Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stocks Poised To Finish January On Positive Note

Stocks are higher in early trading on several positive earnings reports as well as a bounce back after three straight down days in the S&P 500. Yesterday the S&P got down near 1300 before buyers stepped in. That level also coincides with the 20-day moving average for the SPX.

The S&P 500 is poised to close out January with solid gains. Those who follow the "January effect" will note that the Stock Traders Almanac says that as goes January, so goes the year. The implication is that when January shows gains, it bodes well for a positive year in the market.

In earnings news, we are seeing more positive reactions in stocks this morning than negative. Among the gainers are: PFE, BIIB, LLY, TYC, UPS, PCAR, HRS, MAT, and ARMH.

Stocks falling after report earnings include: XOM, AVY, MHP, ADM, and the big loser today - RSH.

In economic news, the Case-Shiller Index showed another 1.3% drop in November from October. The Chicago PMI Index fell to 60.2 from last month's 62.5. And the Consumer Confidence index fell to 61.1 in January from 64.8 last month.

Asian markets were higher overnight, and the euro is higher this morning after speculation over continued progress in Greek debt talks. This one has really been a yo-yo, with lots of ups and downs. There is also talk that European officials have reached some agreement on future bailout funds for the eurozone, but I haven't seen details.

Commodities are higher today. Gold prices are up to $1747, oil prices have topped $100 to $100.50, and copper and silver prices are higher as well.

The 10-year yield continues to languish, still hovering near the 1.83% level. And the VIX is up a touch to 19.55, but hasn't closed above 20 in nine days.

Trading comment: After 3 consecutive down days and a test of the 1300 level yesterday by the S&P 500, I would have expected dip buyers to come in stronger. The SPX has bounced back to 1312 as of now, but already in early trading the gains have faded. We will have to see if buyers come back in later today. Also, the market continues to work off its overbought condition. There are a lot more stocks reacting positively to earnings reports this morning than ones that are selling off. Also, the SPX is on the verge of a golden cross, where the 50-day crosses above the 200-day average. This generally bodes well for further gains in the market.


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