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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