Sunday, January 01, 2012

Predictions? Europe Will Remain an Issue


- Lackluster session then late selling send SP500 negative for 2011.
- DJ30 and SP600 face new year trying to lead a continuation of the rally.
- Earnings can keep the upside move alive, then kill it as investors ask 'is that all?'
- Predictions? Europe will remain an issue, North Korea and Iran are more trouble, no real US rally despite election year, more economic issues, blah blah, blah. Watch the market, be aware of history, and take what the market gives.

Lackluster session keeps SP500 flat for 2011, belies the year that was.

There is not a lot to say about the Friday session. It was very quiet, and futures were up modestly. Stocks started higher but faded, and they were never able to recapture any excitement. Looking at the SPY chart, it was trending to the downside all session. It was not a completely steady trend; things in the afternoon got quite volatile with a couple of very strong selloffs. There was a recovery the last hour off of that sharp, mid-afternoon selloff that sent the indices to session lows. In the last few minutes of trading, however, programs came in and sold the market. The effect was to push the SP500 negative by 0.04 for 2011.

SP500 had been coasting all day in positive territory for the year, albeit a weak positive gain. It was thrown away in the last minute, but it did not really matter as it finished flat on the year. What does matter is how stocks trade during the year. It was that bounce up and down. There was the initial trading range through mid year, the selloff, the second trading range, and then the recovery that made us the money. You get money from the moves and not from flatlining. We did have movement even though the year ended flat overall.

The Dow did finish upside on the year. Looking back to December 31, the Dow was near 11600 but closed at 12200. Around a 600 point gain. Nothing dramatic, but it was to the upside. Dow was obviously a relative outperformer for the year. The SP600 came on late in the year, and it finished lower for the year. It ended 2010 at 415.73 and it closed at 415.10. It, too, was down for the year, but it was the movement in the year that makes the difference for us.

This is one of those years were they look back and say that the stock market did nothing for people. They will say it has not done anything for the last 10 to eleven years, but that is not true. If you buy one thing and hold it forever, that would be the case, but that is not what happens in the real world of stock trading and investing at least not these days. It is incorrect to say (as some of our politicians like to) that stocks are inherently bad and risky for those looking for retirement. That is why we never changed Social Security.

Fortunately or unfortunately, that will have to change regardless of your views; we simply cannot afford the system as it is. But that is another story that we will have to fight over in 2012, just as we have tried to fight it in 2011 and 2010. Of course nothing has been done. In an election year, of course, still nothing will be done. We have to look to 2013 before anything serious can be addressed with respect to this issue.

It was a day highlighted by the usual year-end predictions for the coming year. You know my belief on that. It is a fool's errand to try predicting what will happen with enough specificity to invest by it. As I talked about on Thursday, there were events in 2011 that no one could have predicted. There was the Japanese earthquake and subsequent tsunami and its impact on Japan and the rest of the world. The U.S. economy came to a near standstill after that natural disaster, waiting to see how severe things were. We also had the debt crisis and the debate in September that acted to stymie the U.S. economy as well. There were no predictions with respect to those, and those are the kinds of things that make the difference in any year, particularly in investing.

I will talk more about my predictions when we get to the wrap up and look ahead to next week. I do have a few things to throw out, but nothing as earth-shaking as a comet striking the U.S. or anything like that. It is all common sense to anyone who looks at the headlines, knows a little history, and who has spent a bit of time investing.

SP500, -0.43%; NASDAQ, -0.33%; Dow, -0.57%; SP600, -0.94%; SOX, -0.41%.

It was down across the board except for the Dow. Again, it was the relative-strength performer. It really came into its own late in the year, showing it was the relative strength leader as NASDAQ the index that tried to lead starting the last quarter of 2010 faded and became a laggard to close out the year.


Dollar. 1.2940 versus 1.2981 euro. The dollar managed a modest gain on the year. It traded sharply lower and then had to recover off of the April and May lows to post that gain. It was a solid recovery. Much to the chagrin of the Treasury, the Fed, and probably the Obama administration, the dollar has firmed as the European markets have come under more and more pressure. As the dollar firmed, gold sold off for a variety of reasons. One of them lately being the dollar strength not requiring people running to the safety of gold. That is a tenuous argument, but it is one of the reasons that saw gold weaken at the end of the year.

Bonds. 1.88% versus 1.90% 10 year U.S. Treasury. Bonds rallied on the session. Bonds started the year with the 10 year over 3%. Many predicted that the bond bull market was over. Bill Gross was one of them, and he came back later in the year and said he was wrong. It surprised many people because it was anticipated that the U.S. economy would recover in 2011. It looked better at the end of 2010, but then it fell back into its old habits and sold. And it sold and Europe sold, the bond market strengthened. U.S. bonds were much more attractive given what was out in the rest of the world. Even China was having trouble slowing down in 2011. Early until the year it was restricting reserves and forcing banks to require more collateral and reserves for lending. Now it has done the opposite because, as usual, central banks are wrong in their guesstimates of what will happen and they overshot. Now they are panicking and trying to head the other way. All that does is make U.S. bonds look better.

Gold. 1,567.80, +26.90. Gold sold off at the end of the year after a tremendous rally up through August, but it was up 10% for the year. On Friday gold reversed early losses and posted a nice gain. It is a nice reversal for the yellow metal, and it roared back. What will happen? As noted, gold was up 10% for the year. Commodities overall were down 8.3%. That was after a 17% gain in 2010. Commodities could be under pressure again in 2012. Gold will most likely sell more as will silver (down for the year) in 2012. Much of the selling at the end of the year was due to margin calls and people having to raise cash. As the U.S. economy looked to be improving, there was also less need to run to gold to hedge against any downside in the U.S. as well as other places, such as China and Europe. Gold suffered. It is likely to suffer even more, and I think we will get a buy point in gold in 2012. It just will not be at the first of the year.

Oil. 98.83, -0.81. Oil was off for the session. Oil has rallied nicely through the late spring, sold off on the European worries and has now recovered. There are still European issues, but the U.S. looks better and that has helped bolster the price of oil. It is something of a paradox. You have a mostly weak world when it comes to economics, but oil is holding near 100. It is having trouble getting over the 103 level, and there is significant resistance from prior peaks in this range. It is not a surprise that it is moving laterally after a very nice October to November run. It is having something of a difficult time moving through. We will see if it can make the break. There is a little ABCD pattern, and it has bounced off of that.

It will be very interesting to see what happens in 2012. If Iran does something insane, oil will become "gold" and leap to the upside. We will see how that plays out. Again, that is one of those predictions. You can make educated guesses, but as for investing, what if it does not happen? You could face the other side of the coin. Let the market tell you what it will do, and then take what it is giving. That is our motto. We avoid making grand predictions and becoming invested in making grand predictions. If they do not come true, you either panic because you are in the wrong positions and need to get out of them (investing on emotion at that point). Or you do not do anything if it does not work your way, and then you are stymied. In that case, you cannot see the market moving and make money off of that move regardless of whether it is where you thought it would go or not. That is what you need to do to be a good investor and trader today. You have to look at the market and take what it gives. That has been our motto for years, and it is even more apropos in the current market climate.


Volume. +2.25% NASDAQ; +2.1% NYSE. For two out of three days, we had volume increase on the downside. That shows there are a bit more sellers in the market, but on very low volume.

Breadth. -1.1:1 NASDAQ; -1.1:1, NYSE. Breadth was not really worth discussing.


I will talk more about trends than specifics, but there are a few specific points to note.

SP500. SP500 closed fractionally lower for the year. It remains in an end of year uptrend, trying to break from this overall trading range that saw a peak back in April and in July. That was the top of this run, and it has been trying to recover ever since. It has been burdened by the problems coming out of Europe, even though the U.S. economic data has improved over the past four months.

We see the trading range, the break higher, and now a pair of higher lows and a higher high (that could not quite hold) trying to produce the next move to the upside. That can get it into this trading range toward the April and July peaks to end the rally, so to speak. Then it could move up in January, play around in that range for awhile, and then likely run out of gas and fall.

DJ30. The Dow is very interesting. It has been the relative strength leader in the market after NASDAQ abdicated that role in Q4. The Dow managed a pair of higher lows off of the October low which marked the bottom of the selling for now. And it made a nominally higher high as well. Very key moves. Higher lows and a higher high are always important. That opens it up to play in that upper trading range toward the April peak at 12,876. The Dow closed at 12,217, so it has room to play to the upside.

I want to draw your attention to another aspect. In August, the 50 day EMA crossed through and below the 200 day EMA. That was after the initial selloff, and it acts as something of a confirmation. The market struggled after that. It ultimately did recover, and it has been in this current return of the rally. Now the 50 day EMA is on the verge of crossing back up through the 200 day EMA. Whereas the cross below or down through the 200 day EMA is called the "death cross," a cross back to the upside is called the "golden cross." It is supposed to bring gold, it is a good thing, etc. As with the selloff in July and August, it had already occurred when the cross took place. Just as this rebound has started to occur as the cross is getting ready to take place. In theory it produces more of an upside. It produced hardly any significant further downside after the cross in August.

Take that for what it is worth. It is a good indication of a trend, but it is not a guarantee that that trend will continue to build upon itself. There are many people making statements about this as far as predictions for 2012. Again, look what happened when the death cross occurred. There was not much death here just a trading range and it broke back to the upside. The Dow is posting a leadership role moving into 2012. That is very good. It was leading to the upside and did a large part of the heavy lifting in carrying NASDAQ upside in that late 2011 rally.

NASDAQ. NASDAQ is not looking as strong, but it still has improvement in progress. It is still mostly in the clutches of that August-October trading range, or "the eurozone" as I like to call it. It has put in a pair of higher lows. It has yet to put in a higher high. That is what we are waiting for. It is in good position, sliding laterally this past week along the 50 day EMA. That puts it where it can produce a bounce to the upside.

It is following rather than leading. But as I noted last night, following the Dow and the SP600 is good enough for now. Remember, we want them to get up in that April-July trading range, move up a bit more, and make us money on our current upside plays. That is really all we are looking for.

SP600. The small caps fell almost 1% on the session, but that put them simply back at the 200 day EMA. Still in position to run higher. SP600 made a pair of higher lows and a nominal higher high. They faded back, unable to hold that move over the October peak. It is in excellent position to make the break to the upside and continue that move. Again, as with the other indices, that would put in this playground from April into July. The July peak for SP600 is at 462, and the index closed at 415. That gives it plenty of room to play and run to the upside. It is in good position to begin that move for the start of the year.

Remember, small caps and the first of the year tend to go together. Why? The theory is that the big money funds pick up the small caps because they have the greatest potential for percentage returns. They like to have them in the portfolio and grab the gains they make during the year. It starts in January, they buy them and it pushes them higher. Then whether they move up or not is problematic based on the economic activity, of course. We know that the market takes that economic activity into account months before it is anticipated to show itself. The small caps are helping lead the market higher along with the Dow, and that is a positive for the market overall if it can hold this move and continue with a break to the upside to a new higher high.

SOX. SOX was down 0.4%. It is very similar to NASDAQ, still struggling in that eurozone range. It is below the 50 day EMA, working laterally and trying to get a little steam up to make a break higher. It does not have the series of higher lows, it does not have the strength of the other indices. Maybe it will be a follower such as NASDAQ, which would be a positive for more upside. But it could be the problem that turns the market pack down as it did in November. We will see. My prediction (and it is only through January) is that the market continues higher as the SOX follows along the SP500, the Dow, and the small caps. Then when earnings come in, we start to have a giveback of any breakout to the upside. That is when we have to deal with the reality of 2012.


I will be speaking in broad terms on leadership.

There are groups that have performed well. When there is trouble, utilities do perform better. They were one of the leadership groups in 2011. On the other hand, financials were down 17%. They were the anti-leaders. Stocks from small business service companies such as HMSY were performing very well, helping out. There were semiconductors that performed quite nicely despite the overall laggard nature of the chips. SIMO posted a very nice upside gain.

There is some retail still in position to move higher after having already moved up during the year. RL could break higher from a downward-pointing wedge. TJX is continuing its upside move. HD continues to look solid to the upside. CMG is still working higher inside of its channel. Retail of various shapes is performing quite nicely even while some sectors inside of retail are struggling. DECK continued to the downside on Friday, landing us a very nice gain on our downside play.

Which sectors will lead in 2012? We will see what the market tells us. We have sectors setting up nicely to move higher that have been moving up and are set up. We have been taking advantage of those. Those would include some of the drugs stocks, medical appliances, small business stocks, and the software stocks. We have been taking positions in those as well as retail. We have been taking positions in those because that is what is setting up. What will set up at the end of the year? I do not know. I will say we will probably get a good buy in gold later in the year. Just not right now.

As always, we will watch the sectors and see what the money is moving into and out of. We will play those to the upside and downside, respectively.



VIX: 23.4; +0.75
VXN: 23.13; +0.06
VXO: 22.98; +1.03

Put/Call Ratio (CBOE): 0.87; -0.23

Bulls versus Bears:

This is a reading of the number of bullish investment advisors versus bearish advisors. The reason you look at this is that it gives you an idea of how bullish investors are. If they are too bullish then everyone is in the market and it is heading for a top: if everyone wants to be in the market, then all the money is in and there is no more new cash to drive it higher. On the other side of the spectrum if there are a lot of bears then there is a lot of cash on the sideline, and as the market rallies it drags that cash in as the bears give in. That cash provides the market the fuel to move higher. If bears are low it is the same as a lot of bulls: everyone is in and the market does not have the cash to drive it higher.

Bulls: 50.5% versus 45.3%. After a drop the bulls charged with a big jump over 50. This is starting to get into the overdone range and could be part of the picture that tops out the current in January. 35% is the threshold measuring bullish versus bearish action. Six weeks the bulls were below bears. A powerful sentiment signal but now dissipating. Highs from April and December (60% readings spanning December through early May 2011). The 5 year high is 62.0. The crossover level at 29% bulls from July 2010 is long gone. 35% is the threshold level suggesting bullishness. To be seriously bearish it needs to get up to the 60% to 65% level.

Bears: 29.5% versus 30.5%. Bears are not really buying into the bullish scenario. Down but at the level hit three weeks back. The average the past month is 30%. The index spent seven weeks over the 35% threshold considered a bullish indicator. For more reference, bearishness hit a 5 year high at 54.4% the last week of October 2008. The move over 50 took bearish sentiment to its highest level since 1995. Extreme negative sentiment. Prior levels for comparison: Bearishness peaked at 37.4% in September 2007. It topped the June 2006 peak (36%) on that run. That June peak eclipsed the March 2006 high (33%) and well above the 2005 highs that spawned new rallies (30% in May 2005, 29.2% in October 2005). That was a huge turn, unlike any seen in recent history.


Stats: -8.59 points (-0.33%) to close at 2605.15
Volume: 1.042B (+2.26%)

Up Volume: 375.29M (-462.24M)
Down Volume: 623.84M (+462.72M)

A/D and Hi/Lo: Decliners led 1.17 to 1
Previous Session: Advancers led 2.56 to 1

New Highs: 34 (+1)
New Lows: 60 (-15)


Stats: -5.42 points (-0.43%) to close at 1257.6
NYSE Volume: 483M (+2.11%)

Up Volume: 1.03B (-1.01B)
Down Volume: 1.19B (+990.61M)

A/D and Hi/Lo: Decliners led 1.1 to 1
Previous Session: Advancers led 3.73 to 1

New Highs: 163 (+42)
New Lows: 17 (-12)


Stats: -69.48 points (-0.57%) to close at 12217.56
Volume DJ30: 96M shares Friday versus 84.6M shares Thursday.


As for looking into the future, I will start with the coming week. There will be a plethora of economic data starting on Tuesday. The ISM Index for the country will be out, and it is expected to continue its improvement. FOMC minutes will also be out that afternoon. We also have Factory Orders and Auto Sales on Wednesday. Then we will have the warm-ups to the Friday jobs report. Challenger and ADP Employment will come out. The Initial Jobless Claims are expected to drop again. ISM Services will come out as well. On Friday we have that payroll report. They are expecting 150K new jobs and a little bump higher in the unemployment rate. We will see. The worker pool is in a secular downtrend. Maybe that is changing now. Maybe there is more excitement about the jobs picture. After all, this week those saying that jobs were easier to find were up significantly versus those saying jobs were hard to find. Maybe we are at an inflexion point where we will see it turn. Heaven knows we need to see that happen.

We will have a full plate to start the week. That will be interesting, but one thing that will start taking precedence is earnings. It is one of the things that has been hampering the market as seen by the semiconductors. We had a lot of warnings out from the chips, and that caused a lot of our problems. ORCL missed badly in December. We will have a lot of earnings coming out in January. I think that could be one of the significant drivers in the current action of the market. Indeed, I think we can have a continued move higher (hopefully more of an upside move than we have seen lately) in the first couple of weeks of earnings. They do not really get started until the second week of January. That means we have an upside move maybe through the third week of the month. Then we will get the gist of what is going on. At that point we could have some issues. We could get good enough news to keep the rally moving until investors say "is that all?" And start selling things off. We could also get some bad news that could kill the rally right off the bat. Those are the possibilities as I see them. That is my prediction for at least the first part of 2012.

There could be a lot of issues after that even if we get the rally to the upside on an initially good outlook. We have Europe. That will continue to be on the front-to-middle burner of the market stove. There were worries that Europe would announce some kind of dissolution of the eurozone this week. That was a real worry out there. Then we have U.S. data. The economic data is improving. Can it continue to do so into 2012? We had improving data at the end of 2010. It could not hold up through the first part of 2011, but it has not made a comeback. Frankly, it has held up more than I thought it would. Thus you see the value of predictions. I thought the data would have already turned over by now, and it has not. I can live with that.

Then there are the external political issues. We have Iran talking about closing the Strait of Hormuz. It says if it is threatened it will do that. North Korea made statements today, basically threatening the south. It said there would be new changes in the world. You have this view that the U.S. is in a weakened condition, and people are taking their shots at us, so to speak. That will continue through this year.

It is an important election year, and that is another issue we have in the U.S. It is not only the U.S. economic data, but how well Congress, the administration, and the judiciary can play along with each other. There will be some very important decisions by the Supreme Court. It will happen earlier rather than later in the year. They have already announced that they are taking the argument on the ObamaCare case. They will hear it in March. They are setting aside a full three days of hearings, I believe. That will probably give us an answer before July, which was previously anticipated. We will have that answer before the elections, and that will be very important.

Then we have the Republican primaries leading up to the November election. All of this will have a huge impact on the economy and the stock market. Typically the market rises in an election year, but I am not so sure that will be the case this time around. There are so many issues confronting the U.S. The belief is that whoever is in the White House at the end of the year will make the difference as to how effectively the U.S. is able to deal with these issues. There is a concern that if the current administration feels like it will not win, it may do as much as it can on the way down. I am not so sure that the current administration can be counted out in this election. I do not think that is the case at all.

If the market goes down and the economy tanks, the chance of reelection falls tremendously. If it continues its improvement, people might give him the benefit of the doubt. Despite everything they disagree with, they may let the President have another four years. I have my opinions on how that will be, but that is one of the things that the market will be factoring in over the year. We will be looking at how the market factors these things in.

There are a lot of bold predictions about what it will do. I have made the predictions I am willing to make. They are not classic predictions at all, other than what the market is telling us now in the short term. That is what we always do, and that is what we will continue to do. My goal is not to be right on what is going on in the world. Although, looking at history, it really tells you what is happening. It has been very accurate thus far. That does aid in our decision-making on where to invest and what to look into. But the market is often not rational in the near term. It overshoots to the upside, and it overshoots to the downside. While things may even out over time, a lot of the money is made when it overshoots one way or the other. Despite what we believe should happen, we look at what the market IS doing and what IS happening in stocks. We will continue to do that and take what the market gives.

Right now we are still looking for that move up into January. If something major happens in Europe or if North Korea or Iran does something crazy, then all bets are off. That would be true regardless of what the situation was going into it. We just have to play with what the market is setting up to move. We have been able to play upside and downside of late because it is that kind of a market. I think we will still be able to do that because I believe the market will move higher but then be unable to continue the move and ultimately give the decline. That means a lot of stocks that are in trouble will not really recover during a rally that may ensue in this April to July level. That is why we can continue to play the upside and downside. When the upside does break, as I believe it will, then we will have already taken profits. We are looking to take gain as the market trades to its peak in this range. Then we can look to play more downside as well.

Have an outstanding New Year's celebration. I hope you can be with your family and friends, and I hope you have a wonderful time. We have had a very trying 2011 in terms of all the problems that have confronted the U.S. and the world. I know a lot of you have had personal issues as well, personal problems with the fires and floods we have had this year. It has been a very difficult year for a lot of people.

I am happy to say we have done very well with our market plays. We have been making a lot of great money with that, and I hope that helped you out. We are looking to do the same this year. I have a concern that it will be another very trying year in terms of economics for many people. I hope I am wrong. I am always concerned about that. I want us to look ahead and hope for the U.S. to be a great entrepreneurial nation again. We can lead the world and create those jobs and technologies that will raise our standard of living for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren. My concern is that we are not doing that now. That we will hand off a worse country than we ever have before in terms of the outlook for our children and grandchildren. But we are a great country and a great people. If we are allowed to be entrepreneurs and inventors and do not have the government crowding us out of what we are best at doing, there is no doubt that we can be the world leader again. As Darrell Royal at UT used to say, we just have to go back and 'dance with who brung us.' If we do that, we will be great.

I will see you on Tuesday. Have an outstanding weekend!

Support and Resistance

NASDAQ: Closed at 2605.15

2612 is the late August 2011 peak
2643 is the September 2011 high
2645-2650ish from December 2010 consolidation
The 200 day SMA at 2661
2676 is the January 2010 low and the December 2011 peak
2686 is the January 2011 closing low
2706 to 2705 is the April 2011 low and the February 2011 and consolidation low (bottom of the trading range) 2723 to 2705 is the range of support at the bottom of the January to May trading range
2754 is the recent October 2011 high
2759 is the mid-May low
2762 is the February low
2796 is the February gap down point
2816 is the early April peak.
2825 is the 2007 closing peak.
2841 is the February 2011 peak
2862 is the 2007 peak
2879 is the July 2011 peak
2888 is the May 2011 peak

2603 is the March 2011 intraday low (post-Japan low)
2599 is the June 2011 low and NASDAQ
The 50 day EMA at 2596
2593 is the November intraday high
2580 is the November 2010 closing high
2572 is the November 2-11 gap down point
2555 is the mid-August 2011 peak
2546 is the early September 2011 gap down point
2535 is the November island reversal gap point
2532 is the early August gap down point
2469 is the November 2010 low
2441 is the November 2011 low
2331 from October 2010 low and the August 2011 intraday low
2305 from the August 2010 peak (summertime base)
2139 is the May and June 2010 low
2123 is the August 2010 gap down point
2100 from the August 2010 lows

S&P 500: Closed at 1257.60
1258 is June 2011 intraday low
The 200 day SMA at 1259
1267 is the December 2011 peak
1275 is the January 2010 low, early January 2011 peak
1295 to 1294 is the April 2011 low and the February 2011 consolidation low (bottom of the trading range)
1313 from the August 2008 interim peak
1318.51 is the May low
1325-27 is the March 2008 closing low and the May 2006 peak.
1332 is the early March peak
1340 is the early April 2011 peak
1344 is the February 2011 peak is being challenged again
1357 is the July 2011 peak
1364 is the March 2007 low
1370 is the August 2007 low
1371 is the recent May 2011 peak

1255 is the late December 2010 consolidation range
1249 is the March 2011 low (post-Japan)
1235 is the mid-December 2010 consolidation low
The 50 day EMA at 1232
1231 is the late August 2011 peak
1227 is the November 2010 peak
1220 is the April 2010 peak
1209 is the mid-August 2011 high
1196 is the November 2010 consolidation peak
1178-1180 is the October 2010/November 2010 consolidation low
1158 is the November 2011 low
1131 - 1127 from August 2010 base peak.
1119 is the early August closing low
1109 is the mid-September 2010 gap up point
1101 is the August 2011 low
1075 is the October 2011 intraday low
1099 from the mid-July interim peak
1090 is the early September 2010 gap up point
1040 from the August 2010 lows and May/June 2010 lows
1011 is the summer 2010 low

Dow: Closed at 12,217.56
12,258 is the December 2011 peak
12,284 is the October 2011 peak
12,391 is the February 2011 peak
12,754 is the July intraday peak
12,876 is the May high
13,058 from the May 2008 peak on that bounce in the selling

12,110 from the March 2007 closing low
12,094 is the April 2011 low
The 200 day SMA at 11,947
The 50 day EMA at 11,905
The June low at 11,897 (closing)
11,893 from March 2008 closing low
11,867 from the August 2009 high and peak on that bounce in the selling.
11,734 from 11-98 peak
11,717 is the late August 2011 peak
The August low at 11,702
11,555 is the March low
11,452 is the November 2010 peak
11,178 from November 2010
10,978 is the bottom of the November 2010 consolidation
10,750 from September 2010
10,720 is the August closing low
10,705-710 from January 2010 peak
10,694-700 from August 2010 peak
9938 is the August 2010 low

Economic Calendar

December 27 - Tuesday
Case-Shiller 20-city, October (9:00): -3.4% actual versus -3.0% expected, -3.5% prior (revised from -3.6%)
Consumer Confidence, December (10:00): 64.5 actual versus 58.0 expected, 55.2 prior (revised from 56.0)

December 28 - Wednesday
MBA Mortgage Index, 12/24 (7:00): -2.6% prior

December 29 - Thursday
Initial Claims, 12/24 (8:30): 381K actual versus 368K expected, 366K prior (revised from 364K)
Continuing Claims, 12/17 (8:30): 3601K actual versus 3600K expected, 3567K prior (revised from 3546K)
Chicago PMI, December (9:45): 62.5 actual versus 60.1 expected, 62.6 prior
Pending Home Sales, November (10:00): 7.3% actual versus 0.6% expected, 10.4% prior
Crude Inventories, 12/24 (11:00): 3.899M actual versus -10.570M prior

January 3 - Tuesday
ISM Index, December (10:00): 53.4 expected, 52.7 prior
Construction Spending, November (10:00): 0.5% expected, 0.8% prior
FOMC Minutes, 12/13 (14:00)

January 4 - Wednesday
MBA Mortgage Index, 12/31 (7:00): -2.6% prior
Factory Orders, November (10:00): 2.1% expected, -0.4% prior
Auto Sales, December (14:00): 4.36M prior
Truck Sales, December (14:00): 5.98M prior

January 5 - Thursday
Challenger Job Cuts, December (7:30): -12.8% prior
ADP Employment Change, December (8:15): 180K expected, 206K prior
Initial Claims, 12/31 (8:30): 375K expected, 381K prior
Continuing Claims, 12/24 (8:30): 3620K expected, 3601K prior
ISM Services, December (10:00): 53.0 expected, 52.0 prior
Crude Inventories, 12/31 (11:00): 3.899M prior

January 6 - Friday
Nonfarm Payrolls, December (8:30): 150K expected, 120K prior
Nonfarm Private Payrolls, December (8:30): 170K expected, 140K prior
Unemployment Rate, December (8:30): 8.7% expected, 8.6% prior
Hourly Earnings, December (8:30): 0.2% expected, -0.1% prior
Average Workweek, December (8:30): 34.3 expected, 34.3 prior

By: Jon Johnson, Editor
Copyright 2011 | All Rights Reserved

Jon Johnson is the Editor of The Daily at

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