 in February to 53.7 in March, just missing the consensus forecast of 53.9. And Construction Spending ticked up 0.1% in February, better than the consensus forecast for a decline of 0.1%. On Auto sales, Chrysler reported its sales were up 13% in March, thanks to a 47% surge in Jeep sales in the snowy, cold winter weather, Ford’s sales were up 3%. General Motors sales were also up 3.0%.

Wednesday’s reports were the ADP Jobs Report, which showed that 191,000 new jobs were created in the private sector in March, and the previously reported 139,000 new jobs in February was revised up to 178,000. And Factory Orders were up 1.6% in February, better than the consensus forecast of 1.3%. But that was only due to January’s numbers being revised down from a 0.7% decline to a 1.0% decline.

Thursday’s reports were that the U.S. Trade Deficit widened by 7.7% in February to a five-month high at $42.3 billion, as exports fell and imports rose. It was worse than the consensus forecast for only a slight increase to $39.7 billion. And new weekly unemployment claims increased by 16,000 to 326,000. The more important four-week m.a. ticked up 250 to 319,500. And the ISM non-mfg Index, improved from 51.6 in February to 53.1 in March.

Friday’s report was the Labor Department’s employment report for March. It showed that 192,000 new jobs were created in March, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.7%. That was slightly below the consensus forecast of 200,000 jobs. But numbers for February were revised up from the previously reported 175,000 to 197,000, and the numbers for January were revised up from 129,000 to 144,000. 

Next week’s Economic Reports:

Next week will see almost no important reports, but they will include the Producer Price Index, Consumer Sentiment, minutes of the Fed’s last FOMC meeting, etc. To see the full list and times click here, and look at the left side of the page it takes you to.

To read my weekend newspaper column click here:   The Market’s Annual Seasonality is a Real Concern This Year

Subscribers to Street Smart Report:

In addition to the long-term, intermediate-term, and short-term charts and signals in the ‘premium content’ area of this blog, the new issue of the newsletter from Wednesday is in your secure area of the Street Smart Report website And the next issue of the newsletter will be out on Wednesday.

I’ll be back with the next regular blog post on Tuesday morning at 9:25 a.m.

Non-Subscribers:

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**** End of Today’s post*****

Is Market Close to an Upside Breakout?

Thursday, April 3, 9:30 a.m.

The second quarter seems to have gotten off to a great beginning. Four straight days of rally, with the S&P 500 closing at a fractional new high yesterday.

It closed at 1,878 on March 7, and 4 points higher at 1,882 yesterday. But is 4 points (0.2%) a breakout or just a tease?

Dow Theory followers are looking for the DJ Transportation Avg., and DJ Industrials to break out together as a confirmation. They both spiked up impressively over the last four days. Almost but not quite confirming each other as a breakout.

040314a

040314b

Investors liking the Nasdaq and small stock Russell 2000 would like to see their favorite indexes breaking out. But although they bounced off short-term support in the four-day rally, they have lagged so far in breaking out. 

040314c

 

040314d

It’s a similar picture in major markets in Europe.

040314e

 

040314f

So will it be a breakout?

Or was it just the typical positive quarter-end ‘window-dressing’ when mutual funds buy the best performing stocks of the quarter on the last couple of days of a quarter (to make it look in their month-end reports like they had been astute enough to have had them for the quarter)?

The latter seemed to be the case with the rally on Friday and Monday, the last two trading days of March. But the rally continued, although to a lesser degree, on Tuesday and Wednesday.  

The Labor Department’s monthly employment report for March will be released tomorrow morning. We always refer to it as ‘the big one’, since it most often comes in with a surprise in one direction or the other, which in turn creates a one to three-day triple-digit move by the Dow.

With the market so close to either breaking out or finding previous highs to be resistance, it may take on more importance this time.

Do politicians ever think of saving budget surpluses for a rainy day?

It wasn’t all that long ago that governments, federal, state, and local, were shocked when previous budget surpluses turned to budget deficits and alarmingly rising government debt. Surely they learned from that near disaster.

Or maybe not.

Florida’s economy has risen from the ashes at an impressive pace that has state legislators struggling with what to do about a $1.3 billion budget surplus this year.

Among the plans being considered: temporary sales tax ‘holidays’ for shoppers on swimming pool pumps, computers, washing machines, dryers, gym memberships, and a few other goods, which it’s estimated would use up $141 million of the surplus. Spreading the wealth to the needy I guess. The proposed sales tax holiday for gym memberships in September alone is projected to cost $4.1 million. It proposes a permanent tax exemption on cement mixers.

Probably all thought out carefully, measuring needs and so on, nothing at all to do with which industries may have contributed to political campaigns.

Other Voices.

Financial Times: ‘U.S. Equity Investors Ignore Warning Signs’. “As U.S. investors bid adieu to the weakest first quarter in five years, few are dwelling on the lackluster performance. . . . . More than ever, with the equity market bull run in its sixth year, there is optimism that stocks will enjoy further gains. Such thinking by investors means that a sharp reduction in first-quarter earnings estimates is being played down, while the recent turbulence seen in high-flying biotech and internet stocks is not seen as a sign of brewing trouble but as a healthy correction. . . . . For now then, both bond and equity investors are in a state of suspense until May, when they can gauge whether the tone of data for April confirms a rebound in activity after the harsh winter.”

Michael Fredericks, portfolio manager, BlackRock: “There seems to be a bit of suspicion in the rising bond market that there is something more to the economy’s slowdown than the cold weather.”

MarketWatch, Quentin Fottrell: ‘Institutional Investors Cool On Housing Market.’ Institutional investors, which had been helping to prop up the housing market, seem to be backing off, new research finds. . . . . . February was the third consecutive month the share of institutional purchases declined, after 19 straight months of year-over-year increases. . . . . Blackstone Group’s pace of purchases has fallen 70% since peaking in 2013 when it was spending $100 million a week on properties. The double-digit jump in prices over the past year means prices don’t look as low relative to potential rental income. . . . . Some good news; Institutional investors are attracted to the same homes as first-time home-buyers. They want properties built later than 1990, three-bedroom, two bath homes under $200,000. If investors are backing off, first-time home-buyers should have less competition for those homes.”

To read newspaper column of last weekend click here:  Why Mutual Funds Managers Cannot Protect Investors In Bear Markets 

Subscribers to Street Smart Report:

In addition to the charts and signals in the ‘premium content’ area of this blog, the new issue of the newsletter is in your secure area of the Street Smart Report website from yesterday afternoon.

Non-Subscribers:

SUBSCRIBE NOW! To get all of this:

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  • Hotline Updates whenever signals or recommendations change.
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Yesterday in the U.S. Market.

A positive day, salvaged by last hour buying. The Dow was up in the morning, sold off in the afternoon to being down 56 points by late afternoon, before last hour buying brought it up to close up 40 points. Volume quieted down again to just over 0.6 billion shares traded on the NYSE.

The Dow closed up 40 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 closed up 0.3%. The NYSE Composite closed up 0.3%. The Nasdaq closed up 0.2%. The Nasdaq 100 closed up 0.2%. The Russell 2000 closed up 0.4%. The DJ Transportation Avg. closed up 0.7%. The DJ Utilities Avg closed down 0.2%.

Gold closed up $10 an ounce at $1,290.

The U.S. dollar etf UUP closed up 0.2%.

The 20-yr bond etf TLT closed down 0.6%.

European Markets closed mixed yesterday.

The Europe Dow closed down 0.2%.

Among individual countries:

The London FTSE closed up 0.1%. The German DAX closed up 0.2%. France’s CAC closed up 0.1%. Belgium closed down 0.1%. Denmark closed up 0.7%. Finland closed up 0.4%. Greece close up 0.8%. Ireland closed unchanged. Italy closed down 1.0%. Netherlands closed up 0.1%.  Norway closed unchanged. Portugal closed down 0.7%. Spain closed down 0.3%. Switzerland closed up 0.6%.

Asian Markets closed mixed last night.

The Asia Dow closed down 0.1%.

Among individual countries:

Australia closed up 0.1%. China closed down 0.7%. Hong Kong closed up 0.2%. India closed down 0.2%. Indonesia closed up 0.4%. Japan closed up 0.8%. Malaysia closed up 0.1%. New Zealand closed up 0.1%. South Korea closed down 0.2%. Singapore closed up 0.9%. Taiwan closed down 0.2%. Thailand closed down 0.4%.

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Markets This Morning:

European markets are mostly up this morning.

The London FTSE is up 0.2%. The German DAX is up 0.4%. France’s CAC is up 0.4%. Belgium is down 0.1%. Denmark is down 0.1%. Finland is down 0.1%. Greece is down 0.6%. Ireland is down 0.2%. Italy is up 0.8%. Netherlands is up 0.2%. Norway is down 0.1%. Portugal is up 0.4%. Spain is up 1.0%. Switzerland is up 0.3%

This Morning in the U.S. Market:

Oil is down $.30 a barrel, at $99.32

Gold is down $5 an ounce at $1,285.

Economic Reports:

This week has several important economic reports, including Auto Sales, the U.S. Trade Deficit, ADP Jobs Report, Factory Orders, and ‘the Big One’ (the Labor Department’s Monthly Employment Report for March). To see the full list and times click here, and look at the left side of the page it takes you to.

Monday reports were that the Chicago PMI Index, fell from 59.8 in February to 55.9 in March, its lowest level since last August. The consensus forecast was for an improvement to 60.0. The Dallas Fed’s Mfg Index improved to 4.9 in March from 0.3 in February, better than the consensus forecast of 3.0.

Tuesday’s reports were that the ISM Mfg Index ticked up from 53.2 in February to 53.7 in March, just missing the consensus forecast of 53.9. And Construction Spending ticked up 0.1% in February, better than the consensus forecast for a decline of 0.1%. On Auto sales, Chrysler reported its sales were up 13% in March, thanks to a 47% surge in Jeep sales in the snowy, cold winter weather, Ford’s sales were up 3%. General Motors sales were also up 3.0%.

Yesterday’s reports were the ADP Jobs Report, which showed that 191,000 new jobs were created in the private sector in March, and the previously reported 139,000 new jobs in February was revised up to 178,000. And Factory Orders were up 1.6% in February, better than the consensus forecast of 1.3%. But that was only due to January’s numbers being revised down from a 0.7% decline to a 1.0% decline.

This morning’s reports so far are that the U.S. Trade Deficit worsened by 7.7% in February to a five-month high at $42.3 billion, as exports fell and imports rose. It was worse than the consensus forecast for only a slight increase to $39.7 billion. And new weekly unemployment claims increased by 16,000 to 326,000. The more important four-week m.a. ticked up 250 to 319,500.

Still to come is the ISM non-mfg Index, which will be released at 10 a.m.

The pre-open indicators have improved since the reports.

Our Pre-open Indicators:

Our pre-open indicators are pointing to the Dow being up 30 points or so at the open.

I’ll be back with the next post on Saturday morning, as usual later than on the week-days, probably around 12 noon.

To read my weekend newspaper column click here:  Why Mutual Funds Managers Cannot Protect Investors In Bear Markets 

Subscribers to Street Smart Report:

In addition to the charts and signals in the ‘premium content’ area of this blog, the new issue of the newsletter will available tomorrow afternoon in your secure area of the Street Smart Report website.

Non-Subscribers:

SUBSCRIBE NOW! To get all of this:

(The equivalent of four or five normal newsletters at the cost of one)

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  • A 4 to 6 page Gold, Bonds, U.S. Dollar Report every three weeks.
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**** End of Today’s post*****

Has Sell In May Seasonal Pattern Gone Away?

Tuesday, April 1, 9:25 a.m.

The stock market has a very long history of making most of its gains each year in a favorable ‘season’ in the winter months, and being flat to down in the opposite unfavorable season.

Ned Davis Research Inc., and Yale Hirsch of the Hirsch Organization, produced studies of the pattern back in the 1970’s going back several decades.

Among many confirming studies since, an  academic study published in the American Economic Review in 2002 concluded that, “Surprisingly we found this inherited wisdom of Sell in May to be true in 36 of 37 developed and emerging markets. Evidence shows that in the United Kingdom the seasonal effect has been noticeable since 1694.”

A study in 2011 of the S&P 500 from 1993 to December, 2010 by Zacks Investment Research, was based on a slight variation of the basic Sell In May strategy. It changed the entry date to the sixth trading day before the end of October rather than November 1, but retains the rule to exit on May 1. Its conclusion was that, “For the S&P 500 a buy & hold investor turns $1 on February 4, 1993, into $1.96 on December 31, 2010, whereas Sell in May and move into cash, counting interest on cash (the Fed Funds monthly rate), and dividends for the buy and hold, had a final wealth of $3.73, some 90.7% higher. Applied to the Russell 2000 Index, the final wealth was $2.04 for buy and hold, and $4.94 for Sell in May, 141.7% higher.”

Of course the market does not begin a rally each year exactly on Nov. 1, or roll over into a correction exactly on May 1 each year. My own ‘Seasonal Timing Strategy’, or STS, utilizes a technical indicator that varies the entry and exit dates by as much as two months depending on whether the indicator is on a buy or sell signal when the calendar date arrives. Our own and independent studies show that it has more than doubled the excellent performance of Sell in May and Go Away, back-tested to 1970, and in real-time in our newsletter since we introduced it in 1999.

But has all that history gone away?

Wall Street would like to have investors believe so, and makes much of the fact that seasonality ‘didn’t work’ for two straight years now.

And that is true, at least to the extent that there was not a significant correction in the summer months in either year, as the Fed pumped in additional stimulus to prevent a correction from taking place. The so-called ‘Bernanke Put’ had a positive effect.

But even against that massive Fed influence, even in those years the effect of seasonality could be seen.

Even though there was no correction last year, the market made most of its impressive gain for the year in the favorable seasons, and was basically sideways in the unfavorable season.

That was also true in 2012. So two straight years when a seasonal strategy did not outperform the market, but when its effect was clear even when faced with the massive stimulus.  

040114a

The big question for this year regarding seasonality is whether it will be three straight years that it does not outperform the market.

Or will it more likely resemble 2011, when massive QE stimulus did not succeed in preventing a 20% market plunge in the unfavorable season, and the only thing that prevented it from becoming even worse was the Bernanke Fed rushing in to more than double the QE from $40 billion a month to $85 billion.

It seems like a fair question, since the Fed is now tapering back stimulus, and this month will have it back down to $45 billion, its level of 2011 before it was doubled, and will have it down to $35 billion in May, $25 billion in June.

Our STS strategy is still in its favorable season, and 100% invested in the DJIA.

While the exit signal for Sell in May takes place mechanically on May 1, the exit signal of our STS seasonal strategy varies and has taken place any time from mid-April to late June.

I have a feeling it will be an important signal this year, given that this is the usually negative 2nd year of the Presidential cycle, in which the average decline has been 21%.

But then I expected last year’s signal would be significant, coming in the usually negative first year of the Presidential cycle. But I was wrong.

So we shall see.

STS has made its biggest gains in bear markets, as well as proved its value in having investors positioned for them when they take place.

 

YEAR

NASDAQ

S&P 500

DJIA

STS using DJIA Index Fund

1999 (Bull Market)

+ 85.6%

+ 20.1%

+ 26.8%

+ 35.1%

2000 (Bear Market)

- 39.3%

- 9.1%

- 4.6%

+ 2.1%

2001 (Bear Market)

- 21.1%

- 11.9%

- 5.3%

+ 11.1%

2002 (Bear Market)

- 31.5%

- 22.1%

- 14.7%

+ 3.1%

2003 (Bull Market)

+ 50.0%

+ 28.7%

+ 27.6%

+ 11.2%

2004 (Bull Market)

+ 8.6%

+ 10.9%

+ 5.5%

+ 8.1%

2005 (Bull Market)

+ 1.4%

+ 4.8%

+ 1.6%

+ 0.6%

2006 (Bull Market)

+ 9.5%

+ 15.4%

+ 18.5%

+ 14.2%

2007 (Bull Market)

+ 9.8%

+ 5.4%

+ 8.6%

+ 11.2%

2008 (Bear Market)

- 40.5%

- 36.1%

- 31.1%

- 3.6%

2009 (Bull Market)

+ 43.8%

+ 26.0%

+ 21.5%

- 4.2%

2010 (Bull market)

+ 16.9%

+ 14.7%

+ 13.6%

+ 12.0%

2011 (Bull Market)

- 1.8%

+ 2.1%

+ 8.1%

+ 15.8%

2012 (Bull Market)

+ 15.9%

+ 16.1%

+ 9.0%

+ 7.7%

2013 (Bull Market)

+34.3%

+ 31.7%

+28.8%

+ 18.7%

15 – Year Return

+ 84.9%

+ 93.4%

+ 147.8%

+ 271.5%

13 – Year Return

+ 64.1%

+ 77.1%

+ 104.9%

+ 169.3%

10 – Year Return

+ 102.4%

+ 100.6%

+ 98.8%

+ 111.5%

3 – Year Return

+ 52.8%

+ 53.6%

+ 51.5%

+ 48.0%

To read my weekend newspaper column click here:  Why Mutual Funds Managers Cannot Protect Investors In Bear Markets 

Subscribers to Street Smart Report:

In addition to the charts and signals in the ‘premium content’ area of this blog, the new issue of the newsletter will available tomorrow afternoon in your secure area of the Street Smart Report website.

Non-Subscribers:

SUBSCRIBE NOW! To get all of this:

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  • The 8-page Street Smart Report newsletter every 3 weeks.
  • Hotline Updates whenever signals or recommendations change.
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Yesterday in the U.S. Market.

A positive day, and for a change the morning gains were not given back in afternoon selling. The Dow was up 155 points in the morning, and closed up 134 points. Volume picked up considerably to 0.8 billion shares traded on the NYSE, much of it probably due to quarter-end ‘window dressing’ by mutual funds.

The Dow closed up 134 points, or 0.8%. The S&P 500 closed up 0.8%. The NYSE Composite closed up 0.9%. The Nasdaq closed up 1.0%. The Nasdaq 100 closed up 0.7%. The Russell 2000 closed up 1.8%. The DJ Transportation Avg. closed up 1.7%. The DJ Utilities Avg closed up 1.0%.

Gold closed down $9 an ounce at $1,284.

The U.S. dollar etf UUP closed down 0.1%.

The 20-yr bond etf TLT closed unchanged.

European Markets closed mixed yesterday.

Europe’s major markets closed down while its smaller (emerging) markets closed up.

The London FTSE closed down 0.3%. The German DAX closed down 0.2%. France’s CAC closed down 0.5%. Belgium closed up 0.3%. Denmark closed up 0.9%. Finland closed up 0.6%. Greece close up 0.6%. Ireland closed up 0.1%. Italy closed up 0.7%. Netherlands closed up 0.4%.  Norway closed up 0.1%. Portugal closed up 0.4%. Spain closed up 0.1%. Switzerland closed up 1.0%.

Asian Markets closed up last night.

Australia closed down 0.2%. China closed up 0.7%. Hong Kong closed up 1.3%. India closed up 0.3%. Indonesia closed up 2.2%. Japan closed down 0.2%. Malaysia closed down 0.1%. New Zealand closed down 0.3%. South Korea closed up 0.3%. Singapore closed up 0.3%. Taiwan closed up 0.3%. Thailand closed up 0.8%.

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Markets This Morning:

European markets are up this morning.

The London FTSE is up 0.6%. The German DAX is up 0.6%. France’s CAC is up 1.0%. Belgium is up 0.5%. Denmark is up 0.1%. Finland is up 1.2%. Greece is down 0.2%. Ireland is up 1.2%. Italy is up 1.8%. Netherlands is up 0.4%. Norway is down 0.4%. Portugal is up 1.4%. Spain is up 1.1%. Switzerland is up 0.1%

This Morning in the U.S. Market:

Oil is down $.37 a barrel, at $101.21

Gold is up $2 an ounce at $1,286.

Economic Reports:

This week will see several important economic reports, including Auto Sales, the U.S. Trade Deficit, ADP Jobs Report, Factory Orders, and ‘the Big One’ (the Labor Department’s Monthly Employment Report for March). To see the full list and times click here, and look at the left side of the page it takes you to.

Yesterday’s reports were that the Chicago PMI Index, often seen as a bellwether for the ISM Mfg Index, fell from 59.8 in February to 55.9 in March, its lowest level since last August. The consensus forecast was for an improvement to 60.0. But the Dallas Fed’s Mfg Index improved to 4.9 in March from 0.3 in February, better than the consensus forecast of 3.0.

This mornings’ reports, the ISM Mfg Index, and Construction Spending, will be released at 10 a.m. Auto sales will be released throughout the morning. So far Chrysler has reported its sales were up 13%, thanks to a 47% surge in Jeep sales in the snowy, cold winter weather.

More bad news from China, where the HSBC PMI Index ticked down 48.0 in March from 48.5 in February, remaining below the 50 level that indicates contraction.

Our Pre-open Indicators:

Our pre-open indicators are pointing to the Dow being up 50 points or so at the open.

I’ll be back with the next post Thursday morning at 9:25 a.m.

To read my weekend newspaper column click here:  Why Mutual Funds Managers Cannot Protect Investors In Bear Markets 

Subscribers to Street Smart Report:

In addition to the charts and signals in the ‘premium content’ area of this blog, the new issue of the newsletter will available tomorrow afternoon in your secure area of the Street Smart Report website.

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  • Two specific portfolios (Seasonal Timing & Technical Analysis Timing)
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Market, sector, stock, gold, bond, and dollar buy and sell signals, short-sales, long-side and ‘inverse’ etf’s, mutual funds. Highly regarded and in our 26th year. As a bonus for a one-year subscription you will also receive my latest book Beat the Market the Easy Way- Proven Seasonal Strategies That Double the Market’s Performance. Click here for subscription information.

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**** End of Today’s post*****

Will the Nasdaq Determine The Market’s Direction?

Saturday, March 29, 12 noon.

The sideways going-nowhere U.S. market since December continues, with the market down in January, up in February, and sideways in March, which has the major indexes, Dow, S&P 500, NYSE Composite, Nasdaq, dead flat for 2014 so far, no progress in either direction since December.

Even the low interest rate on no-risk cash has matched the market’s performance so far this year.

The risks are widely known.

The S&P 500 is overvalued by 53% according to the Shiller CAPE P/E ratio. Investor participation is at levels last seen in 2007, with margin debt at an all-time record high. The bull market is old by historic standards. The average length of bull markets over the last 113 years was 53 months, with very few lasting longer than the average. The current bull is now 60 months old. We are in the 2nd year of the Four Year Presidential Cycle, and over the last 80 years the average decline in the 2nd year was 21%. The main driving force of the bull market was the Fed’s increasingly massive QE stimulus. It is now being cut as swiftly as it was brought on, now at $55 billion a month, down from $85 billion a month three months ago, and will be cut to $45 billion soon (in April).

But those conditions only indicate the risk, not the market’s direction.

Markets can always become more over-valued.

However, there are reasons to believe the impasse will not last much longer.

For instance, it’s interesting that the Dow is down only 1% from its peak on March 7 (and down 1.5% year-to-date). But the Nasdaq (and Russell 2000) are down 4.7% since their March 7 peaks.

An old market adage back in the day was that when the generals (the blue chip Dow and S&P 500) look back and see the troops in retreat, they soon turn tail themselves and run to catch them.

However, will the Nasdaq remain in retreat?

It has pulled back to potential short-term support at its rising trendline.

032914k 

And to potential long-term support at its 20-week m.a.

032914j

The Nasdaq is near a moment of truth where it will either find support again at the short-term trendline, and its intermediate-term 20- week m.a., and return to rally mode, or will break down through both.

It may well pull the rest of the market with it whichever way it goes.

(Subscribers: See our short-term and intermediate-term technical indicators added to the charts in your Premium Content area for our expectations).

Other Voices:

Art Cashin, UBS’ director of NYSE floor operations: “Investors should keep a better look on the housing market . . . It’s showing some signs of maybe bumping into a wall as mortgage rates rise”.

Jim Paulson, Wells Capital Management: "We’re going to come to a wider acceptance that there is pretty good economic momentum here. Good economic news will be good news for stocks."

Business Insiders, Henry Blodget,: “Lots of folks are bullish about stocks these days, despite the valuation measures. One of the arguments these bullish folks trot out when I mention my concerns is that the economy is growing nicely and is expected to continue to grow for the foreseeable future. And, hey, if the economy continues to grow, then stocks will go up! . . . That argument sounds compelling. But there are two big flaws in it. First, just because economists expect the economy to keep growing doesn’t mean it will. Economists have a terrible track record when it comes to predicting recessions (they almost never see them coming). Second, and more importantly, even if the economy keeps growing, that doesn’t mean that stocks will go up.”

Blodget then goes on to quote from Warren Buffet’s 1999 article in which Buffett pointed out how the market is often disconnected from the economy. Buffett noted that from 1965-1982, the U.S. economy (GDP) grew 370%, and the revenues of the Fortune 500 companies more than sextupled. But the market went nowhere for 17 years (which was Buffett’s forecast for what we would see for the next 17 years beginning in 1999).

032814b

To see Blodget’s entire article click here: http://www.businessinsider.com/buffett-stock-market-and-economy-2014-3

Hedge Fund billionaire Seth Klarman (who recently returned $4 billion to his investors because he can’t find anything he’s comfortable buying, apparently willing to give up the fees rather than take the risk); “Six years ago, many investors were way out over their skis. Giant financial institutions were brought to their knees. . . . . The survivors pledged to themselves that they would forever be more careful, less greedy, less short-term oriented. But here we are again, mired in a euphoric environment in which some securities have risen in price beyond all reason, where leverage is returning to rainy markets and asset classes, and where caution seems radical and risk-taking is thought of as the prudent course. Not surprisingly, lessons learned in 2008 were only learned temporarily. These are the inevitable cycles of greed and fear, of peaks and troughs. . . . . Can we say when it will end? No. Can we say that it will end? Yes. And when it ends and the trend reverses, here is what we can say for sure. Few will be ready. Few will be prepared.”

To read my weekend newspaper column click here:  Why Mutual Funds Managers Cannot Protect Investors In Bear Markets

Subscribers to Street Smart Report:

In addition to the long-term, intermediate-term, and short-term charts and signals in the ‘premium content’ area of this blog, there is an in-depth ‘Global Markets from Tuesday in your secure area of the Street Smart Report website And the next issue of the newsletter will be out on Wednesday.

Non-Subscribers:

We can help you make more profits and just as importantly avoid losses, and at very reasonable cost!

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Yesterday in the U.S. Market.

Another downside reversal day. The Dow was up 150 points in the morning, and gave it all back in the afternoon before they brought the market back up some in the final hour going into the weekend, with the Dow finally closing up 58 points. Volume was average with 0.6 billion shares traded on the NYSE.

The Dow closed up 58 points, or 0.4%. The S&P 500 closed up 0.5%. The NYSE Composite closed up 0.1%. The Nasdaq closed up 0.1%. The Nasdaq 100 closed up 0.2%. The Russell 2000 closed unchanged. The DJ Transportation Avg. closed up 0.5%. The DJ Utilities Avg closed up 0.2%.

Gold closed unchanged at $1,293 an ounce.

The U.S. dollar etf UUP closed unchanged.

The 20-yr bond etf TLT closed down 0.6%.

Asian markets closed up in their last session of the week.

Asian markets closed up Thursday night (Friday in the U.S.). 

Among individual markets:

Australia closed up 0.3%. China closed down 0.2%. Hong Kong closed up 1.1%. India closed up 0.6%. Indonesia closed up 1.0%. Japan closed up 0.5%. Malaysia closed up 0.3%. New Zealand closed up 0.3%. South Korea closed up 0.1%. Singapore closed up 0.3%. Taiwan closed down 0.1%. Thailand closed up 1.0%.

European markets closed up yesterday:

The Europe Dow closed up 0.9%.

Among individual countries:

The London FTSE closed up 0.4%. The German DAX closed up 1.4%. France’s CAC closed up 0.7%. Belgium closed up 0.7%. Greece closed up 1.0%. Ireland closed up 0.5%. Italy closed up 1.5%. The Netherlands closed up 0.8%. Norway closed down 0.1%. Portugal closed up 0.8%. Spain closed up 1.3%. Switzerland closed up 0.5%.

Global markets for the week. 

THIS WEEK (March 28)
DJIA 16323 + 0.1%
S&P 500 1857 - 0.5%
NYSE 10434 + 0.4%
NASDAQ 4155 - 2.8%
NASD 100 3571 - 2.2%
Russ 2000 1151 - 3.5%
DJTransprts 7451 - 0.9%
DJ Utilities 527 + 1.0%
XOI Oils 1,509 +2.2%
Gold bull. 1,293 - 2.9%
GoldStcks 93.36 - 5.2%
Canada 14260 - 0.5%
London 6615 + 0.9%
Germany 9587 + 2.6%
France 4411 + 1.7%
Hong Kong 22065 + 2.9%
Japan 14696 + 3.3%
Australia 5376 + 0.4%
S. Korea 1981 + 2.4%
India 22339 + 2.7%
Indonesia 4768 + 1.4%
Brazil 49768 + 5.0%
Mexico 40048 + 0.1%
China 2137 - 0.3%
LAST WEEK (March 21)
DJIA 16302 + 1.5%
S&P 500 1866 + 1.4%
NYSE 10392 + 1.0%
NASDAQ 4276 + 0.7%
NASD 100 3653 + 0.7%
Russ 2000 1193 + 1.0%
DJTransprts 7515 + 0.5%
DJ Utilities 522 - 0.1%
XOI Oils 1,477 + 0.5%
Gold bull. 1,332 - 3.6%
GoldStcks 98.51 - 7.2%
Canada 14335 + 0.8%
London 6557 + 0.5%
Germany 9342 + 3.2%
France 4335 + 2.8%
Hong Kong 21436 - 0.5%
Japan 14224 - 0.7%
Australia 5354 + 0.1%
S. Korea 1934 + 0.8%
India 21753 - 0.3%
Indonesia 4700 - 3.7%
Brazil 47380 + 5.4%
Mexico 40021 + 5.5%
China 2143 + 2.1%
PREVIOUS WEEK (March 14)
DJIA 16065 - 2.4%
S&P 500 1841 - 2.0%
NYSE 10285 - 2.2%
NASDAQ 4245 - 2.1%
NASD 100 3627 - 2.1%
Russ 2000 1181 - 1.8%
DJTransprts 7475 - 1.5%
DJ Utilities 522 + 1.6%
XOI Oils 1,470 - 1.2%
Gold bull. 1,382 + 3.1%
GoldStcks 106.20 + 5.5%
Canada 14227 - 0.5%
London 6527 - 2.8%
Germany 9056 - 3.1%
France 4216 - 3.4%
Hong Kong 21539 - 5.0%
Japan 14327 - 6.2%
Australia 5347 - 2.4%
S. Korea 1919 - 2.8%
India 21809 - 0.5%
Indonesia 4878 + 4.2%
Brazil 44965 - 2.8%
Mexico 37950 - 2.4%
China 2098 - 2.6%

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This past week’s economic reports:

The Fed’s National Activity Index swung back into positive territory in February, improving from –0.45 in January to +0.14 in February. The more important 3-month moving average fell from -0.02 in January to –0.18 in February, but still well above the –0.70 that the Fed says indicates the economy is in recession. The initial ‘flash’ Market PMI Index declined from 57.1 in February to 55.5 in March, but still well above the 50 level that indicates growth. The Richmond Fed Index, which had plunged from +12 in January to –6 in February, declined further to –7 in March, widely missing the consensus forecast of an improvement to +4.

Durable Goods Orders were 2.2% higher in February than in January. But that was after January’s numbers were revised downward. And excluding aircraft orders, orders rose only 0.2%, missing the forecasts of 0.3%. And excluding defense orders, to arrive at the so-called Durable Goods ‘Core Capex’, it fell 1.3%, considerably worse than the consensus forecast of an increase of 0.5%.

4th quarter GDP Growth was revised up from 2.4% to 2.6%, missing the consensus forecast of a revision to 2.8%.

The Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed U.S. Home Prices ticked down only 0.1% in January, but it was a third straight month of declines. However, seasonally adjusted, the Case Shiller showed prices rose 0.8%. Meanwhile, New Home Sales fell 3.3% in February. And Pending Home Sales fell for the eighth straight month, declining 0.8% in February.

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index improved to 82.3 in March from 78.3 in February. But the University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters Consumer Sentiment Index declined from 81.6 in February to 80.0 in March, its lowest level since November. Consumer Spending was 0.3% higher than in January, but only after previously reported spending for January was revised down to 0.2% from the previously reported 0.4%. 

Next week’s Economic Reports:

Next week will see several important economic reports, including Auto Sales, the U.S. Trade Deficit, ADP Jobs Report, Factory Orders, and ‘the Big One’ (the Labor Department’s Monthly Employment Report for March). To see the full list and times click here, and look at the left side of the page it takes you to.

To read my weekend newspaper column click here:  Why Mutual Funds Managers Cannot Protect Investors In Bear Markets

Subscribers to Street Smart Report:

In addition to the charts and signals in the ‘premium content’ area of this blog, there is an in-depth ‘Global Markets from Tuesday in your secure area of the Street Smart Report website And the next issue of the newsletter will be out on Wednesday.

I’ll be back with the next regular blog post on Tuesday morning at 9:25 a.m.

Non-Subscribers:

We can help you make more profits and just as importantly avoid losses, and at very reasonable cost!

SUBSCRIBE NOW! To get all of this:

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  • Access to Premium Content area of this Blog, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday a.m.
  • A 6-page Mid-Week Markets Report every week.
  • A 4 to 6 page Gold, Bonds, U.S. Dollar Report every three weeks.
  • A 4 to 6 page Global Market Report every three weeks.
  • The 8-page Street Smart Report newsletter every 3 weeks.
  • Hotline Updates whenever signals or recommendations change.
  • Two specific portfolios (Seasonal Timing & Technical Analysis Timing)
  • Sy’s weekly column on markets and the economy every Friday.

Market, sector, stock, gold, bond, and dollar buy and sell signals, short-sales, long-side and ‘inverse’ etf’s, mutual funds. Highly regarded and in our 26th year. As a bonus for a one-year subscription you will also receive my latest book Beat the Market the Easy Way- Proven Seasonal Strategies That Double the Market’s Performance. Click here for subscription information.

This blog appears every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning and at occasional times in between! Follow it via the RSS feed or follow it in Twitter (the ‘handle’ is @streetsmartpost) so you won’t miss any posts.

**** End of Today’s post*****

Problems Keeping Market Flat for 2014 So Far Are Obvious.

Thursday, March 27, 9:25 a.m.

As the first quarter draws to a close, it remains that the market has gone nowhere so far in 2014. For the year so far, the Dow is down 1.9%, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are exactly unchanged, and the Russell 2000 is down 0.1%. It couldn’t be any flatter than that.

The problems that have investors, particularly institutions, and corporate insiders, nervous, are well known:

The market’s valuation situation is worrisome. The Shiller CAPE P/E ratio, at 25.4, is now 53.9% above its historic mean of 16.5. The P/E ratio based on reported GAAP earnings over the last four quarters is 19.8, at the threshold of what has often been the danger area of over-valuation by that measurement.

The bull market is old by historic standards. The average length of bull markets over the last 113 years was 53 months, with very few lasting longer than the average. The current bull is now 60 months old.

We are in the 2nd year of the Four Year Presidential Cycle, and over the last 80 years the average decline in the 2nd year was 21%.

The main driving force throughout the bull market was the Fed’s increasingly massive QE stimulus. It is now being cut as swiftly as it was brought on, now at $55 billion a month, down from $85 billion three months ago, and will be cut to $45 billion soon (in April).

Meanwhile, even with the massive stimulus, the economy (GDP) grew only an anemic 1.9% last year, down from 2.8% in 2012. Forecasts for the first quarter of this year, ending in a few days, are for GDP growth of less than 2%.

And problems in global economies and markets outside of the U.S. have cropped up again.

That has been enough to have bullish investors nervous and reluctant to believe Wall Street’s assurances that all will be well once economic reports prove the winter slowdown was weather related.

But, neither have bears been able to get anything sustainable going on the downside. The market is down from its recent peaks, back to its levels at the end of December, but only to potential short-term support levels again.

032714d

 

032714e

It does have us watching our intermediate-term, and even long-term, indicators closely.

To read my weekend newspaper column click here: The U.S Market is Swimming Against an Ominous Global Tide

Subscribers to Street Smart Report:

In addition to the charts and signals in the ‘premium content’ area of this blog, there is an in-depth Mid-Week Markets Report from yesterday, and an in-depth ‘Global Markets Report’ from Tuesday, in your secure area of the Street Smart Report website. The next issue of the newsletter will be next Wednesday.

Non-Subscribers:

SUBSCRIBE NOW! To get all of this:

(The equivalent of four or five normal newsletters at the cost of one)

  • Access to Premium Content area of this Blog (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday).
  • A 6-page Mid-Week Markets Report every week.
  • A 4 to 6 page Gold, Bonds, U.S. Dollar Report every three weeks.
  • A 4 to 6 page Global Market Report every three weeks.
  • The 8-page Street Smart Report newsletter every 3 weeks.
  • Hotline Updates whenever signals or recommendations change.
  • Two specific portfolios (Seasonal Timing & Technical Analysis Timing)
  • Sy’s weekly column on markets and the economy every Friday.

Yesterday in the U.S. Market.

Another downside reversal day. The Dow was up 100 points in the morning, and reversed to give it all back and more in the afternoon, closing down 98 points. But worse, the rest of the market was much more negative than the Dow. Market breadth was dismal, with twice as many stocks down as up on the NYSE, and almost four times as many stocks down as up on the Nasdaq. Volume picked up to 0.74 billion shares on the NYSE.

The Dow closed down 98 points, or 0.6%. The S&P 500 closed down 0.7%. The NYSE Composite closed down 0.6%. The Nasdaq closed down 1.4%. The Nasdaq 100 closed down 1.3%. The Russell 2000 closed down 1.9%. The DJ Transportation Avg. closed down 1.6%. The DJ Utilities Avg closed down 0.5%.

Gold closed down $9 an ounce at $1,303.

The U.S. dollar etf UUP closed unchanged.

The 20-yr bond etf TLT closed up 0.8%.

European Markets closed up yesterday.

European markets closed well off earlier highs but up yesterday.

The London FTSE closed unchanged. The German DAX closed up 1.2%. France’s CAC closed up 0.9%. Belgium closed up 0.5%. Denmark closed up 0.8%. Finland closed up 1.1%. Greece close up 0.2%. Ireland closed up 1.2%. Italy closed up0 1.4%. Netherlands closed up 1.%.  Norway closed up 0.8%. Portugal closed up 0.9%. Spain closed up 1.5%. Switzerland closed up 0.4%.

Asian Markets closed mixed last night.

Australia closed down 0.5%. China closed down 0.8%. Hong Kong closed down 0.2%. India closed up 0.5%. Indonesia closed down 0.1%. Japan closed up 0.5%. Malaysia closed up 0.2%. New Zealand closed up 0.1%. South Korea closed up 0.7%. Singapore closed up 0.6%. Taiwan closed up 0.5%. Thailand closed down 0.3%.

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Markets This Morning:

European markets are down this morning.

The London FTSE is down 0.6%. The German DAX is down 0.3%. France’s CAC is down 0.5%. Belgium is down 0.1%. Denmark is up 0.4%. Finland is down 0.9%. Greece is down 1.4%. Ireland is down 0.1%. Italy is down 0.1%. Netherlands is up 0.1%. Norway is down 0.3%. Portugal is down 0.3%. Spain is down 0.1%. Switzerland is down 0.1%.

This Morning in the U.S. Market:

Oil is up $1.06 a barrel, at $101.32

Gold is down $6 an ounce at $1,297.

Economic Reports:

This week has numerous important economic reports, including New Home Sales, Consumer Confidence, Durable Goods, Orders, and another revision to 4th quarter GDP. To see the full list and times click here, and look at the left side of the page it takes you to.

Monday’s reports were that the Fed’s National Activity Index swung back into positive territory in February, improving from –0.45 in January to +0.14 in February. The more important 3-month moving average fell from -0.02 in January to –0.18 in February, but still well above the –0.70 that the Fed says indicates the economy is in recession. And the initial of ‘flash’ Market PMI Index declined from 57.1 in February to 55.5 in March, but still well above the 50 level that indicates growth.

Tuesday’s reports were the FHFA Home Price Index, which showed U.S. home prices rose 0.5% in January. And the Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed U.S. Home Prices ticked down only 0.1% in January, but a third straight month of declines. However, seasonally adjusted, the Case Shiller showed prices rose 0.8%. Meanwhile, New Home Sales fell 3.3% in February. Consumer Confidence improved to 82.3 in March from 78.3 in February, And the Richmond Fed Index, which had plunged from +12 in January to –6 in February, declined further to –7 in March, widely missing the consensus forecast of an improvement to +4.

Yesterday’s only report was that Durable Goods Orders were 2.2% higher in February than in January. But that was after January’s numbers were revised downward. And excluding aircraft orders, orders rose only 0.2%, missing the forecasts of 0.3%. And excluding defense orders, to arrive at the so-called Durable Goods ‘Core Capex’, it fell 1.3%, considerably worse than the consensus forecast of an increase of 0.5%.

This morning’s reports were that new weekly unemployment claims fell by 10,000 last week, to 311,000, much better than the consensus forecast of 320,000. The four-week m.a. fell by 9,500 to 317,750, its lowest level since September. And 4th quarter GDP Growth was revised up from 2.4% to 2.6%.

Still to come is the Pending Home Sales report, which will be released at 10 a.m.

The pre-open indicators have not been impressed in either direction by the positive economic reports this morning.

Our Pre-open Indicators:

Our pre-open indicators are pointing to the Dow being unchanged at the open this morning.

I’ll be back with the next post on Saturday morning, as usual later than on the weekdays, probably around 12 noon.

To read my weekend newspaper column click here: The U.S Market is Swimming Against an Ominous Global Tide

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