Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another Great Session for Equity Day-Traders as January Posts Positive

Yesterday, a gap lower at the open. Today, a gap up.

This is all according to plan, which excludes individual investors to the great benefit to those in the know.

Imagine being an insider. On Monday, you buy shares of your particular stocks of the day at the lows of the day, around 10:00 to 10:30 am ET and all day long, you watch as they gain in value. Then, on Tuesday, you sell at some high point right before the dismal Chicago PMI and Conference Board's Consumer Confidence number (more on thses later). Naturally, you ignored the poor showing from the Case-Shiller 20-city index, because nobody cares about housing, right?

You're a winner, in all aspects except for honesty, integrity and fairness. Worry not, because you or your firm made massive money all through the month of January, as the Dow rose 3%, the S&P gained 4% and the NASDAQ was up 8%.

Smashing! Except that gold and silver trounced your paper-made profits. Gold finished the month of January with a 13.9% gain and silver was up 19% for the month. And there's no chance of the metals going to zero and no counter-party risk. Well, golly.

As for that Chicago PMI, the market was looking for a number of 62.8, after December's 62.2 print. The reality was a poor 60.2, the lowest number since August, 2011, another indication that the holiday season in particular was something of an over-hyped bust and that the recovery continues to be choppy and not well-anchored. Bummer!

According to the Conference Board, consumer confidence was measured at 64.8 in December, but flopped to 61.1 in January. Double bummer!

The aforementioned Case-Shiller data, albeit back-dated, showed that home prices fell 3.7% from November 2010 through November 2011. Prices fell 0.7% (adjusted) or 1.3% (unadjusted) in November from October, as 19 of 20 cities experienced price declines. Phoenix was the only city registering a positive figure.

Not to worry. January's window dressing is complete and there's nothing to worry about heading into February... except for that nagging European debt crisis, Greece, the utter collapse in the Baltic Dry Index, and the looming showdown in washington over whether or not to extend the Bush tax cuts another 10 months, as congress, rather than deal with real issues, took the easy route in December and compromised to keep them intact through the end of February (they'll extend, as extending is part of their "extend and pretend" strategy).

No, no, nothing can go wrong. Let's just keep day-trading until...

By the way, volume continues to be dreadful, even though the Fed, through it's ZIRP to infinity policy, has forced fund managers into much more riskier trading scenarios than they normally would endeavor.

You can cite the January Barometer, which posits that "as goes January, so goes the rest of the year." except for last year, that is.

Well, keep trading stocks. They matter. Right?

Dow 12,632.91, -20.81 (0.16%)
NASDAQ 2,813.84, +1.90 (0.07%)
S&P 500 1,312.40, -0.61 (0.05%)
NYSE Composite 7,838.30, +3.89 (0.05%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,602,785,875
NYSE Volume 4,156,928,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3135-2441
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 276-22 (extreme, poised for reversal or breakout)
WTI crude oil: 98.48, -0.30
Gold: 1,737.80, +6.80
Silver: 33.26, -0.27

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