Bulls Keep January Ascent Intact: Dave's Daily

 

Eurozone news took markets lower early as Portugal's bond yields rose sharply and there still is no accord on Greek debt with private lenders. News from the eurozone remains gloomy as noted in this report from Davos World Economic Forum.

As far as U.S markets are concerned it's natural to suspect some end-of-month window dressing. U.S. stocks began to rally off triple digit DJIA lows led primarily by technology after Europe closed (funny how that happens). Burlington Northern stated the economy was growing slowly and they were adding employees and railroad cars to meet perceived demand. This helped stimulate stocks overall even though it was little help to the transport sector (IYT) which closed the day down .43%.

In housing market news was this eye-opening story that Freddie Mac was betting big time against its own customers. Or, as the story headline goes, " When Homeowners Lose, Freddie Mac Wins". Betting against your own customers isn't anything new on Wall Street, something begun by then Goldman Sachs CEO Robert Rubin in the 90s. But for the government to do so states the obvious conflict. Also in the news was the government has increased loss projections for the auto bailout to $27 billion. It makes you wonder if just letting them go bankrupt would have been a better policy. Would it have been likely foreign auto companies would have taken over these plants and brands on the cheap? Would laid-off workers special unemployment benefits been less costly to the taxpayers? These are questions worth asking even with hindsight.

The following chart, even though it measures a different relationship, seems odd since I remember overlaying the gold price over sharply rising single family home prices in 1983. The trends were the same then from that measurement.

Other stories of note included a story from the WSJ that MF Global missing funds appear to be gone and that banks were still hesitant to lend. These stories hardly seem bullish.

Economic data Monday featured Personal Income & Outlay data which came in near expectations. The negative component was consumer spending was lower. Gold prices were also lower early but saw some steady buying to close half the day's minor losses. The euro also shaved half its early losses against the dollar currently down about .50% on the day. Oil prices fell on both higher supply and a stronger dollar while bond prices continued their upward price movement into ultra-thin air.

Volume picked up some although most of it was on the sell-side early. Breadth per the WSJ was mildly negative overall.

   

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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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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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SOXX - The iShares PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector Index Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of U.S.-listed semiconductor stocks as represented by the PHLX Semiconductor Sector Index ("the Index").
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IBB - The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of companies primarily engaged in the biotechnology industry, as represented by the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index.
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FDN -  The First Trust Dow Jones Internet IndexSM Fund is an exchange-traded index fund. The investment objective of the fund is to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield of the Dow Jones Internet IndexSM. For a stock to be included in the selection universe for the index, a company must generate at least 50% of its annual sales/revenues from the Internet.
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IYT - The iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Index Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of Dow Jones Transportation Average Index.
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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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XLI - The Industrial Select Sector SPDR® Fund, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the Industrial Select Sector Index. 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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IYR - The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the real estate sector of the U.S. equity market, as represented by the Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index.
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XLY - The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR® Fund, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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XLU - The Utilities Select Sector SPDR® Fund, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the Utilities Select Sector Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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IEF - The iShares Barclays 7-10 Year Treasury Bond Fund seeks to approximate the total rate of return of the intermediate-term sector of the United States Treasury market as defined by the Barclays Capital U.S. 7-10 Year Treasury Bond Index.
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HYG - The iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the iBoxx $ Liquid High Yield Index, a corporate bond market index compiled by the International Index Company Limited.
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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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UNG - The United States Natural Gas Fund LP (UNG) is an exchange traded security that is designed to track in percentage terms the movements of natural gas 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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JJG - The Dow Jones-UBS Grains 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. The Index is currently composed of three futures contracts on grains traded on U.S. exchanges.
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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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EWJ - The iShares MSCI Japan 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 Japanese market, as measured by the MSCI Japan 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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EWU - The iShares MSCI United Kingdom 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 British market, as measured by the MSCI United Kingdom 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

We're heading toward some window-dressing as January is fixed to be a great performing month. Headline writers are getting ready to release some seductive phrases no doubt. But light volume remains the Achilles Heel for this market making it accident prone. And, there are plenty of possible accidents on the horizon.

This week has plenty of earnings and economic data that can push markets one way or another.

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: QQQ, XLK, IBB, VT, MGV, BND, BSV, VGT, VWO, VNO, IAU, DJCI, DJP, VMBS, VIG, ILF, EWA, IEV, EWC, EWJ, EWG, & EWU.

 

 

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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