Friday, April 27, 2012

Is The Market Whistling Past A Greek Redux?

The markets are slightly higher in early trading on the heels of more than 100 earnings reports that have come out last night and this morning, some mixed economic data, and another downgrade of Spain.

So far there doesn't seem to be much reaction to the S&P downgrade of Spanish debt to BBB+ from A, and a negative outlook.  Is the market whistling past a Greek redux?

In economic news, advance Q1 GDP estimates for the U.S. show the economy grew +2.2%.  This is below the 2.5% that had been expected, but in light of the slowdown in many other countries looks pretty good by comparison.

Also, the final reading on Univ. of Mich. consumer sentiment for April improved to 76.4 from the prior reading of 75.7.  So the mood among consumers remains upbeat, and that hopefully bodes well for the economy near-term, considering nearly 70% of our GDP is driven by consumer spending.

Asian markets were mostly lower overnight.  The dollar is a bit lower today, giving a small boost to the CRB Commodity Index.  Oil prices are down slightly around $104.40.  And gold prices are higher near $1665.

There were tons of earnings reports in the last 24 hrs, but here are a few notable movers:

Stocks rising on earnings:
Stocks rising on earnings:

The 10-year yield hasn't moved much on today's economic reports, and is flattish near 1.95%.  The VIX is up a fraction today to 16.35, still a very low absolute level.  For those worried about the summer, you can still buy protection pretty cheap in the options market.

Trading comment: There have been more stocks falling on earnings reports than rising today, at least from what I have seen.  The indexes are still comfortably above their 50-day support, so investors are in buying mode.  But many leading growth stocks have more work to do in terms of consolidating their recent gains and building new bases from which they launch new rallies.  I would be somewhat surprised if the market went right back to new highs at this juncture.  Something tells me we are more likely to be in a trading range in the near-term.

KAM Advisors has long positions in SPG, SBUX, PG


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