Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Taking Our Cues From Overseas

There isn't a lot in the way of market moving news this morning, which leaves the market taking its cues from abroad. Yesterday's session proved to be the biggest up move in two weeks, so its normal to see a pullback. But there were also some developments overseas.

Yields are creeping back up in Spain, which is rekindling concerns in Europe. Also, the financial health of Hungary is now surfacing. These are weighing on the euro, and we know whenever the euro is down U.S. stocks are also down.

Asian markets were mixed overnight with Japan higher but China lower again. Premier Wen Jiabo made cautious comments about the country's economic outlook, which is never a good sign for one of the worlds largest and fastest growing economies.

All of the above had led folks to the safety of the dollar, which is hurting most commodities. Gold prices are adding to yesterday's gains near $1610. And oil prices are only down fractionally after hitting $103 yesterday. But copper, silver, and most other commodities are weaker on the day.

The 10-year yield is down slightly to 1.95%. You sure don't get the sense that the U.S. economy is picking up steam with a yield below 2.0%. Where's the love? As for the VIX, it is up 3% so far back to 23.65.

Trading comment: I was fairly impressed with yesterday's action. Volume picked up to its highest level in 7 trading sessions. And technically the SPX put considerable distance from its 200-day moving average, which should now act as support. Bullish sentiment among investors is rising, but not yet at alarming levels. So I think that this rally can push higher before we have another correction. I wouldn't be surprised to see the runup continue into Q1 earnings season.


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