Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Morning Musings

The market is nicely higher in the first hour of trading, after last week's pullback. Asian markets were higher across the board overnight after China's Premier said the China's economy is expected to grow by approx. 7% over the next five years.

The dollar is weaker this morning, but its effect on commodities is mixed. Oil prices have fallen back to $97.75 after Saudi Arabia has reported it fulfilled its promise to cover the supply shortage from Libya. Gold prices are higher to $1413.

In economic news, the Chicago PMI rose to 71.2 in Feb., well above expectations of 67.5.

Earnings season starts to wind down this week, although there are still a few companies left to report. But overall it was another solid earnings season, and now folks will begin to look at Q1 and Q2 EPS.

The 10-year yield is lower to 3.41%; and the VIX is also lower by -4% near 18.42.

Trading comment: Some of today's bounce could be month end buying as funds do some window dressing. Some folks are also pointing at the bullish tone struck in Warren Buffet's annual letter. Regardless, volume has been light on these bounces, and the market isn't out of the woods yet. Friday's jobs report looms large as well. I still think the market has some more work to do on the downside, but one never knows. That is why I put some money to work into last week's decline, just in case I'm wrong about seeing more downside. But for now, let's see if today's early strength holds and how the day's volume comes in.


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