Friday, December 11, 2009

Dullsville Again; No Catalysts

I'm going to try to avoid repeating myself, but there are only a limited a number of ways to convey how slow and dull the action has been this week. It has been an absolute snoozefest. By far, it has been the slowest week of the year.

That doesn't mean it is bad action. The major indices did manage to put some points on the board, but there sure wasn't much energy behind it. We had a lot of random action, with odd groups such as airlines and utilities leading at times, and, unsurprisingly, volume was quite light today and has been all week.

The biggest negative this week was that the U.S. dollar strengthened, and that put pressure on energy, commodities and gold. I was looking for that to trigger a rotation into some other groups, particularly technology, but it certainly has not been a smooth transition. Retailers, alumina and steel seemed to benefit the most this week, which is another odd mix. The strength in the dollar was overlooked to a great degree today, and, hopefully, that is an indication that we will be less sensitive to it going forward.

The big-cap tech names, AMZN, AAPL, PCLN, GOOG, etc., were a mixed bag this week. The group struggled today in a stronger market while they led yesterday. If we are going to have a run into the end of the year, I'm looking at these names to lead. These are the stocks that underperforming money managers are most likely to chase in an effort for some relative outperformance.

We are going to need something to take a leadership role if we are going to see a healthy Santa Claus rally. Airlines and utilities aren't going to do it....

The good news is that this slow action has helped to create some interesting charts. All we need now is a little spark to get them moving.....

long AAPL

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