Tuesday, January 10, 2012

China Rallies Hard For 2nd Straight Day

The markets are nicely higher in early trading, taking their cues from overseas markets which were up sharply overnight. Asian markets were up across the board, led by another 2.7% gain in China where expectations for easier monetary policy appear to be the catalyst.

In Europe, analysts at Fitch indicated that France and Germany are likely to maintain their top credit ratings in 2012. A lot of folks have been expected France to get downgraded, so this news emboldened the bulls and Europe's markets rallied hard.

The strong 2-day rally in China has helped economically-sensitive materials stocks (XLB), which are leading the early action. Financials (XLF) are strong too, while defensive consumer staples (XLP) stocks are lagging so far.

The dollar is only down slightly, but commodities have caught a bid as well. Gold prices are up near $1635, silver prices are higher, and copper is higher as well. Oil prices are back to $102.50.

The 10-year yield is only up slightly to 1.98%, still unable to get above that 2.0% level. And the VIX is down -4.7% today to nearly a 6-month low near the psychologically important 20 level. This is a good sign for the bulls, although I still feel like a short-term spike in the VIX could be coming if we get a sharp pullback in the market.

Trading comment: The market continues to power higher. Leadership is not as broad as it often is during market advances. The list of new highs is more littered with defensive type names rather than traditional quality growth stocks. That is another reason why I feel that not everyone has embraced this rally. I know that the sentiment surveys are growing more bullish on the one hand, but on the other hand it still feels like a market climbing the proverbial wall of worry.

-jordan kahn


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