Monday Morning Musings
The markets are lower this morning on no real news, but rather a lack of any improvement in last week's issues. The bank stress tests in Europe last week did little to alleviate concerns about their financials. And the fact that no agreement on raising the debt ceiling here in the U.S. has been reached also continues to weigh on investor sentiment.
Other than that, there hasn't been a lot of market moving news. In earnings, Halliburton (HAL) posted an upside surprise, while IBM reports after the close this evening.
Financials remain the weakest group so far, while tech stocks are down the least as Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) continue to buck the weakness and post gains in early trading.
Asian markets were mostly lower overnight. And the flight to safety trade is on today, which means the dollar, Treasuries, and gold are all higher.
Gold prices have hit the $1600 level, and silver prices are up nicely also. Treasuries are higher, pushing yields on the 10-year down to 2.90%. And the volatility index (VIX) is +10% higher today to 21.50.
Trading comment: No positive catalysts to embolden the bulls have the market in a position where it is vulnerable to pullbacks right now. The markets are working off their overbought conditions, and should be back to oversold again soon. Sentiment, which had become bullish again after the 2 week rally, should also begin to show more bearishness building. In addition, we are entering the low volume trading part of the summer. All of this makes me feel like staying defensive, raising more cash, trading around core positions, but waiting for a better buying opportunity down the road.
long AAPL, GOOG, HAL, IBM