Thursday, January 26, 2012

Leaders Turn Lower as Stocks Reverse Hard

The NASDAQ notched its first day of distribution after putting in a new high in the most recent rally. A solid durable goods order number helped push the market higher. However, a bigger expected drop in New Home sales didn’t help and put pressure on stocks. It wasn’t until the late afternoon did we see the selling pressure kick up a notch. A little late day surge helped the NASDAQ close off its lows, but failed to protect it from a day of distribution. Distribution happens and it boils down to whether or not you prepared for what you do next.

Once again the number of Bulls in the AAII survey was near 50%. Bears dropped below the 20% mark once again this month. Remember, yesterday the percentage stocks above their 20 and 50 day moving averages was above 80%. A pull back here is NOT surprising and is to be expected. What we need to watch for is how we pull back. Can we avoid heavy distribution? Are leaders going to hold up? Sound money management principles are paramount in this market.

Tomorrow we get a look at fourth quarter GDP and it is expected to come in at 3%. It’ll be interesting to hear the debate about the number and how you should respond with your portfolio. Unfortunately, making a “play” will end up costing you dearly. Price and volume are keys to this market and guide us to making proper decisions.

Have a great weekend and stay safe (and that means cutting losses)

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