Mid-Day Recon

Citizens of Earth,

1) Once again, under-performing macro-economic data is a lead story. This is unfortunately…. starting to sound like a broken record, as the US stumbles out of the first quarter, statistically.   Today, it was March Durable Goods that missed badly at the headline, and actually contracted for the month once transportation, and/or defense orders were omitted.  Home Prices for February, and Consumer Confidence for April also took it in the teeth.  the bright spot was the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index, which has been a shining beacon in a sea of sludge, printing in expansion for the fourth month in five.
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2) All of the lousy macro had an initially positive impact on equities.  The S&P 500 rallied up to 2096, where there was a double confirmation of simple technical sell signals (RSI & MACD) that sent the index into a sharp reversal.  Support was ultimately found at 2086, which was not a level of mine.  It looks to me like 2081 is the nervous spot on the chart.
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3) The leading sectors today are commodity inspired.  Energy, and Materials are the early winners, while Health Care is your laggard.  Small Caps are significantly out-performing the general marketplace today.  Treasuries are flat to slightly lower… The VIX has held it’s ground above 14.  WTI Crude has rallied, and Gold is flat to slightly higher on the day.

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4) There are plenty of earnings to be released tonight, that might have a sever impact on anyone’s P/L.  AAPL will be the media darling, but that one’s only pricing in about $2.25 to $2.50 worth of volatility, with the put side being valued slightly higher than the call side.  The one that will leave day traders in a sea of joy and anguish tonight will be CMG.  That one seems to be pricing in about $16 worth of volatility without a directional bias.  Other volatile plays tonight include PNRA, and BWLD.  if you play either of those names, just be cognizant that you are looking at 20 May expirations.  Neither one of those trades in weekly expirations.

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5) Still on this side of the dirt.  All good.