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STRUGGLING TO THE FINISH LINE

Most economic news today (Jobless Claims, Chicago PMI and Home Sales) was, ahem, "better than expected"; still, that didn't spark any determined buying. Maybe without any POMO Thursday trading desks were running on empty.

2010 was an interesting year with lots of erratic behavior but a Fed "stick save" in the end. Flash Crashes, elections, tax issues, spending, unemployment, POMO and home prices were all center stage. Now you're probably expecting some sort of forecast from your humble pundit, but alas, all I can offer are three basic tenets to follow:

"The best laid schemes of mice and men go often askew."

--

Robert Burns

Or, if you prefer:

"The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry"

--

John Steinbeck

"If you must forecast, forecast often."

--

Economist Edgar Fiedler (ETF Digest Sacred Cow IX)

"Things change"

--

ETF Digest Sacred Cow X

You were expecting Dow 20,000?!?

Volume Thursday did improve a tad and breadth was flat.

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Continue to U.S. Sectors, Stocks & Bonds

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Continue to Currency & Commodity Markets

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Continue to Overseas Markets & ETFs

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The

NYMO

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.

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The

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.

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The

VIX

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

Yes, this post is short since markets offer little to comment on. So let's just wrap this up and wish you all a Happy New Year! I doubt there will be a posting Friday.

Let's see what happens. You can follow our pithy comments on

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Disclaimer: Among other issues the ETF Digest maintains positions in: SPY, MDY, IWM, QQQQ, XLB, XLI, XLF, DBC, IAU, GLD, SLV, DBB, USL, DBA, EFA, EEM, EWZ & FXI.

The charts and comments are only the author's view of market activity and aren't recommendations to buy or sell any security.  Market sectors and related ETFs are selected based on his opinion as to their importance in providing the viewer a comprehensive summary of market conditions for the featured period.  Chart annotations aren't predictive of any future market action rather they only demonstrate the author's opinion as to a range of possibilities going forward. More detailed information, including actionable alerts, are available to subscribers at

www.etfdigest.com

.

This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

Dave Fry is founder and publisher of

ETF Digest

, Dave's Daily blog and the best-selling book author of

Create Your Own ETF Hedge Fund, A DIY Strategy for Private Wealth Management

, published by Wiley Finance in 2008. A detailed bio is here:

Dave Fry.