Scott MartindaleAnxious bulls no doubt are looking for ways to rustle awake this sleepy late-summer stock market, before the bears stealthily bring it down. Investors’ focus has been on the Fed and what it might do next month, and Wednesday’s release of the July FOMC meeting minutes showed almost all the voting members supported no change in stimulus, with only a few hawks insisting that tapering should begin sooner.

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Scott MartindaleBond yields have crept back up to near multi-year highs as the bond market appears to be anticipating some measure of tapering in the Fed’s monthly bond-buying program. This undoubtedly has caused some hesitancy among stock investors, too. And then there are the looming debt ceiling and budget battles, as well as concern about slowing corporate earnings growth. And let’s not forget the comparisons to 1987 we are hearing, with Marc Faber (a.k.a., “Dr.

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Scott MartindaleWe are in the thick of earnings season, and so far the general trend has been as anticipated: modest if any top-line growth and more earnings beats than misses (albeit versus a low bar). But forward guidance has been the big decider on how the stock trades post-earnings, and the message has been decidedly mixed, as many companies have had to reduce guidance or otherwise failed to make the grade in other important growth metrics.

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Scott MartindaleStock investors are protecting gains and holding off on deploying cash as concerns abound about central banks, including the Federal Reserve, tapering off on their stimulus programs, i.e., money printing. Low-interest policies and quantitative easing have been the driving force for economic recovery while pushing return-hungry investors into equities by default.

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Scott MartindaleStocks finished the month of April breaking to new highs, with the S&P 500 rising above 1597. But May Day selling put a temporary hold on the bullish celebration that will certainly occur if the S&P 500 can make a clean break above psychological resistance at 1600. Was May Day the start of the usual “Sell in May and go away” practice?

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“All generalizations are false, including this one.” -- Mark Twain

For those investors who may have been feeling a tad complacent due to the recent record highs of several of the major indices, last week probably served as a reminder that high volatility is always just a shout away from knocking the market down a notch or three.

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Scott MartindaleThe Dow Jones Transportation Index is up an impressive +16.7% year-to-date through Wednesday, as it runs interference for the broader Dow Industrials (up +10.8%) and tries to prod the bulls ahead.

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The week started out well as insured depositors were spared in Cyprus, and that resonated well with investors.  Furthermore, last week’s domestic economic data was quite positive especially for housing.  The Philadelphia Fed Survey was much better than expected; Initial Jobless Claims remained in the low 300K area; and LEI were as expected.

david / Tag: AAPL, JPM, LYB, KR, AMGN / 0 Comments

“Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.”  -- Lao Tzu

However the banking debacle in Cyprus plays out over the next few days and weeks, it should serve as a reminder that, economically speaking, much of Europe remains on shaky ground.

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From the Fed, from Congress and President, and from Europe for starters. Chairman Bernanke may give us the former as he testifies on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.  Congress must act by Friday over the sequestration issues.  And Italy could’ve helped a bit today if its election resulted in a more stable government, although that does appear to be happening.

david / Tag: DAL, AAPL, ABBV, TYN, VIX, VXX / 0 Comments

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