Stocks ended the quarter with a whimper. Bulls were able to "stick" a good return and portfolio managers will earn their bonuses.
Most news surrounded rising commodity prices (grains and energy--you know, the stuff we don't measure and are supposed to ignore), a
from WMT and the Buffett compliance breakdown.
Meanwhile Minneapolis Fed President
cautioned interest rates will be higher by the end of the year. He's far off team talking points it seems--or, is he?
Nevertheless, all eyes are focused on Non-farm Payrolls report set for Friday.
Volume again was ultra-light as it's been all week so those that can prop it had a field day. Per the WSJ breadth remains positive. This will push the $NYMO (see end of posting) close to short-term overbought conditions.
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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
Given what's going on with food and energy, the Fed should be very worried. Some jawboning is taking place and you can count on more of this as Fed Gov. Dudley makes a speech. Bernanke is also scheduled to commence his quarterly news conferences. If there are some intelligent reporters there (away from the National Inquirer or something) maybe some intelligent questions will be asked.
But, no matter, you can rest assured Bernanke will use this opportunity to jawbone markets his way and defend his policies. I would imagine focus groups are convened and working around the clock on good "talking points". Why should politicians only have those, right?
On tap Friday is the always much anticipated unemployment report.
Let's see what happens.
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Dave Fry is founder and publisher of
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