Thursday, March 29, 2012

Will Global Growth Concerns Derail Rally?

The market is lower again in early trading. Today is day 3 of the current pullback, and since this uptrend began several months ago few pullbacks have lasted longer than 3 days. Thus, either we will see the market regain its footing soon or we will have to acknowledge there has been a change in character.

In economic news, final Q4 GDP was unchanged at +3.0%. But Q1 is already expected to show a slowdown from that rate.

In corporate news, earnings results from Best Buy (BBY) and Mosaic (MOS) resulted in selloffs in those stocks while Red Hat (RHT) raised guidance and its stock is spiking higher.

Asian markets were lower overnight on global growth concerns, and Europe is lower this morning. The European Commission reported a decline in economic sentiment, and there has been strikes in Spain as citizens lash out agains austerity measures.

Commodity prices are mixed, as the dollar is firm today. Oil prices are lower near $104.14, while gold prices are holding steady around $1658.

The 10-year yield continues to ease back, now at 2.16%. And the VIX is up 10% to 17.06 and very near testing its overhead 50-day resistance.

Trading comment: Something to keep on the radar is the economic slowdowns in both China and Europe. Further slowdowns in China could weigh on the entire emerging market picture, while another flare up in Europe could hurt investor sentiment again. The news out of Spain is fairly similar to the events in Greece, and Spain is a much bigger economy. A debt crunch there would not be good for the markets and it is hard to tell if our markets will continue to look past the situation. It makes sense to keep these things on the radar. Even if 2012 turns out to be a good year, there will be corrections along the way. And considering we haven't had a real correction in roughly four months, this spring and summer could keep investors on their toes.


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