Thursday, December 01, 2011

Looking For Market To Take A Breather Now

The markets are roughly flat after yesterday's outsized rally. Yesterday was one of the biggest point gains on record for the Dow. The only problem is that if you look at the list of the biggest point day, almost of all of them were bear market bounces that didn't last. Let's hope this time is different.

Same-store sales reports have been coming out for retailers and have been a mixed bag for the most part. On the upside are stocks like ROST, COST, JWN, and GES. But there have been some big disappointments such as LULU and KSS.

In economic news, the ISM Manufacturing Index for November came in at 52.7, which is a nice bounce from 50.8 last month. China's PMI last night came in below expectations and dropped below the 50 level, which marks the delineation between expansion and contraction.

Europe's markets are mixed this morning after bond auctions were held in Spain and France. The euro is slightly higher, while commodities are mixed. Oil and gold prices are both roughly flat so far at $100.50 and $1750, respectively.

The 10-year yield is higher again to 2.10%; and the VIX is down -1.55% so far near 27.37.

Trading comment: Yesterday's gain came as a big surprise to most investors. Especially since the night before S&P had downgraded the banks and the futures were pointing to a lower open. The coordinated action by the central banks led to a sharp short-covering rally. The question now is will it be more similar to 1998 when the Fed action sparked a lasting rally or more like 2008 when there was more downside to come? I would not rule out the possibility of performance anxiety kicking in between now and year-end and pressuring portfolio managers to do more buying in hopes of adding performance. I know that's how I feel on a day like yesterday.


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