Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Following The Greek Yo-Yo

The markets are lower this morning after a failure to find solutions to Greece's debt problems has put pressure on Europe's markets and also the euro currency. Greece's stock index is down -4.0% this morning and weighing on other markets. Data released this morning showed the manufacturing and services PMI readings for the eurozone both improved in January

Overnight in Asia, Japan was up slightly despite lowering its GDP forecast for 2012. China and Hong Kong were closed for holidays.

In earnings news, stocks are showing a mixed reaction to reports from last night and this morning. On the upside are stocks like: COH, EMC, WDC, and VMW. On the downside are TXN, MCD, TRV, VZ, CSX. Tonight AAPL reports and many are wondering if it will have the sort of reaction seen in GOOG. I think AAPL will fare better, although the fact that it has recently run to new highs does leave it vulnerable to some profit taking on the news.

The dollar is higher relative to the euro, and that is weighing on most commodities. Gold prices have pulled back to 1665. Oil prices are back below $100 near $98.90. And copper prices are down also.

The 10-year yield is roughly flat near the 2.07% level. As for the VIX, it has bounced 5% in early trading to 19.55, and briefly touched the 20 level before fading a bit.

Trading comment: Growth stocks took a back seat to defensive stocks for most of 2011. So far this year, growth seems to be readying for a comeback. VMW reported a strong quarter and got a nice reaction, similar to FFIV last week. MELI sold off in 2011 but is back in position to challenge new highs. And recent trades we have talked about including STMP and ULTA are both at or near new highs as well. While I expect 2012 to be choppy similar to last year, I do think there will be more opportunities for growth investors.

KAM Advisors had long positions in AAPL, COH, GOOG, MCD, STMP, and ULTA


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