Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Midday Update: Stocks Flattish In Lackluster Trading

Stocks are slightly lower at midday, while volume is again well below average. I know there are people around, buy my office building is pretty dead this week. I've always been jealous of those folks that take this whole week off.

There were a couple of economic reports this morning. The Case-Shiller Home Price Index for October came in at 146.6, unchanged from the 146.7 reading the previous month. The 20-city price index fell -7.3% yr/yr, which is an improvement from the previous reading of -9.3%.

Separately, the Consumer Confidence Index rose to 52.9 in December from a reading of 50.6 in November.

The dollar was lower this morning, but has firmed since. Commodities are mostly lower, with oil prices down to $78.70 and gold falling back below the $1100 level to $1098.50.

Asian markets were mixed overnight, with Australia leading to the upside; the 10-year yield is higher to 3.84%; and the VIX is flat near 19.90.

Trading comment: The market has been up for 6 straight days, so a down day in here should be expected. I continue to hear increasing chatter of expectations for a January correction. But if no one is selling this week, that could mean a race to raise cash in early January. I wonder what the first week of trading in 2010 will look like? If bearish sentiment were to rise quickly, I would likely be a buyer of any dip.


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