Written by Gary
Opening Market Commentary For 02-18-2014
Premarkets were up early on at +0.10% and fell to -0.03% after the US Empire Manufacturing came in at 4.48** down from 12.51 and well below the 9.0 expected.
Markets gaped up at the opened with volatility swinging the averages 0.20% on moderate, mostly green volume trending the averages upward reaching +0.30%.
The 10 am financial Net Long-term TIC Flows came in significantly lower than expected and reversed the markets falling to mixed status. The US NAHB Housing Market Index came in at 46 down from 56 and lower than 56 expected. By 10:15 the markets were headed downward on relatively heavy red volume.
Financial data this morning is not-so-good, shouldn't the markets be rising unabated?
Winter storms and cold weather dominated much of January and somehow Empire State managed its greatest beat in a year; however, we are sure the weather will be blamed for the biggest miss in 3 months for the data in Feb (printing 4.48 vs expectations of 8.5).
New Orders tumbled from 10.98 to -0.21; inventories plunged, and expectations for the average work week and future Capex spend expectations collapsed to their lowest since July 09.The drop from January's exuberance is the largest in 18 months.
The short term indicators are leaning towards the hold side at the opening. Why 'hold', because the all important signs of reversal, up or down, have not been observed. The 50DMA, MACD, volume and a host of other studies have not turned, only a 6% correction and that is not enough for me to start shorting. I would advise caution in taking any position during this volatile transition period of Mr. Market trying to figure out which way he wants to go.
As it stands right now I do not have any idea in what Mr. Market has up his sleeve as the bulls and the bears both have convincing arguments why the markets should go up or why they should go down. Several notes of negativity are that the daily volume is very low matching the period of historical highs a few weeks ago and that could set the stage for addition weakness and market decline. The longer MACD view is starting downhill, but not convincingly signaling a continued down trend.
On the other hand, there is pressure to climb higher if only to test the previous Blue Chip highs, but we may have to see some more 'consolidation' or sideways trading before we can start counting our 'Bulls'. The latest question investors have lately is, will the SP500 go above the resistance at 1850 and close there? This is the historical high and there are many doubts that the SP500 can go higher.
In looking at the 50 DMA the current SP500 is somewhat above that line, but way above the 200 DMA and on 02-06-14 crossed above the 100. I can not see, as of right now where the MA's are rolling over to indicate any permanent bear run. The 50 DMA has flattening out, but not descending which is always the first sign the bears are smacking their lips in anticipation of a medium rare steak.
Also, have to watch out for these overnight negative emerging market news announcements which many are pundits unsubstantiated guesses and rumors which can make markets move dramatically. Make sure you have stops in place if you are not in a position to monitor the markets.
What I am really afraid of is that if a serious 'Black Swan' pops up, the resultant market decent would wipe out a lot of profits and undoubtedly be the start of a bear market. This 'house of cards' the Fed has built is fragile and would not take a lot to tear it down.
The longer 6 month outlook is now 40-60 sell and will remain slightly bearish until we can see what the effects are in the game of the Fed's 'Tapering'. By the end of March investors should know how the taper and emerging markets are going to work out in relationship to the stability of the US financial markets and their ability to not to slide further downward.
For now, I am continuing to expect weak to sideways markets for the foreseeable future.
The Best Stock Market Indicator Update says the market is untradable. The OEXA200R is well above 65%, currently at 75%. However, all three secondary indicators are negative.
Again, I would also take chart and other technical indicators with a lessor degree of reliability for the time being and watch what the Janet Yellen's Fed does over the next couple of months. Removing 10 to 20 billion from the bond buying program each month isn't going to do much in reducing the QE program at first, but if it can be cut in half by the end of March 2014 certainly will. What is currently causing problems for the Emerging Markets is directly related to the tapering and most investors are considering this factor along with the emerging market woes.
We are assuming the Fed's will continue the taper program - so far, they are moving ahead in spite of the emerging market issues.
My inner instincts tell me there is a possibility that the Keynesian's are going to be reluctant to stop their grand financial experiment and will want to taper the taper or expand the program later in the year - especially should the employment rate suddenly start to increase. Also, watch for QE5 when Obamacare starts drags the economy down into trouble in 2015.
Also, many pundits have stated that we may have seen the top - but I wouldn't count it as long as the Fed continues to hand out 'Market Viagra', even if it is being reduced somewhat! I would like to see a blowout candle (shooting star) to verify a top along with heavy volume to signify a market top.
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The DOW at 10:15 is at 16117 down 35 or -0.22%.
The SP500 is at 1837 down 2 or -0.10%.
SPY is at 183.84 down 0.23 or -0.14%.
The $RUT is at 1152 up 3 or 0.26%.
NASDAQ is at 4250 up 6 or 0.14%.
NASDAQ 100 is at 3665 up 2 or 0.05%.
$VIX 'Fear Index' is at 14.40 up 0.82 or 6.04%. Bearish movement
The longer trend is up, the past months trend is sideways, the past 5 sessions have been positive and the current bias is negative.
WTI oil is trading between 100.30 and 101.33 today. The session bias is negative and is currently trading down at 101.03.
Brent Crude is trading between 108.85 and 109.87 today. The session bias is positive and is currently trading down at 109.53.
Gold fell from 1332.30 earlier to 1312.67 and is currently trading up at 1322.60. The current intra-session trend is positive.
Dr. Copper is at 3.280 rising from 3.256 earlier.
The US dollar is trading between 80.26 and 79.99 and is currently trading down at 80.03, the bias is currently negative.
** Readings above 0 indicate expansion, while those below point to contraction.
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Written by Gary