Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Morning Musings

The market is getting a bounce this morning on the heels of no bad news over the weekend, and a nice rally in European markets before the open.

Libyan rebels have taken over Libya, and the energy sector is rallying on the news. The thinking behind the rally is that oil will once again start flowing from Libya, and that lots of oil services will be needed to repair the oil fields and maximize production. Gas prices are slightly lower today on the perceived addition to supply this would create.

Asian markets were mixed overnight. Here in the U.S., there isn't a whole lot in the way of economic data or big corporate news to move the market. You know I don't like a market that opens too strong, as that leaves it vulnerable to late-day selling. I prefer a market that opens weak and strengthens into the close. So we will have to see how the day shapes up.

The dollar is up slightly vs. most other currencies, but that isn't hurting oil or gold. Oil prices are up over $83, while gold prices have rallied yet again, and are now above $1875.

The 10-year is getting a small bounce finally, but only back to 2.12% so far. And the VIX had broken below the 40 level earlier today, but it has since bounced higher and is closer to 41.20 right now. I would like to see it get back near 30 for starters, as these levels indicate traders expect heightened volatility to continue.

Trading comment: No big news yet, and the weak action at the close last Friday validates our near-term strategy. We continue to focus on playing defense here, using rallies to exit lagging positions and decreasing our overall equity allocation. Areas where we are adding are the high yielding plays like MLPs, utilities, and select REITs. Preservation of capital.


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