Thursday, September 29, 2011

(Not So) Early Look: Sigh of Relief In Germany

When the markets are volatile in the opening hour, sometimes my early post is a little late due to trading coming first. This morning I wanted to add to some hedges as I was nervous about the early gains holding.

The vote for the expansion of the EFSF was approved in Germany, which was a good sign. Some thought it might get voted down the first time, like TARP did here in the US. But Europe wasn't up all that much this morning, so I think it was the positive economic data that helped boost our markets.

Final Q2 GDP was revised upward to +1.3% from the prior reading of 1.0%. That's still sluggish growth, but it keeps the economy just above stall speed, imo. Obviously the big question for investors is the economic slowdown still ahead of us, as forecasted by things like the ECRI, stock price declines, and declines in key commodities like copper.

Pending homes sales fell less than expected at -1.2% in August. And weekly jobless claims also surprised to the upside be falling below the 400,000 level (391k).

Commodities are mixed this morning. Oil prices are higher to $82.50, while gold prices are flat near $1617. Copper prices are getting a small bounce.

The 10-year yield is hovering above the 2.00% level for a third day; and the VIX is -3% lower today, but still stubbornly close to that 40 level (39.70), signaling heightened volatility is still with us.

Trading comment: The financials were up the most this morning, so I bought some SKF just as a day-trade flier to hedge. I also added to our index etf hedges that I had taken profits on last Friday. Today is an odd day in that although the Dow is up 160 pts., the growth stocks on my screen are a sea of red. Lots of stocks are down 5-10% today, and the Chinese internet stocks are getting killed on rumors of an accounting probe.

long SKF, SH


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