Market Recon Monday

Good Morning,
                        The calm before the storm.  I think that statement could sort of describe today, at least before trading starts, and things, as they always do…… change.  Today’s earnings calendar is very light, as is the macro calendar, relative to what we’ll see starting with tomorrow.  Then it will be Durable Goods, our first look at Q1 GDP, and on Friday, the PCE gauge for consumer level inflation.  Sandwiched in between all of that, you’ll get policy decisions from the FOMC, and the Bank of Japan.  The prospects of what will transpire at that last one, you can clearly see, is severely impacting Yen valuations.
                        Looking at today’s early price action, world markets have been volatile.  You have already seen the Yen strengthen a bit, but go nowhere close to where it started the day…..just last Friday.  We’ve seen mildly disappointing results for the German Ifo Business Climate Survey, but after that, President Obama spoke from Germany, on European Unity.  His speech was very well received.  Two hours ago, European equities, and US equity index futures were in beat-down mode.  At this point, S&P minis are trading right around fair value, and all European majors are well above their lows for the day.
                        A major financial publication asked this past weekend…. “Is it Time to Take Profits?”  That question is impossibly difficult to answer with certainty, for even the most informed professionals.  That’s why I always stress to you, my people..  traders must have targets, and panic points on each and every position taken.  Even core holdings.  Especially for the home-gamers.  Place those out orders well ahead of time, so there’s no emotion when the time comes.  That way, you will stick to your discipline.  It is only through discipline that we achieve victory….. in any facet of life.
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Macro
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10:00 ET
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New Home Sales (March):  Expectations for this one today are for an above trend 520K (SAAR), which if so…would be the second best mark for this item in the last seven months.  March, so far has been an inconsistent month for housing data.  Existing Home Sales came in just a hair above consensus view while Starts, & Permits both badly missed their marks.  A beat here would put to bed some concerns over this sector.  A miss would be taken as yet another, in what has become a long line of recent macro disappointments.
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10:30 ET
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Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey (April):  So far, in April, we’ve seen New York surprise to the upside, and Philadelphia surprise in the other direction.  Nobody expects to see expansion in Dallas, as due to Oil’s collapse, Dallas has consistently been the worst performer in the manufacturing space.  Worst performer in the worst space. Hmmm.  Some might call that a sweet spot.  Not yet, today… I think Dallas still wears a minus sign, but that day is coming.  At some point, there’s just no room to the downside.
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Monday’s Earnings Highlights
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Before the Open: FDC (.20), XRX (.23)
After the Close: CR (.86), NBR (-.33)
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S&P 500 Trading Levels
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2103, 2095, 2088, 2081