Thursday, October 7, 2010

Volatility Ahead Of The Jobs Report

The good news today was that many of the high-momentum stocks that were clobbered yesterday bounced back after a further dip this morning. We had a roller-coaster day with the opening gap up being sold aggressively but an afternoon bounce that kept losses small.

Breadth wasn't a bit weak, with most major sectors showing minor losses. Semiconductors led to the upside, but gold, oil and commodities names were under pressure. There were some pockets of positive action in retail, but the heavyweights in the group offset the likes of ANF and AEO.

The S&P 500 did manage to hold the 1150 area after a near test, and that is a positive sign. Overall, it was just quite a bit of churning and back-and-forth action as we await the jobs numbers in the morning. Once we are past that, we can start to focus more on third-quarter earnings, which should make for much more interesting trading.

We will need to be especially carefully tomorrow on the jobs numbers. Not only do we have the usual difficulty of trying to determine expectations, we have the added possibility that bad numbers may be a market positive and good numbers may be a negative.

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