Conflicting Reports Drive Market Choices: Dave's Daily

Bad news from Europe drove markets lower early despite better employment data within the U.S. The culprit in the eurozone remains the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) with Italy front and center. Unicredit one of Italy's largest lenders and banks saw its shares drop roughly 30% over the past two trading days. This affected all European market sectors which saw prices fall sharply. It also led the euro to decline 1.20% to a little over ¿127. Oddly, the previous bullish theme for U.S. stocks has been the combination of a weak dollar and strong stock markets. Also a weaker dollar was bullish for gold which was higher once again today. Are these relationships now shifting?

It seems too cynical to say but once the European markets were closed, U.S. stocks began to rally off their intraday lows to close mixed to higher on the day.

Investors embraced the better employment data from ADP (plus 325K jobs with many perhaps holiday seasonal) and Jobless Claims (372K vs prior revised higher "again" to 387K). Let's remember the data was from a shortened week and previous claims were adjusted higher as they have been previously 100% of the time. This makes headline improvements seem better right? Next week's report will also come from another shortened week. And, of course, Friday brings us the monthly Non-farm Payrolls report. The data in the U.S. has been improving glacially and bulls are quick to embrace it.

Also featured Thursday were results from retailers which were a mixed bag. Surprising disappointments were JCP (J.C. Penny) Kohl's (KSS), Gap (GPS), Target (TGT), American Eagle (AEO), Costco (COST) and so forth. Winners were Macy's (M), Ross Stores (ROST), TJX (TJX) and Zumiez (ZUMZ) whatever that is.

Technology was another winner Thursday led by Nokia (NOK) in the U.S. on Microsoft (MSFT) windows arrangement for handsets. Apple (AAPL) and Qualcomm (QCOM) remain big movers. 

Rumors that Obama would unveil a $1 trillion mortgage bailout got bank and financial stocks moving higher on Thursday. Is it just a rumor, a campaign stunt which would help his hated Wall Street 1% while helping the 99%? The whole concept is ludicrous but so has been everything else our central planners have conceived. Later per a source from Bloomberg: "The WH has no plan for mass home refinancing." A trial balloon perhaps?

Late breaking news is that Alcoa (AA), the first of the major companies to report earnings, preannounced a Q4 restructuring charges of 15-16 cents a share and a reduction of 12% of their smelting capacity. This isn't a bullish sign that's for sure.

Volume was light once again which is strange for this time of year when fund-flow from retirement plans should be significant. Breadth per the WSJ was once again positive.

 

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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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Continue to U.S. Sector, Stocks & Bond ETFs

XLK - The Technology Select Sector SPDR® Fund, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the Technology Select Sector Index (ticker: IXT). Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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KBE - The SPDR® S&P® Bank ETF, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the S&P® Banks Select Industry Index (ticker: SPSIBK). Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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XLF - The Financial Select Sector SPDR® Fund, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the Financial Select Sector Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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XLB - The Materials Select Sector SPDR® Fund, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the Materials Select Sector Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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TLT - The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund seeks to approximate the total rate of return of the long-term sector of the United States Treasury market as defined by the Barclays Capital U.S. 20+ Year Treasury Bond Index.
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EMB - The iShares JPMorgan USD Emerging Markets Bond Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the JPMorgan EMBI Global Core Index.
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Continue to Currency & Commodity Market ETFs

UUP - The PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish Fund (Symbol: UUP) is based on the Deutsche Bank Long US Dollar Index (USDX®) Futures Index¿ (DB Long USD Futures Index). The Index, which is managed by DB Commodity Services LLC, is a rules-based index composed solely of long USDX® futures contracts. The USDX® futures contract is designed to replicate the performance of being long the US Dollar against the following currencies: Euro, Japanese Yen, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, Swedish Krona and Swiss Franc.
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FXE - CurrencyShares Euro Trust is designed to track the price of the euro net of Trust expenses, which are expected to be paid from interest earned on the deposited euros.
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GLD - The objective of the SPDR® Gold Trust¿ is for the Shares to reflect the performance of the price of gold bullion, less the Trust's expenses.
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GDX - The Gold Miners ETF seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index. The Index provides exposure to publicly traded companies worldwide involved primarily in the mining for gold, representing a diversified blend of small-, mid- and large- capitalization stocks. As such, the Fund is subject to the risks of investing in this sector.
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SLV - The objective of the iShares Silver Trust is for the value of the shares of the iShares Silver Trust to reflect, at any given time, the price of silver owned by the iShares Silver Trust at that time, less the iShares Silver Trust's expenses and liabilities.
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JJC - The Dow Jones-UBS Copper Subindex Total ReturnService Mark is a sub-index of the Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Total ReturnService Mark and reflects the returns that are potentially available through an unleveraged investment in the futures contracts on physical commodities comprising the index plus the rate of interest that could be earned on cash collateral invested in specified Treasury Bills.
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DJP - The iPath® Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Total ReturnService Mark ETN is linked to the Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Total ReturnService Mark and reflects the returns that are potentially available through an unleveraged investment in the futures contracts on physical commodities comprising the index plus the rate of interest that could be earned on cash collateral invested in specified Treasury Bills. The commodities represented in the Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Total ReturnService Mark are rebalanced annually; however, the weightings fluctuate between rebalancings due to changes in market prices.
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USO - The United States Oil Fund, LP ("USO") is a domestic exchange traded security designed to track the movements of light, sweet crude oil ("West Texas Intermediate").
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UGA - The United States Gasoline Fund LP (UGA) is an exchange traded security that is designed to track in percentage terms the movements of gasoline prices.
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XLE - The Energy Select Sector SPDR® Fund, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the Energy Select Sector Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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DBA - The PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund is based on the Deutsche Bank Liquid Commodity Index Diversified Agriculture Excess Return¿ and managed by DB Commodity Services LLC. The Index is a rules-based index composed of futures contracts on some of the most liquid and widely traded agricultural commodities. The Index is intended to reflect the performance of the agricultural sector. You cannot invest directly in the Index. Ordinary brokerage commissions apply.
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Continue to Overseas Sectors & ETFs

EFA - The iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of publicly traded securities in the European, Australasian and Far Eastern markets, as measured by the MSCI EAFE Index.
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EZU - The iShares MSCI EMU Index Fund seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of publicly traded securities in the European Monetary Union (EMU) markets, as measured by the MSCI EMU Index.
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EEM - The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of publicly traded securities in emerging markets, as represented by the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
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EWI - The iShares MSCI Italy Index Fund seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of publicly traded securities in the Italian market, as measured by the MSCI Italy Index.
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EWG - The iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of publicly traded securities in the German market, as measured by the MSCI Germany Index.
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EWP - The iShares MSCI Spain Index Fund seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of publicly traded securities in the Spanish market, as measured by the MSCI Spain Index.
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EWQ - The iShares MSCI France Index Fund seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of publicly traded securities in the French market, as measured by the MSCI France Index.
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EWZ - The iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of publicly traded securities in the Brazilian market, as measured by the MSCI Brazil Index.
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RSX - The Russia ETF seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the DAXglobal® Russia+ Index. The Index provides exposure to publicly traded companies that are domiciled in Russia, and traded in Russia and/or on leading global exchanges. As such, the Fund is subject to the risks of investing in this country.
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EPI - WisdomTree India Earnings Fund seeks investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the WisdomTree India Earnings Index.
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FXI - The iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the FTSE China 25 Index.
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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.

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.

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

Friday is the Nonfarm Payrolls report and the consensus is for 150K jobs added with a range of estimates at 110K-200K. The Unemployment Rate is estimated at 8.7% with a range of estimates at 8.5%-8.8%.

Let's see what happens.

 

Disclaimer: The ETF Digest maintains active ETF trading portfolio and a wide selection of ETFs away from portfolios in an independent listing. Current positions if any are embedded within charts. Active Portfolios: No Positions. Our Lazy & Hedged Lazy Portfolios maintain the follow positions: VT, MGV, BND, BSV, VGT, VWO, VNO, IAU, DJCI, DJP, VMBS, VIG, ILF, EWA, IEV, EWC, EWJ, EWG, EWU, EWD, GXG, THD, AFK, BRAQ, CHIQ, TUR, & VNM.

 

 

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.

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