Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Morning Musings

The market is lower this morning after some reverberations spreading through the market after MF Global has moved into a bankruptcy filing. It looks like the trading firm took on some big sovereign debt risks that ultimately turned out bad. Whenever a financial firm is liquidated it can rattle the market, but this should in no way be compared to what happened to Lehman Bros.

In foreign markets, officials in Japan have intervened in the Yen to try to push the currently lower after its recent runup to multi-decade highs. The lower yen is boosting the dollar and weighing on commodity markets. Oil prices are lower near $92.15 and gold prices are also down to $1725.

Earnings season will begin to slow this week, but it was another good showing for corporate profits. It will be interesting to see how 2012 estimates are adjusted in the coming weeks after forward guidance seems to have come in better than many analysts were bracing for.

The 10-year yield is lower to 2.21% after reaching as high as 2.40% last week; as for the VIX, it is +11% higher right now to 27.25, but still nicely below that 30 level.

Trading comment: After last week's outsized rally, capping off an enormous month for the markets, some profit taking today is not surprising. The chart below shows that the S&P 500 rallied all the way up to its overhead 200-day moving average, which is a natural area of resistance. This should be a battleground in the near-term. I would expect there to be some consolidation around this level for a bit. But if the market is able to get back above it, that would continue to put pressure on investors to put risk back on and chase stocks higher.


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