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Stocks Inching Along on Light Volume: Dave's Daily

Economic data wasn't that inspiring either way Friday as Consumer Sentiment increased (75.3 vs 72.5 previous & expected 73) which may be pre-gas spike data. And, new home sales were static (321K vs 324K previous and 315K expected).

Earnings from JC Penney (JCP) were much in view but a trained financial archeologist would have a hard time figuring it out given all the write downs and adjustments. The net result is a loss and hopes that their new pricing strategy will work. It's the chance the company is taking.

The retail sector (XRT) overall is still caught between better confidence data but mixed results. Newmont Mining (NEM) reported a loss based on a write down of a single large mining project. However, the company's reserves increased by 5.6% and they're carrying the reserves at only $1,200 per ounce for gold. Nevertheless, as opposed to JCP, NEM got sold hard as gold prices were also weaker Friday which also negatively affected gold miners (GDX) overall.

The dollar was quite weak which is usually bullish for stocks (Industrial and Multinational) and gold. There remains some tentativeness regarding both. Remember commodities are priced in dollars, and a weaker dollar then feeds inflation. Apart from Iran, this is also affecting oil and ultimately prices at the pump. Also watch food prices and other "stuff" as the weak dollar makes costs higher no matter how authorities reconfigure/present the data.

Tech (QQQ, XLK) continues to keep markets propped higher especially due to Apple's (AAPL) heavy weighting. At some point this weighting could be a problem. After all outsized performance for one stock could mask weakness in markets overall.

Stocks limped to the finish line Friday and were rather uninspired by much of anything. Bond prices were a little higher and that's about it.

Volume remains in a new era--ultra-light whether on bullish or bearish trading days. Breadth per the WSJ was mixed overall.

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SPY - The SPDR® S&P 500® ETF is a fund that, before expenses, generally corresponds to the price and yield performance of the S&P 500 Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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IWM - The iShares Russell 2000 Index Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the small capitalization sector of the U.S. equity market as represented by the Russell 2000 Index. The index represents the approximately 2,000 smallest companies in the Russell 3000 Index.
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QQQ - PowerShares Capital Management LLC is passionate about our goal of delivering the highest quality investment management available through one of the more benefit-rich investment vehicles ever created, the exchange-traded fund. PowerShares QQQ¿, formerly known as "QQQ" or the "NASDAQ- 100 Index Tracking Stock®", is an exchange-traded fund based on the Nasdaq-100 Index®. The Fund will, under most circumstances, consists of all of stocks in the Index. The Index includes 100 of the largest domestic and international nonfinancial companies listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market based on market capitalization. The portfolio is rebalanced quarterly and reconstituted annually.
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