Thursday, December 17, 2009

This Market Lacks "Leadership," But What Will It Look Like Without An Endless Supply Of Bank Stock Being Offered?

US equity markets were lower, with the DJIA, S&P, and NASDAQ down 1.27%, 1.25%, and 1.18%, respectively. European markets were lower as the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 ended down 1.2%. Asian equities are likely to open down today as Asian ADRs were lower during the North American trading day. Nikkei futures point to a down open for Japan and the firmer yen should hurt exporters.....

For the last couple weeks I've been complaining that although the indices were holding up well, there just wasn't much energy or leadership. The action wasn't bad, it was just slow and a bit random.

With the bulls acting so lethargic, maybe the bears could generate some better action if they had an opportunity. The bears got their opportunity this morning on weak demand for the C secondary, poor earnings from FDX, worse-than-expected weekly unemployment claims and a strong dollar. There were plenty of negatives for the bears to work with, but they didn't really press too hard either. We did end up closing near the lows of the day, but there wasn't any real panic, other than maybe in some precious-metals stocks.

Breadth was poor, with about 1,600 gainers to 4,200 decliners, and NYSE volume picked up quite a bit due to the very heavy trading in Citigroup shares, but Nasdaq volume was light. The worst action came in the big money-center banks, but there also continues to be pressure on popular names such as AAPL and AMZN that many were looking to as leadership into the end of the year.

With the drop today, the S&P 500 is right in the middle of the trading range we have been in for over a month and near the highs we hit back in October. The chart is still in OK shape, and there isn't any reason to be overly negative. We'd have to break 1085 or so to really do some technical damage.....

After the close, we have some good earnings reports from RIMM and ORCL, so it looks like we aren't in an immediate danger of a technical breakdown. I just hope that we see a little more excitement and energy in one direction or the other. This has been a very boring market lately, and the least Santa could do is give us a couple hot sectors to play with during the holidays......

long AAPL

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