Friday, January 17, 2014

Dow, NASDAQ Up for Week, Dow, S&P Down Thus Far in 2014

Stocks ended the week in truly bizarre fashion, with the Dow up, but the S&P and NASDAQ lower. Obviously, trading was not uniform across the indices and the Dow was higher due primarily to gains by American Express (AXP) and Visa (V), which really skewed the average, as there were only ten stocks showing gains on the day, versus 20 which ended the session lower.

While the market is somewhat bifurcated and, and maybe even trifurcated, the various swings on the indices are caused mainly by excessive trading in story stocks, those which have reported earnings either after the previous day's close or in the morning prior to the open.

Overall, earnings season is just barely underway, with 10% of companies in the S&P 500 having reported, but the distressing trend is that fully half of those companies have missed earnings estimates and top-line growth (revenues) continues to just beat or fall short, a pattern five years running that is giving not just investors, but the markets themselves, pause.

There hasn't been much progress in terms of the January Barometer, and with Monday a holiday, markets are closed, leaving just nine sessions remaining in January. Time flies, and, it seems some money wants to flee away with it.

What is down solidly is the yield on the 10-year note, which hit a 2014 low of 2.82 today, less than two weeks after seeping through the 3.00% mark. Despite the Fed's tapering by $10 billion, its $85 billion per month bond purchase program (QE by any other name), interest rates have not followed the game plan.

What is up? Gold. Higher by 4% so far this year, and, likewise, silver, also higher by about 4%.

For the week:
Dow +21.51
S&P 500 -3.67
NASDAQ +22.92

For the year:
Dow -118.10
S&P 500 -9.66
NASDAQ +20.99

DOW 16,458.56, +41.55 (+0.25%)
NASDAQ 4,197.58, -21.11 (-0.50%)
S&P 1,838.70, -7.19 (-0.39%)
10-Yr Note 99.37, +0.31 (+0.31%) Yield: 2.82%
NASDAQ Volume 2.10 Bil
NYSE Volume 3.60 Bil
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2337-3366
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 352-38
WTI crude oil: 94.37, +0.41
Gold: 1,251.90, +11.70
Silver: 20.30, +0.25
Corn: 424.00, -4.00

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