Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tech Stocks Continue To Lead

The market is lower in early trading on the heels of a mild pullback in the indexes yesterday. Tech stocks are relative outperformers so far this morning with many of them trading higher so far. Energy stocks continue to lag in what looks like some sector rotation going on.

Helping tech sentiment was earnings out last night by Oracle (ORCL) which were better than expected and resulted in a nice pop for the stock.

Overnight, Asian markets were mixed. The dollar is higher today relative to the euro, with mixed effects on commodities. Oil prices are higher near $106.50, but nat gas is lower. Gold prices are also higher at $1650, but copper prices are down a bit.

In economic news, existing home sales for February came in at 4.59 million units, down slightly from last month's 4.63 million units but generally in-line with expectations.

Fed Chairman Bernanke and Treasury Sec. Geithner are testifying before Congress today about the European debt crisis. They keep harping on the risk to the taxpayer, but it is nearly impossible that the ECB wouldn't repay the loans and they also guarantee to adjust for any currency fluctuations. Pretty good credit if you ask me. Most of these Congressmen (and women) are basically clueless about modern day interbank finance, so it's painful to listen to them.

The 10-year yield is lower today to 2.31%. And the VIX is down -2.5% despite the selling in the market, down to 15.16.

Trading comment: Today is day 2 of the mild pullback, at least so far. This is kind of the pattern we have seen, and if the SPX continues to hold above 1400 I think it is likely that we will simply see another stair-step higher pattern into quarter end. Market leaders continue to hold up well despite the near-term handoff from energy stocks to the tech sector.


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