Monday Morning Musings
The market was slightly higher in early trading, but not much of a bounce given how far the markets have come down in recent weeks. As of this post, the early gains are eroding and the indexes are flirting with going back in the red on the session.
Biotech stocks are leading the market this morning after some positive trial data. CELG is up 7% after results from a pancreatic cancer trial. And GILD is up as much as 12% after positive Hep C trial data.
In M&A news, Jeffires (JEF) is 22% higher after confirming plans to merge with Leucadia (LUK). Also, TIE is surging 43% after being acquired by Precision Castparts (PCP).
There are no economic data releases scheduled today.
Asian markets were mixed overnight after China's trade balance showed exports grew 11.6% year/year. This was enough for one BofA analyst to say that China has bottomed. But in Japan Q3 GDP declined -0.9% sparking concerns another recession could be looming.
European markets are also mixed after the Greek parliament approved its 2013 budget. Eurozone finance ministers meet today to discuss options to avoid a Greek default.
The 10-year yield is flattish near 1.61%. And the VIX is down 5% despite the flat market, falling below the 18 level that has held support for the better part of the last week.
Trading comment: The market continues to feel weak. The S&P 500 is sitting at its 200-day average, which would be a logical area from which to bounce. But we need to see some strength in the form of a market that can rally into the close and close at highs for the day. That has been missing lately. Until we see some signs of strength like that, we are remaining defensive in our accounts. Balanced accounts are seeing their equity allocations being lowered, and trading accounts are sitting on cash waiting for a buying opportunity.