Friday, June 25, 2010

Quarter Winds Down Glumly

The market was in a glum mood this week,troubled by fears about housing,employment and the earnings season just around the bend in July.It was down for the fourth straight week,with the S&P losing another 3.5,while the Dow dropped 2.7 and the NASDAQ slipped 3.5 as well.Two poor home sales reports painted a bleak picture of the housing market,a linchpin of the economy,and KB Home reported a bigger than expected loss,with new orders plunging 23%.
The S&P held above its 200-day moving average,but if it drops below 1050,there could be energy in that downdraft.The potential for decay at that point is a big concern.The S&P is at a major technical crossroads.What comes out of the G20 summit in Toronto this weekend could push it over the edge-any sign of disunity among the world leaders,for instance.
As dusk fell in Omaha,South Carolina led Clemson 3-1 in the College World Series.In major league action,Philadelphia was drubbing Toronto 8-0 and Washington was topping Baltimore 6-3.
The S&P futures were up 4.2 this evening,and bond futures retreated.
KB Home(KBH)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Euro Powers Stocks

The market made modest gains this week,bolstered by a stable Euro as debt crisis fears receded.The S&P rose 2.5,while the Dow notched 2.8 and the NASDAQ garnered 1.1.The VIX volatility index closed down 23.7.The market has been moving in tandem with the Euro recently,and this week was no exception.With earnings season some weeks off,the market is event-driven,and the European debt crisis is the main event on traders' minds.The S&P futures signaled a cautious Monday opening with a drop of 1.50,and bond futures rose.
In golf,Graeme McDowell,a British golfer best known for his wins in Europe,led the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach on California's Monterrey Peninsula.Phil Mickelson had an outstanding second round,scoring six birdies for a -1,while McDowell was at -3.Mickelson shared second place with Dustin Johnson,Ryo Ishikawa and Ernie Els.Tiger Woods was buried in the field at +4.Several golfers said the remarkable ocean side scenery was a distraction.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Mixed Data,Thin Volume

The stock market edged up on Friday in thin trading,hindered by contradictory economic reports.While retail sales fell unexpectedly,consumer sentiment rose.Consumers may optimistic,but apparently not enough to break open their wallets.The positive University of Michigan sentiment reading of 75.5 was below those of previous economic recoveries.
Early season campers in Arkansas were victims of tragic flash floods at riverside campgrounds.At least 20 were swept away to their deaths,including children,and many more are still missing.Rescuers were doing all they could,but didn't even know exactly how many they were looking for,since campground registers were lost to the floods.One child was saved when snagged by a friendly tree limb.
In baseball,Boston was clobbering Philadelphia 12-1 as the National League champion Phillies continue to struggle,having tumbled out of first place.The S&P futures were up 5.50,and bond futures retreated.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Stocks Break Through Level

The S&P 500 broke through a key technical level on Friday,down 12.8% from its April high.Such a move indicates a prospect for further substantive declines.There's nothing technical holding stocks back from falling into bear territory now.It was the market's second biggest drop of the year,leaving it at its lowest point since February,spooked by Hungary's warning that it could well default on its debt and a lackluster employment report.Indeed,the report calls into question the economy's ability to stay out of a double dip recession,with private sector job growth coming in at a mere 41,000,far less than estimated and less than in previous months.Companies were simply just not hiring to any extent;instead,they increased hours worked by existing employees to cover any new orders.This will neither help the 15,000,000 jobless nor spur consumer spending,seen as critical to recovery.
The S&P futures were down 37.50 on Friday evening,and bond futures climbed.For the week,the S&P fell 2.3,while the Dow lost 2.0 and the NASDAQ slipped 1.7.
The baseball world will be watching Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg make his major league debut on Tuesday in the nation's capital.With a huge reputation for excellence preceding his arrival,anything less than a shutout will be a letdown for the jazzed D.C. sellout crowd.Seldom if ever has so much been expected of a rookie.Few cautionary voices are to be heard above the happy talk,voices who remember that the lower echelons of pro baseball are just not the same as the major leagues.There is a quantum leap that a rookie has to make,whether his name is Strasburg or not.