Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Little Positive Housing Data

The market is getting a little bounce in early trading, after some mixed economic data. Coming into the morning, overseas markets saw widespread declines amid continued uncertainty over Greece.

The weak Philly Fed survey should not have been a big surprise after yesterday's Empire Manuf. Index. The Philly came in at -7.7 for June, a big drop from last month's 3.9 reading.

But jobless claims came in better than expected, and so did some housing data. Housing starts for May came in above expectations, and building permits were much stronger than expected.

Asian markets were down across the board overnight, and Europe was lower this morning. Attention continues to swirl around Greece, in terms of what and when a bailout package will look like. Of course, the bigger concern is which country could be next in line.

The dollar is flattish today, and commodities are mixed. Oil prices are down slightly near $94.50, while gold prices are a little higher to $1528.

The 10-year yield is drifting lower to 2.93%; and the VIX is flat around 21.35, which is the highest levels for the volatility index since March. So for those looking for a spike in volatility, yesterday met that criteria.

Trading comment: Bearish sentiment continues to escalate. Yesterday, the cboe put/call ratio closed at a whopping 1.36, pushing the 10-day average to its highest levels since the May 2010 "flash crash". Some commentators have said the p/c ratio may be less useful with all of the inverse etfs these days, but I am not so quick to join them. I think it shows a sustained buildup in bearish sentiment, and investors rushing to add protection to their portfolios. The fact of the matter is that if we can rally, the unwinding of all of this bearish protection will put upward pressure on the market and help fuel any snapback rally. Now we just need a catalyst!


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