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Entries in ES/ETF trade (3)


...hardly a TD yet

Earlier in the week, Euro markets positively decoupled from sovereign fears.  Today, following a successful ‘Portugal’ auction the US markets finally played some catch up to the Euro markets move of the past 48 hours by breaking a YTD consolidation (20pt range).   The ‘Peripheral’ wary has been diminishing as China, Japan are speculated to be buying into these debts (inc. China into Spain’s on Thursday).  This ‘helping’ participation is why noted here yesterday…” or a bad sovereign bond auctions later this week (shorts likely futile hope)”.    As important or more today was the ‘speculation’ of Monday’s European Finance meeting and an expansion of the bailout fund to get the market going.   A week so far of little economic/ few earnings and so a ‘relief’ catalyst from Europe allowed this market to move easily as it's the only happening around.   The market moved out from ‘inside the 20’, but it’s hardly a touchdown.

Why, not a TD? ...Even though the move was broad with all sectors up, it was more of the same ES/ETF driven move continuing from Tuesday, plus the ‘leaders’ didn’t play along.  (See below in Shadowlist updates).  It was hardly a perfect tape, but with Peripheral worries abating the market can let earnings decide its fate.   The lack of participation today of the ‘winners’ could just be a symptom of this wait game for earnings and nothing else.  All in, need to see a follow through into weeks end.


  • Momentum/earnings/“winners of ‘10 –   Why more ETF/ES?.  Just look at the performance of leaders,  AAPL AMZN FFIV VMW CRM NFLX…(.5% down to 1.2% up) on a ‘supposed’ breakout day with Nazzy up and SOX up another 2%.
  • Commodities-  Entering the week ….” USDA reports mid-week to possibly feed Ag space some more”.  The report was bullish and fed the stocks linked as most were up between 3-5%, CF MOS AGU LNN POT NEU.  Going back to the ETF-ES trade, if it wasn’t for this Ag’/Fert group there would hardly be any individual stock action anywhere.  Meaning up >1% and/ or down 1%.   As far as coals, despite the CLF  M&A,  the group might have reason to become fatigued  post-ACI  EPS and smaller  coals reporting softness on other exchanges.
  • Financials- the streak continues from December following JPM’s CEO appearance AMC and WFC upgrades.

DJIM #8  2011

Events this weekend have initiated a worldwide risk off scenario ahead of the US markets open.  That’s the ‘silver lining’ as the US markets have an uncanny ability to ‘smooth’ things over .  We will know if the jitters turn to panic by watching the Shadowlist and not what occurs in the ES/SPY . At the time of the Egyptian sell off, DJIM noted the probability to snapback quickly due to it being mostly ES linked sell off.  This time we are dealing with tensions hitting the first ‘oil’ producing country and so it might be a little different this time due to 'inflation' links.

Investors have been waiting for an oppy’ to enter or re-enter at lower prices, but the expectation of this occurring on the initial gap down might be a little premature.  This investor likes to wait for things to settle down some before buying and so unless things change drastically intraday they will likely wait a full trading or two.

Simply, overnight ES/SPY and certain other ETF’s do not signal the real market tone lately, it’s underlying individual stocks that will paint a clearer / bigger of the goings on.



Positive is market held 1310 close for a 3rd consecutive day. (note 20ma has moved up this week to 1315’ish.). Most will see the reversal today of some 150 DJIA, ~30 Nasd , 14 SPX points to highs of day as a positive, but if you glanced at the Shadowlist or any watchlist, you should notice single stocks were doing nothing.   These same single stocks weren’t hit on way to 1302 SPX and it’s no surprise they didn’t move to upside on the reversal crawl during the day.   This exemplifies a ES/ETF trade as real money remains sidelined in a cautious mode, while fast traders churn the ES futures/ETF’s.  It’s a boycott in the market by both sides really as shorts are unwilling to pressure the tape lower allowing support to hold up quite easily and even bounce some.  It would be a surprise if the market got any meaningful follow through on a Friday due to this type of action seen today.

The early blame game was on the euro debt situation (Greece)showing up almost a year later to the day.   Firstly, in this view it’s an excuse as plans won’t change the way the situation stands now and so it’s importance is overblown today.  The main issues for the market right now is with U.S govt (debt ceiling, we can add the Senate paper on GS for some spice) and earnings that has this market in a deadlock! 

Also, a bigger issue than Europe today is some of the recent eco data that is clouding the picture some (jobless claims today).  As yesterday, not sure who won today either, but if anybody is blowing it, it’s the shorts not taking advantage of all headwinds in the Bull’s faces today to create a bigger setback.

Rally, if this gets clearer….overhangs

  • Debt ceiling debate, congress goes on holiday’s next week till May
  • Earnings reactions improve and/or start seeing nice upside beats/outlooks       

 *Today, semi FCS  upped guidance strongly and said guidance for upcoming was already ‘fully booked’, yet the stock sold off due to CEO saying impact of Japan are unknown.  Talk about a fickle crowd again!.  What is occurring so far in earnings might be described as’ sell on the news’, but it’s not the typical we’ve seen in Q’s past.  Market should get over this phase, if earnings keep on coming with solid guidance.