Non-farm payrolls came in higher than analysts' forecasts and the unemployment rate fell to 8.8%. That good news sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a new 2011 high. At midday the Dow was up 78 points to 12,397 -- as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Except for a brief sell-off to the 11,500 level, the market has moved quickly to regain lost ground and is now at new highs. Last week the USDA's crop report was bullish for grains. It's not surprising that Caterpillar (CAT) led the charge, up 1.7%. But there are always some losers. Office Depot (ODP) fell 11% after reporting a fourth quarter loss and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (KKD), which also had a fourth quarter loss, fell 17%.
Continue reading Dow Hits New 2011 High: What's Next?
While the U.S. exchanges have a diverse market for mining and resource stocks, the fact is that there are large opportunities in foreign markets. In fact, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the Canadian TMX Group have agreed to merge, which would create an enormous market for commodities listings.
It is an all-stock deal, with the LSE holders getting roughly 55% of the equity. The exchange's CEO, Xavier Rolet, will also lead the new organization.
Continue reading London, Toronto Exchanges to Create a Mining Powerhouse
The tug-of-war between the U.S. stock market's bulls and bears continues, and the next demarcation line appears to be the psychologically-significant Dow 12,000 level.
The market's bulls argue that the worst financial and economic news is behind us, and that the Dow's recent rise from about the 9,500 level in July to near 12,000
this winter is a signal by institutional investors that better days are ahead.
Continue reading Dow 12,000: Pit Stop or Market Top?
The past year was spectacular for tech stocks. But this is a new year. Are we going to see the same dynamics? The same gains? Those are the questions analysts are pondering.
First off we have the technicians.
They use indexes, charts, graphs and other technical tools to make their calls on the market. One favorite index is the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index, dubbed SOX. It often is a leading indicator for where tech stocks are headed. For the past month, the index has stayed near the 420 level. That has become the overhead resistance point. Technicians argue that the 420 to 422 level must be breached and the market hold above that level for the rally to continue. Otherwise we could see a pull back.
Continue reading Should We Be Wary of Tech Stocks?
Barron's is forecasting a 10% rise in stock prices in 2011 led by big cap stocks. They argue that the big caps have lagged the market for the past decade and are now poised to take the lead, as reported by CNBC.com.
Here are their top ten picks for this year: Exxon Mobil (XOM), Walmart (WMT), Pfizer (PFE), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), General Motors (GM), Cisco Systems (CSCO), United Continental Holdings (UAL), Barrack Gold (ABX), Entergy (ETR), and PepsiCo (PEP).
Continue reading Barron's Forecasts 10% Higher Stock Market in 2011
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has an indicator that tracks the number of people who simply quit their jobs. CNBC.com reported that the indicator, which they dubbed "Take This Job and Shove It," climbed in October with 2 million people quitting their jobs, up from 1.7 million in the same month a year ago. The last time this pattern occurred was in 2003 when the economy started a long upward trend.
The "Shove It" indicator tends to turn up when people are confident enough that they will find another job if they quit their present one.
Continue reading More People Are Quitting Their Jobs
We have hundreds of indexes tracking everything that wiggles or moves. We are constantly searching for direction. Where is the market headed? Where is the economy going? Are we still in a recession? Will we see more growth next year? And on and on we go.
Well, here's a unique index -- two indexes in fact -- that track unusual products. The Commodity Research Bureau's raw industrials spot index, which includes print cloth, rosin and wool tops, soared to an all-time high last week, as reported in the Wall Street Journal. The Journal of Commerce/Economic Cycle Research Institute industrial price index, which tracks industrial metals, cotton, hides and tallow, hit a 2010 high last Friday -- just shy of its 2008 peak.
Continue reading What Is the Bull Market in Burlap Telling Us?
You can't blame investors for being a little perplexed regarding the U.S. stock market right now.
The market's bulls argue the worst financial and economic news is behind us, and that the Dow's recent rise from about the 9,500 level in July to above 11,000 early this autumn is a signal by institutional investors that better days are ahead.
Continue reading Is Dow 11,000 Sending a False Signal to Investors?
After nearly five months, federal regulators have been able to dissect the events of May 6, the day when the Dow plunged almost 1,000 points.
A joint report issued by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pieced together that day's events and came up with this finding, as reported in the Wall Street Journal. A computerized trading program run by a Waddell & Reed trader automatically sold 35,000 e-mini S&P contracts. These contracts mirror the larger S&P contracts. The trader's program was triggered at 9% of the trade volume.
Continue reading Flash Crash Report: What Really Happened?
After Friday's trading action pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average
198 points higher to 10,860, investors who have not participated in the rally may find themselves in a predicament. If the month of September has not been bad enough for bears and fence-sitters, Friday may have been the day that broke the camel's back. If you are either bearish, or still a sideline observer at this point, things are starting to get a little out of hand.
What to do? It is a conundrum. The Fed is basically saying that it will do whatever it takes
to get the economy growing and the stock market higher, even if this means significantly devaluing the currency. But most retail investors are sick and tired of getting burned and just want to hang onto what they have. Fed or no Fed, there are still plenty of risks out there to keep investors up at night.
Continue reading Think This Rally Is for Real? Use ETFs to Go Long
EPFR Global tracks money flows worldwide. In a Bloomberg article, here are their latest numbers:
- Investors pulled $7.1 billion from stock funds worldwide in the week Aug 25.
- They put $5.2 billion into bonds.
- European equity funds reported net outflows of $15.7 billion
- Global emerging market funds took in $333 million.
- Dollar bonds in developing nations returned 13% this year.Global bonds could surpass last year's record inflow of $47 billion.
Continue reading Investors Are Switching from Stocks to Emerging Bonds
I have always felt that for all the blabbing we do -- or blogging, in my case -- we should try as best we can to be accountable for our good and bad calls. This report is long overdue, but I will post it anyway since all of my past year's picks and results have been made public.
The market was very harsh in the early part of 2009, filling investors fear and trepidation, and sinking to a March 9, 2009 bottom. Perhaps some of the bleeding has stopped, but the economy has not healed as bears and bulls seem to carry the day, or every other day.
Continue reading Chasing Value™: 2009 Results Crushed the S&P 500
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