Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Uncertain Sledding?

It was an uneventful day for the indices, with the DJIA managing a slight gain, while the other major indices suffered slight losses. There was a peculiar mix of action, with recent laggard AAPL showing relative strength, and a variety of more defensive stocks acting fairly well. Banks also helped to keep the losses contained thanks to strength in overseas names like CS, BCS, RBS and DB.

The negative action today was in steel, gold and basic materials. X reported a weak quarter, and AKS sold off as well, which killed the recent uptrend in steel. Retail also struggled, but the action I found was troubling was in technology names that reported some good numbers. A good example was VECO, which had an excellent report last night, but reversed hard and closed solidly in the red.

The selling today wasn't severe enough to kill the uptrend we've been enjoying since the July low, but there were a few cracks forming that we will have to watch. Earnings season is winding down, with mostly secondary stocks now reporting, so that driving force will no longer be a factor. The focus will shift more to macroeconomic issues, and there are plenty of potential landmines there.

The market has gone from oversold at the beginning of the month to overbought as it comes to an end, so we'll have to be increasingly nimble as we watch to see whether we can consolidate and go higher, or start the process of rolling back over.

long AAPL

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