Friday, August 28, 2009

Good News From Tech Companies Helps Semis Power Ahead

The market is roughly flat in the first hour of trading, but large tech stocks are leading the way after some solid earnings reports.

DELL and MRVL both reported solid earnings and gave positive outlooks. Additionally, Intel came out and guided revenues above consensus. This is a great sign. The bears have been complaining that the strong earnings reports were all from cost-cutting, and that we would need to see a pickup in revenues for it to continue. So this revenue guidance from INTC is notable. It is also helping power the semi index +2.3% ahead while most sectors are flat.

There were also some solid reports in the retail sector from JCrew and Tiffany, which is helping those stocks as well. The chart of JCG is really a thing of beauty.

Energy and materials stocks are mixed, despite oil and most metals trading higher. The dollar index is lower today, and that is helping support commodity prices.

Asian markets were mixed overnight, with China sharply lower amid more concerns that banking regulators are tightening lending practices to avoid overheating in the sector.

The 10-year yield is a bit lower to 3.45%. The bond auctions that took place this week went off without a hitch, and it seems that there is still plenty strong demand for our Treasury securities, both at home and abroad.

The VIX is up slightly to 25.05, after another close below the 25 level yesterday. The VIX is still churning below its 50-day average, and is not yet signaling that a sharp selloff is at our doorstep.

Yesterday's AAII survey did not show the same jump in bulls as the Investor's Intelligence on Wednesday, so the data on investor bullishness is mixed to say the least. I will have another roundup on Monday to discuss the sentiment data.

This last week of August used to be a much quieter time in the market. I still used this week to get out and do more outside of the office, but I think the fact that everyone is now still connected to their offices via Blackberries and iPhones makes it feel more like a normal business week, even if so many people are at the Hamptons or the beach.