Monday, December 06, 2010

Monday Morning Musings

The market opened under a bit of selling pressure this morning, but has so far stabilized just under the flat line. The market had a very strong week last week, and the S&P just needs to close above 1225 (currently 1223) to close at a new 52-week high.

There is not much in the way of economic news this morning. The big news was comments by Bernanke over the weekend on 60 Minutes about the Fed's ability to provide further stimulus to the economy if needed. I watched the interview, and didn't think his comments were surprising.

In Europe, Hungary had its debt downgraded, and that is causing weakness in the euro and boosting the dollar. Commodities are stable, with oil flat near $89 and gold nearing new highs at $1415.

Asian markets were mixed overnight; the 10-year yield is lower to 2.95%; and the volatility index (VIX) is up slightly to 18.18, after hitting fresh 7-month lows last week.

Among etfs, materials and technology are the strongest so far, while healthcare and industrials are lagging. The big tech companies like Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL) are leading the action this morning.

Trading comment: Last week's action in the market was very positive, and it feels like the market will continue to stair-step higher into year-end. Goldman Sachs (GS) raised its forecast for next year, calling for the market to rise to 1450 on strong earnings, an improving economy, and steady, low interest rates.

Not surprisingly, the Nasdaq closed at a new high for the year on Friday, and that continues to be the neighborhood to troll for stocks leading the market.



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