Thursday, January 31, 2013

Has Market Momentum Run Out?

The markets are slightly lower in early trading.  The S&P 500 is lower for a second day, something we haven't seen since in several weeks.  It's still early in the session, so the market could rebound and close strong.  But if we do get a second down day, some investors will ask "Has the market momentum run out?"

In economic news, personal income came in much stronger than expected at +2.6% for December, but a big boost was from investors locking in capital gains ahead of a tax hike.  The Chicago PMI for January rose to 55.6 from 50.0 last month.

Asian markets ended mostly lower.  Japan's manuf. PMI improved to 47.7 from 45.0 last month.  GDP in Taiwan rose +3.4%.  And Hong Kong's retail sales rose 8.8%, above expectations.

Europe is also lower today, led down by Spain's -2% decline.  In Germany, retail sales slid -1.7%, below expectations.

Stocks rising on earnings: QCOM, R, MA, UA, AN, MJN, OXY, DLR, HSY

Stocks falling on earnings:  COP, DOW, UPS, AZN, ENR, D, HAR, ZMH, CL, LQDT

The dollar is slightly lower, but so are most commodities. Oil prices are down near $97.50 and gold prices are weaker to $1664.  Silver and copper prices are lower as well. 

The 10-year yield is hovering just below the 2.0% level at 1.99%.  And the volatility index is up fractionally to 14.35.

Trading comment: We talked yesterday about this bull stampede getting a little long in the tooth and needing a rest.  While that remains true I would expect dip buyers to step in after a small pullback and add to equities, as it seems like many investors remain underweight equities if we are truly in an environment where corporate profits are improving and the tailwind of housing market recovery boosts consumer and investor mindsets.

KAM Advisors has long positions in DLR and QCOM


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