Bernanke did what a lot of people expected him to do -- speak softly but carry a big printing press. After being down nearly 200 points the DJIA rallied to close higher by 135 points. Pundits shrugged embracing the idea if something was really wrong Bernanke would have acted; besides, bulls' reasoned stocks are cheap based on trailing PEs of around 12. Away from that was more crummy economic news with GDP printing at only 1% growth. This may be revised lower again like most other indicators of late.
In the end, Bernanke said the Fed has the tools to do something to stimulate the economy but will wait for now. This implies another two-day discussion later next month with another announcement on Sept. 20. This allows the financial media to sell more soap pending this announcement or the next which incidentally will come next Friday with the unemployment report.
Elsewhere gold recovered mightily from the previously engineered bear raid. At the same time, the dollar fell erratically against other currencies and commodities overall rose. Bonds rose slightly.
Leading markets higher were tech stocks including Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT) and International Business Machines (IBM). Also higher on the day was Consumer Discretionary stocks with Tiffany (TIF) a strong leader demonstrating which group in the country has that kind of purchasing power.
Volume remains high for a late period in August. This may change some as hurricane Irene rolls through with some disruptions. Breadth per the WSJ was quite positive.
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is a market breadth indicator that is based on the difference between the number of advancing and declining issues on the NYSE. When readings are +60/-60 markets are extended short-term.
McClellan Summation Index
is a long-term version of the McClellan Oscillator. It is a market breadth indicator, and interpretation is similar to that of the McClellan Oscillator, except that it is more suited to major trends. I believe readings of +1000/-1000 reveal markets as much extended.
is a widely used measure of market risk and is often referred to as the "investor fear gauge". Our own interpretation is highlighted in the chart above. The VIX measures the level of put option activity over a 30-day period. Greater buying of put options (protection) causes the index to rise.
Continue to Concluding Remarks
Is Ben a man of mystery? It appears the bulls got just what they wanted--the threat of more QE without actually doing anything. Notwithstanding the jobs report coming next Friday, we'll have until September 20
to build more tensions into the investment game.
Economic data was poor today and as I tweeted early in the day perhaps the previous meme has changed to: "Bad news is good, good news is better and NO NEWS IS GREAT!"
Barring any unforeseen events markets should be calmer this coming week as many on the street need a break and then there's Irene to maybe slow things down.
Let's see what happens.
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Dave Fry is founder and publisher of
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