Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Early Look: Sigh of Relief Or Just Window Dressing

The markets are up nicely again in early trading, following yesterday's roughly 275-point gain in the Dow. Currently, the Dow is up another 230 pts. CNBC said this would be the first back-to-back 200-pt gains for the Dow since 2008, which seems hard to believe, but I haven't checked.

Asian markets joined in the action overnight, rallying across the board. Hong Kong bounced by an impressive +4.2%. European markets kept the momentum going this morning, with Germany up as much as 4.3% at one point.

The gains in Europe started yesterday with the chatter that officials are putting together a plan to stabilize financial conditions. There has been chatter about a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to buy up some of the problem debt. We will have to see if this can pass, but the bank stocks are responding with gains of up to 7% today.

Consumer Confidence for September came in at 45.4, which is up slightly from last month but still a weak number overall. With all of the negative news out there, this reading isn't all that surprising. The correlation with this series and the stock market is fairly high.

Precious metals are bouncing back today, accompanied by a reprieve in the recent dollar rally. Gold prices have bounced back to $1665, and silver prices are getting a bigger bounce. The silver etf (SLV) put in a solid reversal yesterday, and is up 7% so far today. Oil prices are also higher near $83.60.

The 10-year is higher today, trying to get back to the 2.00% level. And the VIX is down -7.5% so far near the 36.0 level.

Trading comment: It's hard to tell if this week's rally thus far is truly due to a sigh of relief coming out of Europe that they are determined to get their arms around the problem, or if it is merely a bounce-back due to window dressing as underperforming portfolio managers look to put money to work after last week's outsized decline in the market. Volume on the Nasdaq rose yesterday, while NYSE volume failed to surpass Friday's level. But the list of market leading stocks remains sparse. I mentioned that I took some partial profits on our index ETF hedges last Friday, but soon I think I would look to add back to those positions.

long SLV


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