Holding Pattern Continues As Market Awaits New Year

Thursday, December 30, 2010
Stock Market Commentary:

The recent tight trading range continued on the major averages with only one trading day left in 2010. Heretofore, market internals remain healthy evidenced by broad leadership, favorable volume patterns, a rising advance/decline line, and a healthy number of new highs on both major exchanges.

Economic Data Is Strong:

Before Thursday’s open, the Labor Department said weekly jobless claims fell to the lowest level since July 2008 which was a healthy sign for the ailing jobs market. Last week, jobless claims fell by -34,000 to 388,000, lower than the median forecast of 415,000 according to Bloomberg News. After the open, the Chicago PMI topped estimates and rose to 68.6 which bodes well for the ongoing economic recovery.

At 10 AM EST, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said their pending home sales index topped estimates and rose +3.5% to 92.2 from a downwardly revised 89.1 in October. Pending home sales indicate pending contracts that have yet to be closed. The market barely budged on the news which reiterates our thesis that the major averages are in a tight holding pattern until 2011. Normally, the stock market serves as a great leading indicator and a discounting mechanism for the economy. However, the recent 4-month rally in the major averages suggests the economy will continue to improve in the first half of 2011 and, barring some unforeseen event, the risk of a double dip recession is off the table.

Market Action- Market In Confirmed Rally Week 18

It is encouraging to see the bulls show up in November and defend the 50 DMA lines for the major averages. The market remains in a confirmed rally until those levels are breached. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite and small-cap Russell 2000 indexes continue to lead evidenced by their shallow correction and strong recovery. However, it is important to note that stocks are a bit extended here and a pullback of some sort (back to the 50 DMA lines) would do wonders to restore the health of this bull market. Put simply, stocks are strong. Trade accordingly. If you are looking for specific high ranked ideas, please contact us for more information.

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