Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday Morning Musings

The market is higher this morning on relative light newsflow other than the headlines out of Greece. Greece's parliament has approved the new austerity measures it needed to accept in order to get its latest round of bailout funds.

The news has helped push European markets higher, as well as the euro. Asian markets were also higher overnight. But there is very little in the way of domestic economic data out this morning or corporate earnings reports of any consequence.

Friday's action saw one of the first selloffs of the year, but so far the action has not carried over this morning. Financial stocks are strongest so far, while defensive stocks like utilities are lagging.

The dollar is lower and most commodities are higher. Oil prices are up near $99.70, gold and silver prices are up slightly, while copper looks to be lower right now.

The 10-year yield is flattish around 1.96%. And the VIX is down -5.7% so far to 19.61 after a big spike higher on Friday that took the VIX all the way up to touch its overhead 50-day average.

Trading comment: The stairstep higher action continues. Most stocks have given little reason to sell them, and growth stocks continue act better than their defensive counterparts that led for most of 2011. Investor sentiment continues to grow more bullish, but has still yet to reach extreme readings that in the past have led to sharp selloffs. One anecdotal sentiment call was this weekend's Barron's cover, which said Dow 15,000 on it. Such bullish cover stories in the past have often coincided with bullish sentiment nearing some sort of peak.


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