Sentiment Is Turning Sour
Sunday, January 23rd, 2005
Investors are turning from puzzled to panicked as the normal January trends have failed to show up this year. As a matter of fact the Dow Industrials haven't closed down the first three weeks of January since 1982.
What a difference!
Thursday, January 20th, 2005
Wow! My how things look difference from just a couple of days ago. As of Tuesday's close investors were cautiously optimistic as the S&P 500 put together it first back to back gains.
Back to Back
Tuesday, January 18th, 2005
The bulls are trying to make a comeback and the S&P 500 index put together its first set of back-to-back gains for 2005. Some of the trader talk today discussed how stocks were short-term oversold after two weeks of profit taking and investors were doing some shopping.
Look Out! Earnings Ahead.
Sunday, January 16th, 2005
The first two weeks of January are behind us and they have not been kind. Stocks may have ended Friday on an up swing but the short-term trend is still a bearish one.
Thursday, January 13th, 2005
Another round of high-profile earnings warnings from the likes of Verizon Communications (VZ) and General Motors (GM), both Dow-components, was enough to sink the markets yet again.
Not Looking Good
Tuesday, January 11th, 2005
January has already been a tough month for stocks. Unfortunately the first day of fourth quarter earnings season did not go well and it does not bode well for the rest of the month either.
Sunday, January 9th, 2005
Yuck! The first week of 2005 was just painful to watch. Where was the continuation of the Santa Claus rally?
Please look for the sentiment commentary to continue on Sunday.
Thursday, January 6th, 2005
Tuesday, January 4th, 2005
I've got one word for the first two trading days of 2005 - yuck! Market pundits blame it on profit taking after the very strong fourth quarter rally.
Closing Near The Highs
Sunday, January 2nd, 2005
Looking back at 2004 there are several issues that investors will remember.
Santa Claus, January Effect or Window Dressing
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Once again strong consumer confidence numbers help spur stocks higher. Of course we're in the middle of arguably one of the most bullish weeks of the year.
Sunday, December 26, 2004
It looks like a Merry Christmas for stocks on Wall Street. Would you believe the traditional "Santa Claus" rally hasn't even begun yet? It's true.
Checking His List
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Santa has been making his list and checking it twice. It looks like the bulls came up on the nice side and the seasonal "Santa Claus" rally may have begun.
Only 8 1/2 Trading Days Left
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Would you believe we only have eight and a half trading days left in 2004? That means we're approaching one of the most bullish times of year for equities.
Maybe Next Week.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
It looks like I was a little early calling for the year-end, Santa Claus, early January effect rally to begin on Dec. 15th. I should know better than picking a single day like that.
On Your Mark
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
I don't want to be accused of being a cheerleader but the market is looking pretty strong right now. The major indices, as overbought as they are, look ready launch into the last two weeks that are historically some of the most bullish weeks of the year.
Rested & Ready
Sunday, December 12, 2004
The upward momentum in the markets may have paused the last couple of weeks but that's exactly what they needed. Now after some consolidation (or rest) they look ready for the traditional year-end push higher.
Buying The Dip
Thursday, December 09, 2004
Wall Street is still showing a little holiday cheer as stock rebound from support and traders show they are still willing to buy the dip. The Industrials bounced from the bottom of their trading range at 10,400.
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Stocks have been overdue for a significant pull back for weeks so we shouldn't be surprise to see one this week. This does seem to be somewhat of an empty week on Wall Street.
Looking for Santa
Sunday, December 05, 2004
Welcome to December. December is historically one of the most bullish months of the year for stocks. Traditionally the holiday shopping season keeps business running on all cylinders and moods tend to be more cheerful.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
Thursday proved to be a day of mixed blessings. There was no follow through on Wednesday's big rally even as oil lost another 4.3 percent to break down under the $45 a barrel level and its simple 100-dma.
Good Time for a Dip.
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
After an incredible run in the markets from late October through mid-November stocks are finally beginning to see some profit taking. We've been warning about a possible consolidation for a couple of weeks but the best (or worst) stocks could do was trade sideways.
Heading Towards the Holidays
Sunday, November 28, 2004
Looking at stock prices alone one could surmise that investors remain favorable toward stocks. There's been very little selling and most sectors continue to maintain their gains.
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Overall investors can feel pretty cheerful. The markets are holding up better than expected.
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Finally! We've been waiting for a dip in the markets for days and it finally appears to be happening. Stocks were down across the board on Friday save for energy and gold stocks.
A Growing Crowd
Thursday, November 18, 2004
It would seem that just as "everyone" predicted a post-election rally now "everyone" is waiting for the overdue pull back. Normally, when "everyone" is expecting something to happen odds are it fails to show up or at least fails to show up in the same form that "everyone" was looking for.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Okay the big jump in wholesale prices was a surprise but was the pull back really a surprise? I hope not. We've been looking for a dip for days now.
Do I Buy Now?
Sunday, November 14, 2004
Gosh, if you read the market wrap this weekend then you don't need to read today's column on market sentiment. Jim has already done an excellent job of discussing why stocks could just as easily trade higher versus trading lower in spite of the market's overbought, extended status.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Investors certainly seem pretty enthusiastic these days. Stocks have ignored less than inspiring news from big cap leaders like Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Coca-Cola (KO) and focused on the current rally underway.
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Given the previous week's gains it's no surprise to see stocks pause ahead of Wednesday's FOMC meeting on interest rates. Stocks got a chance to rest while investors wait for what is widely expected to be a 25 basis-point increase in interest rates to 2 percent.
Fourth Quarter Rally
Sunday, November 07, 2004
The fourth-quarter, end-of-year, post-election rally has begun. The Industrials have broken through the top of its descending channel.
Stocks Rally, Day Two
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Stocks soared for a second day in a row as Wall Street celebrates a relatively clean end to the election. The fact that the election is over and without any terror incident is a big confidence booster for investors.
And The Winner Is...
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
And the winner is...? Hopefully the answer to that question is stocks but only if we get a clear winner.
Sunday, October 31, 2004
It was a busy day on Friday. The +3.7% GDP number came in less than the expected +4.3% growth rate but above the previous reading's +3.3% rate. Consumer sentiment soared from 87.5 to 91.7 when economists were looking for a drop to 85.
Three More Trading Days
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Hang on folks we're almost to the finish line. I am talking about the Nov. 2nd election.
Is the rally here?
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
There have been a lot of traders waiting and watching for the end of October rally in stocks. You can bet that more than a few of them are hoping that today's 138-point gain in the Dow is the beginning.
One Week To Go
Sunday, October 24, 2004
Friday should have been no surprise. The disappointing earnings reports from AMZN, MSFT, BRCM and others was more than enough to spark a pre-weekend, post-earnings sell-off.
Friday Could Be Quiet
Thursday, October 21, 2004
You wouldn't know it from looking at the major indices but the markets were generally positive today. The Dow Industrials ended the session lower under weakness from drug stocks, insurance, and a negative reaction to Caterpillar's earnings.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Investors have a lot on their minds these days. Normally investors would turn a white-hot spotlight on corporate earnings.
Are You From Missouri?
Sunday, October 17, 2004
The state of Missouri is called the "show me" state
Earnings & Oil Double-Team.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Investor sentiment has taken a turn for the worse. The Q3 earnings parade has not been enough to divert attention from the record prices in crude oil.
The Earnings Shuffle
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
If you just look at the closing numbers then Tuesday turned out to be a non-event. However, you would be missing the excitement of the long slow climb back toward breakeven today.
On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!
Sunday, October 10, 2004
Investor sentiment has taken a turn for the worst over the past couple of days. Major indices turned lower Thursday and Friday and market internals were pretty negative.
Is this the beginning?
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Could this be the beginning of a new leg lower in the market's current trading pattern? Bulls had hoped the pattern was broken earlier this week when the S&P 500 index broke above its descending trendline of lower highs.
Weak Economics and Rising Oil
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
What's on investors' minds these days? Record high oil prices is a hot topic.
Sunday, October 03, 2004
What is investor sentiment? We hear about sentiment indicators. These are supposed to measure investors bullishness or bearishness.
Thursday, September 30, 2004
Stocks say good-bye to a painful third quarter but in reality the month of September was pretty mild for the historically "worst" month of the year. Right now there are three things on the minds of investors.
Bounce of Speed bump?
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Yesterday the markets were looking pretty sour. The Dow Industrials closed under the 10,000 mark for the first time since August 17th while crude oil prices hit $50.00 barrel in New York for the first time ever.
End of the Quarter
Sunday, September 26, 2004
The end of the third quarter approaches. That means investors can expect more earnings warnings as we near the October earnings reporting cycle.
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Thursday proved to be a mixed day on Wall Street. Bears were undoubtedly disappointed in the lack of follow through from Wednesday's steep decline.
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
The market continues to flash investors mixed signals. The Dow Industrials did rally but the bounce began to fail this afternoon.
September: To Dip or Not to Dip?
Sunday, September 19, 2004
Considering September's historical track record as the worst month of the year this one has been pretty mild. Dare we say even bullish?
Investors Prepare for Option Expiration
Thursday, September 16, 2004
It was an odd day on Wall Street. After Wednesday's weakness many felt that the rest of the week would be down.
Momentum is Stalling
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Bullish traders beware. The momentum in the market's four-plus week rally is beginning to fade.
Grab Those Seatbelts!
Sunday, September 12, 2004
Hold on to your hats! September 2004 is ready to move. The question is which way?
A Mixed Bias
Thursday, September 09, 2004
Thursday proved to be an interesting day, especially if you were following oil stocks and technology stocks. The two sectors were the best performing spots in the market place.
Investors Breathe Relieved
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
The day after the Labor Day holiday is traditionally positive. This year the odds were probably even higher for a rally as investors heave a sigh of relief.
Buckle Your Seat Belts
Sunday, September 05, 2004
Hold on tight! Summer is over.
Odds of Profit Taking
Thursday, September 02, 2004
It has certainly been an interesting market this week. The rally on Thursday seemed to catch most traders off guard.
September Looms Large
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
That's it! August 2004 is in the bag and if you're not the roller-coaster type then you're happy it's gone.
The RNC approaches
Sunday, August 29, 2004
This past week was certainly an interesting one. Crude oil abruptly changed direction and fell more than 7% from its highs in a five-day losing streak.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Volume has been very low all week and it is still sinking.
No Bounce from Oil Drop
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Over the last few weeks the markets have been begging for crude oil to drop. It was only a few days ago that stocks surged on the hope that crude prices had topped.
End of Summer
Sunday, August 22, 2004
It has been an interesting summer thus far. June was strong.
Out of their system
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Okay, if you haven't heard Google's IPO has finally come to market. There I said it and if you haven't heard about GOOG's first day of trading then you've been living in a cave somewhere.
Good News But Stocks Slip From Their Highs
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
A lot of market pundits were a bit surprised at Monday's rally. I include myself in that group since crude oil rose to another new high on Monday.
Sunday, August 15, 2004
The markets have suffered over the last few weeks because investors have no reason to buy stocks right now.
Markets Slide Again
Thursday, August 12, 2004
Ouch! The Stock Traders Almanac wasn't kidding when it said August was the worst month of the year for the Dow Industrials. It also stated that August is the second worst for the NASDAQ.
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Depending on what direction you've been trading it's been pretty easy to get whipsawed in this market. Last week stocks were breaking down through support left and right.
Sunday, August 08, 2004
Bearish, fearful, concerned, confused, and weary are just some of the choices one could use to describe investor sentiment. Now that the major indices and a good number of sector-specific indices are hitting new lows for the year it's hard to find anything to be bullish about.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Stocks too a nosedive on Thursday as investors dealt with the one-two punch of skyrocketing oil and fears of worse than expected job growth.
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
The record close for crude oil is probably the page one story. Crude closed at $44.15 for the first time ever after OPEC said the cartel was virtually helpless to influence the rise in oil because almost all its members are pumping at capacity.
Here We Go Again
Sunday, August 01, 2004
Now that earnings season is beginning to subside the market is rightfully turning back to its old worries about oil, interest rates, jobs and the economy. Oil is a major issue.
A Buyable Bounce?
Thursday, July 29, 2004
It would seem that the current oversold bounce may indeed be buyable. At least that appears to be the sentiment among the more optimistic traders.
Stocks Bounce Big
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
The oversold rally many traders have been looking for finally occurred on Tuesday and stocks bounced pretty strongly. The rally was very wide with only the HMO healthcare index and the XAL airline index closing in the red.
The Democrats are coming! The Democrats are coming!
Sunday, July 25, 2004
The major indices finished at their lows of the week, where an FBI warning that its field office in Boston, Massachusetts, received "unconfirmed" information that a domestic group is planning to disrupt the Democratic National Convention by attacking media vehicles with explosives or incendiary devices, did little to improve negative market sentiment.
Key Reversal or Speed Bump?
Thursday, July 22, 2004
Wednesday's market decline was extremely bearish. Yet the momentum faded even as the Dow Industrials broke down through the 10,000 mark and the NASDAQ hit new lows not seen since October.
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
The NASDAQ turned in a pretty good session but the Dow's 55-point gain really doesn't reflect the oomph behind today's bounce. Investors were out doing some bargain shopping.
Bulls Can't Get A Break
Sunday, July 18, 2004
July has been a very tough month for stocks. You might remember our comments a couple of weeks ago quoting the Stock Trader's Almanac that July was the beginning of the worst four months of the year for the NASDAQ.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
We appear doomed to watch stocks slowly slip away or at best remain within their trading range. Wall Street is turning up its nose to lackluster economic reports while investors seem to be focusing on the earnings misses and not the earnings hits.
Intel vs. Bastille Day
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
It was another snoozer of a session on Wall Street. Everyone was waiting for Intel's earnings report after the closing bell.
Earnings Season Begins
Sunday, July 11, 2004
The markets bounced on Friday when Dow-component General Electric (GE), the world's largest company by market cap, beat earnings estimates by a penny.
Investors On the Defensive
Thursday, July 08, 2004
It looks like investor confidence has finally cracked.
Investors Turn Wary
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
Our week is not off to a good start. The 63-point drop in the Industrials broke support at the simple 50-dma and extended the sell signal in the Dow's MACD.
Sunday, July 04, 2004
All the traders not yet on holiday with the extended Fourth of July weekend can breathe a sigh of relief.
Fear of the Weekend
Thursday, July 01, 2004
If yesterday's post-fed afternoon rally was due to window dressing then funds didn't take long to do a little undressing. The day started with some disappointing economic data in the form of higher than expected initial jobless claims and an ISM index that came in just a tad lower than forecast.
One Down, Two to Go
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
The first of this week's three big events was Monday's surprise handover of power in Iraq. Tomorrow will bring about the second big event, the FOMC's decision on interest rates.
Deadline June 30th
Sunday, June 27, 2004
This is it. We've finally made it to the final week of June. Wednesday June 30th marks the end of a two-day FOMC meeting and the formal handover of sovereignty from the coalition to the Iraqi people.
Traders Still Cautious
Thursday, June 24, 2004
"No" was the answer to yesterday's question if there would be any follow through on Wednesday's technical breakout. The long-await rush of money that is supposed to be sitting on the sidelines failed to appear.
Still Range Bound As Volatility Sinks
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
It would seem that Wall Street has accepted the fact that stocks are due to remain range bound until June 30th. On that magical day the FOMC will declare they are raising rates by 25 basis points while the reigns of power shift from the coalition to a strong and able-bodied new Iraqi government.
Another Week of Waiting
Sunday, June 20, 2004
The markets have been effectively range bound over the last three to four weeks due to investor uncertainty over oil prices, interest rates, and Iraq. Unfortunately, none of that has changed.
The Waiting Game
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Welcome to the waiting game. The Producer Price Index (PPI) showed that inflation at the wholesale level ticked higher than expected but stocks really didn't react to the news.
CPI Cools Concerns
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Monday's market wide decline was fueled by rising fears of a 50 basis point rate hike at the end of June.
Sunday, June 13, 2004
The markets have been very flat the last three days because there is little reason for investors to move. The major indices are at or near significant resistance but there was no impetus to buy stocks with the long weekend ahead of them.
Upbeat but cautious
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
Investor sentiment feels pretty upbeat with stocks rising, jobs rising, and corporate profits rising yet there seems to be an undercurrent of caution. That's not surprising.
Lights Are Green
Sunday, June 06, 2004
The streetlight is green but the market might just be spinning its wheels. Friday's rally was very widespread with only the OIX oil index and the XNG natural gas index closing lower.
Traders Brace for Jobs Report
Thursday, June 03, 2004
Thursday proved to be a busy day. Action was volatile in the oil sector with crude rocking back and forth over the $40 level but in the end oil slipped lower.
Tuesday, June 01, 2004
The first trading day of June was amazing but not for its gains. The major averages traded mostly sideways save for a last hour rally.
Ready for the Weekend
Sunday, May 30, 2004
Friday's action was mixed and witnessed some mild profit taking but stocks ended the week on an up note. Meanwhile investors were eagerly leaving early for the long Memorial Day weekend after a choppy month.
Throwing Caution to the Wind?
Thursday, May 27, 2004
This has been a positive week for stocks. The Dow Industrials are up more than 230 points while the NASDAQ Composite is up more than 70 points (+3.7%) for the week and it's not over yet.
Oil Slides, Stocks Geyser
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
It is interesting how the market seems to focus on one main concern. A few weeks ago it was interest rates.
Investors Still Cautious
Sunday, May 23, 2004
May has been a tough month for the markets but most of the pain all happened in the first week.
Thursday, May 20, 2004
Thursday turned out to be a relatively quiet session with very light volume numbers and the major indices closing within two points of unchanged.
Pay at the pump
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
U.S. stocks recouped the bulk of Monday's losses on Tuesday as investor sentiment is swayed not only by what is taking place at home in the U.S., but overseas as well, where great focus has been given to energy prices as the global economy picks up momentum.
Sunday, May 16, 2004
There was much ado about breadth this week, with the now-(in)famous Biggs exclamation presumably referencing the large swings in the New Highs minus New Lows category.
Thursday, May 13, 2004
Today's pullback following yesterday's sharp intraday upside reversal saw volatility increase, but breadth improved, as the number of new highs rose against new lows for the NYSE and Nasdaq.
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Sentiment and breadth were awful at Monday's close, but the oversold bounce in the indices today helped to repair the damage to the markets' internals.
Sunday, May 09, 2004
Sentiment and breadth were wildly negative on Friday as bullish employment data buoyed the US Dollar and sparked another selloff in bonds.
Good News Bad, Bad News Good
Thursday, May 06, 2004
Bulls and bears have continually remarked on the unpredictability of the market's reaction to economic data. Good news is often sold, bad news bought.
Listening to the Fed
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
During the past several weeks, as bond yields have continued their strong rally, we've seen a great deal of bearishness on bonds and bullishness in the dollar.
April Ends Lower
Sunday, May 02, 2004
Boy, what a week. The NASDAQ ended the week down five days in a row for a 129-point loss (-6.29%) and a technical breakdown below its simple 200-dma.
Truth Or Dare?
Thursday, April 29, 2004
The major indices hit new monthly lows but managed a weak end of day rebound to lessen the sting of Thursday's losses. The markets remain in their trading range but now here at the low end of the range the question remains.
More of the same
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Tuesday proved to be somewhat interesting. Futures were relatively weak before the open but when the bell rang stocks shot higher.
Sunday, April 25, 2004
The volatility indices are supposed to measure investor optimism and/or fear. Lower numbers on the VIX/VXO mean less fear/more confidence for investors.
Thursday, April 22, 2004
Stocks soared on Thursday when for one brief moment investors ignored their interest rate fears, the violence in Iraq and concerns over the Presidential election to focus on the trainload of positive earnings reports.
Rate Fears Loom Again
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
The stock market was effectively Greenspammed in the last hour of trading as investors ran for cover after Alan told the Senate that the deflation-monster was dead.
Investors Still Cautious
Sunday, April 18, 2004
Whew! Friday just ended a very busy week with dozens of corporate earnings reports and a basketful of economic news all vying for investors' attention against a backdrop of rising violence in Iraq, hostages being taken by insurgents, Bin Laden tapes, 9/11 commission hearings and a Presidential press conference.
Waiting for the Weekend
Thursday, April 15, 2004
The markets didn't do much on Thursday as investors still grappled with rising geo-political tensions and interest rate concerns, warranted or not.
Investors Turn Pessimistic
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
After Monday's relief rally from the uneventful long holiday weekend and the strong earnings report from NVLS the markets seemed set to continue the rally into Tuesday. Better than expected earnings numbers from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Merrill Lynch (MER) helped set the tone and solidify expectations for a strong earnings season.
Markets Pause For Easter
Sunday, April 11, 2004
As of last Monday the stock markets were very short-term overbought and due for a pull back. We got that pull back over the last three days with relatively mild profit taking.
Stocks Catch Their Breath
Tuesday, April 06, 2004
Stocks finally paused after an eight-day sprint higher from their late March lows. Overall the profit taking, which was focused on tech stocks, wasn't that bad and certainly overdue.
On Your Mark
Sunday, April 04, 2004
Get set. Go! Wow! What a week. The markets turned in their best percentage weekly performance since October of last year.