Mid-Day Thoughts

Good Afternoon,

Wow….talk about stagnant.  Equity markets are simply treading water as we approach what should be a high volume, potentially highly volatile closing bell.  Then, before the open, we’ll do “Jobs Day”….. so we don have a few nuts to crack.  Closing out the quarter in positive territory for equities (If we hang on) will be a remarkably emotional positive for market participants.  For those in other industries who might participate only from a distance, the seemingly mild quarter over quarter moves could mask the dangers behind, and the possible detours ahead.  That is a double edged sword that I’m afraid is unpreventable.  Some will not act who probably should act, while others probably avoided knee-jerk mistakes by not reacting.

1) Energy is your leading sector today, boosted by WTI Crude that is only mildly higher.  The swinging door that is the $39 level has not yet been regained and held.  Held being the key word.

2) My S&P 500 trading levels in this neighborhood are 2061, and 2069.  The index is yet to test either one.

3) The US dollar is again weaker, which is helping Gold overcome yesterday’s spate of profit taking.  Our mental stop orders remain 1210, and 1275.

4) Interestingly, along with Gold, the VIX, the Utility sector, and US Treasuries are slightly stronger.  Is this something of a safety play ahead of quarterly re-balances, and jobs data ??  Nothing earth shattering here, but I will be watching this.

5) All that said…. I don’t smell any fear yet.  William Dudley does speak after the close of business today.