Happy Friday, well, probably only for the bears today since the market is down. But this isn't all that surprising. My colleague Helene Meisler at RealMoney.com wrote today that the market has been down in 8 of the last 13 final trading days of the month since the March 2009 bottom. Today the pattern is holding.
Nonetheless, April has been another positive month for the market. If the S&P 500 were to close at current levels (1195), it would be up +2.1% for the month. Not bad.
Goldman Sachs (GS) is weighing on the financial complex after a federal criminal probe has been opened to examine the firm. That's the problem with these SEC lawsuits, they just open to door to more lawsuits which become a distraction for the firm, not to mention the legal costs.
The downdraft in the market is overshadowning a few very positive economic reports that were released this morning. To wit, Q1 GDP came in at 3.2%, basically in-line with estimates, but the consumer spending component of the report (+3.6%) showed its biggest gain since the beginning of 2007.
Also, the Univ. of Mich. consumer confidence report rose to 72.2, up from a preliminary reading of 69.5. And the Chicago Purchasing Managers index rose to 63.8, which marks the highest reading since 2005. These are strong reports that confirm the ongoing economic recovery we are seeing. Despite the positive news, my sense is that there are still many skeptics among us, and that will keep the 'wall of worry' firmly in place.
The dollar is weak today as the euro bounces on optimism that Greece will get some sort of aid. The weaker dollar is supporting commodity prices, with oil up to $85.70, and gold pushing higher to $1180. The gold etf (GLD) has broken out to new highs for the year, and looks like it will test its December highs.
Asian markets were mostly higher overnight; the 10-year yield is lower again to 3.66%; and the VIX is +11.6% higher as fear creeps back in the market, to 20.56, which is still below Tuesday's high of 23.20.
Trading comment: I have been waiting for a pullback, and today I may start by putting just a little bit of money to work. I don't mind nibbling on the way down, and putting some cash to work in stages. I will start with stocks that reported strong earnings but pulled back anyway. Today I am starting to bid on some GMCR.
long GLD, GMCR