Scott MartindaleWell, Fed Chairman Bernanke has proved me wrong by dipping his toe into the dreaded tapering of QE3. In retrospect, I suppose he preferred to take this first step on his own rather than put the onus (and any associated fallout) on the back on his successor.

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Scott MartindaleThe stock market’s technical consolidation continues, and in fact anyone who missed last week’s entry point for the widely-anticipated year-end rally is getting another shot at it. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrials both lost round-number support again this week at 1800 and 16,000, after briefly recovering them from last week’s pullback.

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Scott Martindale“Stocks fall on Fed taper discussion.” That’s the gist of what you heard in the media on Wednesday to account for the market’s late-day pullback. There’s always some sort of attempt to explain daily market action. But the reality is that investors simply must take a periodic breather to regroup and retrench, particularly when making an assault on round-number resistance for a major index.

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Scott MartindaleAs most everyone expected, Congressional brinksmanship gave way to an eleventh hour agreement that will put the government back in business and raise the debt ceiling. However, it’s only a temporary measure that merely defers another knock-down/drag-out for a few months. The question is, how will investors react after an initial bullish burst of relief?

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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 MartindaleThe world has been watching every peep, sniffle, or innuendo associated with any voting member of the FOMC. What is the future of the latest in their ongoing market manipulation, in which money is printed to buy bonds to hold down interest rates, spur corporate borrowing, and artificially inflate stocks? Lately, that’s all investors have cared about.

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Scott MartindaleHere in Santa Barbara, we refer to the annual summer ritual of heavy marine layer engulfing the coastline for much of the day as the “June gloom.” It can be frustrating to beach-going visitors since there are otherwise no clouds, and the inland areas are brilliantly sunny.

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Scott MartindaleFive years ago this month, the S&P 500 hit all-time high of 1576. It closed Wednesday at 1461. Can the market make a run at that all-time high? Well, the biggest threat at the moment to bullish sentiment is the Fiscal Cliff, but both presidential candidates have a plan for dealing with it, and Congress is unlikely to want to take the fall for defying the new President and sending the country back into recession.

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Scott MartindaleAs earnings season gets underway, it has become clear that there is a disconnect between the bull market in stocks and the ability of the companies behind those stocks to generate any revenue growth in a weak global economy. Although U.S. companies have shown eleven consecutive quarters of year-over-year earnings growth, Wall Street analysts have continued to slash forward earnings estimates, and indeed it is reflected in Sabrient’s SectorCast model.

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Scott MartindaleWith all the recent central bank actions (e.g., the Fed’s unlimited QE3, the ECB’s Outright Monetary Transactions, and the Bank of Japan’s ongoing initiatives), the expectation of infinite liquidity is now baked into stock prices. So, further movement will have to come from new catalysts, like good old-fashioned earnings growth.

smartindale / Tag: ETF, sectors, iShares, SPY, AAPL, GOOG, MA, ANAT, CTSH, CERN, IYF, iyw, IYH, IYK, IYJ, IYE, IYC, IYM, IYZ, IDU, VIX / 0 Comments

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