Daily Market Update – May 21, 2014 (Close)

 

 

Daily Market Update – May 21, 2014 (Close)

It seems as if we had an FOMC Statement just yesterday, but this afternoon was the scheduled release of the latest iteration.

While there weren’t too many expectations for any substantive kind of change in language, tone or intent, you never know how the market interprets status quo, much less change, so anything is always possible.

In addition to the immediate, knee jerk reactions to the minutes as the words are flash parsed by algorithms that scan the printed text, there is always the next wave or reaction minutes later as well as the following day for some more rational, or less rational thought to take hold.

Yesterday was an interesting day as it was really the first time that there was some widespread concern about retail sales despite having had at least 6 months of warning signs that the economy wasn’t reflecting some of that good news coming from the Jobs Numbers and Employment Situation Reports.

That disconnect seemed so obvious yet had been completely ignored. You would expect that increased employment would lead to increased discretionary spending at all levels of the chain. It just seems incongruous that only the higher levels of the retail chain seem to be thriving in what is thought to be an improving environment. Today’s earnings report from Tiffanys just adds to that observation that something is amiss.

That realization was poorly timed because it took one of our Tuesdays, which invariably see the market go higher and just wasted it on all of the concerns about the economy not reflected consumer optimism and more importantly, consumer spending.

Following yesterday’s triple digit loss it wasn’t too terribly surprising to see some early bounce back prior to the opening bell, but what was surprising was to see that early advance just continue to strengthen through the day and leading up to the 2 PM release of the FOMC statement. While I thought that any advance wasn’t likely to be sustained and especially unlikely to be potent the market is always full of surprises. Usually FOMC days tend to have tentative trading leading up to the report, but not today.

Additionally, there was almost no reaction to the release. Certainly not an immediate one, although about 6 minutes later the market did add on to its already substantial gains that offset Tuesday’s losses.

As with recent past weeks with Wednesday rolling around my thoughts were turned toward possible rollovers, which were definitely in short supply the past week. However, as opposed to last week, unless there is some real surprise in today’s FOMC, there isn’t too much reason to suspect a repeat of the deterioration seen during the latter half of last week that took so many positions out of contention for rollovers.

With the market now within even more easy striking distance of another new high and seeing how often it has shown resilience, it’s noteworthy how nervous traders appear to be. The immediate historical precedence would have you being optimi
stic for another scaling of the wall and overcoming any short term selling pressure.

However, the best reason those nerves is the breakdown of the high momentum names, as that has its own historical precedence. That history is one that has been tied to leading to an overall market decline.

That can’t be lost on some traders, especially the ones that have been around for a while and have been in up and down markets.

Not that there is any parallel, but we are now in that same period as between 1982 and 1987.

During that time the market just went straight higher and many drawn into the market, but as investors and brokers, had no idea that markets could go down, after a 5 year run.

Well, now its 2009 to 2014. That same 5 year run and there is a generation that may be unaware that the  downside even exists.

On a positive note when so many start talking about the downside, the risk and the disappointments it becomes a less likely scenario. It’s almost always when you don’t see it coming that it happens, so I hope those warnings keep coming and caution becomes more the norm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2014 TheAcsMan

Daily Market Update – May 21, 2014

 

 

Daily Market Update – May 21, 2014 (9:15 AM)

It seems as if we had an FOMC Statement just yesterday, but this afternoon is the scheduled release of the latest iteration.

While there aren’t too many expectations for any substantive kind of change in language, tone or intent, you never know how the market interprets status quo, much less change, so anything is possible.

In addition to the immediate, knee jerk reactions to the minutes as the words are flash parsed by algorithms that scan the printed text, there is always the next wave or reaction minutes later as well as the following day for some more rational, or less rational thought to take hold.

Yesterday was an interesting day as it was really the first time that there was some widespread concern about retail sales despite having had at least 6 months of warning signs that the economy wasn’t reflecting some of that good news coming from the Jobs Numbers and Employment Situation Reports.

That disconnect seemed so obvious yet had been completely ignored. You would expect that increased employment would lead to increased discretionary spending at all levels of the chain. It just seems incongruous that only the higher levels of the retail chain seem to be thriving in what is thought to be an improving environment. Today’s earnings report from Tiffanys just adds to that observation that something is amiss.

That realization was poorly timed because it took one of our Tuesdays, which invariably see the market go higher and just wasted it on all of the concerns about the economy not reflected consumer optimism and more importantly, consumer spending.

Following yesterday’s triple digit loss it’s not terribly surprising to see some early bounce back prior to the opening bell, but it’s not too likely to be sustained or to move higher in advance of today’s report. Most FOMC days tend to have tentative trading leading up to the report.

As with recent past weeks with Wednesday rolling around my thoughts are turned toward possible rollovers, which were definitely in short supply the past week. However, as opposed to last week, unless there is some real surprise in today’s FOMC, there isn’t too much reason to suspect a repeat of the deterioration seen during the latter half of last week that took so many positions out of contention for rollovers.

With the market still within easy striking range of another new high and seeing how often it has shown resilience, it’s noteworthy how nervous traders appear to be. The immediate historical precedence would have you being optimistic for another scaling of the wall and overcoming any short term selling pressure.

However, the best reason those nerves is the breakdown of the high momentum names, as that has its own historical precedence. That history is one that has been tied to leading to an overall market decline.

That can’t be lost on some traders, especially the on
es that have been around for a while and have been in up and down markets.

Not that there is any parallel, but we are now in that same period as between 1982 and 1987.

During that time the market just went straight higher and many drawn into the market, but as investors and brokers, had no idea that markets could go down, after a 5 year run.

Well, now its 2009 to 2014. That same 5 year run and there is a generation that may be unaware that the  downside even exists.

On a positive note when so many start talking about the downside, the risk and the disappointments it becomes a less likely scenario. It’s almost always when you don’t see it coming that it happens, so I hope those warnings keep coming and caution becomes more the norm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2014 TheAcsMan

Daily Market Update – May 20, 2014 (Close)

 

 

Daily Market Update – May 20, 2014 (Close)

With an occasional exception over the past 3 months Tuesdays have been a day for markets to move higher.

Eddy Elfenbein, of Crossing Wall Street, keeps track of statistical oddities and in the past has shown that there actually is a predilection by day of the week, for positive market performance, that transcends a mere three month period of observation.

Tuesdays have a reasonably long history of good performance, although you would be hard pressed to call it anything other than an anomaly. There isn’t much reason to suspect that a single day of the week would repeatedly be better than any other day of the week.

I haven’t figured out f there’s any way to take advantage of that, as the statistics don’t look at what kind of machinations may take place during each of those days and only looks at the end result, but today is one of those days that I’d like to see the pattern continue.

While yesterday saw a handful of new covered positions get sold there are far too many more sitting and not generating income. A few nice days higher could help remedy that, but the pre-open futures trading is giving no indication of a market set to move higher.

But today wasn’t one of those nice Tuesdays.

Instead, while the flow of earnings reports is now slowed, there are still more reports to come for another month and the ones coming through this morning are doing nothing to move the market higher.

While Dicks Sporting Goods, Staples and Home Depot are all retailers, they represent very different segments of retail and none of them have much good news to share this morning. While Home Depot isn’t getting sold off too heavily in the pre-open and eventually was one of the few gaining positions during the regular trading session. the others are looking at large losses and if the recent pattern holds their share price recovery will be slower than is usually the case.

With a broad range of retailers consistently presenting disappointing earnings or seeing profits rise, but in the face of falling revenues, you do have to wonder where the economic growth is hiding. It can’t all be concentrating itself in Nordstroms. Yet this disconnect between the reality and the perception is rarely mentioned, much less discussed.

Today, however, that changed and it was a prominent topic of discussion all through the day. Somehow, it had gone unnoticed up until this point, as so many have been left deluded by the impact of share buybacks and simply accepted the unequal comparisons of one quarter to the next, with EPS being reported on fewer and fewer shares in the public float.

After yesterday’s late day push higher the market was within about 0.3% of another new S&P 500 record before the morning’s trading began, as it pays no attention to the economy. While it’s often said that the market discounts the future if you look back 6 months, when the S&P 500 stood a
t 1800 I suppose you can make a case for today’s 1885 level, but if you go out a year in time it gets much harder to justify a 15% advance.

However, most would agree that the economy isn’t exactly humming along at the moment and that there’s still plenty of room for further economic growth ahead. Maybe that’s the fuel that has been advancing the market and will continue doing so. 

The anticipation of further growth to get us back to historical standards may be the driving factor, because we’re certainly not at a stage when the economy is red hot and the markets can be expected to start slowing down as less acceleration of growth becomes more likely.

But what does any of that mean for today or this week?

Not too much.

The plan remains the same. Not too many new positions, maybe a purchase here or there and just the hope that some of these good for nothing positions can begin to support themselves, even if it’s only something symbolic, as from an occasional DOH trade or two.

At least there’s always hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2014 TheAcsMan

Daily Market Update – May 20, 2014

 

 

Daily Market Update – May 20, 2014 (9:00 AM)

With an occasional exception over the past 3 months Tuedays have been a day for markets to move higher.

Eddy Elfenbein, of Crossing Wall Street, keeps track of statistical oddities and in the past has shown that there actually is a predilection by day of the week, for positive market performance, that transcends a mere three month period of observation.

Tuesdays have a reasonably long history of good performance, although you would be hard pressed to call it anything other than an anomaly. There isn’t much reason to suspect that a single day of the week would repeatedly be better than any other day of the week.

I haven’t figured out f there’s any way to take advantage of that, as the statistics don’t look at what kind of machinations may take place during each of those days and only looks at the end result, but today is one of those days that I’d like to see the pattern continue.

While yesterday saw a handful of new covered positions get sold there are far too many more sitting and not generating income. A few nice days higher could help remedy that, but the pre-open futures trading is giving no indication of a market set to move higher.

Instead, while the flow of earnings reports is now slowed, there are still more reports to come for another month and the ones coming through this morning are doing nothing to move the market higher.

While Dicks Sporting Goods, Staples and Home Depot are all retailers, they represent very different segments of retail and none of them have much good news to share this morning. While Home Depot isn’t getting sold off too heavily in the pre-open, the others are looking at large losses and if the recent pattern holds their share price recovery will be slower than is usually the case.

With a broad range of retailers consistently presenting disappointing earnings or seeing profits rise, but in the face of falling revenues, you do have to wonder where the economic growth is hiding. It can’t all be concentrating itself in Nordstroms. Yet this disconnect between the reality and the perception is rarely mentioned, much less discussed.

After yesterday’s late day push higher the market is within about 0.3% of another new S&P 500 record, as it pays no attention to the economy. While it’s often said that the market discounts the future if you look back 6 months, when the S&P 500 stood at 1800 I suppose you can make a case for today’s 1885 level, but if you go out a year in time it gets much harder to justify a 15% advance.

However, most would agree that the economy isn’t exactly humming along at the moment and that there’s still plenty of room for further economic growth ahead. Maybe that’s the fuel that has been advancing the market and will continue doing so. 

The anticipation of further growth to get us back to historical standards may be the driving factor, because we’re certainly not at a stage when the economy is red hot and the markets can be expected to start slow
ing down as less acceleration of growth becomes more likely.

But what does any of that mean for today or this week?

Not too much.

The plan remains the same. Not too many new positions, maybe a purchase here or there and just the hope that some of these good for nothing positions can begin to support themselves, even if it’s only something symbolic, as from an occasional DOH trade or two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2014 TheAcsMan

Daily Market Update – May 19, 2014 (Close)

 

 

Daily Market Update – May 19, 2014 (Close)

For the optimist there was reason to be so this morning.

The market closed strongly in the final two hours to end the week  That alone was comforting and gave reason to look forward to the start of the next week’s trading.

But beyond that with news over the weekend about AT&T’s proposed buyout of DirectTV and Pfizer’s newly sweetened offer for AstraZeneca. Put the two of those together and you had the appearances of “Merger Monday” re-appearing in our markets.

The good feeling that comes from mergers and buyouts often has a way of spreading through the markets as speculators start wondering which company will be the next target. Eventually that kind of speculation wears thin very quickly, but at least in its early stages most everyone is happy.

But the pre-open futures didn’t seem to be as optimistic and the market was pointing lower as both AstraZeneca and AT&T were much lower and only Pfizer was showing some kind of modest gain, as its offer again was being spurned, or at least the manner in which AstraZeneca was trading would indicate that the door has been closed.

If that’s the case there has to be some other blockbuster merger to move the market. As it is, I don’t  understand the economics of the AT&T buyout of DirectTV. While AT&T definitely needs that business in order to compete with Verizon and a future Comcast/Time Warner Cable union, the revenue from DirectTV can only fall as it will be offered at lower cost bundled packages to existing AT&T customers, as will AT&T service be bundled at a lower price to existing DirectTV customers.

$50 billion? I hope Verizon goes down in sympathy with AT&T because they appear now to have the advantage with regard to share price prospects once the news of Warren Buffett’s investment is digested.

With the S&P 500 less than a 1% away from another new high and after having set two of those just last week, this most recent leg of the upward climb has been very unusual. You hear very little optimism and you hear very few traders gloating about their results. Reportedly, the vast majority of hedge funds are under-performing the market, which is unusual given the syncopated nature of the climb higher. Their under-performance last year is understandable, but this year you would think that the really smart money would have an advantage by using the various tools to hedge an uncertain market.

Most Mondays the challenge is to find new income producing positions for the week. That’s especially true when a new monthly cycle is set to begin, as it was ready to do so this morning.

Instead, with only a few assignments last week and cash reserves being only marginally increa
sed, I’m far more interested in seeing existing positions generate some income rather than spending cash down to lower levels.

Last week after the sharp downturn in prices on Wednesday and Thursday and no meaningful recovery on Friday, it ended up not being a terribly difficult decision to forego any rollover opportunities, as the option market seemed to be anticipating a late rally and the prices to close out option positions were just too expensive. Add to that the low volatility in forward weeks and you had the combination of relatively high prices to close positions and low prices received for selling new positions.

Sometimes I’d rather take my chances and this was one of those rare times.

So far, after the first day of the week it was another slow trading day by Monday standards, yet it was almost as busy as all of last week and at least a few positions did receive cover and will help put some foie gras on the table.

Maybe tomorrow I can trade the flatware for silverware.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2014 TheAcsMan