Volume remains an enigma but really shouldn't. Last week Trim Tabs made the stunning report that investors, mostly retail, during just the first 11 months of 2011 put $889 billion into checking accounts. This is money under the mattress. Why is this happening? No trust unfortunately and Wall Street, the NYSE and other enablers have made trading a casino for program trading algos, hedge funds and especially HFTs.
This is why there's not much volume or follow-through since most funds continue to see outflows making it a time for redemptions every morning for portfolio managers.
Many investors are waiting for the election to pass in addition to finding Wall Street a turn-off. I wish it weren't so but that's the bottom line for now.
China reported 4
quarter GDP growth that exceeded expectations coming in at 8.9% vs 8.7% expected. Their GDP data indicates only a modest decline thus far if you trust the data. This was followed by a German ZEW Sentiment reading of -21 vs previous of -53 which is down but, ahem, better. S&P downgraded the EFSF bailout facility to AA+ which everyone shrugged-off. After all, the ECB's Draghi stated: "Why do we need these rating agencies?" That's one way to deal with it. Spain also had a successfully placed bond auction.
The Empire State Manufacturing Report also beat expectations at 13.8 vs 10.5 expected and prior of 8.19. Taken together this should have put more stock fans into the seats but that only attracted a small crowd in the end.
Citigroup (C) reported disappointing earnings. Nevertheless financials (XLF) rallied early despite this report following on the heels of JPM's disappointing report last week. By the close of trading financials ended the day weaker as banks overall continue to act as a drag on markets.
Oil was higher on news the Saudis like/want oil at $100. If I were them I'd want that too. Gold rallied along with the euro. Bonds were flat overall. We're pleased to announce that
will be starting a series of commentaries on our public page regarding Alternative ETFs. Jules is a long time friend with an extraordinary background and ability in this sector.
Volume was ultra-light and breadth per the WSJ was positive.
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