Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Morning Musings

The markets are down sharply in early trading. So much for that bounce on Friday. As of now, it looks more like that was just a reprieve to the selling that started in earnest on Thursday. But let's see how the day shapes up.

Increased skepticism with Europe's latest "plan" has led to yields in countries like Italy and Spain rising again. Other credit metrics are also deteriorating today. Europe's stocks markets and the euro are all lower this morning.

The drop in the euro is boosting the dollar and hurting commodities. Oil prices are down to $97.65, and gold prices have plunged all the way to $1661. Copper and silver prices are also down sharply.

Asian markets were mixed overnight, with Japan higher but China down again. Some numbers out over the weekend suggested that growth decelerated for China in November.

Here in the U.S., Intel (INTC) lowered its outlook for the current quarter and that weighed on the tech sector and the overall market. INTC is blaming it on disk drive shortages (Thai flood), but most think it is also related to overall PC demand.

The 10-year yield is hovering just above that 2.00% level at 2.01%; And the VIX is up 4% so far near 27.45, but still well below last week's highs after that sharp move lower on Friday.

Trading comment: Selling has picked up again as the choppy trading since hitting the 200-day average continues. The lows on the SPX from Thursday are near 1231. So far today we have not broke below those levels, but if 1231 gives way we could see selling pick up steam. The enthusiasm over the can kicking from the EU summit last week seems to have faded quickly. I have mentioned that I thought most folks would be in dip buying mode into year end, and I still think that is the case. But I acknowledged the likely possibility of a pullback and more consolidation before the SPX made another stab at taking out is overhead 200-day resistance. I think that is what we are seeing now, but I still think buyers will step up again. So I will be patient and look for stocks that are holding up well to add to into this decline.

long SH


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