Market Commentary: Markets Open Higher, DOW Hits New High, Averages Volatile

July 15th, 2014
in Gary's blogging, market open

Written by

Opening Market Commentary For 07-15-2014

Premarkets were up +0.20% at one time and slowly dropped to flat after morning financial numbers didn't come in what analysts had predicted. Markets opened at +0.05% and the DOW quickly moved up +0.30% to set a new high at 17104 on moderate volume while other averages trailed.

By 10 am the DOW melted up to 17120 then fell of as some investors decided to jump ship moving the averages back close to opening numbers and becoming very volatile.

Follow up:

Everyone is watching the Fed as we have all learned, it is the only game in town.

Janet Yellen will present testimony regarding the Federal Reserve's monetary policy this morning. Fed watchers are looking for clues to the timing of future interest rate hikes after data in the second-quarter displayed the economy gaining momentum. Investors are still predicting that policymakers are in no rush to raise rates. The expected news will probably keep the market rally going today, but any hints of hawkishness will likely trigger a negative reaction.

Read at

  • Fed's Yellen: Housing shown little progress, disappointing this year.

  • Fed's Yellen: FOMC anticipates growth at moderate pace.

  • Fed's Yellen: Too many Americans unemployed, Inflation sub-target.

  • Fed's Yellen: Significant Slack Remains in Labor markets. Says U.S. economic recovery is not yet complete. shows a 88 % buy. (Been at 88% for the last 5 sessions, I think their meter is broken) members' sentiments are 59 % bearish and Investors Intelligence sets the breath at 67.7 % bullish with the status at Bear Correction. (Chart Here ) NYSE Bullish Percent Index ($BPNYA) is at 72.73. (Chart Here ) S&P 500 Bullish Percent Index ($BPSPX) is at 84.40. (Chart Here )

Why You Should Not Be Comfortable With The Level Of The Stock Markets


  • The Dow Jones has set a new record above 17,000.

  • The NFP came out with a stronger than expected number of 288,000 new jobs for June.

  • Wage growth remains low, well below the level the Fed would like to see.

The U.S. economic recovery is not on sure footing yet. There are foundation issues, especially in the housing market and with wages. The Fed should take into account these problems before raising rates. The Fed is in the middle of tapering its massive bond buying program, hoping to end it by end of October 2014. They have continued to keep short term rates near zero, amid speculation they will raise them soon. The Fed is correct in keeping them as is. It is still too early to raise rates. While 200K new jobs a month is a good thing, a print of 300K would point to a stronger economic recovery.

There are reasons to be concerned. While there is a feeling of euphoria over the Dow Jones hitting 17,000 and closing above it, do not expect it to stay at this level. There is no real economic growth supporting it.

Bottom line here is that I have not seen any serious bears jumping out of the woods just yet, although I am VERY concerned that ANY minor correction could turn nasty in a heart beat. One significant signal would be daily losses in any of the major averages that go over the 'magic' 3 % and then you need to pay close attention to risk-off tactics. There hasn't been a 10% correction in several years and some investors are becoming increasingly concerned an imminent correction is on the way.

In Lance Roberts article he asks, Is The Market Consolidating Or Topping?

There are two ways to look at stagnation in the markets. It is either a consolidation process that works off an overbought condition which leads to further advances, OR it is a topping process that leads to a market decline. Discerning which process is currently "in play" is critical for investor decision making.

Let me be clear. I am not stating that the current consolidation process will absolutely collapse into a sharp correction in the months ahead. However, I am stating that the current environment is more similar to past markets which did correct, than not.

While it is certainly possible that the markets could ratchet higher from here due to the "psychological momentum" that currently exists, the likelihood of a runaway bull market from here is remote.

It is still possible that Mr. Market is not through playing with the averages and even newer historical highs are a distinct possibility as we saw the DOW this morning. Historically, accordingly to Eric Parnell, "major bull markets have almost never reached their final peak in a sideways grinding pattern. Instead, they have almost always peaked with flourish including one final crescendo toward a new all-time high before finally rolling over and succumbing to the forces of the new bear market".

The longer 6 month outlook is now 35-65 sell and will remain bearish until we can see what the effects are in the Fed's 'Tapering' game plan, Russia's annexing game playing and of course the World's newest player Iraq. 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.

Charts and other technical tea leaves reading exercises are, for the most part, not worth the effort to discern directions now that the Fed has refilled the sand box with gravel, rocks and old beer cans. That is just my view, but they have completely thrown a monkey wrench into the works and no one knows anything anymore with certainty.

Also, the margin debt has been very high and as of Monday, 2-7-2014, it stood at $466 billion. (Read More at Securities Market Credit) (It has since gone down slightly, but remains higher than previous years. (See current chart here.)

It is the final ending of QE that worries me the most as many financial institution and emerging markets can not continue to push forward or upwards without the Fed's 'Market Viagra'. Even if the Fed reduces its purchases by $10 billion every month for the rest of 2014, the Fed will have acquired $320 billion more for its portfolio. Note, that in 2013, the Fed added more than $1.0 trillion in securities to its portfolio. The debt stands at 4 trillion and will be at 5 trillion by the time the taper is completed and that is one hell of a debt that 'someone' has to pay.

The markets are still susceptible to climbing on 'Bernankellen' vapor, use caution!

If you would like to get advanced buy/sell tweets, sign-up in the column to the right of this post by clicking on the 'Follow' button. Write me with suggestions and I promise not to bite.

The DOW at 10:15 is at 17057 up 3 or 0.02%.

The SP500 is at 1976 down 1 or -0.05%.

SPY is at 197.48 down 0.14 or -0.07%.

The $RUT is at 1158 down 7 or -0.64%.

NASDAQ is at 4429 down 12 or -0.26%.

NASDAQ 100 is at 3924 down 6 or -0.16%.

$VIX 'Fear Index' is at 11.91 up 0.09 or 0.76%. Neutral Movement

(Follow Real Time Market Averages at end of this article)

The longer trend is up, the past months trend is positive, the past 5 sessions have been positive and the current bias is elevated and volatile.

Oil stays near $101 a barrel; US gasoline prices slip to 3-month low

WTI oil is trading between 101.03 (resistance) and 99.56 (support) today. The session bias is negative and is currently trading up at 99.67.

Brent Crude is trading between 107.68 (resistance) and 106.08 (support) today. The session bias is negative and is currently trading up at 106.21.

Gold prices sink as worries over Europe that drove prices up last week dissipate

Gold rose from 1306.66 earlier to 1314.45 and is currently trading up at 1312.30. The current intra-session trend is positive.

Dr. Copper is at 3.256 rising from 3.223 earlier.

The US dollar is trading between 80.32 and 80.18 and is currently trading down at 80.23, the bias is currently neutral and very volatile.

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Written by Gary


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