Trichet Talks Up The Euro
The market is lower this morning in early trading, although it has already bounced from its opening lows. The jobless claims figures look like the primary culprit for the selling early on. Weekly jobless claims were higher than expected at 479,000, but continuing claims were lower week-over-week.
Of course, the big jobs report is tomorrow's nonfarm payroll report, but today's figures probably are causing additional concern about what tomorrow's numbers look like. Current estimates are for a drop in payrolls of roughly 87,000.
The euro is bouncing this morning after ECB President Trichet offered a bullish outlook on the European economy, including comments about the fiscal progress of Greece. The ECB held its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1.00%, and the Bank of England held steady at 0.50%. European markets are higher this morning.
Asian markets were also nicely higher overnight, except for China which fell on rumors that a series of bank stress tests would make banks be prepared for a 60% drop in property prices.
Commodities are mixed, with oil prices lower to $82.20 and gold slightly higher at $1194.
The 10-year yield is right back down testing that 2.90% level, and it would seem the more times it tests those levels the more likely they are to give way at some point to lower yields. The volatility index is up a bit to 22.66.
Trading comment: Today is day 4 that the S&P 500 is holding above that 200-day average we have been talking about. Despite the strong rally over the last month, investor enthusiasm remains subdued. Case in point is today's AAII survey, which shows bears outnumbering bulls to the tune of 38.2% bears vs. 30.4% bulls. That increases my confidence that after some pullback or consolidation, the market is likely to experience another push higher.
Earnings season was better than expected, the averages are in positive territory for the year, and leading stocks have been holding up very well. Color me still constructive on the market, at least for the near-term.