Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Moody's Downgrades More European Countries

The market is lower this morning in early trading, but if the recent pattern continues then that would mean that the dip buyers will appear at some point and the market will close in positive territory. I'm not saying that will happen, just that has been the pattern in recent weeks.

Yesterday the market cheered the Greek austerity package. But today there is a slightly different tone after Moody's downgraded the countries of Spain, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia. Moody's said these countries as being susceptible to the growing financial and macroeconomic risks.

There was another handful of earnings reports out last night and this morning. On the upside are a couple of standounts such as RAX and KORS. On the downside are stocks such as BWA, UTHR, CPLA, and GT. FOSL had started out lower in reaction to earnings, but has since reversed higher on strong volume.

In economic news, retail sales for January rose 0.4%, which was below expectations. But the ex-autos figure was 0.7% which was higher than consensus estimates and above last month.

Asian markets were higher overnight after Japan announced that it has expanded its asset purchase program.

The dollar is higher this morning, and most commodities are slightly lower. Oil prices are higher near $101, gold prices are flat around $1725, but copper prices are lower.

The 10-year yield has started to drift lower to 1.94%, which is right around its 50-day average. The VIX is up nearly 5% to just under the 20 level.

Trading comment: Healthcare stocks are leading the action this morning. Nearly all of the healthcare stocks I follow on my screen are bucking the early weakness. ESRX is acting better, shaking off last week's rumors about its acquisition. ISRG is surging to new highs. While we often focus on how "the market" is doing overall, this year could yield better results for those who focus on individual stocks.

KAM Advisors has long positions in BWA, ESRX, GLD


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