Thursday, March 01, 2012

Volume Fades But Stocks Stage Rebound After Yesterday's Loss

A boat load of economic news hit the market early, but it was retail sales creating a stir. Better than expected retail sales certainly did not hurt things today, but you have to wonder with shrinking personal incomes at some point the cycle will break. Volume was running about even with yesterday’s level, but end of day volume yesterday due to end of the month rebalancing kept volume under wraps today. Leading stocks fared well today and continue to act well despite four days of distribution on the NASDAQ. A good, but not great recovery as the uptrend remains with some warning signals.

Sentiment did not change much from last week with a slight shift from bears to bulls. Neither end of the spectrum is at extremes. Despite the run up we have yet to see a big push from Bulls. While we did see bulls hit 50%, but they were unable to stay above this level for more than one week. Even the Investors Intelligence survey has failed to get at 5 year highs of 62% . 51.1% of respondents to the II survey are bullish, quite normal for the survey. Sentiment isn’t going to tell you much here and it won’t until we hit extremes.

What is another interesting point here is the VIX has unable to hit new lows while the market has hit highs. This may turn out to be nothing, but it is interesting buyers haven’t become completely complacent here. In fact, the number of stocks above their 20 day moving average sits just below 45%. Hardly the frothy levels we were seeing last week. Given sentiment, the VIX, and distribution days it appears we may be seeing a market looking for more sideways action prior to breaking out. A reminder, breaking out could mean to the downside. Have a plan of attack and execute it.

The jobs report is next Friday, not tomorrow. CNBC will have to wait another week parading in “experts” talking about the jobs market. Get out and enjoy the weekend!

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