Groundhog Snoozer: Dave's Daily

Jobless Claims data was better than expected (367K vs previous 379K). Productivity (.7% vs. 1.9% previously) & Costs (1.2% vs -2.1% previously) was worse overall. Barely discussed, Challenger Job Cuts (53K January vs 41K December) were much worse and often this data will works its way into Friday's Employment Report.

Earnings overall were a mixed bag with early reports from Kellogg (K), Merck (MRK) and Macy's (M) being well-received while Dow Chemical (DOW), Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) and Ryder (R) disappointed. (All featured in U.S. Sector, Stocks & Bond ETFs below with linked ETFs, XLP, XLV, XRT, XLB and IYT). Earnings overall are mixed and many firms are guiding lower which doesn't seem to dissuade stock market bulls.

With the Facebook announcement from Wednesday other social media stocks like Groupon (GRPN), LinkedIn LNKD) and Zynga (ZNGA) all rallied sharply which are constituents in GlobalX Social Media ETF (SOCL also featured below in U.S. Sector, Stocks & Bond ETFs). I don't know about you, but if I hear or see another Facebook story I'll probably hurl.

Bernanke gave House Budget testimony Thursday reinforcing the Fed view that the pace of economic recovery is "frustratingly slow". And, he regurgitated his understanding of the Fed's primary twin mandate: maintaining stable prices and maximum employment. What would be the grade I wonder? (Ok, nevermind!) He stated the obvious regarding the housing market troubles and low historic consumer confidence. The bright spot came from business where capital spending is increasing (maybe overseas) and multinationals continue to do well (think McDonalds).

Meanwhile Bernanke repeated his concerns regarding the eurozone but offered the ECB seems to be getting its act together for a solution. He further indicated the Fed was ready to spring into action to help whatever that means. The Greek Drama continues as we await word on their settlement with private bondholders which has been repeatedly extended. (EZU, GREK featured in Overseas Sectors & ETFs).

Gold prices continued to rise no matter a modest rally in the dollar. It does strike some as odd U.S. stocks can rally along with gold prices as noted by Kitco's Jon Nadler. But, if the Fed remains in ZIRP and/or QE for long all asset prices will inflate with the exception of single family homes. While Bernanke won't admit to this easy monetary policies should lead to inflation. More than anything, the Fed fears a protracted Japanese deflationary experience.  Crude oil prices fell on continued demand concerns while copper prices continued a recent decline. (USO, GLD, JJC are featured in Currency & Commodity Market ETFs below)

Stocks finished a seesaw session without much change although tech continues to lead the way higher overall. Volume was very light and breadth remains positive leading us to very overbought conditions on an intermediate-term basis (See McClellan Summation Index toward the end)

 

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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

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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XLV - The Health Care Select Sector SPDR® Fund, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the Health Care Select Sector Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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XLP - The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR® Fund, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the Consumer Staples 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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XRT - The SPDR® S&P® Retail ETF seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before expenses, the total return performance of the S&P Retail Select Industry® Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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SOCL - The Solactive Social Media Index is designed to reflect the performance of companies involved in the social media industry, including companies that provide social networking, file sharing, and other web-based media applications.
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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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TIP - The iShares Barclays Treasury Inflation Protected Securities Bond Fund seeks results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the inflation-protected sector of the United States Treasury market as defined by the Barclays Capital U.S. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) Index (Series-L).
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MUB - The iShares S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Fund seeks results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the municipal bond sector of the United States as defined by the S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond 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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PPLT - ETFS Physical Platinum (PPLT) is designed to offer investors a simple, cost-efficient and secure way to access the precious metals market. PPLT is intended to provide investors with a return equivalent to movements in the platinum spot price less fees.
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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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DBC - The PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund (Fund) is based on the Deutsche Bank Liquid Commodity Index -- Optimum Yield Diversified Excess Return¿ (Index) and managed by DB Commodity Services LLC. The Index is a rules-based index composed of futures contracts on 14 of the most heavily-traded and important physical commodities in the world. You cannot invest directly in an index. Ordinary brokerage commissions apply.
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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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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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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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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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GREK - The Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the FTSE/ATHEX 20 Capped 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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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

Employment Report Friday.

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, 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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