WINDERMERE, Fla. (Stockpickr) -- U.S. stocks are under heavy selling pressure today after a disappointing monthly jobs report showed that hiring in the U.S. slowed in May.
The Labor Department report showed that only 54,000 jobs were created in May, vs. a rise in nonfarm payrolls of 232,000 jobs in April. The report also showed that the unemployment rate jumped to 9.1% in May from 9% in April. Make no mistake about it, the headlines will read that the drop in stocks is due to this disastrous job data -- but the market is far more focused on how the Federal Reserve will move in the coming months with its quantitative easing policy.
The weaker the economy looks, the more likely it is going to be that the Fed will continue to do more QE. The $64,000 question is how the market will react to more QE -- or to the less likely chance now that the Fed stops QE. From my end, I think the market would be in far better shape if QE is stopped, because it would mean that the economy is finally back on track. This would mark an end of government intervention into our capital markets, which many free market capitalists are dying to see. That said, a third round of quantitative easing might be seen as a desperate move by the markets, since QE2 has failed to show any significant economic gains.
Related: 5 Big Stocks to Trade for GainsThe Fed has really painted itself into a corner now. I wouldn't just expect stocks to rise unabated again if we do get a third round of QE. As the next major Fed meeting approaches in late June, traders might be in a "risk-off" mode as they wait to see how things play out. Regardless of what the Fed ultimately does, there are still plenty of stocks setting up to break out. Trading breakouts is not a new game on Wall Street. This strategy has been by legendary traders such as William O'Neal, Stan Weinstein and Nicolas Darvas. Here's a look at a number of stocks that look poised to break out and trade higher from current levels.
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