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Market Sentiment, Tuesday, 03/30/2004

Window Dressing
By J. Brown

It's been a pretty impressive week thus far. The bulls have managed to orchestrate an encore performance on top of yesterday's big gains. It is encouraging to see the NASDAQ close above 2000, the Wilshire 5000 index close above the 11,000 mark and the GHA hardware index, the CYC cyclical index and the OIX oil index all close above their 50-dma's. However, my concern now is that not only are we short-term overbought but this could be nothing more than end-of-the-quarter window dressing by mutual funds.

However, this time we may not see any window un-dressing until after the Jobs report on Friday. Right now Wall Street is once again cautiously optimistic for the non-farms payroll report despite being let down again and again. Hope springs eternal but it will have to endure a number of economic reports this week before Friday's jobs report. Tomorrow is the Factory Orders and Chicago PMI while Thursday brings the weekly initial jobless claims, the auto and truck sales numbers for March (which are expected to be positive), the construction spending numbers and the ISM index.


Market Averages

DJIA ($INDU)

52-week High: 10753
52-week Low :  7929
Current     : 10381

Moving Averages:
(Simple)

 10-dma: 10210
 50-dma: 10472
200-dma:  9832

	
S&P 500 ($SPX)

52-week High: 1163
52-week Low :  843
Current     : 1127

Moving Averages:
(Simple)

 10-dma: 1110
 50-dma: 1134
200-dma: 1058

		
Nasdaq-100 ($NDX)

52-week High: 1559
52-week Low : 1014
Current     : 1445

Moving Averages:
(Simple)

 10-dma: 1410
 50-dma: 1467
200-dma: 1384

		


As investors buy the "correction" the volatility indices are 
shooting back toward their multi-year lows.  No surprises here.

CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) = 16.28 -0.22
CBOE Mkt Volatility old VIX  (VXO) = 15.99 +0.03
Nasdaq Volatility Index (VXN)      = 23.18 +0.02




Put/Call Ratio Call Volume Put Volume Total 0.61 685,330 418,968 Equity Only 0.46 581,353 267,971 OEX 1.17 15,746 18,486 QQQ 0.30 98,732 29,389
Bullish Percent Data Current Change Status NYSE 70.9 + 0 Bull Correction NASDAQ-100 39.0 + 1 Bear Confirmed Dow Indust. 80.0 + 3 Bear Confirmed S&P 500 73.4 + 1 Bear Confirmed S&P 100 77.0 + 0 Bull Correction Bullish percent measures the number of stocks in an index currently trading on a buy signal on their point and figure chart. Readings above 70 are considered overbought, and readings below 30 are considered oversold. Bull Confirmed - Aggressively long Bull Alert - Cautiously long Bull Correction - Pause or pullback in upward trend Bear Alert - Take defensive action if long Bear Confirmed - High risk if long, good conditions for shorting Bear Correction - Pause or rebound in downtrend
5-dma: 0.74 10-dma: 1.20 21-dma: 1.42 55-dma: 1.17 Extreme readings above 1.5 are bullish, and readings below .85 are bearish. These signals don't occur often and tend be early, but when they do, they can signal significant market turning points.
Market Internals -NYSE- -NASDAQ- Advancers 1903 1831 Decliners 915 1223 New Highs 159 110 New Lows 10 7 Up Volume 1155M 893M Down Vol. 444M 573M Total Vol. 1614M 1582M M = millions
Commitments Of Traders Report: 03/23/04 Weekly COT report discloses positions held by small specs and commercial traders of index futures contracts at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade. COT data can be found at www.cftc.gov. Small specs are the general trading public with commercials being financial institutions. Commercials are historically on the correct side of future trend changes while small specs tend to be wrong. S&P 500 Commercial traders pared back their positions in both long and short plays but they remain next short, which is a change in sentiment over last week. Small traders significantly altered their short positions but remain net long. Commercials Long Short Net % Of OI 03/02/04 411,932 418,936 (7,004) (0.1%) 03/09/04 418,394 433,237 (14,843) (1.7%) 03/16/04 454,635 449,505 5,130 0.6% 03/23/04 401,456 418,732 (17,273) (2.1%) Most bearish reading of the year: (111,956) - 3/06/02 Most bullish reading of the year: 23,977 - 12/09/03 Small Traders Long Short Net % of OI 03/02/04 148,383 84,135 64,248 27.6% 03/09/04 155,947 88,317 67,630 27.7% 03/16/04 159,054 115,023 44,031 25.3% 03/23/04 130,648 89,943 40,705 18.5% Most bearish reading of the year: (1,657)- 5/27/03 Most bullish reading of the year: 114,510 - 3/26/02 E-MINI S&P 500 Commercial traders chopped off a large chunk of open positions from both their longs and shorts and what was left behind is their most bullish reading in weeks. Small traders are still bullish too. Commercials Long Short Net % Of OI 03/02/04 344,805 395,112 (50,307) ( 6.8%) 03/09/04 431,623 485,268 (53,645) ( 5.9%) 03/16/04 472,809 574,241 (101,432) ( 9.7%) 03/23/04 268,647 294,930 (26,283) ( 4.7%) Most bearish reading of the year: (354,835) - 06/17/03 Most bullish reading of the year: 133,299 - 09/02/03 Small Traders Long Short Net % of OI 03/02/04 119,382 67,453 51,929 27.8% 03/09/04 135,233 76,558 58,675 27.7% 03/16/04 192,136 96,691 95,445 33.0% 03/23/04 131,879 59,210 72,669 38.0% Most bearish reading of the year: (77,385) - 09/02/03 Most bullish reading of the year: 449,310 - 06/10/03 NASDAQ-100 We see the same reduction in outstanding positions in the NDX futures but commercial traders have become more bullish on the NASDAQ while small traders have become bearish. Commercials Long Short Net % of OI 03/02/04 49,959 41,059 8,900 9.8% 03/09/04 57,368 46,082 11,286 10.9% 03/16/04 68,285 54,899 13,386 10.9% 03/23/04 52,014 34,017 17,997 20.9% Most bearish reading of the year: (21,858) - 08/26/03 Most bullish reading of the year: 13,386 - 03/16/04 Small Traders Long Short Net % of OI 03/02/04 11,605 7,128 4,477 23.9% 03/09/04 15,533 8,070 7,463 31.6% 03/16/04 27,859 18,333 9,526 20.6% 03/23/04 9,884 12,887 (3,003) (13.2%) Most bearish reading of the year: (10,769) - 06/11/02 Most bullish reading of the year: 19,088 - 01/21/02 DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL Ouch! Commercial traders have switched from bullish to almost bearish with a large drop in long positions and a big jump in shorts. Meanwhile small traders have moved from strongly bearish to bullish. Commercials Long Short Net % of OI 03/02/04 27,594 14,166 13,428 32.2% 03/09/04 26,867 12,845 14,022 35.3% 03/16/04 32,317 17,514 14,803 29.7% 03/23/04 23,048 22,119 929 2.1% Most bearish reading of the year: (8,322) - 1/16/01 Most bullish reading of the year: 15,135 - 10/16/01 Small Traders Long Short Net % of OI 03/02/04 6,898 15,874 (8,976) (39.4%) 03/09/04 7,053 19,159 (12,106) (46.2%) 03/16/04 10,002 20,970 (10,968) (35.4%) 03/23/04 8,344 6,734 1,610 10.7% Most bearish reading of the year: (12,106) - 3/09/04 Most bullish reading of the year: 8,523 - 8/26/03


 

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