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Market Sentiment, Thursday, 05/20/2004

All Quiet
By James Brown

Thursday turned out to be a relatively quiet session with very light volume numbers and the major indices closing within two points of unchanged. Overall the tone seemed cautious ahead of tomorrow's options expiration and no one really expects any fireworks ahead of the weekend without any major economic reports due out on Friday.

Today's economic data was negative. The weekly initial jobless claims showed a rise to 345,000. This was a negative surprise but nothing to be alarmed about. The Philly Fed index was the major report today and that was discouraging. Economists were looking for a dip from 32.5 last month to 31.0 in May. Today's report came out at 23.8. Now in the past few months bad economic news was good because it meant the FOMC would hesitate to raise rates. Now that the Fed has already signaled that rates would need to rise soon bad economic news is just that - bad.

Most of the sector indices followed the major averages and closed relatively unchanged with the XAL airline index as the major exception. The airlines rallied 2.77% on the strength in Delta shares, which soared 15.8% on an upgrade.

Market internals were mixed to negative with advancers outpacing decliners 4 to 3 on the NYSE but losing 17 to 13 on the NASDAQ. Down volume outweighed up volume on both exchanges by a couple of hundred million shares each.

According to the Stock Traders Almanac the Dow has been down on May's option expiration five out of the last seven years. Given this week's tone of the market it wouldn't surprise me to see another down day.


Market Averages

DJIA ($INDU)

52-week High: 10753
52-week Low :  8416
Current     :  9937

Moving Averages:
(Simple)

 10-dma:  9994
 50-dma: 10260
200-dma: 10037

	
S&P 500 ($SPX)

52-week High: 1163
52-week Low :  912
Current     : 1089

Moving Averages:
(Simple)

 10-dma: 1092
 50-dma: 1117
200-dma: 1081

		
Nasdaq-100 ($NDX)

52-week High: 1559
52-week Low : 1103
Current     : 1396

Moving Averages:
(Simple)

 10-dma: 1402
 50-dma: 1435
200-dma: 1419

		



CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) = 18.67 -0.26
CBOE Mkt Volatility old VIX  (VXO) = 19.21 -0.16
Nasdaq Volatility Index (VXN)      = 25.54 -0.55


Put/Call Ratio Call Volume Put Volume Total 1.21 642,507 778,148 Equity Only 1.02 432,627 440,072 OEX 1.09 48,442 52,967 QQQ 7.18 16,290 116,959
Bullish Percent Data Current Change Status NYSE 61.8 + 0 Bear Confirmed NASDAQ-100 30.0 - 1 Bear Confirmed Dow Indust. 66.7 + 0 Bear Confirmed S&P 500 57.6 + 0 Bear Confirmed S&P 100 61.0 + 0 Bear Confirmed 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: 0.76 10-dma: 0.97 21-dma: 1.23 55-dma: 1.15 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 1617 1310 Decliners 1225 1724 New Highs 24 52 New Lows 46 84 Up Volume 630M 614M Down Vol. 818M 865M Total Vol. 1462M 1502M M = millions
Commitments Of Traders Report: 05/11/04 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 Commercials increased their open interest be equivalent amounts both long and short, while small traders went net shorter. Commercials Long Short Net % Of OI 04/20/04 409,729 421,456 (11,727) (1.4%) 04/27/04 406,927 416,244 ( 9,317) (1.1%) 05/04/04 397,964 417,175 (19,211) (2.4%) 05/11/04 401,365 421,672 (20,307) (2.5%) 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 04/20/04 136,699 92,982 43,717 19.0% 04/27/04 133,775 90,535 43,240 19.3% 05/04/04 137,112 80,201 56,911 21.6% 05/11/04 135,534 76,987 58,547 27.5% 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 Commercials were much more active in the e-mini S&P contracts, reducing their shorts slightly and dramatically increasing longs, flipping to net long for the first time in at least 4 weeks. Small traders took the other side of the trade, reducing longs and increasing their net short position. Commercials Long Short Net % Of OI 04/20/04 275,985 355,555 (79,570) (10.1%) 04/27/04 291,365 370,549 (79,184) (12.0%) 05/04/04 316,840 370,781 (53,941) ( 7.8%) 05/11/04 378,696 362,887 15,809 2.1% 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 04/20/04 186,799 69,137 117,662 46.0% 04/27/04 175,788 69,613 106,175 43.3% 05/04/04 119,308 74,407 44,901 23.2% 05/11/04 101,199 94,408 6,791 3.5% Most bearish reading of the year: (77,385) - 09/02/03 Most bullish reading of the year: 449,310 - 06/10/03 NASDAQ-100 Commercials added slightly to their net short position, while small traders reduced both shorts and longs but favoring the long side, reducing their overall net short position. Commercials Long Short Net % of OI 04/20/04 54,852 35,964 18,888 20.8% 04/27/04 54,196 33,948 20,248 23.0% 05/04/04 56,931 35,209 21,722 23.6% 05/11/04 57,680 37,410 20,270 21.3% 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 04/20/04 8,538 19,431 (10,893) (39.0%) 04/27/04 9,008 20,347 (11,339) (38.6%) 05/04/04 10,247 24,764 (14,517) (41.5%) 05/11/04 9,716 21,072 (11,356) (36.9%) 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 Commercials increased their net long position, while small traders took the other side of the trade, increasing longs and reducing shorts. Commercials Long Short Net % of OI 04/20/04 24,156 22,009 2,147 4.7% 04/27/04 23,676 22,009 1,667 3.6% 05/04/04 24,296 22,181 2,115 4.6% 05/11/04 22,614 21,507 1,107 2.5% 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 04/20/04 5,997 9,631 (3,634) (23.3%) 04/27/04 5,998 8,868 (2,870) (19.3%) 05/04/04 6,262 8,155 (1,893) ( 9.2%) 05/11/04 7,009 7,640 ( 631) ( 4.3%) 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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