Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Stocks Surge After Strong Manufacturing Data

The market is spiking higher again today, after a round of better than expected manufacturing reports, both here and abroad. The PMI for the UK rose to 62.0, its highest reading since recordkeeping began. The Eurozone PMI also rose to 57.3 last month. Here in the U.S., the January ISM Manufacturing index rose to 60.8, the highest reading in years.

Asian markets were higher across the board overnight, and Europe was nicely higher this morning. Greece's stock market rose 4% following an upgrade from Credit Suisse.

There was also another strong batch of earnings reports, including the likes of BIDU, APC, UPS, and PFE.

The dollar is down today, and so are most commodities. Gold prices are lower near $1329, and oil prices are down slightly at $91.89, after a big rise yesterday.

The 10-year yield is higher to 3.43%; and the volatility index (VIX) is down -10% today to 17.57, a big drop from its recent trip up to the 20 level.

Trading comment: The S&P 500 has rallied right back to its recent highs above the 1300 level. Yesterdays rally came on lighter volume, which is not what you want to see, but today I am seeing more stocks break back out to new highs.

When the market leading stocks began to correct recently, it looked like a sign the market needed to take a breather. But if those leading stocks quickly turn around and begin to move back to new highs, that would be telling. I don't want to make too much of one day's action (today), so we'll have to see if this trend continues or if the market is simply going to consolidate a bit longer around these levels.

long VIX


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