Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Logic-Defying Market Clambers Over Dollar, Data, Higher

The dollar was stronger against the Euro and the Pound.

Didn't matter.

Capacity Utilization was flat. Retailers warned of softer holiday season. The Fed was out jawboning about the dollar, bubbles and overpriced markets. More stocks closed lower than higher.

Didn't matter.

Industrial production was lower than expected and the PPI was also up less than anticipated.

None of this mattered to a market that only knows one direction presently. Up. Up. And up some more.

All of the major indices, except the NYSE Composite, closed at new 13-month highs on the day. The moves were made despite Home Depot (HD) and retailer Target (TGT) reporting earnings, warning about a slow holiday season and finishing lower. It's a market right out of a bad horror flick, that refuses to obey, refuses to die. It's the Energizer Bunny in disguise. It keeps going and going and going. There's hardly any reason to report on it, except to tell that it's up once again, or to analyze it, because any technical or fundamental analysis will be proven wrong within a session of two. It's not that one should be upset that stocks are going up, rather, to the contrary. It's just that one would like to see some rationale for the movement.

Dow 10,437.42, +30.46 (0.29%)
NASDAQ 2,203.78, +5.93 (0.27%)
S&P 500 1,110.31, +1.01 (0.09%)
NYSE Composite 7,234.06, -3.04 (0.04%)

Losers beat winners, 3502-2921. New highs were ahead of new lows, 378-72. There was no volume of which to speak. It was the weakest day, volume-wise, in the last two weeks.

NYSE Volume 4,423,809,500
NASDAQ Volume 1,837,747,125

Commodities, despite the dollar stronger against most foreign currencies, mostly finished with gains. Oil closed up 24 cents, to $79.14. Gold finished unchanged at $1,139.20, while silver slid 3 cents to $18.37.

Most of the trade today, as it likely will tomorrow, had more to do with options expiration than anything else. Anything that could have moved the market would have moved it lower. Obviously, nobody was paying any attention to the normal forces at play. This market is about as tricky to play as any ever seen. Many, who have made their money in the earlier run-up, are already out, which may be the best idea of all.

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