August 22nd: Ed’s Daily Notes and Traders Corner   31 comments

The S&P 500 levels to watch today:

UPSIDE: 1994 (August 21st’s high and the all-time high), and 2001 (top of the Bollinger Bands).
LAST CLOSE: 1992.
DOWNSIDE: 1991 (July’s high), 1988 (August 20th’s high), 1986 (August 21st’s low), 1982 (August 19th’s high), 1977 (August 20th’s low), 1971-1972 (2 data points), 1968 (June’s high), 1964 (August 15th’s high), 1959 (50 day moving average), 1958 (August 18th’s low), 1955 (August 14th’s high), 1951 (20 day moving average), 1947-1948 (2 data points), 1944 (August 11th’s high), 1941 (August 15th’s low), 1927-1939 (July’s low and 9 data points), 1924 (May’s high), 1923 (100 day moving average), 1921 (August 4th’s low), 1916 (August 1st’s low), 1909-1913 (3 data points), 1904 (August 7th’s low), and 1902 (bottom of the Bollinger Bands).

S&P 500 Daily Momentum: Bullish
S&P 500 Daily Overbought/oversold: Neutral (leaning overbought)
S&P 500 Weekly Momentum: Bearish (weakening)
S&P 500 Weekly Overbought/oversold: Neutral (leaning overbought)
S&P 500 Futures: Slightly negative, almost neutral
Overall: With Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech today at 10 am EST, the markets are basically on the edge of their seats. But the S&P 500 has already had a big run-up this week, up 1.91%. What can Yellen say to push markets up further? Other than “QE forever!”, there isn’t much that she hasn’t already said. In addition, the technicals are getting dangerously close to overbought levels. One other thing: Have you noticed the Nasdaq hasn’t been participating as much in this week’s run-up? It is only up 1.5%. The Russell 2000, the small cap index, is only up 1.6%. On the other hand, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 2.26%. Overall, this tells me the big caps are moving up more than the small caps. A move into big caps is not a positive market sign folks. Be careful out there.

And now for the news…

Bloomberg: India to Unveil First Warship to Deter Chinese Submarines

India will unveil its first home-built anti-submarine warship tomorrow in a move to deter China from conducting underwater patrols near its shores.

Defense Minister Arun Jaitley will commission the 3,300-ton INS Kamorta at the southeastern Vishakapatnam port. The move comes a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced the largest indigenously built guided-missile destroyer and vowed to bolster the country’s defenses so “no one dares to cast an evil glance at India.”

India is playing catch-up to China, which built 20 such warships in the past two years and sent a nuclear submarine to the Indian Ocean in December for a two-month anti-piracy patrol. The waters are home to shipping lanes carrying about 80 percent of the world’s seaborne oil, mostly headed to China and Japan.

Anybody get the feeling World War III might take place in Asia instead of Europe?

August 21st: Ed’s Daily IRA Summary   Leave a comment

Ed’s IRA: 0.29%
DJIA: 0.36%
Nasdaq: 0.12%
S&P 500: 0.29%

Posted August 21, 2014 by edmcgon in Open Thread, Portfolio

Traders Corner   33 comments

The S&P 500 levels to watch today:

UPSIDE: 1988 (August 20th’s high), 1991 (July’s high and the all-time high), and 2000 (top of the Bollinger Bands).
LAST CLOSE: 1986.
DOWNSIDE: 1982 (August 19th’s high), 1977 (August 20th’s low), 1971-1972 (2 data points), 1968 (June’s high), 1964 (August 15th’s high), 1958 (August 18th’s low and the 50 day moving average), 1955 (August 14th’s high), 1951 (20 day moving average), 1947-1948 (2 data points), 1944 (August 11th’s high), 1941 (August 15th’s low), 1927-1939 (July’s low and 9 data points), 1924 (May’s high), 1922 (100 day moving average), 1921 (August 4th’s low), 1916 (August 1st’s low), 1909-1913 (3 data points), 1904 (August 7th’s low), and 1902 (bottom of the Bollinger Bands).

S&P 500 Daily Momentum: Bullish
S&P 500 Daily Overbought/oversold: Neutral (leaning overbought)
S&P 500 Weekly Momentum: Bearish (weakening)
S&P 500 Weekly Overbought/oversold: Neutral (leaning overbought)
S&P 500 Futures: Positive
Overall: It looks like yesterday’s FOMC minutes gave the bulls a second wind, albeit a somewhat weak wind. With the S&P 500’s daily momentum looking strongly bullish, the only thing to worry about is the market’s conditions becoming overbought. But the futures are pointing to a bullish opening, so this run may still have some legs.

Ed’s Daily Notes for August 21st   Leave a comment

Wall Street Journal: Fed Debates Early Rate Hikes

Federal Reserve officials debated at their July policy meeting whether they might need to raise interest rates sooner than expected in light of a strengthening recovery, but they were restrained by lingering doubts about whether the economy’s gains would persist.

The minutes of the meeting, released Wednesday with their regular three-week delay, show an intensifying debate inside the central bank about when to respond to a surprisingly swift descent in the unemployment rate and a pickup in consumer prices.

Some Fed officials say this long-sought economic progress warrants moving toward tighter credit soon, but they were outnumbered at the meeting by those who wanted more evidence before signaling that rate increases are on the way. The minutes don’t identify participants by name or specify the number who held certain views.

Translation: Markets will continue their “bad economic news is good, and vice versa” for awhile. However, the Fed needs to be watched for signs they aren’t seeing the economy the same way as the markets are.

The search for clues on rate-hike timing now turns to Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s address Friday at a central-bank symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo. The conference is focused on labor markets and Ms. Yellen will update her views on how they are evolving.

She has argued through her first six months on the job that an abundance of part-time workers and long-term unemployed, in addition to soft wage growth, suggest labor markets and the broader economy weren’t near overheating.

Steven Blitz, chief economist at ITG Investment Research, said he expected Ms. Yellen to revisit these points Friday, to indicate her patience about raising rates. “She doesn’t want the market getting too far in front of the Fed,” Mr. Blitz said.

Posted August 21, 2014 by edmcgon in Economy, Federal Reserve, News

August 20th: Ed’s Daily IRA Summary   Leave a comment

Ed’s IRA: 0.03%
DJIA: 0.35%
Nasdaq: -0.02%
S&P 500: 0.25%

Posted August 20, 2014 by edmcgon in Open Thread, Portfolio

Traders Corner   25 comments

The S&P 500 levels to watch today:

UPSIDE: 1988 (August 20th’s high), 1991 (July’s high and the all-time high), and 2000 (top of the Bollinger Bands).
LAST CLOSE: 1986.
DOWNSIDE: 1982 (August 19th’s high), 1977 (August 20th’s low), 1971-1972 (2 data points), 1968 (June’s high), 1964 (August 15th’s high), 1958 (August 18th’s low and the 50 day moving average), 1955 (August 14th’s high), 1951 (20 day moving average), 1947-1948 (2 data points), 1944 (August 11th’s high), 1941 (August 15th’s low), 1927-1939 (July’s low and 9 data points), 1924 (May’s high), 1922 (100 day moving average), 1921 (August 4th’s low), 1916 (August 1st’s low), 1909-1913 (3 data points), 1904 (August 7th’s low), and 1902 (bottom of the Bollinger Bands).

S&P 500 Daily Momentum: Bullish
S&P 500 Daily Overbought/oversold: Neutral (leaning overbought)
S&P 500 Weekly Momentum: Bearish (weakening)
S&P 500 Weekly Overbought/oversold: Neutral (leaning overbought)
S&P 500 Futures: Positive
Overall: It looks like yesterday’s FOMC minutes gave the bulls a second wind, albeit a somewhat weak wind. With the S&P 500’s daily momentum looking strongly bullish, the only thing to worry about is the market’s conditions becoming overbought. But the futures are pointing to a bullish opening, so this run may still have some legs.

Happy Birthday Dad! Ed’s Daily Notes for August 20th   1 comment

funny-pictures-gerbil-makes-sprinkles-for-your-birthday-cake(hat tip to I Tried Being Tasteful for the pic)

Today is a special day for my Dad, who turns 75 today. I just want to say happy birthday Dad, and thanks for three-quarters of a century of excellence!

The Hill: Obama heads back to vacation after unexplained DC trip

President Obama went back to his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard Tuesday evening following less than 48 hours in Washington, leaving people puzzled over why he came back in the first place.

Obama’s two days in Washington were mostly quiet, and concluded with the president receiving his daily national security briefing in the morning, and joining Vice President Biden to huddle with members of his economic team in the afternoon.

…Judicial Watch estimates the extra roundtrip cost $1.1 million. Only daughter Malia accompanied Obama back to Washington.

Speculation for why Obama returned focused around the possibility of a secret foreign leader meeting or the roll out of a new administration initiative on immigration or corporate taxes.

But no such explanation materialized.

The most unusual deviation from a normal day at the White House was Obama’s dinner Monday night at Sam Kass’s home. The president, joined by deputy chief of staff Anita Breckenridge, spent nearly five hours at the White House chef’s Dupont Circle duplex apartment.

It’s possible that the party may have been a celebration of Kass’s impending nuptials to MSNBC host Alex Wagner. The couple announced their engagement last September. But the White House provided no details of the meal.

Worst…president…ever…

On the bright side, there are only 884 days left in this buffoon’s administration.

Bloomberg: Steve Ballmer Leaves Microsoft’s Board After Departure as CEO

Steve Ballmer resigned from Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s board, eight months after his departure as chief executive officer, ending more than three decades of direct involvement in the world’s largest software maker.

Ballmer, 58, remains Microsoft’s top individual shareholder. He had initially remained as a director after handing the top job over to one of his deputies, Satya Nadella, in February. Ballmer recently bought the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion and appeared in front of the team and fans this week, vowing to lift the team to “higher heights” and promising not to micromanage.

The former CEO’s departure ends a 34-year association with Microsoft, which he led as CEO from 2000 to February 2014. Revenue tripled under Ballmer’s tenure, even as the Redmond, Washington-based company struggled to compete with Apple Inc. and Google Inc. in areas such as mobile phones, tablet computers and Internet search.

If Ballmer runs the Clippers like he did Microsoft, expect him to put together a dream team. But I wonder how well guys like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson can still play?

Fox News: NFL reportedly asking music acts to pay for playing Super Bowl halftime show

Really?

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the league has notified Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Coldplay that they are under consideration to perform at halftime of Super Bowl 49 next February. In the process of notifying them, the paper reports that the league has also asked some of the artists to either give a portion of their post-Super Bowl tour proceeds to the league or make some type of financial contribution in exchange for being offered the show.

People familiar with the matter told The Journal that the league’s request received a “chilly” reception from the artists’ representatives. The NFL does not pay the halftime acts, though the league typically covers the performers’ travel and production expenses.

Greed, thy name is NFL…

Posted August 20, 2014 by edmcgon in News, Politics, Stocks

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