Daily Investment Interpretations Archive

January 1, 2013 - March 31, 2013

October 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012
July 1, 2012, to September 30, 2012

January 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012
July 1, 2011, to December 31, 2011
January 1, 2011 to June 30, 2011
July 1, 2010, to December 31, 2010
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January 1, 2010, to June 30, 2010
 
July 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009
January 1, 2009, to June 30, 2009
July 1, 2008, to December 31, 2008
May 7, 2008, to June 30, 2008



2013-4-1 (Monday Night):, Wall Street Pulls Back From Record After Weak Data, Stock rally stalls on weak manufacturing data. The NASDAQ Composite slid 28.35 points (-0.87%) to end at 3,239.17. The Dow eased 5.69 points (-0.04%) on the day, to end at at 14,572.85; the S&P 500 sagged 7.02 points (-0.45%) to 1,562.17. Oil closed at 97.07: May oil down 16 cents, or 0.2%, at 97.07 a bbl; Gold ended at 1,600: Gold futures climb to a close above $1,600. The VIX rose 0.88 to 13.58.     
    "
Stocks fell in light volume on Monday, pulling back after the S&P 500's record closing high last week and weaker-than-expected manufacturing data."   
   
"After an epic start to the first quarter, the second quarter started with a whimper. Stocks pulled back Monday following an underwhelming report on U.S. manufacturing. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    Is Stockman's doomsday scenario over the top?.  "Are markets really headed for the mother of all crashes? MarketWatch parses the viral op/ed New York Times piece written by former budget director David Stockman."   
    How long do you think this stock market bubble can last?.    
    ISM index's drop is worse than expected.    
    Construction spending rises.    
    Gas prices fall in March first time in 10 years.    
    No break for bond investors.  "After a tough quarter, things are likely to get even tougher for bond investors."  
    Avi Gilburt warns: S&P 500 is setting up a trap door.    
    Michael Gayed writes about Copper, gold and the Cyclical Fold.    
    10 things that could wreck a bull market.    
    April dip in stocks unlikely: Deutsche Bank.    
    David Marsh explains that Cyprus terms rooted in secret letter from ‘70s.    
    Why China's government wants to eat Apple.  "China’s official anger at Apple isn’t what it seems. Craig Stephen writes that Beijing is simply frustrated with the fortunes of its own tech giant."  
    April dip in stocks unlikely: Deutsche Bank.    
    Risky home-equity strategies are back"
More wealthy owners are using home loans to play the stock market and make other investments."     
    Energy: Schlumberger's payday in Venezuela      
    Housing, health are retirement killers.  
    Ford ready to step on gas   "If you like stable governments, low crime rates, socializing, great food, wine, culture and the dependability of developed countries, this list is for you. Above: Valencia, Spain." 
    The 10 best places to retire abroad"If you like stable governments, low crime rates, socializing, great food, wine, culture and the dependability of developed countries, this list is for you. Above: Valencia, Spain."   
    10 things financial advisers won’t say.    

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Woods #1 Again. So Winning Does Take Care of Everything, Right?-.  "Nike’s Facebook and Twitter messaging on behalf of Tiger Woods this week played on several different levels. And many think it was the social media equivalent of a triple bogey. ‘Winning Takes Care Of Everything’ was the tagline placed on an image of Tiger the day after he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and regained the #1 world golf ranking. It immediately created a firestorm of social and traditional media blowback, given the obvious interpretations related to Woods’ off the ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy for Monday 4/1/13"With stock indices at or near record highs, analysts will be watching the economic data more closely to determine if the current levels in the stock market are justified. This morning's data showed... ... Read More »  
    ISM Manufacturing Disappoints in March.  
    Construction Spending Above Expectations.    
    Markit PMI Confirms Expansion Continues.       
    NAAIM Survey: Exposure Levels Remain Elevated.     

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are flat tonight.


2013-3-28 (Thursday Night): S&P 500 hits record close — take the money and run?, What a quarter! Dow and S&P at record highs. The NASDAQ Composite gained 11 points (0.34%) to end at 3,267.52. The Dow rebounded 52.38 points (0.36%) on the day, to end at at 14,578.54; the S&P 500 rose 6.34 points (0.41%) to 1,569.19. Oil closed at 97.28: Oil settles above $97, rises nearly 6% for quarter; Gold ended at 1,596: Gold falls $11.50 to settle at $1,595.70. The VIX rose 0.45 to 12.70.     
    "
The S&P 500 set a record closing high on Thursday, finishing a fifth consecutive month of gains to extend a four-year long rally."   
   
"Finally. Stocks wrapped up a stellar first quarter Thursday with the S&P 500 finishing at a new high, after flirting with the milestone for weeks. More"
 
 
    Tomorrow will be the stock market holiday Good Friday, so the markets will be closed.
    As the headlines are saying, the S&P 500 and the Dow both hit new all-time highs.

Marketwatch says:     
    Welcome back to the record books, S&P.     
    How global funds bring a world of hurt to portfolios"Roberto Rigobon of MIT explains how global stock funds bite into your annual returns."  
    Euro consolidates as Cyprus banks reopen.    
    Europe stocks rise after German retail sales.    
    Asia stocks fall sharply as banks weigh.    
    Cyprus's banks face trial by fire.  "Banks gradually get back to business, with tight security, after imposition of capital controls."  
    Cyprus and what could kill the euro"Cyprus and what could kill the euro"  
    U.S. growth at year end better than thought.       
    Weekly U.S. jobless claims rise 16,000      
    U.S. foreclosure inventory up 9%: RealtyTrac.  
    The latest bold bet from the 400% man.    
    Faber: nowhere is safe from Bubblegeddon
    Where insiders are putting their money right now.    
    Why sequester won't show up in jobs report .   
    Intel paying retirees to start 'encore' careers.     
    Health premiums set to rise"This report joins the growing list of studies warning individual health-plan costs are likely to rise."  
    Thomas H. Kee, Jr. warns that Buy-and-hold is still dead.   This is a very thought-provoking article. A week ago today, the P/E ratio on the S&P 500 was 18:1. That's not in nosebleed territory, but it's near typical 20:1 to 22:1 stock market turning points. Stocks aren't cheap.  
    Kevin Marder says Stocks digest gains in fine form.    
    Outside the Box This popular mutual fund type is losing you money.    

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Crisis Update: Cyprus Is a Game Changer.  "The markets have been celebrating the "stick save" of Cyprus. However, if you understand what is really happening, you might become a little less optimistic... ... Read More »"  
    Where To From Here- (What the Big Boys are Saying About Stocks)"With the S&P 500 coming tantalizingly close to setting new all-time closing highs, but failing each time to do so, there has been no shortage of analysts and market commentators providing opinions on the short- and longer-term next moves for the major U.S. equity indices. Back in January, I published a look at broad 2013 outlooks for the market, “The January Rally And Market Forecasts 2013: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.”  As several prominent Street firms have altered forecasts, and the 1st Quarter is about to close, I ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy for Thursday 3/28/13.  
    Chicago PMI Pulls Back in February.    
    Weekly Jobless Claims Up 16K in Latest Week.       
    Q4 GDP Revised Higher, But Still Weak.     

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    It's been another "up" week in a four-year-old bull market. Come Monday, some investors may "take the money and run". There may be at least a short-term pullback in the markets next week.


2013-3-27: (Wednesday Night): Wall Street slips as euro zone concerns drag, S&P 500 tests all-time high again. The NASDAQ Composite gained 4.04 points (0.12%) to end at 3,256.52. The Dow slumped 33.49 points (-0.23%) on the day, to end at at 14,526.16; the S&P 500 slipped 0.89 points (-0.06%) to 1,562.85. Oil closed at 96.52: Oil rebounds from intraday low to finish higher; Gold ended at 1,608: Gold futures score first gain in four sessions. The VIX rose 0.39 to 13.16.    
    "
Stocks declined on Wednesday as tepid demand at an Italian debt auction stoked investor concerns about the financial stability of the euro zone. A stalemate over the formation of a new government in Italy and fiscal upheaval in Cyprus were reflected in a rise in Italian bond yields, with the cost of five-year debt at its highest level since October."      
   
"U.S. stocks recovered from earlier weakness Wednesday to end mixed as investors continue to monitor the situation in Cyprus. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:      
    Treasurys soar on Italy.    
    Fed doves in no rush to scale back asset purchases.    
    S&P sets sights on record high.    
    Now do you believe in the housing rebound?.    
    Michael Gayed says From whatever it takes to whatever can be taken.   
    Madoff writes letter, says banks were complicit"Suzy Welch, the
co-author of “Winning” with her husband, former GE chief executive Jack Welch, tweets that the government has it in for J.P. Morgan Chase."
  
    Bond links: An ETF For short-term traders.  
    ETFs are your BFFs, millennials    
    Markets: Cyprus faces unprecedented controls
    Cyprus to reopen banks, impose capital controls.    
    How Cyprus could be next Detroit"How Cyprus could be next Detroit."  
    Matthew Lynn writes: After Cyprus, euro zone will slip into depression.    
    Moody's cuts country ceilings on Cyprus.    
    Jimmy Stewart’s lesson for Cyprus.    
    Al Lewis says Beggar your pardon, Mr. Bernanke.   
    New ETFs muzzle an untamed market.    
    Mark Hulbert tells Why you should buy a convertible.    
    Lean inventories hold back pending home sales.    
    Too difficult to identify mortgage risks?.  "Years after the bursting of the housing bubble, a look at some very delinquent mortgages shows it can still be tough to identify risk." 
    Darrell Delamaide notes: Obama struggling on fiscal, economic fronts.   
    Italy's ‘mess’ pushes euro below $1.28.  "Dollar climbs against euro as Italy wallows in political turmoil."  
    Europe hit, with Italy's back against wall.     
    Three investing rules to rescue your retirement.  "Commentary: Indexing proponents Burton Malkiel and Charley Ellis set out rules for a below-average-returns phase, writes Jonathan Burton."  
    Social Security 75-year solution isn't enough.  "Seventy-five years matches the time an average adult spends in the system. But there's a flaw."  

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Crisis Update- Cyprus Is a Game Changer.  "The markets have been celebrating the "stick save" of Cyprus. However, if you understand what is really happening, you might become a little less optimistic... ... Read More »"  
    Where To From Here- (What the Big Boys are Saying About Stocks)"With the S&P 500 coming tantalizingly close to setting new all-time closing highs, but failing each time to do so, there has been no shortage of analysts and market commentators providing opinions on the short- and longer-term next moves for the major U.S. equity indices. Back in January, I published a look at broad 2013 outlooks for the market, “The January Rally And Market Forecasts 2013: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.”  As several prominent Street firms have altered forecasts, and the 1st Quarter is about to close, I ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Wednesday 3/27/13.  
    Pending Home Sales Slip in February.    
    Investor's Intelligence: Sentiment Becoming a Problem.        

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Stocks are neutral again tonight..


2013-3-26: (Tuesday Night): Wall Street ends higher, S&P near record, Stocks bounce back. The NASDAQ Composite gain 17.18 points (0.53%) to end at 3,252.48. The Dow retraced 111.9 points (0.77%) on the day, to end at at 14,559.95; the S&P 500 advanced 12.08 points (0.78%) to 1,563.77. Oil closed at 96.18: Oil futures approach $95 before Nymex close; Gold ended at 1,599: Gold settles below $1,600 an ounce. The VIX dwindled 0.94 to 12.76.    
    "
Stocks finished higher on Tuesday, pushing the S&P 500 within striking distance of its all-time high, as strong data on home prices and manufacturing fed optimism about the economy, although the improvements were seen as slow."      
   
"U.S. stocks bounced back Tuesday, as investors welcomed better-than-expected reports on home prices and durable goods. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:      
    Factory, housing data supports growth picture.    
    How Buffett's been besting Goldman at its own game"Commentary: How big is Warren Buffett? Big enough to out-Goldman Goldman Sachs (First Take)."  
    S&P sets sights on record high.    
    Orders for big-ticket U.S. goods jump 5.7%.    
    U.S. home-price growth at six-year high.   
    Sales of new homes sink 4.6% in February.    
    Do rich people buy annuities?"There's a reason the wealthy have largely stayed away from annuities. Is tha a lesson for you?"
    Be on guard for warnings that market timing is dead.  "Commentary: Timing goes in and out popularity according to a fairly regular cycle, writes Mark Hulbert."  
    The case for staying in gold.  "With gold prices falling, many are yanking money back out of ETFs — a move investing pros say misses the whole point of owning the shiny metal in the first place."
    Cyprus's bid to reopen banks called superhuman.   "Central bank chief updates effort to open banks after week's hiatus." 
    3 ways for Europe to regain control of its crisis.    
   A Cypriot euro is no longer really a euro"Capital controls look set to make a euro held in Cyprus less attractive than elsewhere in euro zone."  
    Euro seesaws after Cyprus-spurred selloff.   
    Here's what's unknown after Fed's last meeting.  "In the wake of last week's Fed meeting, here's what we still want to know about central-bank policy."  
    When your 401(k) dumps you.  "Firms are handing out another kind of pink slip: booting former employees from 401(k) plans."  
    Kevin Marder notes:The market that can do no wrong — really?.     
    John Nyardi asks Is anyone, anything, anywhere safe?.    
    Michael Ashbaugh says S&P back for another crack at major resistance.    
    Treasury, bund yield gap highest since '10.    

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Crisis Update: Cyprus Is a Game Changer.  "First things first... All four of the teams I wagered on to make the "Final Four" are into the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Tournament. So theres that! But then we have Cyprus. The markets have celebrated the last minute "solving" (really?) over the weekend of an issue which by their actions the markets did not see as a major problem last week. Or they properly discounted a last minute "stick save" and acted accordingly. But don't think for a moment that this latest episode of the ongoing European Sovereign Debt and Banking Crisis ... Read More »"  
    Consumer Confidence Dives in March"Although the economic data has been steadily improving, the state of the consumer's psyche has been very volatile so far this year. March's reading of the Conference Board's consumer confidence index ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Tuesday 3/26/13.  "At StateoftheMarkets.com, one of our primary goals is to provide you, the individual investor, with the tools to be more successful in the stock market. While economic stats may be viewed as a bit ... Read More »"  
    New Home Sales Pull Back in February.    
    Case-Shiller Home Price Index Up Again.        

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Stocks are neutral tonight..


2013-3-25: (Monday Night): Cyprus closes in on EU bailout, U-turn on levy, Stocks lower after Cyprus rally fades. The NASDAQ Composite lost 9.7 points (-0.30%) to end at 3,235.30. The Dow retreated 64.28 points (-0.44%) on the day, to end at at 14,447.75; the S&P 500 diminished 5.2 points (-0.33%) to 1,551.69. Oil closed at 94.97: Oil futures approach $95 before Nymex close; Gold ended at 1,605: Gold futures end lower but hold above $1,600. The VIX added 0.17 to 13.99.      
   
"U.S. stocks closed lower Monday, as investors worried whether Cyprus could set a precedent for other debt strapped eurozone nations. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:      
    Bernanke says QE will not 'beggar thy neighbors'""Fed chairman tells London School of Economics that strong U.S. growth will benefit all.  
    Fiscal policy is key villain in economic outlook: Fed's Dudley.    
    New template for euro-zone banking rescues"Cyprus rescue is the way other banking problems should be addressed, Eurogroup head says."  
    Markets don't like Cyprus as bank-bailout blueprint"Cyprus rescue is the way other banking problems should be addressed, Eurogroup head says."  
    How the EU killed Cyprus in one day"Commentary: The bailout package for Cyprus will stave off the risk of immediate collapse and the risk of Cyprus having to abandon the euro. But the plan doesn’t solve Cyprus’s problem."
    Dijsselbloem's shocker is U.S, template too.    
    The bull case for jumping into bear-market funds.  "With the market at record levels, Chuck Jaffe says these investments would seem to make sense."  
    Outside the Box: Use gold ETFs to tackle Fed, inflation fears.    
    Cyprus, Troika reach last-minute rescue deal.    
    Cyprus optimism dims in Asia"Asia loses ground, as optimism over a financial rescue deal struck between Cyprus and its lenders proves short lived."  
    Marsh: Easter rising for the euro.   
    U.S. stocks fall  on Cyprus 'bail in' fears.  "After an initial rise, stocks reconsider their Cyprus-deal reaction and turn negative. S&P 500 turns away from record run."  
    Treasurys erase loss on Eurogroup bail-in remarks.    
    Bearish forecast puts S&P below 1,400 by year-end.  "The "Fed put" that stocks have enjoyed for the past four years will fade later this year, analyst says."  
    Where Soros is putting his money.   "George Soros was buying shares of Citigroup in fourth quarter, and at 8.1 million shares, the bank was his largest holding by market value." 
    Is Dallas the next Cyprus?.     

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Goldilocks Versus The Three Bears.  "While the situation in Cyprus will likely dominate the market on this fine Monday morning, I have decided to step back across the pond and focus on the macroeconomic forces as it relates to the stock market here at home in this morning's missive. While I tend to ramble on at times in this space, I think I can sum up the current situation in the U.S. stock market with the following: Goldilocks vs. The Three Bears. I know what you're thinking. He isn't really going to do an analogy of the age-old fairy tale, is he? To set your mind at ease and to encourage you to continue reading, the answer is no. My message this morning revolves around ... Read More »"  
    Dennis Gartman: You Don't Mess With The Russian Mafia"Dennis Gartman didn't mince words this week regarding the plan to "bail in" the Cyprus banks. The respected market analyst suggested that somebody was going to pay for ... Read More »"  
    Airlines Soaring to New Heights.  "Each week the computers scour our universe of the most liquid stocks traded in the United States for the Top Stocks (the stocks with the top ratings in the top industry groups). But for this report, ... Read More »"  
    Chicago Fed National Activity Index Rebounds.    
    Cyprus Reaches Agreement With EU For Bank Bailout.    
    NAAIM Index: Managers Taking A Little Off Table.    

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Stocks are slightly higher tonight..


2013-3-22: (Friday Night): Cyprus closes in on EU bailout, U-turn on levy, Stocks rise on Cyprus hopes. The NASDAQ Composite rose 22.4 points (0.70%) to end at 3,245.00. The Dow gained 90.24 points (0.63%) on the day, to end at at 14,512.03; the S&P 500 subsided 11.09 points (0.72%) to 1,556.89. Oil closed at 92.67: Oil retreats below $93 as euro-zone activity slows; Gold ended at 1,614: oz, up $6.30, or 0.4%. The VIX dropped 0.42 to 13.57.     
    "
Cyprus is expected to make a dramatic U-turn on Saturday to avert the imminent threat of financial meltdown, having signaled it is willing to tax big savers in its stricken banks to clinch a bailout from the European Union. The island's partners in the 17-nation euro zone scheduled a meeting for Sunday in Brussels, in a strong sign they believe a solution is near."    
   
"U.S. stocks rose Friday on optimism that officials in Cyprus will reach a deal this weekend to rescue the nation's troubled banks. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:      
    Cyprus passes law to help secure euro-zone bailout.    
    Wall Street Week Ahead: Cyprus deal could spur S&P 500 to new peak.    
    Fitch poised to cut UK's AAA rating soon.    
    How copper lost its value as an economic bellwether.  "Commentary: Dr. Copper may be offering Wall Street a flawed economic prognosis, Myra Saefong says"  
    Live coverage of Cyprus crisis: What Trichet said about Cyprus in 2008.    
    German Ifo business-climate index down.    
    S&P: U.K. policy mix 'pretty good'.    
    Yen firm after Kuroda remarks.  
    3 ways to solve U.S. retirement crisis"Matt Greenwald tells Robert Powell what types of employer support and retirement education are critical needs."  
    Retirement plans lack sufficient oversight"Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is the right agency at the right time, Chris Tobe argues.
   
How new bills may alter Medicare.
How new bills may alter Medicare.
    When do the bears admit they're wrong?.      
    Politics: Debt battle to heat up in August.    
    Margin pressure puts a lid on Nasdaq 100.    
    Jeremy Siegel: S&P 500 to hit 1,700 by year-end.    
    Energy: Tesoro's algae-made crude.    
    Solar energy grows more popular and drops in cost"Solar energy is growing in popularity in the U.S. Three CEOs say  that as costs drop, solar power is becoming competitive with conventional power."  
    Green jobs haven’t lived up to promise.    
    Howard Gold advises: Don’t jump into stocks unless you are staying.  "Commentary: Now is not the time to jump into stocks unless you're going to stay."  
    Al Lewis writes about An alleged scheme to pay off the last scheme.   
    Mark Hulbert tells of The real investment lesson of the Iraq war     
    Mark Hulbert warns: Get out of junk stocks..    
    Should Social Security hold stocks? Debate rages on"Commentary: Henry K. Hebeler and Alicia Munnell argue the cases against and for, respectively."   
   “Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die.”.    
    The computer knows who you are.    
    Battening down the hatches on bonds.    

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
It's Still All About The....  "TIf there was any doubt as to what is driving the action in the stock market at the present time, Thursday's session should have erased it. In short, it's all Cyprus/Europe all the time as once again the algo's pounded the indices yesterday whenever a headline hit the wires that put the state of the banking system in question. Conversely, when we saw comments, rumors, tweets, or headlines suggesting that the bailout of the Cyprus banks was back on track, the indices popped higher. As evidenced by the whopping 1.1% decline on the S&P so far (-0.81% on the DJIA), ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Thursday 3/21/13"At StateoftheMarkets.com, one of our primary goals is to provide you, the individual investor, with the tools to be more successful in the stock market. While economic stats may be viewed as a bit ... Read More »"  
    The Early Look: All Eyes on Cyprus.    
    Philly Fed Reverses Higher in March.    

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Stocks were up for the day but down a little for the week..


2013-3-21: (Thursday Night): Oracle, Cisco join Cyprus in jangling Street's nerves , Technology stocks drag markets lower. The NASDAQ Composite fell 21.59 points (-0.97%) to end at 3,222.60. The Dow tumbled 90.24 points (-0.62%) on the day, to end at at 14,421.79; the S&P 500 subsided 12.91 points (-0.83%) to 1,545.80. Oil closed at 92.67: Oil retreats below $93 as euro-zone activity slows; Gold ended at 1,614: oz, up $6.30, or 0.4%. The VIX jumped 1.32 to 13.99.     
    "
Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks suffer their biggest drop in nearly a month, pressured by weak euro-zone economic data, escalating worries over Cyprus, and disappointment with Oracle’s quarterly earnings."    
   
"U.S. stocks fell Thursday, with technology stocks weighing on the broader market following lackluster earnings from Oracle. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:      
    Cypriots prefer euro-zone exit over EU tax: report.    
    Cyprus in $7.5B hole.    
    Streaming coverage.    
    Why the ECB is playing hardball with Cyprus.    
    Euro may be doomed either way?"Commentary: The EU and its currency may be doomed no matter how the Cyprus crisis is resolved, writes Darrell Delamaide."  
    U.S. jobless claims hold steady near 5-year low"The number of Americans who applied last week for new unemployment benefits rose slightly but clung near a five-year low, another indication that fewer people are losing their jobs."  
    Existing-home sales rise 0.8%"Existing-home sales rise in February to the highest rate in three-plus years"  
    U.S. house prices up 0.6% in January: FHFA.    
    PMI gauge of U.S. manufacturing rises in March.    
    Philly Fed index moves into expansionary territory.    
    Leading economic indicators up in February.    
    Reality check for the hawks on inflation.  "Commentary: Our own experience tells us inflation is higher than is being reported, right? Wrong, argues Rex Nutting"  
    Clock ticking for Cyprus as ECB sets Monday deadline.    
    Cyprus bourse extends trading suspension.   
    Euro-zone PMI signals deeper March downturn     
    China’s economic-policy makers turn page.    
    Can this app really help you invest like a billionaire?.   "This new app, iBillionaire, aims to help average investors behave more like Warren Buffett, et al." 
    Latest on insider and hedge-fund positions.    
    U.K. cuts growth estimate, will borrow more.    
    Charts explain what the Fed is doing.   "Why rates are being left at near-zero levels and bond-purchase program is intact." 
    The Mila Kunis tell.    
    Six pieces of news that signal caution.   
    How to invest during the Cyprus crisis.    
    David Rosenberg is bullish — but worried.    
    How mutual-fund buying matters to your stocks.   "Werner Renberg on what stock-fund inflows in 2013 may mean for U.S. equity holdings?" 
    Another volatility-based buy signal.    
    House passes bill to avert shutdown
    Here's why boomer debt has soared since 2000"Average household debt for people age 55 and over increased faster than for any other age group."  
    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    "You Were Wrong!"
.  "The first words of the conversation definitely got my attention. After confirming that he did in fact have the guy making the decisions on the market, the caller, in a not-so friendly tone, bellowed into my ear, "You were wrong!" Although this assault was likely designed to get a charge out of me, I decided to be diplomatic and replied, "Could you be more specific?" I quickly proceeded to explain that in the business of investing other people's money, we are "wrong" somewhere in our portfolios each and every day. Even in the most rip-roaring bull markets, you are bound to have a position or ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Thursday 3/21/13"At StateoftheMarkets.com, one of our primary goals is to provide you, the individual investor, with the tools to be more successful in the stock market. While economic stats may be viewed as a bit ... Read More »"  
    Leading Economic Indicators: Third Consecutive Increase.  
    Philly Fed Reverses Higher in March.      .  
  . Existing Home Sales Up 20th Straight Month.   
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Pulls Back.    
    FHFA House Price Index Up Again.    
    Markit's Flash PMI Upticks in March.    
    Weekly Jobless Claims Hold Steady.    
    Preliminary Manufacturing PMI's in Eurozone Weak.    
    HSBC China March Flash Manufacturing PMI Up in March.    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Stock market futures are flat again tonight.


2013-3-20: (Wednesday Night):Wall Street ends higher as Fed keeps stimulus in place , Stocks end higher on Fed stimulus pledge. The NASDAQ Composite regained 25.09 points (0.78%) to end at 3,254.19. The Dow hit a new high, up 55.91 points (0.39%) on the day, to end at at 14,511.73; the S&P 500 rebounded 10.37 points (0.67%) to 1,558.71. Oil closed at 92.19: Oil ends higher after FOMC, supply drop; Gold ended at 1,612: Gold logs its firstloss in five: "Gold futures settle lower, suffering their first loss in five sessions and adding to the drop after FOMC announcement.". The VIX jumped 1.72 to 12.67.     
    "
Stocks climbed on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 snapping a three-day losing streak as the Federal Reserve reassured investors that it would keep supporting the economy. The housing sector's stocks ranked among the best performers after Lennar Corp reported a first-quarter profit well above analysts' expectations as lower interest rates and rising rents increased home sales."    
   
"U.S. stocks rose Wednesday after the Federal Reserve reiterated that its stimulus measures will remain in effect until the job market gets back on track. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:      
    Oracle's big revenue miss slams shares in late trades.. "Software giant Oracle reports a surprising decline in sales for the third fiscal quarter, sending their shares down in after-hours trading."   
    Fed's 'QE' program intact; 'moderate' growth is seen"The Federal Reserve sticks to its $85 billion-a-month asset purchase plan, saying growth was moderate and that downside risks remain."  
    Fed maintains forecast for 6.5% jobless rate by 2015.    
    The charts that explain what the Fed is doing.    
    FedEx, Caterpillar raise alarm"Investors get a double-whammy from FedEx and Caterpillar, less than a month before first-quarter earnings roll out in full."  
    Cyprus as the euro zone’s Lehman Brothers moment   "Commentary: Bailout terms reveal euro-zone blind spot on market connections, writes Matthew Lynn."  
    Cyprus: What's happening right now and in the coming days — live.    
    Obama’s new Mideast.   "As president arrives in Mideast, Amotz Asa-El sees opportunity to rethink America’s role in light of newfound energy wealth." 
    U.K. cuts growth estimate, will borrow more.    
    Time to buy tech and sell financials.    
    Dow earnings are not what they appear to be.    
    April 1 is a key tax date for seniors.   "Are you an IRA owner who turned 70½ last year? Here's a deadline for you — and it's no joke." 
    Cammie Mae: U.K. to back home loans.  "Chancellor George Osborne puts bilions behind bid to back home ownership."  
    Cyprus parliament rejects proposed tax on deposits. "The parliament in Cyprus shuts down a plan to tax bank deposits, throwing the nation’s bailout into uncertainty since the levy was required by international lenders."   
    Markets underestimating Cyprus?.    
    Countries most exposed to their banks.    
    Live updates: Cyprus.    
    Fed’s outlook could be key to meeting.    
    Obama’s new Mideast.  "As president arrives in Mideast, Amotz Asa-El sees opportunity to rethink America’s role in light of newfound energy wealth."  
    Anadarko, partners find oil in Gulf of Mexico.    
    Bond crash dead ahead- tick, tick ... boom!.    
    Senate OKs bill to avert government shutdown"The Senate approves a bill to keep the federal government funded through September, acting to head off a partial shutdown that looms next week."  
    
State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Cyprus Update: Bears Have To Be Disappointed So Far.  "Given that stocks came into the week in a very overbought condition, that just about everyone in the game has been calling for a correction, a pullback, or at the very least a "sloppy period" to commence, and that the situation in Cyprus appeared to give the bears the catalyst they needed to get control of the game, our furry friends have to be disappointed with their efforts so far. Although there has been a fair amount of intraday volatility ... Read More »"  
    Architecture Billing Index Shows Continued Strength.  
    Investors Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Pulls Back.      .  
   
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Stock market futures are flat tonight


2013-3-19: (Tuesday Night): U.S. stocks end mixed on Europe uncertainty, S&P 500 ends down, but off day's low after Cyprus vote. The NASDAQ Composite gave up another 8.49 points (-0.26%) to end at 3,229.10. The Dow declined 3.76 points (0.03%) to end the day at 14,455.82; the S&P 500 shed 3.76 points (-0.24%) to 1,548.34. Oil closed at 92.19: Oil ends higher as shock over Cyprus eases a bit; Gold ended at 1,612: Gold futures tilt higher amid tough call on Cyprus. The VIX jumped 2.3 to 13.60.     
    "
The S&P 500 fell for a third day on Tuesday but pared losses late in the day after the parliament of Cyprus rejected a proposed tax on bank deposits. Rejection of the tax, which was a condition of a European bailout, eased worries that savers will begin withdrawing funds. "Regardless of the vote in Cyprus, we still have the problem. Banks in Cyprus will remain closed until Thursday."    
   
"U.S. stocks finished mixed Tuesday, after lawmakers in Cyprus voted against a tax on bank deposits. This throws into doubt a €10 billion euro bailout deal for Cyprus reached with the European Union just three days ago. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:      
    Cyprus: Has the next global crisis arrived?   "Commentary: Cyprus is seemingly a guinea pig for a new approach from those pulling the policy strings, writes Todd Harrison."  
    Cyprus finance minister reportedly resigns — live coverage of crisis.    
    J.P. Morgan on what the markets are underestimating about Cyprus.    
    Cyprus uncertainty rises with new bank bill.    
    Why Cyprus freaked markets.    
    Slide show: Cyprus is new flash point.    
    Tweeps to follow on Cyprus.    
    Pimco reduces exposure to euro.    
    Cyprus parliament rejects proposed tax on deposits. "The parliament in Cyprus shuts down a plan to tax bank deposits, throwing the nation’s bailout into uncertainty since the levy was required by international lenders."   
    Markets underestimating Cyprus?.    
    Countries most exposed to their banks.    
    Live updates: Cyprus.    
    Fed’s outlook could be key to meeting.    
    March Madness impact vs. the sequester.    
    Why your choice of S&P 500 ETF matters.    
    5 stocks that insiders are now scooping up"Here are the big moves insiders are making."  
    Carl Icahn's favorite small-cap stock picks.    
    Charts are pointing to a garden-variety pullback.   
    House Republican calls Cyprus a warning.    
    Home construction rises modestly in February"Single-family and apartment buildings pick up, while permits hit best level in four years."  
    Fed to signal it will keep punch bowl full.    
    10 reasons it's safe to run with Wall Street's bulls"Stocks are showing many encouraging signs for investors able to look beyond negative headlines, Jeff Reeves writes.":  
    A 'what, me worry?' Fed.  "Commentary: Central Bank needs to focus less on jobs and more on these worries."  
    Is the market telling us to cash out?.  
    Kevin Marder asks: Are housing stocks ready to build new gains?.    
    Tomas H. Kee, Jr., warns: Dow earnings are not what they appear to be.    
    Retirement accounts making us anxious.  "Workers, especially younger ones, say they're saving less, while baby boomers see a slight rebound."  
    Saving to retire: Don't be afraid of stocks.    
    The case for taking Social Security earlier   
.   Claim Social Security later.  "Counterpoint to suggestion that retirees take their Social Security benefits early."  
    Meredith Whitney has never been so bullish.  "Noted analyst speciailizing in banks says she's 'not been this constructive, this bullish on the U.S., on equities.'"  
    Health: U.S. flunks health-cost transparency.  "Big issue is the split over what’s wrong with the U.S. economy, in the short and long runs, writes Rex Nutting."  
    Politics: How Washington may head off crisis.    
    10 signs that your stocks are about to tumble.    
    Robert Prechter on mood, markets.   
    Fed to signal it will keep the punch bowl full"Expect the Fed to throw cold water on suggestions it plans to ease or end its bond-buying plan soon. "   
    When emotions rise or fall in sync with the Dow"Commentary: While the initial emotions surrounding the new market high may have faded, plenty of investors are still unsure what to do, Chuck Jaffe notes."  
    What Shiller's P/E ratio says about market’s top.  "What Shiller's P/E ratio says about market’s top"  
    CAPE calls equities too pricey, but they’re not.    
    .      
State of the Markets articles include:    
   
What's The Deal in Cyprus?.  "Let's see a show of hands for everyone who uttered the words, "Here we go again" on Monday morning. For if you were taken by surprise with the early algo onslaught related to the latest edition of the European debt crisis, you couldn't be blamed for assuming that the day wasn't going to be pretty. And although the bears really didn't do all that much with what appeared to be a golden opportunity yesterday, I'm sure there are more than a few folks wondering what the deal is with Cyprus right now. Let's start with some fun facts to know and tell. First, can you ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Tuesday 3/19/13.  
    German ZEW Confidence Index Hits 3-Year High.      .  
   
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Stock market futures are down about ¼ % tonight.


2013-3-18: (Monday Night): Stocks cut losses as fears ease, Stocks slide as Cyprus revives bad euro memories. The NASDAQ Composite receded 11.48 points (-0.35%) to end at 3,237.59. The Dow declined 62.05 points (-0.43%) to end the day at 14,452.06; the S&P 500 shed 8.6 points (-0.55%) to 1,552.10. Oil closed at 93.0: Oil ends higher as shock over Cyprus eases a bit; Gold ended at 1,604: Gold ends above $1,600 for first time this month. The VIX jumped 2.3 to 13.60.     
   
"Trading Deck: The European bailout of the Cypriot government is the latest in a long line of threats to the now four-year-old bull market. And as with all the rest, this one will shake, but not spark a bear run."    
   
"U.S. stocks tumbled Monday as a controversial bailout and bank tax in Cyprus reminded investors that Europe's debt problems are far from over. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:       
    Why this Cyprus crisis may be off radar in mere days.    
    Explaining the Cyprus levy and how it wrong-footed global markets.    
    Cyprus tax could be just the spark Europe fears"Commentary: Brussels is turning a prospective spark into an explosion, writes Darrell Delamaide."   
    Goldman: Deposit tax could sweep Europe.    
    No run on banks in Spain, so far.    
    Cyprus at epicenter of new euro-zone crisis.    
    What will Cyprus do to Wall Street's rally?.   "Wall Street looks to Cyprus and the near-panic ensuing from an unprecedented levy on bank deposits, adding to too-far-too-fast fears in U.S." 
    House Republican calls Cyprus a warning.    
    Cyprus deposit tax gives the rich a reason to flee"Tiny island state will have a Gerard Depardieu moment of its own (24/7 Wall St.)."  
    Everything you need to know about Cyprus.    
    Why Wall Street shouldn't worry about Cyprus tax"Trading Deck: The European bailout of the Cypriot government is the latest in a long line of threats to the now four-year-old bull market. And as with all the rest, this one will shake, but not spark a bear run.":  
    Breaking up ‘too big to fail’ banks is too simple.  "Reform might not be enough, write James Barth and Apanard Prabha. But breakups go too far."  
    Can U.S. rebound continue?.  "Data look hopeful on several fronts, but does recovery staying power?"  
    Dallas Fed president: No banks too large to fail.    
    Euro hit by Cyprus plan to tax bank deposits.    
    J.C. Penney’s ‘Plan B’ is real estate: analyst.  "Wall Street may be overlooking an alternative outcome to J.C. Penney’s troubled turnaround, as well as the significant value of its real estate, an analyst says."  
    Politics: 'Bank holidays' in Cyprus vs. U.S.    
    Politics: Jindal's latest warning to Republicans   
.   Politics: Senate sticking point remains taxes    
    Energy: Too late to get in on natural-gas rally?.    
    If Cyprus is the butterfly, is gold the pesticide?.  "Big issue is the split over what’s wrong with the U.S. economy, in the short and long runs, writes Rex Nutting."  
    Warning: Whipsaws ahead for S&P 500.    
    10 signs that your stocks are about to tumble.    
    Robert Prechter on mood, markets.   
    Fed to signal it will keep the punch bowl full"Expect the Fed to throw cold water on suggestions it plans to ease or end its bond-buying plan soon. "   
    When emotions rise or fall in sync with the Dow"Commentary: While the initial emotions surrounding the new market high may have faded, plenty of investors are still unsure what to do, Chuck Jaffe notes."  
    What Shiller's P/E ratio says about market’s top.  "What Shiller's P/E ratio says about market’s top"  
    CAPE calls equities too pricey, but they’re not.    
    .      
State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Will Cyprus Be The Trigger? (And Ways to Play the Coming Correction).  "It is safe to say that all eyes are on Cyprus this morning as the proposed tax on savings accounts (10% on accounts over 100K euros and 6.75% on accounts below 100K) has brought the European debt crisis back into focus. As usual, the key here is the situation with the banks. First, the banks in Cyprus. Second, the banks in Greece and then the Eurozone. And finally, the banks around the globe. Who has lent what to whom? Which ... Read More »"  
    Chaos in Cyrpus Brings Euro Crisis Back in Focus"Those patiently waiting for a market correction to begin appear to be smiling as a tax levied on bank savings in Cyprus has markets diving hard this evening... ... Read More » 
    Samsung's S4: "The New King of Smartphone?.  "In this week's edition of Quotable Quotes, David Wismer takes a long look at Samsung's over-the-top introduction event of the company's new Galaxy S4. To say there was a lot of hype may the ... Read More »"    .  
   
NAHB Homebuilder Confidence Slips Again in March.    
    NAAIM Survey: The Trend Is Your Friend.    
   
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Stock market futures are up about 0.2% tonight..


2013-3-15: (Friday Night): U.S. stocks in decline after extended run, Dow snaps 10-day streak of gains. The NASDAQ Composite receded 9.86 points (-0.30%) to end at 3,249.07. The Dow declined 25.03 points (-0.17%) to end the day at 14,514.11; the S&P 500 moved 0.00 points (0.00%) to 1,560.70. Oil closed at 93.45: Oil, natural gas log gains for the day and week; Gold ended at 1,591: Gold futures edge up to end the week 1% higher. The VIX shifted 0.00 to 11.30.     
   
"Major stock indexes have never been higher - and yet that's hardly scaring people. Stocks have soared in 2013, with the Dow climbing almost 11 percent to hit a series of new all-time highs while the S&P 500 (.SPX) has jumped 9.4 percent, falling just short of its all-time high after rising for 10 of the past 11 weeks. And yet, analysts for the most part see equities as fairly cheap."    
   
"After rising for the past 10 trading days, the Dow ended modestly lower Friday following a surprise drop in a measure of consumer confidence. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:       
    U.S. inflation running hotter than at any point in 3 years.    
    Empire State index stays positive.    
    U.S. industrial output picks up.    
    RetireMentors: From ammunition to zucchini, prices are up.    
    Consumer sentiment drops in March.    
    Treasurys gain after confidence data slump.    
    Greenspan vs. Gross on ‘irrational exuberance’.    
    ‘Irrational exuberance’ mentions have tripled since February.    
    As stocks extend gains, trading volumes are growing ever thinner.    
    S&P 500 needs ‘ridiculously strong’ growth to break 1,600: Goldman’s O’Neill.    
    How 'Obamacare' will reduce U.S. employment.  "Demonstrators for and against Affordable Care Act march outside Supreme Court a year ago. Affordable Care Act will lift labor costs, argues Diana Furchtgott-Roth, and cost low-skill jobs."  
    Is 'QE' working? Economists debate   "James Glassman and Josh Shapiro go head to head on the Fed's $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program."
.   Jamie Dimon in government crosshairs    
    Fed: BB&T, Ally fail their stress tests.    
    Bernanke is from Mars, and Ryan is from Venus.  "Big issue is the split over what’s wrong with the U.S. economy, in the short and long runs, writes Rex Nutting."  
    Delamaide: Patty Murray versus Paul Ryan.    
    Marc Faber: Fear the China 'credit bubble'.    
    Rand Paul calls for new GOP.   "The Republican Party has grown "stale and moss-covered" says Rand Paul, the Republican Senator from Kentucky."
    Italian politics, Russian oligarchs threaten calm"Italian politicians and the specter of Russian oligarchs still threaten global-market calm."   
    Apple up despite Galaxy S4 threat"'Evolutionary, not revolutionary,' some say, but others see S4 as big threat to Apple at high end."  
    S4 signals shift to faster wi-fi.    
    Markets: U.S. millionaire count hits 9 million.    
    Markets: Jim O'Neill's high bar for S&P 1,600.    
    Markets: As 'Black Swan' an event as there is.      .      
    Retirement: Medicare and the M.D. shortage.  
    Markets: O Tokyo, wherefore art thou?.    
    Looking for canaries in the correction coal mine.    
    Patty Murray goes toe-to-toe with Paul Ryan.  
    Howard Gold notes that Top bond fund managers get nervous.  "Top fund managers are getting nervous. Should you?"     
    Crime, confidence and precious-metal price-fixing.    
    Obama pledges $2 billion to alternative fuels, transportation.    
    It could be worse: You could be under 40"Baby boomers may be having a tough time, but chances are their adult kids and younger neighbors are looking at a much rougher road."  
    Why natural gas is an investing ‘sleeping giant’.   "As winter season draws to a close, the energy market should be getting ready for a slowdown in natural-gas demand, but prices have rallied." 
    Dimon's 'Sun God' status on the line?  "J.P. Morgan gets hit by a one-two punch after Senate panel ties CEO to risky "London whale" bet and Fed orders bank to resubmit dividend plan."
    .      
State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Does the Dow's Winning Streak Mean Anything?.  "Anyone paying attention knows that stocks are on a roll. The DJIA hit a fresh all-time high on Thursday, as did the Small- and Mid-cap indices. In addition, it is worth noting that the Dow has finished higher for 10 consecutive days now and has been up 12 of the last 13 sessions. What makes this interesting is that the Dow hasn't enjoyed either a 9- or a 10-day winning streak since November 15, 1996. While this sounds like a relatively rare event, it should be noted that there have been 40 winning streaks of 9-days (or more) since 1900. So, up until 1996, a 9-day winning streak occurred about ... Read More »"  
    Weekly Jobless Claims Continue To Improve"The weekly report on Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance (e.g. Weekly Claims) is the most current stat we see on the state of the job market. This week's report was the best since ... Read More » 
    The State of the Economy: Friday 3/15/13 .     
    University of Michigan Sentiment Declines.      .    
    Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization Above Expectations.    
    Empire Manufacturing Above Expectations in March.    . 
    CPI Moves Higher in February.       

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    In spite of bad news today and the fact that today was a "quadruple witching day", the markets ended the day only marginally lower.


2013-3-14: (Thursday Night): Rally lifts S&P 500 to near record, Dow extends win streak to 10. The NASDAQ Composite climbed 13.81 points (0.43%) to end at 3,258.93. The Dow added 83.86 points (0.58%) to end the day at 14,539.14; the S&P 500 rose 8.71 points (0.56%) to 1,563.23. Oil closed at 93.13: April oil rises 51 cents to settle at $93.03; Gold ended at 1,590: . Gold settles higher to recoup part of recent loss The VIX fell 0.53 to 11.30.     
   
"Stocks rise, lifting the S&P 500 index within 2 points of its all-time closing high, following a surprise drop in jobless claims."    
   
"U.S. stocks advanced Thursday, with the Dow hitting yet another record high and the S&P 500 coming within 2 points of its all-time high. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:       
    Don't fear market heights, this upward trend has legs: Larson (audio).    
    Europe stocks close at record highs on U.S. rally.    
    U.S. jobless claims fall 10,000 to 332,000"New filings for benefits fall to second lowest level in five years, reflecting steady job gains."  
    Treasurys fall after jobless claims data.    
    Treasury sells $13 bln in 30-year debt at 3.248%.    
    30-year mortgage rate rises to 3.63%.    
    U.S. producer prices jump 0.7% in February.   "Producer-level inflation rises at fastest rate in five months." 
    U.S. Q4 current account gap narrows unexpectedly.    
    Foreclosure filings in February fall 25% from year earlier.    
    Greece, troika to resume talks in April.    
    Five ways Buffett plays the game — and you do not.    
    Marc Faber: Fear the China 'credit bubble'.    
    Retirement estimates vs. average.   "Assumptions about what each of us will need are difficult to calculate. Here are some solutions."
    Bankrupt countries are coming after investors.     
    Politics: 'Grand bargain' hopes are fading.    
    Encore: Democrats address Medicare change.    
    Health: Aetna CEO warns of cost 'shock'.       .       
    .      
State of the Markets articles include:    
   
What Could Go Wrong?.  "After yesterday's rather extensive esoteric exploration of investing philosophy, I decided that I'd better climb down off of the soap box and talk about something a bit more concrete in this morning's missive. And while I'm not a big believer in investing based on one's view of the world, I thought it might be a good idea to take a look around to see what might interrupt the bulls' current joyride to the upside. In other words, I'll be asking the question: What could go wrong from here? Right now it is fairly easy to bullish. The Dow has been up 11 of the last 12 days. The DJIA, Mid- and Small-cap indices all made new all-time highs yesterday. Money is ... Read More »"  
    Weekly Jobless Claims Continue To Improve"The weekly report on Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance (e.g. Weekly Claims) is the most current stat we see on the state of the job market. This week's report was the best since ... Read More » 
    The State of the Economy: Thursday 3/14/13 .     
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Ticks Higher.      .    
    Weekly Jobless Claims Continue To Improve.    
    PPI: Inflation Ticks Higher at Producer Level.    .    

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are flat again tonight.


2013-3-13: (Wednesday Night): Dow win streak goes to 9, Stocks end mostly lower; 1Dow hits new all-time high. Again. The NASDAQ Composite gained 2.8 points (0.09%) to end at 3,245.12. The Dow added 5.22 points (0.04%) to end the day at 14,455.28; the S&P 500 rose 2.04 points (0.24%) to 1,554.52. Oil closed at 92.30: Oil futures mark first session loss in five; Gold ended at 1,586: . Gold settles lower as dollar gains on retail sales The VIX rose 0.44 to 11.83. The VIX is getting down to its 2007 levels. These can go on for awhile, but the VIX probably won't go much lower. In 2007, it fell below 11, which may signify a dangerous complacency.     
   
"U.S. stocks post mild gains Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average extending its record run into a ninth session, after February retail sales beat expectations.".    
   
"The Dow inched higher, adding five points, to close at an all-time high for the seventh straight day. Wednesday marked the ninth straight day of gains for the index. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:       
    Best run for benchmark since November 1996.    
    VIX lows more likely normal than false signal.    
    Mark Hulbert digs into moving-average formats.   
    Your living standard going down"Commentary: The era of robust global economic growth may now be coming to end, writes Satyajit Das, lowering the standard of living for most of us in the process."   
    U.S. economic growth stronger than you think.    
    Boehner calls meeting with Obama 'good start'.    
    Economic reports you can trust (radio)"What makes first-glance contradictions so common in economic data — including the what, how and who behind the numbers."  
    U.S. shoppers spread cash around to stoke retail data.  
    'Inflection point' for economy dead ahead: Morgan Stanley.    
    U.S. mortgage applications off 4.3%: MBA.    
    IEA- weaker oil-demand growth, more supply.   
    Roubini analyst: Fed 'QE'  through 2013.    
    Small investors miss raily.    
    Currency vigilantes live on.    
    Balancing the budget is a foolish goal.    
    Matthew Lynn reports Bankrupt countries are coming after investors.    
    Ask yourself this question before you buy a house (radio).    .       
    .      
State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Beliefs, Knowings and Lessons Learned.  "probably need to issue a word of warning about this morning's meandering market missive. In light of the fact that I have run out of ways to say "The trend is your friend" and "Don't fight the tape," and I've used up all of my favorite Wall Street-isms lately - including "Do nothing, absolutely nothing until there is something to do" and "Things don't matter in the markets until they do, but then they matter a lot" - I'm going to spend my time this morning talking about Ms. Market's game and some of the things I've learned over ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Wednesday 3/13/13      
    Import and Export Prices Up in February.      .    
    Retail Sales Surprise To The Upside in February.    
    Investors Intelligence- Bullish Sentiment Jumps.    
    Rates Rise At Italian Bond Auction.    
    Digging Into the Intraday Dive.    

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are flat again tonight.


2013-3-12: (Tuesday Night): U.S. stock indexes retreat from record high, Stocks end mostly lower; Dow's win streak is longest since 2011. The NASDAQ Composite fell 10.55 points (0.32%) to end at 3,242. The Dow added 2.77 points (0.02%) to end the day at 14,450.06; the S&P 500 eased 3.74 points (0.24%) to 1,552.48. Oil closed at 92.60: Oil logs fourth session gain in a row; Gold ended at 1,592: Gold futures settle near two-week high. The VIX rose 0.72 to 12.29. The VIX is getting down to its 2007 levels. These can go on for awhile, but the VIX probably won't go much lower. In 2007, it fell below 11, which may signify a dangerous complacency.     
   
"U.S. stocks were lower in choppy trading Tuesday, with the Dow stepping back from its sixth record high. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:       
    Blue chips tentatively pile gains atop a record high.  
    Wharton's Siegel makes Dow 18,000 case.    
    Stovall: S&P's path to 1,877.    
    David Weidner: Dow 36,000? Try 6,300.   "Author of exuberant prediction is back but latest message doesn't resonate" 
    S&P 500: Analysts cite triple-dip risk.    
    New black swan: North Korea.    
    Protect your portfolio this March.  "Mark Hulbert has some important (and distressing) advice for all you college basketball fans."  
    U.S. jobs, economy need a new European trade pact.  "Reducing the remaining barriers to U.S. trade with Europe could boost exports, bring jobs and strengthen partnerships, writes Ron Kirk."  
    John Nyaradi asks if Panic buying signals market top?.    
    Look at commodities, not equities, for new trades.    
    24 bull markets since 1890.    
    The shocking truth about bond forecasts.  "Commentary: Risk-versus-reward analysis is the only reliable way to make investment decisions."  
    Bill Gross’s latest move and more bond news.    
    From the farm to your wallet.    
    CAPE calls equities too pricey, but they’re not.  
    Physician shortage likely to get worse.  
    Create a pension for your kids and grandkids"No need to worry about your child’s future employer or government providing a lifetime pension. You can set one up today."    
    Michael Ashbaugh reports on Charting the S&P’s test of record territory.    
    Marder: Stocks follow bullish script.    
    Are we in a market bubble?.       
    .      
State of the Markets articles include:    
   
    Is It Still Okay to Buy-.  "Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the current rally is how quickly the view of the market can change. A couple weeks ago, most everyone I talked to was skeptical of the move and just about every discussion began with the words "yea, but." (As in, "yea, but" it's only the Dow; "yea, but" Washington is a problem; "yea, but" Europe is a mess; etc.) And after the Italian election results came to light, it appeared that fear and loathing was about to take over again at the corner of ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Tuesday 3/12/13      
    NFIB Small Business Optimism Up Again in February.      .    

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are flat tonight.


2013-3-11: (Monday Night): Stocks end week higher, S&P 500 near record close, Dow ends at record high for fifth day. The NASDAQ Composite rose 8.85 points (0.26%) to end at 3,252.87. The Dow added 50.22 points (0.35%) to end the day at 14,447.29; the S&P 500 rose 5.04 points (0.32%) to 1,556.22. Oil closed at 91.92: Oil futures close up after late-session turnaround; Gold ended at 1,579: Gold futures log highest close of month The VIX fell 1.03 to 11.56. The VIX is getting down to its 2007 levels. These can go on for awhile, but the VIX probably won't go much lower. In 2007, it fell below 11, which may signify a dangerous complacency.     
   
"U.S. stocks continued their record run Monday as hopes that lawmakers would pass a budget added to the recent enthusiasm. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:       
    S&P's turn for record run?.  "The Dow did it. Is this the week when the S&P sets a record?" 
    S&P 500 runs triple-dip risk"In 2000, the benchmark U.S. index neared 1,600 only to take a dive soon after. The same thing happened in 2007. And now, here we are again, with the S&P 500 at 1,556. Feeling nervous?"  
    Let's hear it for the Dow.    
    Street powered by payrolls data.    
    Stocks need economic growth to push higher.    
    Why China fears forex war.    
    Why Global Economy is still stuck: Andy Xie.    
    China inflation climbs; other indicators soften.    
    Why global growth is fading away.    
    Three strong European dividend ETFs.    
    Singapore: the World's Richest City (video).    
    Your 2 key portfolio choices today.  
    Bond rally shows fresh signs of fatigue.  
    Time to sell your bonds?"Investing pros say there’s reason to think the gloomy outlook on bonds may be for real this time—because a stronger economy, higher inflation, or both could reduce the value of bonds investors own."  
    Big bond investors prepare for rising rates.    
    10-year bond yields seen at 2.75% by year-end.    
    What to do when stocks pop, rates rise.    
    Will Puerto Rico taxes lure John Paulson from N.Y.?.  "Sun? Surf? Colonial-era architecture? Absence of tax on capital gains? Guess which looks set to lure John Paulson and other investing titans (The Tell)"  
    Investors flock to S&P 500 ETFs.   
    Michael Gayed advises: The bulls win this round.    
    Avi Gilburt on Shaking out the bears.  This is a good point: the markets will continue to push higher until the wall of worry turns into a curb, and pundits begin to explain the "this time it's different". So far, small investors aren't flocking to the market, and the bond money is mostly still in bonds, available for stock investments.  
    Cody Willard says, Time to play a game: 'Who's more scared?'.    
    DJIA stocks that could kill this rally.    
    Nasdaq clues suggest more upward valuation.    
    Corn prices set to fall 30% by end of year.    
    GOP budget to re-open war over 'Obamacare'?.    
    Consumers hold key to job growth.    
    David Marsh says that this is the Moment of truth for Mario Draghi.   
    How to choose long-term care coverage.   
    Settling your debts could actually raise your tax bill"Commentary: The IRS considers any forgiven debt of $600 or more as taxable income. Yes, that means you could be paying taxes on the money you didn’t pay back, writes Jennifer Waters."     
    Long-term- care cost up for women"Robert Klein explains why premiums for this critical coverage are likely to rise as much as 40% starting in April."   
    Seniors: Lose the weight and keep it off.    
    New tax law may change retirement..    
    How the Social Security crisis could cost you.   
    10 things Medicare won’t tell you.   
    .      
State of the Markets articles include:    
   
    My Market Thesis: No New Crisis Equals.  "With the DJIA at fresh new all-time highs, all the major indices sporting new 52-week highs, and the S&P having finished in the green 8 of the last 9 sessions (and the last 6 in a row), it is obvious to anyone with an open mind that the bulls are large and in charge at the present time. In short, I'm not sure what more I can say. The trend is up, there is a wall of worry to climb, and there doesn't seem to be any new crises brewing. On that last point, I should probably let you know ... Read More »"  
    Birinyi: Better Get Onboard The Bull Train  "While a great many investors continue to pound the table about the risks in the market, Laszlo Birinyi said this week that you can forget about a correction and that it's time to get onboard the bull ... Read More »"  
    China Economic Data a Mixed Bag in February.    
    NAAIM Index: Managers Staying With Trend.      .    

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are flat tonight.


2013-3-8: (Friday Night): Stocks end week higher, S&P 500 near record close, Stocks end 2nd best week of 2013. The NASDAQ Composite rose 12.28 points (0.38% ) to end at 3,244.37. The Dow added 67.58 points (0.47%) to end the day at 14,397.07; the S&P 500 rose 6.92 points (0.45%) to 1,551.18. Oil closed at 91.56: Oil holds above $91, set for weekly gain; Gold ended at 1,577Gold futures post minor gains for the day and week The VIX fell 0.47 to 12.59.       
   
"Stocks wrapped up one of the best weeks of the year. The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 closed higher for the sixth straight trading day and ended the week up more than 2%. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:       
    U.S. jobless rate falls as 236,000 jobs are created.  "February unemployment rate falls to 7.7%, lowest level for closely watched figure since 2008."  
    Rex Nutting: Why the U.S. unemployment rate is so misleading.  
    Dollar rallies as U.S. nonfarm payrolls enjoy a February surge.  
    Gold tumbles on better-than-expected jobs data.    
    Can — and should — we buy gold in our IRAs?.   "Financial planner Dan Moisand takes this and other savings and retirement questions" 
    Secret bull market in gold.  "Here's why the precious metal's upward run isn't finished yet."  
    Treasury yields rise to 2013 high after jobs.   
    Is the market topping?.   
    Hopward Gold writes: At Dow’s peak, two bulls pull in their horns.
    Drought could choke the Midwest in summer 2013"Last summer’s drought conditions are expected to worsen, leading to higher food prices and more erratic weather, writes Eric Holthaus."   
    Drought could wreak havoc on grain forecasts.    
    The market's next fat pitch.    
    Goldman's O'Neill: Global stocks are still cheap.  "The man who coined "BRICS" says equities around the look remain worth a look (The Tell)."
   
7 Wall St. warns of 'activist bubble'.  "Commentary: Danger looms as superwealthy advisers further tighten screws in their bid to wring more and more cash from stock holdings"
    White House 'making nice' with Big Business: report .    
    Fed's Bullard sees continued bond buying..    
    Chasing money managers down the rabbit hole..    
    Dow soars, economy struggles"Why? The answer is simple but it's not corporate greed that gets the blame."  This is another article by Diana Furchtgott-Roth. 
    Amazon's on top, so is it time to sell?. "Commentary: When a company is admired by everyone, that may mean it’s time to get out, writes Mark Hulbert."   
    Cheap oil to rescue, economist predicts.    
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:    
   
    A Very Large Wall of Worry?.  "As someone who spends their days watching the stock market action closely, I completely understand why the bears are looking for a meaningful pullback to begin sometime soon. In short, the trend of the past four years has been for the market to advance sharply for a period of time and then get blindsided by the next crisis. So, as the saying goes on Wall Street, "Once is a trend, ... Read More »"  
    Jobs Report Stronger Than Expected, But....  "The latest data on the state of the jobs market was a surprise - in a good way as the economy created 236K jobs last month. However, the concern is that this number may actually be "too good" at this ... Read More »"  
    Wholesale Inventories Up In January.    
    Join Dave M. For a Live Webinar Sunday at 7-00 pm Eastern.      
    Consumer Credit Surprise to the Upside.    

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    This has been another "up" week in the markets. From a chart standpoint (see below), the Dow looks as though it could be in a final "blow-off" phase prior to a significant downturn, but my investment decisions are being guided by the "BUY-HOLD-SELL" recommendations stemming from my State-of-the-Markets subscription. 


2013-3-7: (Thursday Night): :U.S. stocks rise, as Dow notches another record, Dow continues record run. The NASDAQ Composite rose 9.72 points (0.30% ) to end at 3,232.09. The Dow added 33.25 points (0.23%) to end the day at 14,329.49; the S&P 500 rose 2.80 points (0.18%) to 1,544.26. Oil closed at 91.55: Oil settles at highest level of the month; Gold ended at 1,577Gold ends flat after two-session rise. The VIX fell 0.41 to 13.05.       
   
"The Dow finished at a new record Thursday, as the blue chip index and the S&P 500 advanced for a fifth straight day. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    Worst three-year span for wage earners since '93-95.  "U.S. productivity slips less than originally believed, but news on wage-growth front is bleak."  
    Jobless claims' one-month average hits 5-year low.  
    U.S. ranks low on retirement-security measure — No. 19, in fact.  "The U.S. isn't even among the top 10 countries when it comes to retirement security, including access to health care, life expectancy and jobs for retirees. Biggest challenge, worldwide? Health costs."
    Bad-Paying Cities for Women (23/7 Wall St.).    
    What to do now if mostly in cash.    
    S&P chart appears to repeat history"There's something downright eerie about S&P 500's five-year patterns."  
    Top U.S. banks really are ‘too big to jail’"Commentary: Atty. Gen. Holder all but admits big banks have a get-out-of-jail-free card, and Darrell Delamaide calls for congressional redress."  
    Benghazi on Wall Street.    
    Drug dealers go to jail, bankers pay a fine.    
    Battle between banks, Fed heats up.    
    17 banks pass Fed test; only Ally falls short.  "The first part of a long-awaited two-stage stress test for big banks is in and all but one stayed above minimum financial ratios set out in the test.
   
Federal Reserve stress test results.  
    Bank stress tests and the next crisis.    
    Sequester a job crimper?.    
    It's stock bulls vs. bears on this 12-chart battleground.  "Stocks’ record-breaking run puts investors at a crossroads: Plow in? Pull back? Hold steady? Here's what noted stock pickers are watching."  
    ECB policy unchanged; Italy queries for Draghi.  "Bank of England leaves quantitative easing on hold, while European Central Bank stands pat."  
    Developing: Headlines from Draghi remarks.    
    Draghi plays down implications of Italy election.  
    Post-Chávez Venezuela may be a new Saudi Arabia"Venezuela has the opportunity to become the oil world’s new Saudi Arabia now that longtime President Hugo Chávez is gone. But will it?"  
    China shocks with surplus.   "China manages to
post a trade surplus in February, confounding an expectated swing to deficit on seasonal factors."
 
    China's central bank warns on money supply.    
    China middle class in no mood to spend (video).      
    Don't sell gold: Kingsview's Silverman.    
    For stocks, the game remains the same.    
    Thomas H. Kee, Jr., says: Will the real stimulus please stand up?     
    How to prepare for worst if stock market corrects"Commentary: Although you won’t get complete protection in a market correction, put options are an insurance policy as your stocks plunge. Michael Sincere explains how put options fit in your portfolio."    
    Obama, Republicans break ice on budget.   
    Again with Dow 36,000?.    
    What to look for in February jobs report.    
    Consumer credit rises again in January.  
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking For A Market Top Indicator?  
"Now that the DJIA has reached a new all-time high and the S&P 500 is getting close to doing so as well, it seems that the big topic in the press these days is picking the top. While history shows that new highs tend to lead to more new highs, the problem is the last time the Dow reached the Promised Land in 2007, the bears then started mauling everything in sight. And since 40%+ declines tend to stick with people for a while, everybody and your grandmother are looking for the top right now. In short, nobody wants to get fooled again. Frankly, I can't blame anyone for being ... Read More »"  
    Buffett (and Berkshire) Watching"The headlines surrounding Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway have been coming fast and furious over the past few weeks. However, there is more than meets the eye to many of the claims about Buffett ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Wednesday 3/6/13.
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Inching Up.   
    Trade Deficit Expands in February.    
    Worker Productivity Fell in Q4, Unit Labor Costs Up.    
    Weekly Jobless Claims Down Again.    

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are once again flat.


2013-3-6: (Wednesday Night): Dow passes all-time high: a bull market or bear trap?, Dow marches to another new high. The NASDAQ Composite slipped 1.76 points (-0.05% ) to end at 3,222.37. The Dow added 42.47 points (0.30%) to end the day at 14,296.24; the S&P 500 rose 1.67 points (0.11%) to 1,541.46. Oil closed at 90.42: Oil futures end lower, but recoup $90 level; Gold ended at 1,579Gold ends flat after two-session rise. The VIX .fell 0.05 to 13.53.       
    "
Commentary: The rush to new highs has given the impression that new bull market's been confirmed, but it never hurts to be prepared for the worst, as underlying economic factors should give one pause."  
   
"One day after hitting a new all-time high, the Dow gained more ground Wednesday as investors welcomed signs of strength in the U.S. job market. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    Letting the VIX tell us when to get out of the market.  "Commentary: Will "fear gauge" say so when it's time to quit the Wall Street party? Mark Hulbert explores."  
    Fear indexes on the rise in the global stock markets.  "Commentary: London is getting its very own fear index, and that’s not a good thing, writes Matthew Lynn, taking note of the absent hope gauge."  
    Global markets sitting out the Dow euphoria.  
    U.S. stocks open up, extending record run.    
    Fed- Government policy is restraining hiring, spending.    
    Private-sector jobs growth beats expectations.    
    Stopgap budget on track to pass House.  
    Jeffrey Gundlach: No bond bubble.    
    Lessons from past Dow milestones"A look back at previous blue-chip breakthroughs — and what happened next".    
    How to invest in view of record-high Dow.   
    Cooperman: Bargains are scarce, but rally's not over"Hedge-fund legend taps a handful of stocks worth a look with Dow at all-time high (The Tell)."    
    Timing the market should set off alarm bells.   "Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger laments in guest column that history-making market moves often trigger unproductive investor responses."
    Dow Industrials as new safe-haven play.    
    John Nyardi asks: Bull market or bull trap?.    
    Michael Gayed tells about the Market's invisible gorilla.  "The outlook for the euro zone is clear as mud, but guest columnist Kiron Sarkar can see fuel for a dollar rally, and more."
    10 reasons euro crisis may be incurable.   
    Avi Gilburt asks: Did the bears fumble the ball?.    
    Smart money is shifting to risk-off.    
    Is the risk-on trade dead?.    
    Micahel Gayen asks: Will dollar's rise awaken the bears?.    
    .Einhorn, Ackman and how to play them.   
    . 
.    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Worried About The Rally- (Join The Club)  
"If you find yourself worried about the current joyride to the upside and a brand new all-time high for the DJIA is causing your acrophobia to kick in, join the club. Although the stock market as measured by the S&P 500 is up more than 130% since the credit crisis bear market ended March 9, 2009 and the index is up close to 40% since the August 2011 mini-bear market low, this is one of the most unappreciated, mistrusted, and dare I say, ... Read More »"  
    Factory Orders Down in January.    
    ADP Employment: Private Sector Job Growth Above Expectations.   
    Investors Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Waning.    
        
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are flat again tonight.


2013-3-5: (Tuesday Night): Dow hits record high but may be facing new ceiling, Dow hits new record high The NASDAQ Composite gained 42.10 points (1.32%% ) to end at 3,224.13. The Dow added 125.95 points (0.89%) to end the day at 14,253.77; the S&P 500 rose 14.59 points (0.96%) to 1,539.79. Oil closed at 90,82: Oil turns slightly lower, but holds above $90; Gold ended at 1,576Gold futures finish with a modest gain. The VIX .fell 0.51 to 13.50.         
   
"The Dow Jones industrial average rallied to a new record high Tuesday. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    Time to take some profits?.    
    How to invest in view of record-high Dow.    
    Economic data add fuel as stocks scale fresh heights.  
    Dow highs tend to spur more buying.    
    As Dow hits all-time high, Europe stocks rally to 4½ year record.    
    Legendary hedge-fund manager Druckenmiller: This will end badly.  
    Mark Hulbert: So what's the big deal about those 2007 highs-.    
    Markets Stream: Continuous coverage of this history-making day.    
    Lessons learned from past Dow industrials milestones.    
    ISM services-sector index strengthens.     
    U.S. home prices extend gains in January   
    B. of A. Merrill Lynch cuts '13, '14 gold forecast.    
    Are speculators really driving gas?.  "As prices soar, Brett Arends deflects blame from a Great Oil Conspiracy."  
    IRA and Roth tax perks are getting better.  "The outlook for the euro zone is clear as mud, but guest columnist Kiron Sarkar can see fuel for a dollar rally, and more."
    10 reasons euro crisis may be incurable.   
    Avi Gilburt asks: Did the bears fumble the ball?.    
    Smart money is shifting to risk-off.    
    Is the risk-on trade dead?.    
    Micahel Gayen asks: Will dollar's rise awaken the bears?.    
    15 great ways to retire well — but cheaply..   "How you can retire like a cheapskate but continue living the good life." 
    Retirement lessons from 'Downton Abbey'"The PBS smash has found a particularly attuned audience in financial planners and lawyers"  
    Mark Hulbert says: Bigger is better in energy.    
    Republicans: Taxes not on table to undo sequester.  "Repullicans won't relent on goal of cuttinggovernment spending." 
    CBO chief: Raise taxes on middle class or cut benefits.    
    Sequester vs. your Medicare.    
    Fed’s Yellen: Full steam ahead on QE3.    
    Why gas is high even with lower oil prices
.    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    A Year Without A Crisis Is Like...  
"Although my son has been doing the time-intensive, laborious stock research for me for more than five years now, he's really only seen one kind of market environment. This fact hit me between the eyeballs recently when he asked what the market would look like if we didn't have some sort of crisis every year. In short, I replied, "Usually, a year without a crisis is like... well... a bull market." After spending some time with the weekly chart of the S&P 500, my son went on to opine that the years 2003-2006 must have been pretty enjoyable since there was no credit crisis, no European debt crisis, and nothing ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Tuesday 3/5/13.    
    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index Improves Again.   
    CoreLogic- Home Prices Up 11th Consecutive Month.     
    Retail Sales in Eurozone Better Than Expected.    
    Eurozone Services PMI Above Expectations.    
        
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are slightly higher tonight.


2013-3-4: (Monday Night): Dow inches toward record, Dow inches closer to record high The NASDAQ Composite gained 12.29 points (0.39% ) to end at 3,182.03. The Dow added 38.16 points (0.27%) to end the day at 14,127.82; the S&P 500 rose 7 points (0.46%) to 1,525.20. Oil closed at 89.98: Oil falls to new low for year as China stirs demand fear; Gold ended at 1,578Gold prices find footing after 3-session drop. The VIX .fell 1.35 to 14.01.         
   
"Forced budget cuts were no match for the bulls on Wall Street. U.S. stocks ended higher Monday as investors remain optimistic about the economy even as federal spending cuts begin to take hold. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    Charts behind rising fear of a property bubble in China.  "These charts provide an at-a-glance summary of what is fueling what some say is a property bubble." 
    Worst day in China since August 2011.  
    China Vanke chief sees property bubble.    
    China sets GDP target at 7.5%"Reports say leaders of the world's second-biggest economy expect 7.5% GDP growth in 2013."   
    Stocks could use a ‘goldilocks’ jobs report.     
    Roubini: Rally masks debt, sequester risks. Roubini- Rally masks debt, sequester risks   
    U.S. gains back nearly all jobs lost since Lehman failure.    
    HIV drug makers in focus on baby cure.    
    What stable euro?.  "The outlook for the euro zone is clear as mud, but guest columnist Kiron Sarkar can see fuel for a dollar rally, and more."
    10 reasons euro crisis may be incurable.   
    Avi Gilburt asks: Did the bears fumble the ball?.    
    Smart money is shifting to risk-off.    
    Is the risk-on trade dead?.    
    Micahel Gayen asks: Will dollar's rise awaken the bears?.    
    15 great ways to retire well — but cheaply..   "How you can retire like a cheapskate but continue living the good life." 
    Retirement lessons from 'Downton Abbey'"The PBS smash has found a particularly attuned audience in financial planners and lawyers"  
    Mark Hulbert says: Bigger is better in energy.    
    Republicans: Taxes not on table to undo sequester.  "Repullicans won't relent on goal of cuttinggovernment spending." 
    CBO chief: Raise taxes on middle class or cut benefits.    
    Sequester vs. your Medicare.    
    Fed’s Yellen: Full steam ahead on QE3.    
    Why gas is high even with lower oil prices.  
.    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    It's The Economy, Stupid (Or Not!)  
"One of the things I strive to do each morning is to identify the current drivers of the market action. As I've mentioned a time or twenty, the thinking is that if you can understand why the market is acting the way it is in the short-term then you shouldn't get blindsided by a major move in the long-term. And if you've been paying any attention at all lately, you will likely agree that the market has been reacting to each new bit of economic data with fervor. Friday's action was a perfect example. If you recall, stocks had sold ... Read More »"  
    Dennis Rodman Has a New Friend For Life"This week's edition of "quotable quotes" is chock full of good stuff as usual. However, there isn't much stranger than Dennis Rodman's quote about his new best bud - North Korea's Kim Jung-un ... Read More »"  
    Moves to Cool Real Estate Market Hit Chinese Stocks.   
    China Non-Manufacturing PMI Pulls Back in February.     
    NAAIM Index: Managers Pull In Horns.    
        
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are mixed (flat) tonight.


2013-3-1: (Friday Night): Stocks edge up, Dow stalls just below record high The NASDAQ Composite slipped 2.07 points (-0.07% ) to end at 3,160.19. The Dow gave up 20.88 points (-0.15%) to end the day at 14,054.49; the S&P 500 contracted 1.31 points (0.09%) to 1,514.68. Oil closed at 91.76: Oil falls, locks in first monthly loss in four; Gold ended at 1,580Gold falls 1.1% Thursday to lose 5% in February. The VIX .rose 0.78 to 15.51.      
   
"Stocks recoup part of the prior day's sharp losses on evidence of a solid finish for housing in 2012 and after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke defends the Fed's monetary policy."    
   
"U.S. stocks ended in the red Thursday, with the Dow stalling just below its all-time high. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
     What to watch on U.S. economy on Monday.   
    Obama says he wants to avert shutdown in capital"President and congressional leaders wrap up a meeting at the White House with no deal to avert billions of dollars in spending cuts, dampening hopes for a quick defusing of Washington’s latest fiscal war."  
    Simpson and Bowles on sequester- Pure stupidity"Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles inaugurate MarketWatch guest column by writing that sequestration threatens not only economic recovery but future prosperity and overall stability."  
    Worst hit to U.S. incomes in 20 yrs. can't halt spending.     
    Medicare and the sequester. "If sequester kicks in Friday, one of the biggest federal programs will be far from immune to its effects."   
    Death of interest-only home loan greatly exaggerated.    
    Euro trades below $1.30 after gloomy data.    
    Factories rev.  
    Solid economic reports trumping sequester fears.   
    Bernanke Q&A with miopic lawmakers.   "Darrell Delamaide says questions asked of the Fed chief during testimony this week reveal much about Congress's economic blind spots." 
    Why easy money may end in tears.   "Noted economist Allan Meltzer tells Diana Furchtgott-Roth that low interest rates discourage savings and do not lead to a healthy economy." 
    Q&A: Rely on rental for income?"Financial planner Dan Moisand addresses this and other questions."  
    Michael Gayed says: Correction catalyst of sequester affects stocks.    
    Howard Gold explains What Marty Zweig can teach us now.   
    Too-big-to-fail is too big to end.    
    Break up the too-big, too-dangerous banks.    
    Gold’s bull run isn't over; it’s just taking a break.  "Catalysts aren't obvious, writes Myra P. Saefong, but conditions leading to long bull run are intact."  
    Stocks that perform in bull and bear markets
.    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    What Do The Cycles Say For March?  
"Here's something you probably won't hear on television or on the popular financial websites very often: I don't know exactly what caused yesterday's late-day dive, which took the DJIA from being up 75 points and a mere 15 points away from a new all-time high to down 20. I don't know why the algo's tanked the indices in the final 15 minutes. Some suggest that a failed Senate vote which triggered the sequester was the catalyst, but frankly that seems almost silly. And while I ... Read More »"  
    ISM Manufacturing- Expansion Picking Up Steam"While the economic data in China was weaker than expected and the numbers in Europe weren't really appealing, the ISM index in the U.S. paints a much brighter picture of the economy... ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Friday 3/1/13.   
    Construction Spending Down in January.     
    University of Michigan Sentiment Continues Rebound.    
    Markit's Flash PMI Pulls Back in February.    
    Personal Incomes Fall in January; Spending Up Modestly.     
    Europe Manufacturing PMI's Continue to Struggle.    
    China PMI Below Expectations.    
        
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    This week has seen a correction. The question is: is it over? (Might the sequester have played a role?)


2013-2-28: (Thursday Night): Stocks notch 4th month of gains even as Thursday rally fizzles, Dow stalls just below record high The NASDAQ Composite slipped 2.07 points (-0.07% ) to end at 3,160.19. The Dow gave up 20.88 points (-0.15%) to end the day at 14,054.49; the S&P 500 contracted 1.31 points (0.09%) to 1,514.68. Oil closed at 91.76: Oil falls, locks in first monthly loss in four; Gold ended at 1,580Gold falls 1.1% Thursday to lose 5% in February. The VIX .rose 0.78 to 15.51.      
   
"Stocks recoup part of the prior day's sharp losses on evidence of a solid finish for housing in 2012 and after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke defends the Fed's monetary policy."    
   
"U.S. stocks ended in the red Thursday, with the Dow stalling just below its all-time high. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    Spending cuts start Friday after both Senate bills fail"Automatic federal budget cuts of $85 billion look certain to kick in beginning Friday, after a pair of bills to replace them fail in the Senate."  
    GDP data shift gears, show growth on second reading"The U.S. economy expanded in the fourth quarter — just barely, reversing earlier report of contraction."   
    Dow in shouting distance of all-time high: Why it matters to investors.  
    Danger: Stock-market ‘Greedometer’ flashing red.  "Brett Arends warns that key indicators have begin to look ominous for the market."  
    Dow Theory is saying it's time to buy.    
    Would new Dow record set a bear market trap?.    
    Pimco's Gross- Get ready for lower returns"With Dow inching closer to a new level, traders are on the lookout for signs things are getting overstretched."  
    Sequester starts Friday — then what happens?.   ""Is it time for markets to panic?" and other key questions hang in the balance as cuts look certain." 
    Obama, leaders to talk sequester Friday.   
    Why sequester won’t last, or derail economy.    
    Stocks shift from paved road to dirt road.    
    EU: Bank bonuses can't exceed a year's pay.    
    New U.S. jobless-benefits claims drop.    
    Foreclosure sales lowest in 5 years.  
    87 is the new 65, so invest to beat inflation"If you make it to 65, the “traditional” retirement age, what are your chances of living to your late 80s? Mitch Tuchman discusses portfolio impacts."  
    New technology could stoke clean coal-powered cars.    
    Nine reasons the market has already turned.  \  
    Smart cheats in the options market.   
    Lazy Portfolios at war with Wall Street casino.    
    Can smartphones make us stupid?"Ubiquity of multiuse phones is ruining our decision-making capacities, scientists say."  
.    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    What Did We Learn From The Volatility?  
"After a fourth straight day of triple digit moves on the Dow (something that hasn't happened since November 2011) the headlines of the major news outlets proclaimed "Dow Hits Five-Year High." And after disappearing for a couple of days, CNBC's countdown to new all-time highs returned yesterday afternoon. So I ask you, what happened to all that fear that was in the market on Monday? What happened to all the predictions of more pain for stockholders ahead? And what happened to the chart gurus and ... Read More »"  
    GDP Inches Up To Show Slight Gain in Q4"The latest update on the state of the economy was disappointing. Although Q4's GDP did manage to reverse the early look and break into the plus column, the rate of growth was below expectations ... Read More »"  
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Improves.   
    Chicago Purchasing Managers Index Up Again in February.     
    GDP Inches Up To Show Slight Gain in Q4.    
    Weekly Jobless Claims Fall 22K.    
        
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are down 0.2% tonight..


2013-2-27: (Wednesday Night): Stocks surge in best day since Jan.2, erasing Monday's wipeout, Stocks gain on strong housing data The NASDAQ Composite rose 32.61 points (1.04% ) to end at 3,162.26. The Dow sprang up 175.24 points (1.26%) to end the day at 14,075.37; the S&P 500 jumped 19.05 points (1.27%) to 1,515.99. Oil closed at 92.83: Oil logs minor gain on supply; stays below $93; Gold ended at 1,597Gold drops under $1,600 after two-day rally. The VIX .declined 2.14 to 14.73.      
   
"Stocks recoup part of the prior day's sharp losses on evidence of a solid finish for housing in 2012 and after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke defends the Fed's monetary policy."    
   
"U.S. stocks rallied Wednesday as investors welcomed another upbeat report on the housing market. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    What to watch on U.S. economy on Thursday.     
    A contrarian reaction to Italy’s election.  "Mark Hulbert's clear-eyed look at the results of Italy’s elections — described as having ushered in a worst-case scenario."  
    Powers of even Super Mario (Draghi) have limits.  "Draghi’s countrymen have cut short his honeymoon with markets, writes Michael Casey."  
    Italy debt costs up less than feared after vote.    
    Bersani’s weak victory in Italy may be his strength.  "Fragility of nonmajority win by Pier Luigi Bersani could work in his favor, writes Darrell Delamaide."  
    Kevin Marder: The return of the European bogeyman.    
    A trio of 'Dividend Achievers' for you.    
    $50 trillion in debt? How far can we go?.    
    Two easy ways to lose big"Don't try to beat the market — but don't just blindly follow your broker's advice, Paul Merriman says."  
    The myth of the 8% return.  "Belief that stocks will, on average, advance 8% annually may not be reliable, says Wade Pfau."  
    U.K. sprinting toward junk-bond status.   
    Lazy Portfolios at war with Wall Street casino.    
    Can smartphones make us stupid?"Ubiquity of multiuse phones is ruining our decision-making capacities, scientists say."  
.    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Which Theme Will Win Out?  
"Good morning. So let's see here... As I mentioned yesterday, 2013 has started like the last three years, with the usual joyride to the upside taking hold. The rally confounded a great many investors (bulls and bears alike) as no one was really sure what was behind the big move. As such, the idea of the "great rotation" (out of bonds and into stocks due to relative valuations) was born. People piled on the bull band wagon on the back of the rotation theme and ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Wednesday 2/27/13"In order to help you stay up to date on all the important economic data, we provide a "State of the Economy" roundup each trading day. The report summarizes the day's important economic data in an ... Read More »"  
    Pending Home Sales Up in January.   
    Durable Goods Orders Sag in January.     
    Eurozone Confidence Indices Improve in February.    
    Investors Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Wanes.    
        
        
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are flat again tonight..


2013-2-26: (Tuesday Night): : U.S. stocks bounce back on upbeat data, Bernanke , Stocks close higher on Fed speak The NASDAQ Composite rose 13.4 points (0.43% ) to end at 3,129.65. The Dow subtracted 115.96 points (0.84%) to end the day at 13,900.13; the S&P 500 recouped 9.09 points (-0.61%) to 1,496.94. Oil closed at 92.45: Oil falls to mark lowest settlement of the year; Gold ended at 1,614Gold up nearly 2% for biggest one-day gain of year. The VIX .declined 2.12 to 16.87.      
   
"Stocks recoup part of the prior day's sharp losses on evidence of a solid finish for housing in 2012 and after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke defends the Fed's monetary policy."    
   
"Stocks closed solidly higher Tuesday after Fed chairman Ben Bernanke gave investors reason to believe that the central bank would continue to do its part to help the economy. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    Housing data aid stocks' recuperation as VIX falls.     
    New-home sales regain 2008 pace.    
    Annual home-price gain best in seven years.    
    ‘Ungovernable’ Italy: Debt crisis back on table.    
    Why ECB rescue program may not be there for Italy.    
    Europe stocks sink on Italy election gridlock.    
    Investors fear default by Italy more than Spain.    
    7 reasons why Europe matters to U.S. markets"Commentary: What happens in Europe won't stay in Europe. Here are a few reasons investors should take euro zone a little more seriously."  
    Consumer confidence jumps up in February.    
    Bernanke: QE benefits clear, risks manageable"Fed chairman signals he remains a fan of the Fed’s $85 billion per month bond-buying program."  
    Blog: Read Bernanke testimony back-and-forth.    
    Don't fear gold’s death cross"J.J. Zhang explains the death cross — and concludes that it's not been a strong predictor of late."  
    Gold rallies past $1,600, on track for best day in 2013.  
    Gold forecasts: Goldman joins melee.    
    Taxpayers’ newest headache: Congress.  "If lawmakers fail to reach a deal on sequestration by Friday, IRS and taxpayers may face clobbering." 
    Boehner scolds Senate: Get off your seat.  "Senate should pass a bill to replace sequester, House speaker says."  
    Is your employer watching your weight?"More companies are tracking employees’ medical data to cut costs — and make them healthier. But are their methods invasive?"  
    Beware of working from home  "CEO Marissa Mayer tells Yahoo's at-home workers to start reporting to the office for duty. But new research suggests there may be better reason for them to show up: a future.".    
    Nigam Arora warns: Stock market traces dangerous pattern.  
    Fresh look at Medicare ‘wellness’ visits"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but, reports Elizabeth O'Brien, not enough beneficiaries are getting that tmessage."  
    Irwin Kellner advises:: Economy look dim? Don’t worry, be happy"Consumers say they're happy, but are they really?"
    David Weidner tells us: Bankers are honorable men.   "With apologies to Shakespeare, David Weidner comes to bury the homeowner, not to praise him" 
    John Nyardi lists Seven reasons Europe matters to U.S. markets.   
    Michael Ashbaugh writes Charting a volatility spike, and trend shift.    
    Italy disappoints the markets in these two ways.    
    Mark Hulbert suggests New highs: An indicator of a top?.  
.    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Here We Go Again!  
"For the fourth year in a row, the bulls managed to produce a strong rally to start the new year off on the right foot. But if you will recall, the early rallies of the last three years were thwarted by the European debt crisis. And unfortunately, for the last three years running, those rallies were followed by severe corrections. So, based on the market's reaction to the news out of Italy on Monday, I guess the only thing to say is, "Here we go again!" But that itself is part of the problem. You see, Wall Street just loves repeatable patterns and trading on themes. Given that more than 70% of the trades made ... Read More »"  
    NAAIM Survey: Managers Riding The Trend"The National Association of Active Investment Managers (NAAIM) member firms who are active money managers are asked each week to provide a number which represents their overall equity exposure. This ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Tuesday 2/26/13.   
    New Home Sales Strong in January.     
    Consumer Confidence Rebounds in February.    
    FHFA House Price Up Again in December.    
    Case-Shiller Index: Home Prices Up 9th Straight Month.    
    Home Depot Earnings Top Estimates.    
        
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are flat tonight..


2013-2-25: (Monday Night): The dip-buyers stepped up to the plate today, and knocked a three-base hit: Dow industrials suffer their worst day since November, Dow and S&P 500 suffer worst day of 2013 The NASDAQ Composite reversed field again 45.57 points (-1.44% ) to end at 3,116.25. The Dow subtracted 216.4 points (-1.55%) to end the day at 13,784.17; the S&P 500 acratered 27.75 points (-1.83%) to 1,487.85. Oil closed at 92.44: Oil futures slip but settle above $93 a barrel; Gold ended at 1,597Gold futures score biggest gain of the month. The VIX .leaped 4.82 to 18.99.      
   
"U.S. stocks fall in volatile trading as investors fret over Italy's election, with a potentially strong performance by Silvio Berlusconi's coalition seen as a threat to the nation's austerity agenda.".    
   
"The S&P and Nasdaq wrapped up their worst weeks of 2013, but the Dow managed to end the week with a slight gain. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    Stocks dive after Italy votes.     
    Fear index jumps 35%.    
    VIX jump: Fear we go again?.    
    Euro suffers sharp losses.    
    What to watch on the U.S. economy Tuesday.    
    Italy election results look messy"Hopes for a clear-cut outcome in Italy’s elections give way to fears that a tie could trigger a fresh round of political instability."  
    Italians vote amid hard austerity (video).    
    Why the Senate sequester votes may not matter"The Senate is set to vote on a bill to replace the sequester, but unless the parties close a wide gap, it's bound to be an exercise in political messaging."  
    GOP calls on Obama to negotiate sequester.    
    Sen. Corker Q&A on future of consumer bureau.    
    Top seven moments in Federal Reserve testimony"Here's MarketWatch's look back at the top seven moments in Federal Reserve chairmen's testimony before Congress. (slide show)"  
    Silver, palladium, platinum join gold in sharp rebound.  "Gold futures rebound from last week’s selloff." 
    Warning: IRS may use your tweets against you in audit.  "Tax pros say it isn’t just high rollers who draw extra scrutiny — and offer six tips for steering clear."  
    The day Greenspan gave Clinton his blessing"Here's MarketWatch's look back at the seven top moments in Fed chairmen's testimony before Congress."  
    Bernanke versus hawk to be theme on Capitol Hill  "Two congressional hearings will give Fed chairman opportunity to push back against the market’s increasingly hawkish talk.".    
    Signs point to sequester cuts kicking in Friday.  "Congress is back in Washington, but there may not be time — or the inclination — to avert the sequester's spending ax."  
    Euro zone shrinks while U.S. housing grows"Data released this week show the continued trouble in Europe and the generally positive signs coming out of U.S. housing. See the charts."  
    Kirk Spano: How to recognize the fear of missing out.  
    Chuck Jaffe discusses The fine line between scams and schemes.    
    Michael Gayed asks Will the snake-bite effect hurt housing?.   
    Avi Gilburt says Bears may have their chance with S&P 500.    
    Euro phony war about to end.    
    China’s premature overheating.  
.    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Will The Worry Stick?  
"Our furry friends in the Bear camp tried their darndest to play the worry card last week. And given the fact that the S&P 500 wound up with the first losing week of the year, I guess we will have to admit that they succeeded to some degree. However, given the "excuses" offered for the two-day dance to the downside and the quick rebound on Friday, I'm not entirely sure that the glass-is-half-empty gang will be able to convince investors that they should be quaking in their boots right now. On Tuesday, stocks broke to new highs for the current bull market cycle. At the close, it appeared that despite ... Read More »"  
    NAAIM Survey: Managers Riding The Trend"The National Association of Active Investment Managers (NAAIM) member firms who are active money managers are asked each week to provide a number which represents their overall equity exposure. This ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Monday 2/25/13.   
    Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index Shows Growth Slowing.     
    Chicago Fed National Activity Index Pulls Back.    
    China's HSBC Preliminary PMI Below Expectations.    
        
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    A look at their charts below shows that the popular market indices are ripe for a correction.


2013-2-22: (Friday Night): The dip-buyers stepped up to the plate today, and knocked a three-base hit: H-P paces Dow rally to 14,000, S&P, Nasdaq wrap up worst week of 2013 The NASDAQ Composite reversed field 30.33 points (0.97% ) to end at 3,161.82. The Dow erupted 119.95 points (0.86%) to end the day at 14,000.57 the S&P 500 accompanied them  by gaining 13.18 points (0.88%) to 1515.60. Oil closed at 93.36: Oil up 0.3% on day, down about 2.8% on week; Gold ended at 1,580Gold futures fall 0.4% on day, lose 2.3% on week. The VIX fell 1.05 to 14.17.      
   
"Stocks fell for a second day on Thursday and the S&P 500 posted its worst 2-day loss since November after reports cast doubt over the health of the U.S. and euro-zone economies.".    
   
"The S&P and Nasdaq wrapped up their worst weeks of 2013, but the Dow managed to end the week with a slight gain. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    ChartPattern's Zanger: 'The move up is over'.  Mr. Zanger says that "we either chop around or we chop lower" for the next four to six weeks.   
    Fed officials playing down bubble and other worries.   
    Euro-zone economy to shrink again in 2013: EU.  "That'll make it harder for governments to reduce borrowing, promising more misery for millions of unemployed. More"  
    Europe’s Example"Anyone who thinks the sequester won’t hurt the economy should study the impact of austerity on the euro zone. Continue reading →"  
    El-Erian: Alarms should be ringing"If the latest economic projections from the European Commission are to be believed, expect greater socio-political fragility in 2013.".    
    Permanent Link to Paul De Grauwe and the Rehn of Terror.  The charts in this Paul Krugman paper are eye-catching.  
    Moody's strips coveted AAA bond rating from U.K.  What's notable about this (I think) is that the UK has a much lower debt-to-GDP ratio than the U. S., has its own currency, and was in no danger of facing rising interest rates. But the Brits bought the austerity Kool-Aid that t rest of Europe was buying. This was intended to convince bond-buyers that the Osborne government is staffed with Very Serious People who were prepared the bleed the patient until he/she improved. As a result, the UK has slipped into recession again. Now if I were a potential bond-buyer, I would be more concerned about the financial health of my bond issuers than I would be about how virtuous they seem about paying down their sovereign debts... especially if I were aware that nations don't ever have to repay their national debts as long as they're sedulous in redeeming the individual bonds they issue. I'm speculating that this down-rating by Moody's of UK debt may be a shot across the bow for the Osborne government.
    Europe stocks jump after German Ifo data.    
    Raising the minimum wage is bad news.   "Diana Furchtgott-Roth takes on White House's minimum-wage-and-jobs facts."  I'm channeling Diana Furchtgott-Roth as the voice (I suspect) of that fraction of the ultra-rich who might want to further squelch "the little people". Of course, I could certainly be wrong about her, but that's my instinctive reaction to what she writes.
    Why bond market doesn’t fear the end of QE.    
    Howard Gold observes that The calendar still favors investors.    
    The taxman cometh for fund investors’ money"Weekend Investor: Be prepared to share more of your market gains with the federal government"  
    Rex Nutting notes that Looming sequester exposes GOP rift.
.   SEC commissioner favors new high-speed 'kill switch'"As companies drop spouses from health plans, employees beg them, like Henny Youngman in the Borscht Belt: "Take my wife — please!""  
    Bernanke may push back against hawkish talk.    
    How uneven returns hurt"Your retirement portfolio can suffer with market cycles. Here's what to do about it."  
    Employer health plans kicking spouses to the curb?.  
.    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    "Let Me Get This Straight..."  
"The price action in the stock market was indeed a little u-g-l-y on Wednesday. However, I ended my day with a smile as I definitely got a chuckle out of the bear camp's response after the close. Although our furry friends have had their heads handed to them on a platter for nearly three straight months, suddenly there was hope yesterday. "This is it!" I was told. "This is the day that we've been waiting for... the day that proves the recent rally has been nothing but central bank-induced smoke and mirrors - you'll see! The economy is sagging again. The housing rebound is over. The Fed is going to ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Thursday 2/21/13.   
    German IFO Business Climate Improves Again.     
        
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    A look at their charts below shows that the popular market indices are ripe for a correction.


2013-2-21: (Thursday Night): The Dow and the S&P 500 dipped again today: Wall Street Ends Lower on Growth Worries, Stocks on track for biggest 2-day drop this year The NASDAQ Composite retreated another 32.92 points (-1.04% ) to end at 3,139.49. The Dow declined 46.92 points (-0.34%) to end the day at 13,880.62 the S&P 500 accompanied them  by losing 9.53 points (-0.63%) to 1502.42. Oil closed at 93.08: Oil falls 2.5%, marks lowest close this year; Gold ended at 1,576Gold futures score first gain in six sessions. The VIX climbed 0.54 to 15.22.      
   
"Stocks fell for a second day on Thursday and the S&P 500 posted its worst 2-day loss since November after reports cast doubt over the health of the U.S. and euro-zone economies.".    
   
"U. S. stocks declined for a second straight day Thursday amid ongoing weakness in Europe, a slew of economic reports and a warning of soft sales from Wal-Mart. More"
    
The line in the sand that investment gurus are watching is: S&P = 1,500. This evel of support is currently being tested.    

Marketwatch says:   
    Seven warning signs say stocks are about to slide.   "Commentary: Everything is going swimmingly on Wall Street, right? Maybe not, writes Jeff Reeves, who points to seven signs that the stock market, in fact, is perched on a perilous precipice." 
    Brett Arends: Stocks reliably rise 9% a year — and Wall Street's four additional favorite lies.    
    Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks drop as Fed minutes continue to weigh.    
    Fed’s Bullard eyes tightening next year.    
    Weakening in new orders takes toll on manufacturing.  "Two gauges released Thursday miss Wall Street’s expectations for recent factory activity."  
    Jobless claims climb 20,000 to 362,000.    
    Consumer inflation unchanged in January.
.   Euro-zone PMI data shows deep decline
    Lessons of dot-com bubble burst — 13 years ago.   "Lessons of dot-com bubble burst — 13 years ago." 
    Michael Gayed says, Fed strategy? Confuse and conquer.    
    Nigam Arora says that The Fed spooks gold, stock and bond bulls.    
    Gold's dive is done, and now it's equities’ turn.   
    Why Wal-Mart is so worried.  "Retail behemoth's earnings top targets, but guidance falls short on guidance. Dividend bolstered 18% for fiscal 2014."   
    Darrell Delamaide concludes that Sequester, QE debates show U.S. is broken.    
    Lawrence McMillan argues that Hopeful bears eye the VIX.    
    'Fear index' set for biggest one-week jump since 2011.   "Chicago options exchange's Volatility Index, or VIX, is on track for its largest weekly jump in 17 months following Wednesday's Federal Reserve meeting minutes and Thursday's weak economic data." 
    Matt Lynn:  Berlusconi could crash the markets.    
    Brill: Make health care more like Medicare.  
    Reversal catalyst puts volatility into play.    
    Michael Gayed asks: Bear correction or bull capitulation?.    
    Darrell Delamaide asks: is it Time to print money to finance deficits?.    
    Household Debt Falls Sharply Among Younger Americans: Study.    
    2 Million Homeowners No Longer Underwater.    
    Volatility lifts fear index.   "After several weeks of bottom feeding, the CBOE Volatility Index is toying with one of its largest one-week gains."  
.    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    .One And Done? Or...  
"The price action in the stock market was indeed a little u-g-l-y on Wednesday. However, I ended my day with a smile as I definitely got a chuckle out of the bear camp's response after the close. Although our furry friends have had their heads handed to them on a platter for nearly three straight months, suddenly there was hope yesterday. "This is it!" I was told. "This is the day that we've been waiting for... the day that proves the recent rally has been nothing but central bank-induced smoke and mirrors - you'll see! The economy is sagging again. The housing rebound is over. The Fed is going to ... Read More »"  
    Existing Home Sales Up 19th Straight Month.   
    LEI Report: Slow Expansion in Economy Continues.    
    Philly Fed Well Below Expectations; May Give Fed Cover.    
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Up Again.    
    Markit's Flash PMI Shows Growth Continues.    
    Weekly Jobless Claims Up 20K.    
    CPI Unchanged in January.    
    Eurozone Preliminary PMI's Weaken.    
        
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    The index futures are up 0.15% tonight.


2013-2-20: (Wednesday Night): The Dow and the S&P 500 plunged today: Dow suffers 2nd worst fall in 2013 after Fed minutes, Dow sinks 100 points on Fed minutes The NASDAQ Composite cratered 49.19 points (-1.53% ) to end at 3,164.41. The Dow dove 108.13 points (-0.77%) to end the day at 14,927.54; the S&P 500 followed suit by losing 18.89 points (-1.24%) to 1511.95. Oil closed at 94.77: Oil drops amid contract expiration volatility; Gold ended at 1,560Gold settles lower for a fourth straight session. The VIX jumped 2.37 to 14.68.      
   
"U.S. stocks tumble the most in more than two weeks after minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting illustrate differing views over continuing stimulus.".    
   
"U.S. stocks ended lower Wednesday after Federal Reserve meeting minutes raised worries the central bank might scale back its bond buying program. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    Fed plans March debate on future of 'QE': minutes.   "Fed policy makers are set to consider major changes to bond-buying program." 
    U.S. stock indexes stutter after half-decade highs.    
    D.C. getting out of rescue business.    
    Gross: 'QE' could be at risk later in 2013.    
    Housing starts slump as apartment building slows"Construction of homes falls sharply in January as construction of multifamily buildings cools."  
    Vegetables blamed as producer prices rise.    
    Goldman: 10-year Treasury would yield 3%.    
    No sign of rising inflation in arteries of U.S. economy.    
    Where inflation is all too real.    
    Gold tumbles.   
    Gold breaks triangle pattern to the downside.     
    'Death cross' talk in air as gold slumps below $1,600.    
    The Tell: The so-called death cross isn't gold's only problem.    
    Mossberg: $19-a-month unlimited wireless.    
    Matt Lynn: Berlusconi could crash the markets.    
    Soap-opera turn in merger of Office Depot, OfficeMax.  "Office Depot inadvertantly includes deal announcement in its earnings release."
    Sequestration time bomb ticks.   
    Reversal catalyst puts volatility into play.    
    Bear correction or bull capitulation?.    
    Time to print money to finance deficits?.    

     Manufacturing jobs are barely trickling home.  "The president likes to talk about repatriating jobs, but "reshoring" is barely a trend at all." 
    Michael Gayed notes that Sequestration would put economy at recession risk.    
    Kevin Marder observes that Small-cap action is good for the market.    
    Profit from the market of 'infinite up'.    
    High costs for cheap colleges"President Obama calls on colleges to rein in costs, but new data show those who attend schools with lower tuition often end up paying in other ways."  
.    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    I Like The Odds.  
"I saw a couple pieces of research yesterday that got my attention. Although we are more than knee-deep into February, both reports focused on how the market has acted historically after a strong start to the year. In short, let me say that while the bears continue to contend that the market is due for a shellacking soon and/or the minute "reality sets in," based on the research I saw, I like the odds for the remainder of the year. If you follow the market on even a casual basis, I'm fairly sure you've heard about the "January Barometer." The problem is there are many ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Wednesday 2/20/13.   
    PPI: Inflation In Check at Producer Level.    
    Housing Starts Below Expectations in January.    
    Investors Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Wanes.    
        
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    The index futures are flat tonight.


2013-2-19: (Tuesday Night): The Dow and the S&P 500 closed today at new five-year highs: S&P 500 closes at five-year high, Dow and S&P close at new 5-year highs The NASDAQ Composite hopped 21.57 points (0.68% ) to end at 3,213.60. The Dow rose 53.91 points (0.39%) to end the day at 14,035.67; the S&P 500 galloped up 11.15 points (0.73%) to 1530.94. Oil closed at 96.33: Oil tap fresh intraday highs ahead of settlement; Gold ended at 1,605Gold settles lower for a fourth straight session. The VIX fell 0.15 to 12.31.      
   
"The Dow and S&P 500 finished at new 5-year highs Tuesday, as investors grew hopeful about a potential merger between OfficeMax and Office Depot. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    Bowles, Simpson are back with a new deficit-cut plan.   "Ex–Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and former Wyoming GOP Sen. Alan Simpson take wraps off an updated plan to slash the federal deficit by $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years (Political Watch)" 
    Sequester looms"The week brings reports on housing and consumer prices, but the spotlight may be on the March 1 federal spending cuts known as the sequester."  
    Obama holds firm on automatic spending cuts.    
    Kothari: Easy money can't save business.    
    Inflation: Bondholders not alarmed.    
    Dr. Irwin Kellner: 3 ways government does more harm than good.    
    MarketWatch Topics: The 'sequester'.  
    Home-builder confidence declines.   
    Europe stocks rise after German ZEW report.    
    Gold investors look to China for buyers.  
    China army unit leading hacking vs. U.S.- report.    
    Will China be punished for hacking?.    
    Ketchup kickoff to M&A binge.  "Warren Buffett's deal for Heinz signals M&A revival, but investors should be cautious, argues David Weidner"  
    China's 3D-printing dreams.  "Chinese engineers and inventors set their sights on the new frontier of 3-D printing, hoping to revolutionize manufacturing."  
    American Dream died with Dow 49,200 forecast.  "Paul Farrell laments focus on daily moves, quarterly earnings, year-end bonuses — and loss of long game."  
    Nigam Arora notes that Gold breaks triangle pattern to the downside.   
    Oliver Pursche explains that More than 300 of S&P 500 have momentum with them.  
    Market still not reacting to the bears' growls.    
    Prestbo: What to expect from next correction.  "Stocks are due to fall — or not, depending on which market expert is talking. All of that chatter has John Prestbo wondering how often the market corrects?"
    How to know when it’s time to leave the party.  "Commentary: My first stop in this search for an indicator that will tell us when to get out: The 200-day moving average, one of the most widely-followed market timing indicators, writes Mark Hulbert."
    Mark Hulbert offers A tribute to Zweig’s many contributions.    
    Mark Hulbert also asks: Is the stock market crazy?.    

     Manufacturing jobs are barely trickling home.  "The president likes to talk about repatriating jobs, but "reshoring" is barely a trend at all." 
    Michael Gayed notes that Sequestration would put economy at recession risk.    
    Kevin Marder observes that Small-cap action is good for the market.    
    Profit from the market of 'infinite up'.    
    High costs for cheap colleges"President Obama calls on colleges to rein in costs, but new data show those who attend schools with lower tuition often end up paying in other ways."  
.    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    State of Disbelief  
"With stocks having gone nowhere for the past few sessions (last 6 S&P closes: 1520, 1521, 1520, 1519, 1517, 1518) it is fairly clear that the "oomph" behind the current joyride to the upside is waning. The bears tell us that this is a clear-cut and obvious warning that a correction is about to begin. However, anyone who has been in this business a while knows that these types of moves can, and often do, last longer than anyone can imagine possible (hence the famous quote from Mr. Keynes, "Markets can remain irrational longer than ... Read More »"  
    NAAIM Index- Managers Take a Little Off"The National Association of Active Investment Managers (NAAIM) member firms who are active money managers are asked each week to provide a number which represents their overall equity exposure. This ... Read More »"  
    Two Money Managers Join Top Ranks.   "Each week the computers scour our universe of the most liquid stocks traded in the United States for the Top Stocks (the stocks with the top ratings in the top industry groups). But for this report, ... Read More »" 
    NAHB Homebuilder Confidence Pulls Back in February.    
    Eurozone ZEW Sentiment Index Better Than Expected.    
        
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    The index futures are slightly positive tonight.


2013-2-15: (Friday Night): The indices were mixed again today: U.S. stocks drop after glum euro-zone, Japan data, S&P 500 rises for 7th week in a row The NASDAQ Composite lost 6.63 points (-0.21% ) to end at 3,192.03. The Dow rose 8.37 points (0.06%) to end the day at 13,981.76; the S&P 500 gave up 1.59 points (-0.10%) to 1519.79. Oil closed at 96.09:Oil ends below $96 as traders weigh demand outlook; Gold ended at 1,610Gold settles sharply lower, down over 3% on week. The VIX was unchanged at 12.46.      
   
"The S&P 500 managed to eke out its seventh winning week Friday as stocks ended the day with a whimper. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    The Week in Charts: 'Take this job and shove it' indicator rises.    
    Industrial production slips in January.    
    Manufacturing improves in New York"Empire State index in positive territory for the first time since July, according to New York Fed."  
    U.S. stock losses pared after Empire State.    
    How you can be a smart, successful market timer.  "Commentary: Mutual-fund investors habitually get the worst from their funds, earning returns that are worse than the investment vehicles they're buying. They don’t have to settle for that, writes Chuck Jaffe"
    Moody's downgrades rival S&P: Reports.   
    Hedge funds sold bonds ahead of market rotation, TICS data suggest.    
    Howard Gold flags The end of an investing era"Individual stocks are, says Howard Gold. Target funds, index funds and ETFs are in."  
    Rex Nutting writes about Fixing inequality from the bottom up.    
    Darrel Delamaide says that Obama wants it both ways on energy.    
    Sweetheart, will you be my beneficiary?.  "Sweetheart, will you be my beneficiary?"  
    AMR, US Airways creating world's largest airline.    
    Buffett's Berkshire and 3G to buy H.J. Heinz for $28B.   
    Exercise can beat dementia.  "Staying fit in your mid-life years may help significantly forestall dementia down the road, researchers find (Encore)."
    States fight U.S. plan.  "Attorneys general from eight states join suit that says key parts of law would unconstitutionally favor some creditors of a failed bank over others."  
    Gold at $5,000 and beyond?.  "Here's what one of the biggest gold bulls out there has to say about recent not-very-bullish action for the metal."  
    Why the rich are delaying their retirement, too.  "New report suggests people at the higher end of the wealth scale are pushing back retirement."  
     Manufacturing jobs are barely trickling home.  "The president likes to talk about repatriating jobs, but "reshoring" is barely a trend at all." 
    Michael Gayed notes that Sequestration would put economy at recession risk.    
    Kevin Marder observes that Small-cap action is good for the market.    
    Profit from the market of 'infinite up'.    
    High costs for cheap colleges"President Obama calls on colleges to rein in costs, but new data show those who attend schools with lower tuition often end up paying in other ways."  
.    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    A Sign Of The Times-  
"This week, I attended the NAAIM (National Association of Active Investment Managers) conference in Dallas. I don't attend very many of these types of things because when you are on the road, it can be difficult to keep up with the nuances of the market action. And as long-time readers know, I'm kind of obsessed with staying on top of "the what" and "the why" of the market. As any ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Friday 2/15/13.   "In order to help you stay up to date on all the important economic data, we provide a "State of the Economy" roundup each trading day. The report summarizes the day's important economic data in an ... Read More »" 
    University of Michigan Sentiment Bounces Back.    
    Economic Update: Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization.    
    Empire Manufacturing Rebounds in February.    
 
  
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    The indices backed and filled this week after their multi-month run-up..


2013-2-14: (Thursday Night): The indices were mixed again today: U.S. stocks drop after glum euro-zone, Japan data, Europe slowdown weighs on stocks The NASDAQ Composite gained 1.78 points (-0.06% ) to end at 3,198.66. The Dow backed up 9.52 points (-0.07%) to end the day below 14,000, at 13,973.39; the S&P 500 amassed 1.05 points (0.07%) to 1521.38. Oil closed at 97.32:Oil holds above $97; natural-gas prices drop 4%; Gold ended at 1,632Gold settles near 6-month low. The VIX declined another 0.32 points to 12.66.      
   
"U.S. stocks barely budged Thursday, as gloomy news about Europe's economy dampened the impact of better-than-expected jobless claims and two big M&A deals. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    U.S. weekly jobless claims drop by 27,000  
    U.S. foreclosures, new filings off in January.    
    Furchtgott-Roth: Fed isn’t helping growth.    
    Euro-zone GDP stokes rate-cut bets.    
    Central banks bought most gold since '64.    
    Gold prices struggle near 6-month lows.    
    Europe stocks rise after Europe, U.S. data.    
    AMR, US Airways creating world's largest airline.    
    Buffett's Berkshire and 3G to buy H.J. Heinz for $28B.   
    Exercise can beat dementia.  "Staying fit in your mid-life years may help significantly forestall dementia down the road, researchers find (Encore)."
    States fight U.S. plan.  "Attorneys general from eight states join suit that says key parts of law would unconstitutionally favor some creditors of a failed bank over others."  
    Gold at $5,000 and beyond?.  "Here's what one of the biggest gold bulls out there has to say about recent not-very-bullish action for the metal."  
    Why the rich are delaying their retirement, too.  "New report suggests people at the higher end of the wealth scale are pushing back retirement."  
     Manufacturing jobs are barely trickling home.  "The president likes to talk about repatriating jobs, but "reshoring" is barely a trend at all." 
    Michael Gayed notes that Sequestration would put economy at recession risk.    
    Kevin Marder observes that Small-cap action is good for the market.    
    Profit from the market of 'infinite up'.    
    High costs for cheap colleges"President Obama calls on colleges to rein in costs, but new data show those who attend schools with lower tuition often end up paying in other ways."  
.    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Could A New All-Time High Be Significant?  
"TWith the economy slowly improving, the fiscal cliff out of the way, Europe avoiding implosion so far this year, and the great rotation trade suddenly all the rage, the question of the day seems to be how much higher the stock market can go from here. Of course there are two sides to this argument. And since I try to be as objective as possible as often as possible, I thought I'd quickly review the key arguments from both sides this morning. Let's start with the glass-is-half-empty gang. As I've chronicled a time or two this year, our furry friends in the bear camp remain steadfast in their belief that stocks simply can't go much ... Read More »"  
    Eurozone GDP Contracts More Than Expected.   "Although GDP numbers are "rear view mirror" data, the most recent data shows the economies of the Eurozone contracted more than economists had expected during the fourth quarter of 2012 ... Read More »" 
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Improves.    
    Weekly Jobless Claims Improve 27K in Latest Week.    
    The State of the Economy for 2/14/13.    
 
  
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    The markets are slightly higher tonight.


2013-2-13: (Wednesday Night): The indices were mixed today: U.S. stock momentum stalls on pullback concern, Stocks lose traction with peak still in sight The NASDAQ Composite gained 10.39 points (-0.33% ) to end at 3,196.88. The Dow backed up 35.79 points (-0.26%) to end the day above 14,000, at 13,982.91; the S&P 500 increased 0.90 points (0.06%) to 1520.33. Oil closed at 96.80: Oil wavers; traders parse through conflicting data; Gold ended at 1,641 Gold futures settle at lowest since late August. The VIX declined another 0.34 points to 12.98.      
   
"U.S. stocks turned in an uninspired day of trading Wednesday as investors weighed slowing retail sales with slightly upbeat earnings reports. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    Obama appeals for an end to manufactured crises"President calls on lawmakers to come together and end crises of their own making, also urging action on climate change, wages and fairness."  
    Boehner quickly shoots down Obama's minimum-wage-hike plan.    
    Treasury sells $24 bln in 10-year debt at 2.046%.    
    Al Lewis writes: Sellouts run the SEC, like everything else.    
    Retail data show tax hike crimping Jan. sales rise"U.S. consumers increase their purchases of retail goods in January at a slower pace — 0.1% vs. December's 0.5% — suggesting that a beginning-of-the year tax hike is constraining spending."  
    U.S. stocks open higher after January's retail data.    
    Europe stocks rise after Europe, U.S. data.    
    Data dampen fear of U.S. slowdown: analyst.    
    Latest coalmine canary hints at shaky near-term stock outlook.   
    Matthew Lynn says With Amazon minting currency, Fed at risk.  
    U.S., EU prepare to launch trade talks.    
    Full text of Obama's State of the Union address.    
    Full text of Sen. Marco Rubio's GOP response.  
    Fed's Bullard: Global uncertainty has diminished.    
    Elephant in room: Cost of retiree health care.  "Andy Landis, a retirement consultant, breaks down the options."  
    .John Nyardi concludes that there's Nowhere to go but down?    
     
    Dr. Irwin Kellner says that Next currency war has already begun.    
    Obama vows not to raise deficit with new plans.  "President Barrack Obama Intecnds to use hi State of the Union address to propose new ways to bolster the middle class, but will also say that these steps will not increase the deficit."  
    Kevin Marder sees Three hints to a potential selloff..   
    Gold at key juncture"Commentary: It makes sense to turn to the long-term technical analysis for guidance when it comes to investing in gold, writes Nigam Arora."     
    Fed's Plosser: Rate guidance can be improved.    
.    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Will Love Be In The Air on Valentines Day?  
"This week includes Valentine’s Day, the day millions worldwide exchange cards, letters, candy, flowers and other gifts with the center of their affection. While many have wondered if that center is only for the feminine gender, others have imagined a different world: Regardless, this day that commemorates the saint who, legend has it, kept secretly marrying young Roman couples even ... Read More »"  
    Retail Sales Above Expectations in January.    
    Investor's Intelligence- Bullish Sentiment Pulls Back.    
 
  
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    The markets are slightly lower tonight.


2013-2-12: (Tuesday Night): The indices were mixed today: Stocks end lower on year’s lightest volume, Dow: Less than 200 points from all-time high The NASDAQ Composite receded 5.52 points (-0.17% ) to end at 3,186.49. The Dow added 47.46 points (0.34%) to end the day above 14,000, at 14.018.70; the S&P 500 grew 2.42 points (0.16%) to 1519.43. Oil closed at 97.60: Energy stocks gain, shaking off weakness; Gold ended at 1,652 Gold logs slight gain, but stays below $1,650. The VIX declined another 0.30 points to 12.64.      
   
"U.S. stocks were mixed Tuesday, as investors digested another round of earnings reports and looked ahead to President Obama's State of the Union address in the evening. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    This bear-market strategy is effective but overlooked"Commentary: Stock-market bears are overlooking a very profitable strategy. Our Mark Hulbert is not."  
    U.S. January budget surplus $3 billion: Treasury.    
    U.S. posts monthly surplus after payroll tax hike.    
    Can carbon make returns sparkle?.   "Carbon's in planes, cars and technology, along with diamonds, and can brighten a portfolio, argues Ben Weiss." 
    When your boss doesn’t trust your doctor.  "More companies are rewarding employees who get second medical opinions."  
    Caregiving for parents: what it can cost.    
    Big opportunity for U.S. in natural-gas exports.    
    Reserves: Fund the unexpected.  "The possible claims on your reserves are many, Henry Hebeler notes." 
   
Fed's Lockhart: 2013 won't be 'breakout year'.    
    All 12 Fed presidents back money-fund reform.    
    The bailout success story TARP was a work of fiction
"Commentary: Taxpayers are losing money, writes David Weidner, and that's not even the worst of it."  
    Dr. Irwin Kellner says that Next currency war has already begun.    
    Obama vows not to raise deficit with new plans.  "President Barrack Obama Intecnds to use hi State of the Union address to propose new ways to bolster the middle class, but will also say that these steps will not increase the deficit."  
    Kevin Marder sees Three hints to a potential selloff..   
    Gold at key juncture"Commentary: It makes sense to turn to the long-term technical analysis for guidance when it comes to investing in gold, writes Nigam Arora."     
    Fed's Plosser: Rate guidance can be improved.    
.    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    My Doctor Continues To Warn Me  
"AIt really is no laughing matter, as the weighty issue of the long-term health of a potential Presidential contender must be taken seriously. But Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey would not be who he is without a sense of humor and a very big personality. And this was on ... Read More »"  
    The Early Look: Another Quiet Morning.    
 
  
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    The markets are slightly higher tonight.


2013-2-11: (Monday Night): The indices backed up a tad today: Stocks end lower on year’s lightest volume, Stocks fall in lackluster trading The NASDAQ Composite shed 1.86 points (-0.06% ) to end at 3,192.01. The Dow retracted 21.73 points (-0.16%) to end the day at 13,971.24; the S&P 500 contracted 0.92 points (-0.06%) to 1517.01. Oil closed at 96.87: Nymex oil tops $97, but Brent retreats; Gold ended at 1,646 Gold ends at five-week low on currency talk. The VIX declined 0.08 points to 12.94.      
   
"U.S. stocks drifted lower Monday, as investors continued to take a breather after the recent run-up that pushed the Dow and S&P 500 near all-time highs. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    Stocks dip as energy flags; S&P 500 is up 6% in 2013"Commentary: Have you been gullible enough to buy into the recent "rotation" chatter? asks Mark Hulbert."  
    Goldman Sachs cuts its 3-month equity view.   "While blizzard Nemo was battering the East Coast, analysts at Goldman Sachs were readying a stormish-call of their own. Catch the latest on the broker's cut to its stock call. (The Tell)" 
    Retail sales: An ominous message-.    
    Credit-reporting agencies breaking law: report.    
    Japan econ minister bullish on stocks.    
    Hagel faces Graham 'hold' in Senate.    
    Dem vs. GOP tax rift hardens as deadline looms.  
    Yellen kicks off week of Fed speeches   
    Europe threatened with a slap of harsh reality"Financial markets and policy makers may soon learn ECB has created a false sense of security, writes David Marsh"  
    Gold takes hit on worries over G-7 currency salvo.   
    Rubio to joust with Obama over State of the Union.  "Floridian coy over ambitions, but he's unlikley to pull punches in Republican speech response."  
    How to save money on 2013 tax changes.  "Here are six key changes in the federal tax code for 2013 that could save you money when you fill out your return."  
    Hidden costs of Schwab’s ‘free’ ETF trades.  "When Schwab offered investors a free-lunch ETF product, investors focused on the “free” and missed the details, Chuck Jaffe reports."  
    Michael Gayed says Wal-Mart indicator warns of deflation pulse.    
    Avi Gilburt says: No correction until the shorts make their move .    
    Market timing doesn't work.    
    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    A Hard Learned Lesson.   
"As long-time readers know, I am a card-carrying member of the-glass-is-half-full club when it comes to the big-picture outlook for both the U.S. economy and stock market. This is due to the fact that in 1995 I had a revelation that changed the way I looked at things from that point on. And to be honest, I am very thankful that I learned what turned out to be a fairly painful, yet important, lesson at the time. You see, I had protected client assets from the 1990 bear market (which had occurred just three short years after the Crash of '87 - an event that was still fresh in investors' ... Read More »"  
    NAAIM Index: Active Managers Still Bullish"NAAIM's Survery of Active Managers shows how actual money managers are positioning client accounts. After last week's record high exposure leve, this week's survey shows managers remain bullish but ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Friday 2/8/13.  
    Will "Nemo" Bring Down The Northeast Again?.    
    Wholesale Inventories Fall In December.    
 
  
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    The markets are minutely lower tonight.


2013-2-8: (Friday Night): The indices galloped higher today: Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq all close higher on day, S&P, Nasdaq log sixth straight weekly gain The NASDAQ Composite climbed 28.74 points (0.91% ) to end at 3,193.87. The Dow rose 48.92 points (0.35%) to end the day at 13,992.97; the S&P 500 expanded 8.54 points (0.57%) to 1517.93. Oil closed at 9576: Oil settles lower, loses over 2% on week; Gold ended at 1,668 Gold ends below $1,670, logs minor weekly loss. The VIX declined 0.48 points to 13.02.      
   
"Some better-than-expected earnings reports helped pushed markets higher Friday. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    'Great Rotation' talk speaks mainly of sloppy thinking"Commentary: Have you been gullible enough to buy into the recent "rotation" chatter? asks Mark Hulbert."  
    U.S. trade deficit sinks 20.7% to $38.5 billion.    
    U.S. trade deficit sinks to nearly two-year low.    
    Stock correction, deflation, and two scenarios.    
    Moody’s shares slip as rating firms’ targeted..    
    Fear poll is full of surprises.    
    David Weidner describes Wall Street's next big idea.  "Checking out Project Grind, an event where entrepreneurs and investors network, share ideas and try to learn from past mistakes." 
    Rex Nutting notes: Big deficits needed for next 4 years: CBO   

Falling trade gap masks slowing growth
See the charts showing America’s slowing trade, Australia’s worries, Indonesia’s boom, growing house prices, and more. (From MarketWatch.)
    Al Lewis says S&P’s ratings stunk; its lyrics were worse.   
    Jim Stack: Still right and still bullish.    
    S&P EPS growth is not what it seems.    
    It's time to short bonds again.    
    Plan ahead for a possible market meltdown: pick value, EM, and Apple.    
    .    
    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Yep, We're Back To That   
"To the casual observer, Thursday's little decline in the stock market may not have looked like much. After all, the Dow dropped just 42 points (or -0.3%), the S&P fell -0.18%, and the NASDAQ was off a mere -0.11%. And given that neither the upper nor the lower end of the current trading range was breached, on the surface it looked like just another day of consolidation. However, I spend the vast majority of my analytical capital looking at the "why" and the "how" of ... Read More "  
    NAAIM Index: Active Managers Still Bullish"NAAIM's Survery of Active Managers shows how actual money managers are positioning client accounts. After last week's record high exposure leve, this week's survey shows managers remain bullish but ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Friday 2/8/13.  
    Will "Nemo" Bring Down The Northeast Again?.    
    Wholesale Inventories Fall In December.    
 
  
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    The markets are slowly continuing to work their way up..


2013-2-7: (Thursday Night): The indices fell somewhat today: U.S. stocks fall after economic data, Stocks drift lower. The NASDAQ Composite slipped snother 3.35 points (-0.11% ) to end at 3,165.13. The Dow fell 42.47 points (-0.30%) to end the day at 13,944.05; the S&P 500 contracted 2.73 points (-0.18%) to 1509.39. Oil closed at 96.73: Oil gains, stays below $97; natural gas up 2.5%; Gold ended at 1,673 Gold ends lower; other metals close broadly higher. The VIX advanced 0.09 points to 13.50.      
   
"U.S. stocks finished in the red Thursday as investors took a step back and digested mixed economic news and a slew of earnings reports. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
   U.S. jobless-benefit claims edge downward to 366,000.  "New applications for benefits fall to a seasonally adjusted 366,000 in the week ended Feb. 2."  
    U.S. productivity sinks 2% in fourth quarter.    
    Kevin Marder says: So far, so good for equities..    
    Fed's Evans says QE is 'energy bar' for economy.    
    Fed's Stein: Rate policy a tool to stem bubbles.   
    Draghi: Wary over euro's rise   "ECB chief calls euro's rise a sign of confidence and a potential concern."    
    .Apple sued by Einhorn over its 'blank check' proposal"Often-criticized former U.S. Treasury secretary did a good job under duress, Jeffry Bartash writes."  
    Darrell Delamaide: Shareholders question corporate political spending.    
    Move out of housing stocks ASAP.    
    Three magic numbers you need to know.    
    Hungry for growth- Go to Indonesia.    
    Proactive trading and market peaks.    
    Could this stock market be headed for a correction?"Commentary: Recent market run has brought out the buyers, but also the bears, writes Chuck Jaffe."  
    How to coax profit from market's 'Great Rotation'"Mitchell Tuchman breaks down forecast for big retail shift from Treasurys into stocks."  
    What if your pension runs out of money?"Robert Powell says firms are pouring money into their defined-benefit plans with minimal returns"  
    8 work-at-home jobs for retirees.    
    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    It May Be Frustrating, But...   
"It is said that Ms. Market will at times do whatever she can to frustrate as many investors as possible. So my assumption is that after a rip-roaring start to 2013 and only a single down day worth mentioning, a great many investors are frustrated these days. Those underinvested bulls are likely frustrated that they haven't had the opportunity to "buy the dip" that everyone has been yammering on about lately. And of course, the bears have to be more than a little frustrated with the fact that they've been almost completely shut out of the ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Thursday 2/7/13.  
    Consumer Credit Expands Again in December.    
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Inches Up.    
    Weekly Jobless Claims Down 5,000.    
    Worker Productivity Falls in Q3, Unit Labor Costs Rise.    
    German Industrial Production Up in December .    
 
  
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are neutral again tonight.


2013-2-6: (Wednesday Night): The indices ended the day about where they atarted:: U.S. stock markets suffer worst day so far in 2013, Stocks slip on new Europe fears. The NASDAQ Composite slipped 3.10 points (-0.10% ) to end at 3,168.48. The Dow inched up 7.22 points (0.05%) to end the day at 13,986.52; the S&P 500 expanded 0.83 points (0.05%) to 1512.12. Oil closed at 96.73: Oil gains, stays below $97; natural gas up 2.5%; Gold ended at 1,673 Gold ends lower; other metals close broadly higher. The VIX retreated 0.30 points to 13.42.     
   
"U.S. stocks retreat from five-year highs and Dow industrials fall back below 14,000 after cracking the key level last Friday . Political uncertainty in Europe is hurting sentiment due to pressure in Spain and Italy."  
   
"U.S. stocks sank Monday, with the Dow retreating from the 14,000 milestone as concerns about European politics weighed on the market. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    Corporate insiders have gotten aggressively bearish.  "Commentary: Company insiders are aggressively selling their shares, and, Mark Hulbert writes, this delevoping trend should send a signal to rank-and-file stock investors."  
    Michael Sincere: Stock-market indicators now warn of February pain.    
    Funds for Thought: How to fight bears and ride bulls.    
    So God made a banker"As Brett Arends heard it: God said, 'I need someone who will borrow money from the public at 0% interest and then lend it back to the public at 2% or 5% or 10% and pay himself a bonus.'"   
    Fed confirms computer hack.
    .Two cheers for Tim Geithner"Often-criticized former U.S. Treasury secretary did a good job under duress, Jeffry Bartash writes."  
    Al Lewis warns: Economy can’t defy laws of nature forever.    
    What the market is telling us now.    
    Michael Gayed warns: Gold to stocks: Be careful.    
    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Deja Vu All Over Again (Or Not)?   
"For the last three years, all of the major stock market rallies have ended abruptly courtesy of the European debt crisis that seems to know no end. Although the big declines in 2010, 2011, and again in 2012 also coincided with the "sell in May and go away" seasonal period, all three dances to the downside were helped along in no small part by the crisis that just keeps on giving the perma-bears a raison d'etre. So, it wasn't exactly a surprise to see stocks tank on Monday on the back of - what else? - renewed worries about Europe. ... Read More »"  
    Investors Intelligence: Bull Camp Getting Crowded.  
    .     
  
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are neutral tonight.


2013-2-5: (Tuesday Night): The indices rose sharply today:: U.S. stock markets suffer worst day so far in 2013, Stocks slip on new Europe fears. The NASDAQ Composite advanced 40.41 points (1.29% to end at 3,171.58. The Dow bounced 99.22 points (071%) to end the day at 13,8979.30; the S&P 500 levitated 15.58 points (1.04%) to 1511.29. Oil closed at 96.73: Oil gains, stays below $97; natural gas up 2.5%; Gold ended at 1,673 Gold ends lower; other metals close broadly higher. The VIX retreated 0.95 points to 13.72.     
   
"U.S. stocks retreat from five-year highs and Dow industrials fall back below 14,000 after cracking the key level last Friday . Political uncertainty in Europe is hurting sentiment due to pressure in Spain and Italy."  
   
"U.S. stocks sank Monday, with the Dow retreating from the 14,000 milestone as concerns about European politics weighed on the market. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    2012 is U.S. housing's best 12 months in past six years.  "U.S. home prices grow 0.4% in December to stretch the year-on-year gain to 8.3%, reports CoreLogic"  
    Seven key gut checks before thet open- Is the Great Rotation for real-.    
    S&P may face DOJ suit over mortgage ratings.     
    Holder- $5 billion in damages from S&P ratings.    
    Holder insists S&P suit is not downgrade retaliation.    
    The juiciest parts of the lawsuit against S&P.   "Best parts of any suit over alleged financial crimes are the incriminating emails and IMs dug up." 
    Euro-zone PMI signals downturn eased.    
    Guess what: Your wife loves annuities.  "Annuities are critical to ensuring that you have enough income to maintain your lifestyle."
    A cautionary tale of spousal benefits.    
    Dow 14,000: What's different this time.    
    Goldman's Jim O'Neill says momentum 'very favorable' for stocks.   
    Dow industrials were close, but no cigar.    
    API: U.S. becoming energy 'superpower'.    
    Are mom and pop investors late to the party again?"Individual investors at long last began pouring cash back into equities in January, but that doesn't mean you should assume mom and pop have the firepower to continue driving stocks to highs, analysts say."  
    Tim Geithner's exit interview.  "Wonder what the Treasury chief told the president on his way out? Here's a scene sketch from David Weidner."  
    CBO: Sequester to halve U.S. growth in 2013.    
    Obama urges delay of automatic spending cuts.    
    Rex Nutting lists Five problems bigger than the national debt"The U.S. has plenty of problems right now, and almost all of them are more urgent than the national debt., says columnist Rex Nutting."  The two charts below tell the story.


    The key ideas here are:     
 (1) The deficit is not an urgent problem. The buzz that it is an urgent problem rests, I believe, on a misunderstanding on the part of the general public regarding the difference between private debts and public (sovereign) debts. Politicians have played on this public ignorance for the past 50 years*. 
(2) Since 1972? 1982? the after-correcting-for-inflation gains in the Gross Domestic has flowed almost entirely to a tiny ownership elite, leading from America's 400 (millionaires) in 1913 to America's 400 (billionaires) 100 years later. For the past 40 years, the gains in standard-of-living that should come to the overwhelming majority of us has been skimmed off, and has ended up in the pockets of the wealthiest 0.1%, 0.01%, and 0.001% of Americans. How did this come about? I don't know. Note, though, that it means that about half the money that should be circulating through the U. S. economy is, instead, tied up in safe, static investments further enriching the überrich. Also, mass production works only when there's a mass market with money to buy the mass-produced goods. Extreme wealth encourages yacht and private jet manufacture, along with ultra-luxury items and services. This distorts the economy, resulting in somewhat higher prices. (As a rule of thumb, doubling production allegedly reduces prices by about 20%.)
* -
Fifty years ago, pundits were warning that Social Security was about to go bankrupt, that it wouldn't be there for people who were in the work force then. 
    As of this year, I've been receiving Social Security for twenty years
.

    S&P will likely face civil charges over mortgage-bond ratings: WSJ.    
    Time to sell bonds?.  "Commentary: Bonds are facing headwinds, but a number of indicators are suggesting that they may be stiffer than previously thought (Trading Deck)."  
    Banks' lending standards haven't changed?.    
    Michael Gayed writes: Copper miners to Nouveaux Bulls- risk-off.  
    Craig Stephen advises us to Brace for ‘Abenomics’ roller-coaster.  
    Mark Hulbert examines: What tech giants do top performers like?
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Should You Be Buying The Dips?   
"In the cold Midwest in January, the only talk of dips tends to be at Super Bowl parties or during the annual Polar Bear Club celebrations when a few hardy, scantily clad individuals jump into the frigid winter waters. Of course, in the summer those dips are much more inviting, following which a double “dipped” cone from the ice cream parlor has plenty to recommend it. But tune in to any financial news program or pick up your favorite financial read and you’ll see that dips are all the rage. In this case, the reference is to “buying on dips.” ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Tuesday 2/5/13.  "At StateoftheMarkets.com, one of our primary goals is to provide you, the individual investor, with the tools to be more successful in the stock market. While economic stats may be viewed as a bit ... Read More"   
    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index- Expansion Continues .    
    CoreLogic: Home Prices Up 10th Consecutive Month.    
    Europe Service PMI's Improve Again in January.    
    .     
  
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are slightly positive tonight.


2013-2-4: (Monday Night): The indices fell sharply today:: U.S. stock markets suffer worst day so far in 2013, Stocks slip on new Europe fears. The NASDAQ Composite plummeted 47.93 points (-1.51%) to end at 3,131.17. The Dow nose-dived another 129.71 points (-0.93%) to end the day at 13,880.08; the S&P 500 plunged another 17.46 points (-1.15%) to 1,495.71. Oil closed at 96.22: Oil settles lower on dollar strength, Iran news; Gold ended at 1,675 Gold scores second-straight session gain. The VIX jumped 1.77 points to 14.67.     
   
"U.S. stocks retreat from five-year highs and Dow industrials fall back below 14,000 after cracking the key level last Friday . Political uncertainty in Europe is hurting sentiment due to pressure in Spain and Italy."  
   
"U.S. stocks sank Monday, with the Dow retreating from the 14,000 milestone as concerns about European politics weighed on the market. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    Stocks retreat from highs as Europe rattles investors.  "Dow industrials fall back below 14,000 after cracking the key level last Friday . Political uncertainty in Europe is hurting sentiment due to pressure in Spain and Italy."  
    Europe stocks spooked by Spain, Italy politics.    
    Marsh: Germany’s pulling away from euro.     
    Fiscal cliff watch returns"Uncertainty over federal spending and its effect upon the economy returns as the new, but still deeply divided, Congress faces another budget deadline in March."  
    Preview of the week's economic data.  
    7 mutual funds that should be in with the 'in crowd'.    
    Bill Gross:- Buy Italian bonds.    
    Are those short the S&P getting nervous-.   
    Trading an overbought S&P.    
    Obama presses for carried-interest tax hike.    
    Rex Nutting lists Five problems bigger than the national debt"The U.S. has plenty of problems right now, and almost all of them are more urgent than the national debt., says columnist Rex Nutting."  The two charts below tell the story.


    The key ideas here are:     
 (1) The deficit is not an urgent problem. The buzz that it is an urgent problem rests, I believe, on the woeful public misunderstanding of the difference between private debts and public (sovereign) debts. Politicians have played on this public ignorance for the past 50 years. 
(2) Since 1972? 1982? the after-correcting-for-inflation rise in the Gross Domestic has flowed almost entirely to a tiny ownership elite, leading from America's 400 (millionaires) in 1913 to America's 400 (billionaires) 100 years later. For the past 40 years, they're skimmed off the rising standard of living that was supposed to come to you, and grown fatter and fatter. Now it's your money. If that's all right with you, It's all right with me. Note, though, that it means that about half the money that should be in your hands, circulating through the economy, is instead tied up in safe, static investments. Mass production works only when there's a mass market with money to buy the mass-produced goods. Extreme wealth encourages yacht and private jet manufacture, along with ultra-luxury items and services. Not only is it unfair; it distorts the economy. Meanwhile the middle classes in some other nations have become richer than the American middle-class.

    S&P will likely face civil charges over mortgage-bond ratings- WSJ.    
    Time to sell bonds?.  "Commentary: Bonds are facing headwinds, but a number of indicators are suggesting that they may be stiffer than previously thought (Trading Deck)."  
    Banks' lending standards haven't changed?.    
    Michael Gayed writes: Copper miners to Nouveaux Bulls- risk-off.  
    Craig Stephen advises us to Brace for ‘Abenomics’ roller-coaster.  
    Mark Hulbert examines: What tech giants do top performers like?
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:    
    "The Federal Government Is Broke" (And Other Quotes of the Week)    "It was a week full of contradictions and surprises, with perhaps the biggest theme being an equity market which could not stop rallying and the Dow finishing above 14,000, despite some economic data points which, on the surface, might normally have taken the air out of the football. A guest on Bloomberg TV, Eric Green of TD Securities said on Friday, “That was the best negative print on GDP I have ever seen,” attributing the weakness in the -0.1% 4th Qtr. number to a slowdown ... Read More »"  
    NAAIM Survey: New High For Exposure Level.  "The latest report on the NAAIM Index shows that the exposure levels of member firms hit a new all-time high this week. In addition, it was the first "leveraged long" reading ever seen by the index ... Read More"   
    .    
    .     
  
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are flat tonight.


2013-2-1: (Friday Night): The indices raced out of the gate today:: Dow is back above 14,000 for first time since 2007, Stocks retreat at end of strong January. The NASDAQ Composite eased 0.18 points (-0.01%) to end at 3,142.13. The Dow backed up another 49.84 points (-0.36%) to end the day at 13,860.58; the S&P 500 retreated another 3.85 points (-0.26%) to 1,498.01. Oil closed at 97.32:Oil climbs as traders assess data for demand clues; Gold ended at 1,662 Gold up 0.5% on day, gains almost 0.9% on week. The VIX slipped 0.04 points to 1428.     
   
"Stocks rally to cap a fifth week of gains after jobs and manufacturing data lifted views of U.S. economy, and are "another positive sign after finishing one of the strongest months on record," says Darrell Cronk."  
   
"U.S. stocks drifted lower Thursday, ending a blockbuster month on a soft note, as reports on the job market added to concerns about the economy. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    Jobless rate up in January, but 2012's data look better.  "The U.S. creates a modest 157,000 jobs in January and the unemployment rate ticks up to 7.9%, but updates show the economy adds one-third of a million more jobs in 2012 than previously estimated."  
    Jobs 'pretty good, not fantastic’.    
    Construction spending jumps.     
    ISM factory index strengthens.  
    Consumer sentiment rises.    
    Sell Side Indicator: Up to 24% gain in next 12 months.   
    Is the golden era coming to a close?.    
    Thank 'real' housing recovery (audio).    
    Rex Nutting lists Five problems bigger than the national debt"The U.S. has plenty of problems right now, and almost all of them are more urgent than the national debt., says columnist Rex Nutting."  The two charts below tell the story.


    Michael Gayed writes: Why the market correction may have started.    
    Thomas H. Kee, Jr. asks: Is it Groundhog Day for the markets?.    
    Cody Willard explains Why right now is the time to start selling stocks.    
    Millionaires-only exchange gets SEC panel's backing.  "Panel that advises market watchdog recommends that a new exclusive exchange be created for micro- and small-capitalization public companies, one that would only be available for high-net-worth investors." 
    No-money-down mortgages — they're back"Once again, affluent buyers are getting keys to a new home without plunking even a penny down."  
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Payrolls Report- Economy Added 157,000k Jobs in January    "The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Nonfarm Payrolls, which is one of the most closely followed gauges regarding the state of the economy, was just below the expectations as 157,000 new jobs were created in the month of December. However, the upward revisions to the last two months more than made up for the modest shortfall versus analysts’ expectations. The increase in the number ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy for 2/1/13.     
    Construction Spending Above Expectations in December.    
    ISM Manufacturing Improves Again in January.  
    University Of Michigan Confidence Rebounds.    
    Markit PMI Confirms Expansion in Manufacturing Sector.    
    Eurozone PMI's Improve in January.    
    China's Manufacturing PMI's Remain in Expansion Mode.    
    .     
  
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Another "up" week, with the indices stretching to new highs.


2013-1-31: (Thursday Night): The indices ended the day lower: Stocks drop on macro worries, Stocks retreat at end of strong January. The NASDAQ Composite eased 0.18 points (-0.01%) to end at 3,142.13. The Dow backed up another 49.84 points (-0.36%) to end the day at 13,860.58; the S&P 500 retreated another 3.85 points (-0.26%) to 1,498.01. Oil closed at 97.32:Oil ends month up 6%, best January since 2006; Gold ended at 1,662 Gold prices settle at $1,662, down 0.8% in January. The VIX slipped 0.04 points to 1428.     
   
"Major indexes retreat from five-year highs after the Fed says growth paused in recent months and as fourth-quarter data show a surprise economic contraction."  
   
"U.S. stocks drifted lower Thursday, ending a blockbuster month on a soft note, as reports on the job market added to concerns about the economy. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    January gets U.S. stocks off to best start since 1989.    
    First-time jobless claims jump"Latest week's filings of new applications for unemployment benefits climbs by 38,000 to a one-month high."   
    No big improvement likely for U.S. job market"Finding a good job still isn’t easy for most Americans, as economists polled by MarketWatch expect the January nonfarm payrolls report to show a tepid gain of 170,000."  
    Income soars in December on dividend payments.    
    Five ways to jump-start the U.S.'s job-creation engine"Nobody is really sure how to crank up the great American jobs machine to match the performance of the mid-1980s or late 1990s, but economists point to a number of things that could help improve hiring."  
    Fiscal crisis only inside the Beltway bubble"Politicians and pundits insist we face a fiscal crisis. But those who know better ... well, know better, says Darrell Delamaide."  
    Retirees and stocks: Sell now or hold on?.    
    Bill Gross's 'Great Rotation' skepticism.    
    What to watch in the economy Thursday.    
    Goldman Sachs asks what happens to the markets if the U.S. is downgraded again.    
    Marc Faber loves odds of 'big time' crash.   
    Automatic budget cuts would be 'disaster,' Hagel says.    
    Five ways to create jobs.  "They may not bring back the go-go 1990s, but these steps could help improve U.S. hiring."  
    U.S. employment costs climb 0.5%.    
    Six tips for older job seekers.   
    Krugman as finance chief for euro?.  
    Health coverage by the pound.  "Health-care bean counters point their fingers at the bottom-line impact of larger worker waistlines."   
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:    
    I Don't Like Forecasts, But...    "I'm short on time this morning (I'm running to the airport in a few minutes), but I wanted to give you an update on our cycle forecast (and confirm the fact that I am not permabull). But before I do, let me once again say that we do NOT make buy or sell decisions based on ANY kind of predictions. No, we focus on what IS happening in the market and depend on the readings of our Market Environment Model to guide our exposure to ... Read More »"  
    Chicago PMI Surprises, Majority of 1/31 Economic Data Mixed Bag.   "Chicago PMI surprised to the upside this morning, while the rest of the data was just so-so ... Read More »"  
    Challenger: January Planned Job Cuts Increase.    
    .     
  
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are up 0.3% tonight.


2013-1-30: (Wednesday Night): The indices ended the day lower: Stocks drop on macro worries, Stocks shrug off Fed, still near record highs. The NASDAQ Composite eased 11.35 points (-0.36%) to end at 3,142.31. The Dow backed up 44 points (-0.32%) to end the day at 13,910.42; the S&P 500 retreated 5.88 points (-0.39%) to 1,501.96. Oil closed at 97.32: Oil tops $97 on Mideast unrest, supply fears; Gold ended at 1,664 Gold settles higher for first session in five. The VIX jumped 1.01 points to 14.32.     
   
"Major indexes retreat from five-year highs after the Fed says growth paused in recent months and as fourth-quarter data show a surprise economic contraction."  
   
"U.S. stocks slid Wednesday after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and said economic growth had paused. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    What to watch on U.S. economy on Thursday.    
    Fed holds easing stance, says growth has 'paused'
    U. S. economy shrinks 0.1% in fourth quarter.    
    Five ways GDP report was not exactly data from hell.    
    When the Fed meets, bulls charge.   
    Goldman's Hatzius sees QE lasting through 2014.    
    ADP shows improving labor market in January.    
    John Nyardi asks: Is this the market's biggest triple top ever?.   
    Michael Gayed says: We should be thinking Dow 13,000, not 14,000.  
    Lawrence McMillan says that Overbought market conditions persist.     
    Matthew Lynn says The real euro crisis is just starting.   
    Kevin Marder notes that Stocks’ winter run continues.    
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Is The Environment Changing? My Fingers Are Crossed    "Ho hum, stocks advanced again yesterday. The S&P rose 0.51% and the DJIA tacked on another 72 points to the current joyride to the upside. Assuming the bulls can keep on keepin' on at the current pace, the S&P should reach a new all-time high in about two and one-half weeks. And on that score, we should note that the venerable Dow is also now close enough to an all-time high that CNBC has even started a countdown window. So in short, it was just another day at the office in 2013, right? Well, not exactly. For starters, the semis came under attack thanks to ... Read More »"  
    GDP Shocker- Economy Falls -0.1% in Q4 on Gov't Spending.   "The latest data on the state of economic growth was a huge surprise as GDP was negative for the first time since the second quarter of 2009. The drop was apparently tied to a big decline in government ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Wednesday 1/30/13.    
    ADP Employment- Private Sector Adds 192K Jobs.        
   Investors Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Continues to Rise.     

      
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    I'll keep this posting here one more night, since it's not a transient item.
 
  With bond money finally rotating into stocks, there's room for rising stock prices. The very low interest rates on fixed-income investments make stocks look more attractive. One criterion (the Greenspan rule-of thumb for P/E ratios) is to equate the inverse of the 10-year Treasury yield to the P/E ratio on the S&P 500. The 10-year Treasury yield is under 2%, so its inverse would be greater than 50. That's more than twice the average, projected price-to-forward-operating earnings ratio on the S&P 500. (The trailing P/E is 14.8. The Shiller P/E ratio is 23.05.) 
    With interest ratios where they are, the S&P 500 could double or even triple before it were  brought back to earth. The fact that no one's talking about this would seem to me to make it a little more probable. Of course, there will be corrections along the way. If the deficit hawks can bring on austerity measures, we could get into trouble again.

    At first blush, the current Shiller P/E ratio looks ominous, residing as it does at the levels of the major stock market peaks in 1898, 1902, and 1966. But in 1966, the yield on the 10-year Treasury bond was 4.61%, in 1898. it was 3.5%, and in 1902, it was 3.18%. Also, here's an article arguing that the Shiller P/E ratio is currently misleading, and that the actual trailing P/E ratio of about 14 is more meaningful than the Shiller ratio: Shiller PE Continues To Mislead Investors, S&P 500 Is Fairly Valued .
    In the short-term, the market is quite overbought and, everyone agrees, due for a pullback... which is why there may not be a pullback until the bears capitulate. When will that be? Near-term, it may be when sentiment measures reach an extreme, or more likely, when a piece of significantly bad news hits the wires. And of course, 10%-or-greater stock market corrections occur periodically during bull markets. 
    Longer-term, we'll know we're near a major bull market top when arguments are made that this time it's going to be different, and when everyone at cocktail parties is talking about what a good bet the stock market is... talking stock tips and investment strategies 
    The S&P 500 will have to rise another 50 points to tie its previous (March, 2000; October, 2007) records.
    One key here is continued skepticism about this market.
    On the other hand, as bond money rotates into stocks, a lot of money could come into play.
    Still, there will be pullbacks and corrections (until there's a final blow-off).
    Market futures are neutral tonight.


2013-1-29: (Tuesday Night): The indices ended the day mixed: Dow ends at five-year high, Dow, S&P 500 nearing all-time high. The NASDAQ Composite eased 0.64 points (-0.02%) to end at 3,153.66. The Dow climbed 72.49 points (0.52%) to end the day at 13,954.42; the S&P 500 advanced 7.66 points (0.51%) to 1,507.84. Oil closed at 97.32: Oil tops $97 on Mideast unrest, supply fears; Gold ended at 1,664 Gold settles higher for first session in five. The VIX fell 0.24 points to 13.33.     
   
"Stocks were mostly higher Tuesday afternoon, as better-than-expected housing numbers helped offset weakening consumer confidence. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    Irwin Kellner: Deficit hawks' wings clipped.  Dr. Kellner agrees with Paul Krugman, noting that the deficit hawks almost certainly know what they're saying is twaddle, but they're betting that we don't know that. One of the points he makes is that "According to the Office of Management and Budget, in the past three years, the deficit’s share of GDP has declined at the fastest pace for any three-year period since the demobilization that followed the end of World War II.
    Consumer confidence drops.    
    Fed likely to press ahead with bond buying after 2-day meeting.   
    November home prices tick down: Case-Shiller.    
    Do stocks prefer political gridlock?"Mark Hulbert ponders why stocks have rallied in 2013 after the U.S.'s budget can was merely kicked yet again."  
    U.S. economy's growth at end of 2012 not all that bad.  "When the government tells us how fast the economy expanded in the final three months of 2012, the number won’t be pretty. Yet the GDP details could reveal as much strength as in the third quarter." 
    Michael Ashbaugh remarks that U.S. benchmarks continue to take flight.     
    White's task at SEC- Beat Wall Street’s bullies (audio)"As SEC chief, Mary Jo White needs to bring Wall Street bullies in line, writes David Weidner."  
    Kevin Marder notes that Stocks’ winter run continues.    
    Colombia to aggressively buy dollars.
    Why the American economy reigns supreme.     
    Two-bar reversals signal imminent Dow pullback.  "Commentary: It’s been a nice run-up, but all good things must come to an end, writes L.A. Little. It appears that the market's pause may have arrived, if the charts have anything to say about it."  
    Waiting for a selloff? Don't hold your breath.    
    Don’t let emotion dictate the trade.    
    Citi lists five ways this market can keep flying.    
    Mark Hulbert writes about Stocks and Obama’s approval rating.    
    Mark Hulbert is also noting that a Dow Theory "buy" signal has finally been given.       
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Is The Environment Changing? My Fingers Are Crossed    "Long-time readers of my oftentimes meandering morning market missive know that I consider myself a "market environmentalist." By this I mean that I am not a pure technician. Nor am I a fundamentals guy. And I am most definitely not a deep-thinking, global macro investor either. No, I prefer to ... Read More »"  
    Some Good News Out of Apple.   "There has been scant good news for Apple (AAPL) investors recently, as "Apple the Stock" has decoupled from "Apple The Company." However, there does appear to be some good news coming out of the ... Read More »"  
    Consumer Confidence Dives in January.    
    Case-Shiller Index: Home Prices Up Again.        
    Ford Earnings Beat Expectations But Troubles in Europe Persist.     

      
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

 
   With bond money finally rotating into stocks, there's room for rising stock prices. The very low interest rates on fixed-income investments make stocks look more attractive. One criterion (the Greenspan rule-of thumb for P/E ratios) is to equate the inverse of the 10-year Treasury yield to the P/E ratio on the S&P 500. The 10-year Treasury yield is under 2%, so its inverse would be greater than 50. That's more than twice the average, projected price-to-forward-operating earnings ratio on the S&P 500. (The trailing P/E is 14.8. The Shiller P/E ratio is 23.05.) 
    With interest ratios where they are, the S&P 500 could double or even triple before it were  brought back to earth. The fact that no one's talking about this would seem to me to make it a little more probable. Of course, there will be corrections along the way. If the deficit hawks can bring on austerity measures, we could get into trouble again.

    At first blush, the current Shiller P/E ratio looks ominous, residing as it does at the levels of the major stock market peaks in 1898, 1902, and 1966. But in 1966, the yield on the 10-year Treasury bond was 4.61%, in 1898. it was 3.5%, and in 1902, it was 3.18%. Also, here's an article arguing that the Shiller P/E ratio is currently misleading, and that the actual trailing P/E ratio of about 14 is more meaningful than the Shiller ratio: Shiller PE Continues To Mislead Investors, S&P 500 Is Fairly Valued .
    In the short-term, the market is quite overbought and, everyone agrees, due for a pullback... which is why there may not be a pullback until the bears capitulate. When will that be? Near-term, it may be when sentiment measures reach an extreme, or more likely, when a piece of significantly bad news hits the wires. And of course, 10%-or-greater stock market corrections occur periodically during bull markets. 
    Longer-term, we'll know we're near a major bull market top when arguments are made that this time it's going to be different, and when everyone at cocktail parties is talking about what a good bet the stock market is... talking stock tips and investment strategies 
    The S&P 500 will have to rise another 50 points to tie its previous (March, 2000; October, 2007) records.
    One key here is continued skepticism about this market.
    On the other hand, as bond money rotates into stocks, a lot of money could come into play.
    Still, there will be pullbacks and corrections (until there's a final blow-off).
    Market futures are once again flat.


2013-1-28: (Monday Night): The indices ended the day mixed: S&P 500 snaps eight-session winning streak, Stocks pause after recent run. The NASDAQ Composite climbed 4.59 points (0.15%) to end at 3,154.30. The Dow lapsed 14.05 points (-0.10%) to end the day at 13,881.93; the S&P 500 sipped 2.78 (-0.18%) to 1,500.18. Oil closed at 96.55: Oil climbs back above $96 on Mideast tensions; Gold ended at 1,656 Gold drops 1% as faith in metal’s outlook wanes. The VIX rose 0.68 points to 13.57.     
   
"U.S. stocks barely budged Monday, despite upbeat economic and corporate news, as investors were reluctant to push prices higher following four weeks of gains. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    What to watch on U.S. economy Tuesday.    
    Orders for U.S.-made durable goods jump 4.6%.  "Orders for big-ticket items made in U.S. soar 4.6% in December, fanned by Boeing aircraft bookings."  
    Investors blind to weakness in manufacturing"Giddy investors are ignoring warning signs in demand (First Take)."  
    Pending home sales fall in December.  "Low inventory levels cut into results, according to Realtors data." 
    Bernanke era winds down at Fed.  "In what's likely to be his last year, Fed chairman dogged by economy still struggling in the aftermath of the financial crisis."   
    Bernanke still chasing the elusive recovery.    
    Oz faces Europe-style downturn."Australia has held great allure for investors. But, writes Satyajit Das, the outlook is deteriorating."
    Brett Arends explains Why to buy Apple now.   
    John Shinal: Apple analysts are of no value.    
    Apple margins hit by tablet war.    
    S&P hits 1,500 target ... ready for 1,600?.    
    Another Madoff unlikely, says SEC's top cop.    
    The surprising (and untold) genius of Steve Jobs.  "Commentary: Unlike late executive's leadership at Apple, with Pixar he was far from a controlling, larger-than-life figure, according to Peter Sims."
   
Billionaire John Paulson's top small-cap picks.    
    Paul Krugman has written a brief article on the impending self-driving car introductions: Permanent Link to Look Ma, No (Human) Hands
    Here's a link to a timeline for the advent of self-driving vehicles based upon what some leading automotive manufacturers have published.       
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:    
    The Bulls Are On A Roll, But.    "Here we go again. For the fourth time in the last four years, stocks are on a roll to the upside that has caught a whole bunch of people leaning the wrong way. In 2009, it was the belief that the "credit crisis" was going to bring down the global banking system. In 2010, it was the European debt crisis that caused the crowd to lean too far to the dark side. In 2011, it was Europe (again) and the worry over the U.S. economy. Last year at this time, it was the global macro view and another case of deja vu regarding Europe. And this year, it was the fear that fiscal cliff would ... Read More »"  
    Will She Or Won't She- (Lip-Sync That Is).   "Although stocks are moving higher each day lately, the question of the day in the media is whether or not Beyonce will pull a repeat from her “Star-Spangled Banner” Inauguration performance and ... Read More »"  
    Durable Goods Orders Above Expectations.    
    NAAIM Index Shows Managers Sticking With Trend.         

      
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

   
With bond money finally rotating into stocks, there's room for rising stock prices. The very low interest rates on fixed-income investments make stocks look more attractive. One criterion (the Greenspan rule-of thumb for P/E ratios) is to equate the inverse of the 10-year Treasury yield to the P/E ratio on the S&P 500. The 10-year Treasury yield is under 2%, so its inverse would be greater than 50. That's more than twice the average, projected price-to-forward-operating earnings ratio on the S&P 500. (The trailing P/E is 14.8. The Shiller P/E ratio is 23.05.)

    At first blush, the current Shiller P/E ratio looks ominous, residing as it does at the levels of the major stock market peaks in 1898, 1902, and 1966. But in 1966, the yield on the 10-year Treasury bond was 4.61%, in 1898. it was 3.5%, and in 1902, it was 3.18%. Also, here's an article arguing that the Shiller P/E ratio is currently misleading, and that the actual trailing P/E ratio of about 14 is more meaningful than the Shiller ratio: Shiller PE Continues To Mislead Investors, S&P 500 Is Fairly Valued .
    In the short-term, the market is quite overbought and, everyone agrees, due for a pullback... which is why there may not be a pullback until the bears capitulate. When will that be? Near-term, it may be when sentiment measures reach an extreme, or more likely, when a piece of significantly bad news hits the wires. And of course, 10%-or-greater stock market corrections occur periodically during bull markets. 
    Longer-term, we'll know we're near a major bull market top when arguments are made that this time it's going to be different, and when everyone at cocktail parties is talking about what a good bet the stock market is... talking stock tips and investment strategies 
    The S&P 500 will have to rise another 50 points to tie its previous (March, 2000; October, 2007) records.

    Market futures are nearly neutral tonight.


2013-1-25: (Friday Night): All three indices rose today: S&P posts first 1,500 close since 2007, Stocks: Apple weighs on tech shares. The NASDAQ Composite plunged 23.29 points (-0.74%) to end at 3,13038. The Dow climbed 46 points (0.33%) to close at 13,825.33; the S&P 500 gained 0.01 points (0.00%) to end the day at 1,494.82. Oil closed at 95.99: Oil rises near $96 after global economic data; Gold ended at 1,667 Gold drops 1% as faith in metal’s outlook wanes. The VIX rose 0.26 points to 12.72.   
    "Mutual-fund investors aren’t supposed to have to pay attention to the fate of any particular stock. But like so many things with technology giant Apple, the regular rules don’t seem to apply."     
   
"U.S. stocks were mixed Thursday, with shares of Apple weighing on the Nasdaq, as investors focused on the latest corporate results and economic data. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    Mark Hulbert notes that Apple investors pay price for popularity with selloff.  "What investment lesson are you drawing from Apple’s breathtaking plunge over the past couple of months? The one that Mark Hulbert thinks is most important is a contrarian one."  
    Market capitalization of Exxon tops Apple's.   
    Apple chart pattern sets target at $340.     
    Stocks inspired by earnings, Europe.    
    Europe banks begin repaying LTRO (Long Term Relief Repo) cash.
    Soros sees rates soaring and euro strengthening"Once growth strengthens, Soros says, rates "are going to take a big leap" (The Tell)."  
    How retailers fight 'showrooming'.    
    Treasurys drop as banks repay ECB cash.    
    If China likes silver, maybe we should too.  
   
Correction coming for Nouveaux Bulls?.    
     Housing market’s latest obstacle.   "What’s that $1 million house really worth? Depends whom you ask. And home appraisers, unfortunately, are not always up to their task."  
    New-home sales fall more than 7% in December.  
    The housing market’s long-term silver lining.  
    The death of the mortgage broker?.  "Middlemen between buyers and lenders will be subject to new rules that could push many out."
    America hates unions more than CEOs.    
    Rex Nutting says: Washington could do more to create jobs.       
    Howard Gold writes Euro may be the ‘rock star’ of currencies.    
    Here's today's article by Diana Furchtgott-Roth: America’s problem is unlimited spending. And here are a couple of spending charts:
  
    This first chart shows all government spending: federal, state, and local, 
 
and this second chart shows only federal spending.

    FTSE 100 posts 2.1% weekly gain, Shell rises.  
    German optimism boosts Europe stocks.    
    What’s ahead for health-care reform.    
    Zucker’s CNN goal- make everyday special
    Four simple steps to the complete retirement.    
    Paul Krugman has written a brief article on the impending self-driving car introductions: Permanent Link to Look Ma, No (Human) Hands
    Here's a link to a timeline for the advent of self-driving vehicles based upon what some leading automotive manufacturers have published.       
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:    
    The Correction Is Coming, Right?.    "Although there was a lot of carnage to be found in the stock market on Thursday if you owned anything remotely related to Apple, and the bears did do their darndest to create a reversal day after the S&P kissed the 1500 level in the early going, the DJIA actually finished with a decent gain yesterday (46 points or +0.66%). What's interesting is that the venerable Dow has managed to finish in the green for the last five days running as well as ten days out of the last eleven. And of the sixteen trading days in 2013, the DJIA ... Read More »"  
    Insider Buying Report - 1/24/13.   "Corporate insiders are often considered the "smart money" by Wall Street. Find out which stocks corporate insiders are buying heavily this week with Thursday's Insider Buying Report ... Read More »"  
    New Home Sales Fall in December.    
    Procter & Gamble Beats Estimates and Raises Outlook.    

    German IFO Business Climate Continues to Improve.     
      
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

   
With bond money finally rotating into stocks, there's room for rising stock prices. The market is quite overbought and, everyone agrees, due for a pullback... which is why there may not be a pullback until the bears capitulate. When will that be? When arguments are made that this time it's going to be different, and when everyone at cocktail parties is talking about what a good bet the stock market has been. (What I'm talking about here is a major market top. We may see months of market corrections before that happens.) 
    The S&P 500 will have to rise another 50 points to tie its previous records.


2013-1-24: (Thursday Night): The Dow rose, the S&P 500 marched in place, and the NASDAQ tumbled on disappointment over Apple's outlook: How Apple ate Wall Street, Stocks: Apple weighs on tech shares. The NASDAQ Composite plunged 23.29 points (-0.74%) to end at 3,13038. The Dow climbed 46 points (0.33%) to close at 13,825.33; the S&P 500 gained 0.01 points (0.00%) to end the day at 1,494.82. Oil closed at 95.99: Oil rises near $96 after global economic data; Gold ended at 1,667 Gold drops 1% as faith in metal’s outlook wanes. The VIX rose 0.26 points to 12.72.   
    "Mutual-fund investors aren’t supposed to have to pay attention to the fate of any particular stock. But like so many things with technology giant Apple, the regular rules don’t seem to apply."     
   
"U.S. stocks were mixed Thursday, with shares of Apple weighing on the Nasdaq, as investors focused on the latest corporate results and economic data. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    S&P 500 tops 1,500 for the first time since 2007.    
    U.S. jobless claims drop to five-year low.    
    30-year mortgage rate rises to 3.42%.
    How Apple ate Wall Street — and investors' lunch.    
    Bank CEO’s focused on fixing crisis effects.    
    Banking surprises, mostly bad.  "banks used their earnings to disclose a lot of bad news  and extraneous items. Problem is, this has been happening for years."  
    Tough prosecutor tapped to run SEC.  "Mary Jo White, who took on mobsters and terrorists as a prosecutor, will have an equally tough job: policing Wall Street as head of the SEC (First Take)."
   
Smooth sailing for nominee Kerry.    
    Delamaide: Why Obama must act on climate.      
    Kevin Marder advises It's a global stimulus party.  
    It's a global stimulus party.  
    Thomas H. Kee warns: Dow growth rates are cause for concern.  
    Europe may have caught the falling knife.    
    How to save like a squirrel.       
    Still buying TIPS at negative rates.    
    Apple rocked by cuts, trips market circuit-breaker"Apple shares slammed, tripping a Nasdaq circuit breaker in the process, with Wall Street scaling back its views for the once highly favored stock. Shares now off 35% since iPhone 5 launch."      
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:    
    What Is Your Market Frame Of Reference?.    "To the bears or any of the "fast money" types who believe that stocks simply cannot go any higher in the near term because the indices are "overbought," the recent action must be incredibly frustrating. I know lots of folks who have put on hedges, raised cash, and/or started to sell short recently because, in their words, "the market can't go much higher." However, while stocks are certainly overbought and perhaps due for an Apple-induced pullback in the near-term, I learned a VERY long time ago that it doesn't pay ... Read More »"  
    LEI Report Says "Pickup in Growth Now More Likely".   "The latest data from the Conference Board's Leading Economic Index was better than expected. In addition, an economist the firm said that a pickup in domestic growth is now more likely going forward ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Friday 1/24/13.    
   
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Reverses.    

    Markit's Flash PMI Up Again in January.     
    Weekly Jobless Claims Improve Again.    
   
HSBC's China PMI Rises Again in January.       
              
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

   
Market futures are down somewhat again tonight.


2013-1-23: (Wednesday Night): The indices gained again to day: Stocks rise on earnings, debt-ceiling vote; S&P 500 near 1,500 level, Dow, S&P 500 close at 5-year highs. The NASDAQ Composite added 10.49 points (0.33%) to end at 3,153.67. The Dow climbed 67.12 points (0.49%) to close at 13,779.33; the S&P 500 gained 2.25 points (0.15%) to end the day at 1,494.81. Oil closed at 95.55: Oil sinks after debt-ceiling vote, pipeline news; Gold ended at 1,684: Gold retreats from one-month high, settles lower. The VIX rose 0.13 points to 12.46.    
   
"Another round of corporate earnings lifted stocks, helping the S&P 500 and the Dow hit new 5-year highs. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    S&P sights on 1,500.    
    House OKs short-term debt-limit extension.    
    Stocks gain on earnings news, debt-ceiling vote"Benchmark index gains for sixth consecutive session, ahead of Apple's earnings results."  
    Apple drops below $500 after forecast disappoints"Apple reports flat earnings and also says it sold 47.8 million iPhones in the first quarter. Shares are moving lower after hours as company's forecast comes in below Wall Street's targets."  
    79.6% of S&P 500 stocks overbought-.    
    Jamie Dimon blasts bank regulators at Davos.    
    What Missouri and Japan have in common.  
    Clinton defends response to Benghazi attacks      
    Michael Gayed explains What Missouri and Japan have in common.  
    An explosion of optimism.  
    Don't raise the debt ceiling — let's retire it instead.  "It adds nothing in the way of fiscal discipline and is redundant once the spending and tax decisions have been made, writes Alicia Munnell (Encore)."  
    Debt battle not over, but GOP fights history"Republicans are sure to press the White House for more spending cuts before they agree to a long-term debt deal. Yet history strongly suggests that conservatives will have to cave in again."  
    IMF lowers its sights for global economic growth.  "Forecast trim for 2013 tied mainly to euro-area conditions, but he U.S. is also singled out."     
    Todd Harrison breaks down investor biases.    
    Greenspan put and Bernanke call.    
    Should health insurance be more like car insurance?.  "Some employees are being rewarded like safe drivers. And the reverse is also true."  
    Al Lewis writes:tBowles fighting deficits until the death.   
    David Weidner suggests that Swartz believed a wrong made a right.    
    Jon Friedman describes the ‘Kardashian-ization’ of the U.S. media.   
    Chinese factory data improve"Conditions for China's manufacturers improve further in January, an initial reading of HSBC's monthly survey shows"  
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking Forward To The Next Decline Because.    "For those of us that try to keep this game relatively simple by attempting to stay on the right side of the market's trends, the action so far in 2013 has been enjoyable. My old technical analysis textbooks say that "the trend is your friend" and "the most bullish thing a market can do is go up." So, I guess we can make a couple checkmarks there. And then my market models tell me that the bulls should be given the benefit of the doubt right now. But, as someone who has seen a lot of trends come and go, I am frankly wondering when the current joyride to the ... Read More »"  
    HSBC's China PMI Rises Again in January.     
    Apple Earnings Beat Estimates But Revenues, Sales Disappoint.    
   
The State of the Economy: Wednesday 1/23/13.    

    Architecture Billing Index Pulls Back Slightly.     
    Mickey D's Beats EPS and Revenue Estimates But.    
   
Investors Intelligence: Sentiment Holds Steady.       
    IBM Beats on Top and Bottom Lines.    
    Google Earnings Beats Estimates.        
      
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

   
Market futures are down sharply tonight, dragged down by Apple's outlook.


2013-1-22: (Tuesday Night): Except for a slight pullback for the the Nasdaq, the indices gained on the day: Are stocks poised to break into sustained bull market?, Dow, S&P 500 close at 5-year highs. The NASDAQ Composite advanced 8.47 points (0.27%) to end at 3,143.18. The Dow added 62.51 points (0.346) to close at 13,712.21; the S&P 500 annexed 6.58 points (0.44%) to end the day at 1,492.56. Oil closed at 95.32: Oil above $96 as traders weigh demand signals; Gold ended at 1,695: Gold futures settle at highest since mid-December. The VIX fell 0.03 points to 13.43.
    "Commentary: While it looks like we’ve reached a resistance point for the overall market, stocks apparently haven’t been told the news, as they appear ready to continue charging higher. (Trading Deck)"    
   
"U.S. stocks gained ground Tuesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 closing at fresh five-year highs amid mostly strong earnings reports. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    Kevin Marder writes: No signs of a top here.    
    Avi Gilburt writes The S&P 500 will let its intentions be known soon.    
    House readies temporary debt-ceiling hike.  
    Bill Gross's fresh QE warning.  "Pimco co-founder is ringing a new alarm about the perils of the Fed's monetary exuberance (The Tell)."      
    Why $16 trillion deficit doesn't worry Buffett.  
    Mark Hulbert observes Dow Theory says it's time to buy — or maybe it's not. "According to Mark Hulbert’s research, whether the market-timing tool Dow Theory triggered a buy signal at the close of trading Friday depends on which Dow Theorist you ask."  
    Skip hot funds; use index funds.  "Commentary: Active managers have almost no chance to beat the market over 20 or 30 years. Market returns, on the other hand, have suited most people's needs."  
    Dr. Irwin Kellner argues that Obama’s goals are Mission Impossible.       
    Michael Ashbaugh observes that the S&P 500 sustains a break to five-year highs.    
    Home prices up 5.9% in 2012; 'more sustainable' 2013 seen.    
    Housing rebound gives economy pop.    
    Dollar weakens as BOJ adopts Fed-style policy.   
    Europe stocks slip after BOJ decision.    
    Bank of Japan adopts firm target of 2% inflation.  
    When you hunt yield, stick with quality.    
    Your index-fund retirement"With austerity on the horizon and falling natural gas prices, the number of places to put your money this year is shrinking. But that doesn’t mean there’s no place to put your money."  
    Bond links: The end of Pimco's new normal-.    
    Gold will be 'up and running' soon says Felix Zulauf.    
    Maximize SSA retirement benefits.    
    Is there any reason the rally won’t continue-.    
    Howard Gold advises: Make 2013 a year of investing dangerously.    
    Union membership a bad deal for workers.  I don't believe for a moment that Diana Furchtgott-Roth is a shill for the greediest of the ultra-rich, but I consider her articles to be indistinguishable from from what such a shill would write. 
    Al Lewis explains: Gun control is knowing where your gun is.   
    S&P 500 is approaching the key 1,475 level.  I've left yesterday's piece in again today now that the S&P has closed at 1,486.
   
Driverless cars exiting sci-fi realm.  Mercedes-Benz will introduce their first self-driving car toward the end of this year. For safety reasons, Mercedes' car will operate autonomously only at speeds of 20 miles per hour and below. Audi will introduce its competing self-driving car next year (2014). These cars may also be capable of self-parking in parking lots.    
    Other car vendors, including Ford and GM, are planning to offer cars by or before 2017 that will operate the accelerator and the gas pedal in slow-moving (viz.: bumper-to-bumper) traffic, and that will  be self-parking.. 
    Steering will be added by 2020. 
    However, it should be noted that Cadillac is preparing a Super Cruise option for it 2015 Cadillacs. The 2015 Super Cruise option "will be able to automatically steer, brake, and center itself in a lane during 'optimal' highway driving conditions." The article goes on to say, "Super Cruise will only work in perfect weather conditions, though. According to Cadillac, certain weather conditions that hide lane markings or cause issues with GPS will force the driver to grab the wheel. So you can't doze off while in Super Cruise -- not yet, anyway."
    By 2025, automotive manufacturers plan true self-driving vehicles that will permit drivers to engage in other activities besides driving. By this time, fully networked vehicles and infrastructure are anticipated. 
    By 2040, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers predicts that 75% of U. S. traffic will be self-driving. 
    The CEO of Ford Automotive Company is stressing that these plans aren't pie-in-the-sky fantasies. He notes that there will be big changes in the way we experience automotive transportation starting in the near future.
    One of the safety issues that has been cited is that of computer hardware and software  unreliability. However, current drivers seem to be comfortable with relying on adaptive cruise control, which has its own potential for catastrophic failure.
    While wayward deer or windblown paper might be an issue for robotically controlled vehicles, it's also the case that AI systems can be aware of, and react to impending problems well before human drivers could.
    2016 is as far away as 2010. 2020 is as remote in time as 2006. 2025 equates to 2001. This will be on us before we know it.
    Buses, aircraft, and other mass transit vehicles will probably still legally require human operators for the foreseeable future.
    The estimated cost premium for self-driving features will be about $3,000. Presuably, this will be about the cost of retrofitting existing cars with these capabilities.
    Let's see how this might play out.
    I should think that the "smart cruise control" and automatic parking features envisioned for 2016-2017 might be in the "nice-to-have" category, but not a compelling requirement. For example, it doesn't seem as though adaptive cruise control would greatly improve automotive safety. It will become available as a luxury car add-on over the next two years, and as an add-on in (higher-end?) Fords and Chevy's over the next four years.
    The addition of auto-steering by 2020 ought to be more meaningful. Safety should then become a purchasing factor. The avoidance of left-turn accidents and of drunken driver accidents ought to be important to parents (not to mention the peace of mind self-driving cars would afford the parents of teenage children, and the children of aged parents).
    It will help if self-driving vehicles are proven to be highly reliable and accident-resistant during these phase-in periods.
    Fully automatic operation by 2025, including vehicle-to-vehicle and intersection-to-vehicle coordination, should see self-driving cars moving into the mainstream. 
    So how does this timetable square with Cadillac's announcement of a 2015 Super Cruise-equipped Cadillac that can do what Ford is predicting for 2020? I suspect that we'll have to wait and see. I could imagine that competitive pressures will vie with the need for public safety demonstrations, and with the implementation of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-infrastructure communications. Twelve years isn't a terribly long time to make all the legal, regulatory, safety demonstration, and public acceptance changes needed to effect this revolution in transportation.
    Farther in the future, lightweight, self-contained vans should allow travelers to sleep in their vehicles while being driven overnight to their destinations.
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:    
    What's The Next Big Worry?.    "At this time last year, the bears were feeling pretty good about themselves. Although stocks were actually rising, our furry friends were fairly confident that the Eurozone was going to implode and drag the rest of the global economy down the rabbit hole with it. There were worries about Greece, Spain, and several little countries that I don't recall. There were worries that France would eventually succumb and that the rate contagion would see no end. To hear the bears tell it at that time, it was just a matter of when, not if stocks were going to get creamed ... Read More »"  
    Is David Tepper Right Again?"Hedge fund manager David Tepper of Appaloosa Mgt. just completed an exclusive Bloomberg TV interview this morning on the show "Market Makers". Tepper, of course, is well know for the so-called "Tepper ... Read More »"  
    Most important trend to be aware of this year... intraday dips being bought. .    
    Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Down, Services Sector Improving.    
   
Existing Home Sales Pull Back in December, But Impressive Overall.       
    Johnson & Johnson Report Disappoints.    
    DuPont Increases Earnings Outlook.        
    ZEW Economic Sentiment Indices Surge in Germany, Eurozone.    
       
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

   
Market futures are flat tonight.


2013-1-18: (Friday Night): Except for a slight pullback for the the Nasdaq, the indices gained on the day: U.S. stocks gain for third straight week, Dow, S&P 500 close at 5-year highs. The NASDAQ Composite advanced 18.46 points (0.59%) to end at 3,136.00. The Dow added 53.68 points (0.39%) to close at 13,649.70; the S&P 500 annexed 5.04 points (0.34%) to end the day at 1,485.98. Oil closed at 95.32: Oil pushes higher in wake of Algeria attack; Gold ended at 1,689: Gold nears $1,700, settles at one-month high. The VIX fell 1.11 points to 13.57.
    "S&P rally in third day as upbeat data on housing and jobs offers Wall Street respite from its worries."    
   
"After a mostly flat trading day, the Dow and S&P 500 climbed during the last hours of trading Friday to finish the week at their highest levels since December 2007. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    U.S. stocks decline as consumer sentiment falls; GE rises, Intel slides.    
    Payroll tax drains wallets, and maybe stocks too"The stock market's health from here on in 2013 could come down to how much smaller paychecks translate into reduced consumer spending, analysts say."  
    Where stock market may be four years from now
.  "Commentary: Surprisingly, Mark Hulbert reports that the stock market’s return over the next four years may be more predictable than whether it will close up or down today.."  
    ‘Global gorillas’ are new kings.  "Large multinationals offer an avenue to emerging markets that proponents argue has staying power."  
    Consumer sentiment declines in January.    
    House to vote on 3-month debt-limit hike.    
    Not raising debt limitwould mean crisis: poll.   "Most Americans believe a failure to raise the U.S. debt ceiling would result in a major economic crisis, new poll finds. (Political Watch)" 
    Michael Gayed talks of Calling the debt-ceiling bluff.    
    How to retire like a cheapskate and live well.  "It’s possible to retire on the cheap while enjoying the standard of living you want. You just need to be a smart consumer and sensible saver."  
    What you should look for in a small-cap stock"Small-cap stocks can be a difficult area to navigate, but with a number of clear steps to follow, investors can find profitable options not unlike those in the larger-cap space."  
    Key buy-and-hold trends to watch in 2013"With austerity on the horizon and falling natural gas prices, the number of places to put your money this year is shrinking. But that doesn’t mean there’s no place to put your money."  
    Treasurys rise, on pace for weekly gain.    
    Darrell Delamaide observes: ‘Now is the time’ the rally cry for Democrats.    
    Rex Nutting says Time to stop whining about spending cuts.    
    Good news in emerging-market corporate debt.    
    Howard Gold advises: Make 2013 a year of investing dangerously.    
    Union membership a bad deal for workers.  I don't believe for a moment that Diana Furchtgott-Roth is a shill for the greediest of the ultra-rich, but I consider her articles to be indistinguishable from from what such a shill would write. 
    Al Lewis explains: Gun control is knowing where your gun is.   
    S&P 500 is approaching the key 1,475 level.  I've left yesterday's piece in again today now that the S&P has closed at 1,486.
   
Driverless cars exiting sci-fi realm.  Mercedes-Benz will introduce their first self-driving car toward the end of this year. For safety reasons, Mercedes' car will operate autonomously only at speeds of 20 miles per hour and below. Audi will introduce its competing self-driving car next year (2014). These cars may also be capable of self-parking in parking lots.    
    Other car vendors, including Ford and GM, are planning to offer cars by or before 2017 that will operate the accelerator and the gas pedal in slow-moving (viz.: bumper-to-bumper) traffic, and that will  be self-parking.. 
    Steering will be added by 2020. 
    However, it should be noted that Cadillac is preparing a Super Cruise option for it 2015 Cadillacs. The 2015 Super Cruise option "will be able to automatically steer, brake, and center itself in a lane during 'optimal' highway driving conditions." The article goes on to say, "Super Cruise will only work in perfect weather conditions, though. According to Cadillac, certain weather conditions that hide lane markings or cause issues with GPS will force the driver to grab the wheel. So you can't doze off while in Super Cruise -- not yet, anyway."
    By 2025, automotive manufacturers plan true self-driving vehicles that will permit drivers to engage in other activities besides driving. By this time, fully networked vehicles and infrastructure are anticipated. 
    By 2040, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers predicts that 75% of U. S. traffic will be self-driving. 
    The CEO of Ford Automotive Company is stressing that these plans aren't pie-in-the-sky fantasies. He notes that there will be big changes in the way we experience automotive transportation starting in the near future.
    One of the safety issues that has been cited is that of computer hardware and software  unreliability. However, current drivers seem to be comfortable with relying on adaptive cruise control, which has its own potential for catastrophic failure.
    While wayward deer or windblown paper might be an issue for robotically controlled vehicles, it's also the case that AI systems can be aware of, and react to impending problems well before human drivers could.
    2016 is as far away as 2010. 2020 is as remote in time as 2006. 2025 equates to 2001. This will be on us before we know it.
    Buses, aircraft, and other mass transit vehicles will probably still legally require human operators for the foreseeable future.
    The estimated cost premium for self-driving features will be about $3,000. Presuably, this will be about the cost of retrofitting existing cars with these capabilities.
    Let's see how this might play out.
    I should think that the "smart cruise control" and automatic parking features envisioned for 2016-2017 might be in the "nice-to-have" category, but not a compelling requirement. For example, it doesn't seem as though adaptive cruise control would greatly improve automotive safety. It will become available as a luxury car add-on over the next two years, and as an add-on in (higher-end?) Fords and Chevy's over the next four years.
    The addition of auto-steering by 2020 ought to be more meaningful. Safety should then become a purchasing factor. The avoidance of left-turn accidents and of drunken driver accidents ought to be important to parents (not to mention the peace of mind self-driving cars would afford the parents of teenage children, and the children of aged parents).
    It will help if self-driving vehicles are proven to be highly reliable and accident-resistant during these phase-in periods.
    Fully automatic operation by 2025, including vehicle-to-vehicle and intersection-to-vehicle coordination, should see self-driving cars moving into the mainstream. 
    So how does this timetable square with Cadillac's announcement of a 2015 Super Cruise-equipped Cadillac that can do what Ford is predicting for 2020? I suspect that we'll have to wait and see. I could imagine that competitive pressures will vie with the need for public safety demonstrations, and with the implementation of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-infrastructure communications. Twelve years isn't a terribly long time to make all the legal, regulatory, safety demonstration, and public acceptance changes needed to effect this revolution in transportation.
    Farther in the future, lightweight, self-contained vans should allow travelers to sleep in their vehicles while being driven overnight to their destinations.
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Cycles Change, Trends Change, Are You Keeping Up?.    "On days like Thursday, it can be a challenge to put away the fear and embrace the new bull market highs. It can be hard to forget about the upcoming debt/budget battle and just jump on the bull bandwagon. It can be hard to recognize that the housing market may not continue to be a drag on the economy or that Europe isn't in the process of imploding. And it can be difficult to admit that the U.S. economy isn't heading toward recession and/or that ... Read More »"  
    New House Republican Strategy: Let's Talk Budget"Stocks moved higher again on Friday as reports came out that House Republicans would approve a three month increase in the debt ceiling - as long as the Senate passed a budget. But there is a twist ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Friday 1/18/13.    
    University of Michigan Sentiment Sinks Again
.       
    General Electric Beats on EPS and Revenues.    
    China Data Shows Economy On Upward Trajectory.        
       
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

   
The markets have obviously done well this week, reaching new five-year highs. They are very overbought, and sentiment is becoming frothy. On the other hand. bond money is finally shifting into stocks. Interest rates are very low, and stocks could become substantially overpriced before they tank again. (When financial media begin to talk about 1600-1700 on the S&P 500, and to conclude that "things are different this time around", you'll know that the markets are nearing their zenith.)


2013-1-17: (Thursday Night): After four days of marking time, the markets finally took flight today: S&P 500 at 5-year peak as investors applaud economy, Dow ends near 5-year high. The NASDAQ Composite advanced 18.46 points (0.59%) to end at 3,136.00. The Dow retracted 84.79 points (0.63%) to close at 13,5196.02; the S&P 500 added 8.31 points (0.56%) to end the day at 1,480.94. Oil closed at 95.32: Oil pushes higher in wake of Algeria attack; Gold ended at 1,689: Gold nears $1,700, settles at one-month high. The VIX eased 0.15 points to 13.57.
    "S&P rally in third day as upbeat data on housing and jobs offers Wall Street respite from its worries."    
   
"U.S. stocks rallied Thursday, with the Dow closing near a 5-year high, as upbeat reports on the economy offset mixed corporate results. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    U.S. housing starts leap to a 4-year high in December.  "Construction on new U.S. homes jumps to the highest rate in more than four years, with gains across the country and across housing categories, the U.S. Department of Commerce reports."  
    Surprise new-home shortage boosting prices.    
    Housing and home loans.    
    U.S. jobless claims fall..    
    Why mid-January jobless data can be peculiar.    
    U.S. data helps drive a rebound for Europe.    
    Fisher: Too-big-to-fail banks must be solved.    
    For some banks, bigger is better.    
    Feds set rules to clean up mortgage servicers.    
    Fed’s Fisher disappointed in 'QE3' mortgage impact"Dallas Fed chief says results of the Fed’s bond-buying campaign have not met his expectations"  
    Euro-zone bank plan may be watered down.    
    Will Germany ‘tank’ your European investments-.   
    China's economy grows 7.9%, beating expectations. "The Chinese economy grows 7.9% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, while December retail sales surge 15.2% and industrial output rises 10.3%, with all three figures beating expectations."    
    S&P 500 is approaching the key 1,475 level
    Dow transports hit record high, but industrials not there.    
    Kevin Marder admonishes: Never short a dull market — here's why.    
    5 money moves to cushion a bond-market meltdown.  "The bond-investing train has left the station, market strategist Art Steinmetz is convinced. And it’s just a matter of time before it jumps the tracks."      Matthew Lynn says Food prices may be catalyst for revolutions.  
   
Matthew Lynn says Food prices may be catalyst for revolutions.   
   
Cities' funds face big shortfall.   "It's hard to believe how far some municipalities have fallen behind on their pension and health-care obligations." 
    Peek into Nissan's hybrid future.      
   
Driverless cars exiting sci-fi realm.  I'm finding this an intriguing subject. Mercedes-Benz will introduce the first self-driving car toward the end of this year. For safety reasons, Mercedes' car will operate autonomously only at speeds of 20 miles per hour and below. Audi will introduce its competing self-driving car next year. These cars may also be capable of self-parking in parking lots.    
    Other car vendors, including Ford and GM, are planning to follow suit by or before 2016. 
    Around 2016-2017, major automobile manufacturers will offer automotive "autopilots" that can operate cars on Interstates with drivers behind the wheels. 
    By 2020, automotive manufacturers plan true self-driving vehicles may permit drivers to engage in other activities besides serving as manual backup. By 2025, fully networked vehicles and infrastructure are anticipated. 
    By 2040, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers predicts that 75% of U. S. traffic will be self-driving. 
    The CEO of Ford Automotive Company is stressing that these plans aren't pie-in-the-sky fantasies. He notes that there will be big changes in the way we experience automotive transportation starting in the near future.
    One of the safety issues that has been cited is that of computer hardware and software  unreliability. However, current drivers seem to be comfortable with relying on adaptive cruise control, which has its own potential for catastrophic failure.
    While wayward deer or windblown paper might be an issue for robotically controlled vehicles, it's also the case that AI systems can be aware of, and react to impending problems well before human drivers could.
    2016 is as far away as 2010. 2020 is as remote in time as 2006. 2025 equates to 2001. This will be on us before we know it.
    Buses, aircraft, and other mass transit vehicles will probably still legally require human operators for the foreseeable future.
    Who’s living large in retirement.  "Do pensioners or savers fare better in retirement?"
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:    
    The Line In The Sand.    "First the good news. For the fourth day in a row, the bulls managed to claw their way back from another fairly intense round of intraday selling yesterday. Stocks dove at the open on global growth concerns and then once again worked their way back to breakeven. The bad news is that the S&P 500 wound up closing at nearly the exact same spot it has for the past five days. And given that this type of action doesn't happen all that often, both the bull and bear camp appear to have something to hang their hats on at the moment. Our friends in the bear camp opine that such ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Thursday 1/17/13.    
    Earnings Update: Intel
.       
    Philly Fed Outlook Index Reverses Lower in January.    
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Still Dropping.
    Weekly Jobless Claims Down 37K.    
    Housing Starts Surge 12.1% in December.    
    Citigroup Earnings Down on "Challenging" Regulatory Environment.        
       
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

   
Market futures are mixed tonight.


2013-1-16: (Wednesday Night): The markets marched in place again for the fourth day in a row, mostly because of a sharp drop in Boeing: Apple rebounds to lead Nasdaq higher but Dow ends winning streak, Stocks: Boeing drags on blue chips. The NASDAQ Composite advanced 6.76 points (0.22%) to end at 3,117.54. The Dow retracted 23.66 points (-0.17%) to close at 13,511.23; the S&P 500 added 0.29 points (0.02%) to end the day at 1,472.63. Oil closed at 93.42, Oil settles back below $94; OPEC output drops; Gold ended at 1,682: Gold ends with modest loss after two-session rise. The VIX eased 0.13 points to 13.42.
   
"U.S. stocks ended mixed Wednesday as investors weighed decent corporate earnings reports against worries about the debt ceiling and global economic growth. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    What to watch in the U.S. economy Thursday.    
    Wall Street execs' bonus pain ranges far and wide. "Resentment over plans for deferred bonuses surfaces among Wall Street's most talented, a potentially worrisome trend. But don't shed tears for J.P. Morgan Chase's Jamie Dimon. (The Tell)"   
    Why Fed's Beige Book didn't show more growth.    
    Money fund reform a 'primary' issue: Gallagher.    
    S&P 500 is approaching the key 1,475 level.    
    3-D printing: details, dollars and delusions.    
    Investor appetite for risk rises to 9-year high"The "Great Rotation" out of bonds and other takeaways from latest B. of A./Merrill survey."  
    Michael Ashbaugh writes: Bullish backdrop vies with Apple’s downturn.    
    Profit deluge won't goose S&P 500.    
    U.S. consumer inflation remain muted.    
    Builder confidence clings to six-year peak.    
    Industrial output edges up post-Sandy
    U.S. consumer inflation remain muted.    
    Mark Hulbert notes that there are Four leading indicators of a market top.  "Taken together, they paint a worrisome picture, writes Mark Hulbert."  
    B. of A. sees recession risk over debt ceiling.    
   
Half of Boeing’s 787s now grounded"Airlines want answers following emergency landing in Japan. So does the public, and that’s worrying Wall Street. (First Take)"    
    Goldman, J.P. Morgan lesson: bigger is better.    
    Emerging markets and the 'great reallocation delay'.    
    JPMorgan Halves CEO Dimon's Pay Over 'Whale' Losses    

    Why U.S. might be ‘a nation of deadbeats’"Consumers have been paying down some debt but walking away from even more, Brett Arends says." 
    Paul Farrell says Out with Bernanke, in with Bloomberg as Fed chair.    
    Irwin Kellner asks: Why is inflation so low?.    
    Mark Hulbert says Bet on despised firms over admired ones.    
    'Loving will' saves Downton Abbey"An ethical will rescues the Crawley family home."   
    This index could make you a richer investor.    
    Behind the indexed annuity curtain.  "Time to lift the curtain on indexed annutities."  
    Adjust now to offset tax increasesDon't waste time: Adjust your portfolio now to offset higher income taxes brought on by fiscal cliff legislation and by increases in health care taxes." 
    Baby boomers beware"3 things that will change our future significantly."  
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Since We're Still Waiting.    "Since the S&P 500 has managed to close at almost the exact same spot for the last four days running, I think it is safe to say that the thesis presented in yesterday's missive was on target. In my humble opinion, traders are currently waiting on the next theme to develop. And my guess is that the next theme is likely to come from either the earnings parade (which FINALLY starts to roll this morning) or the state of the budget/debt ceiling debate. But in any event, it is clear ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Wednesday 1/16/13
.        
    NAHB Homebuilder Confidence Index Steady in January.    
    Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization Up in December.
    CPI: Still No Inflation at Consumer Level.    
    Investors Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Still Rising.    
    World Bank Cuts Global Growth Forecast.    
    Goldman Sachs Buries Estimates.    
       
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

   
Market futures are mixed tonight.


2013-1-15: (Tuesday Night): The markets marched in place again for the third day in a row, mostly because of a sharp drop in Apple Computer: Dow edges up; Apple losses hit Nasdaq, Tech in focus as Apple drags, Dell rallies.    The NASDAQ Composite declined 6.72 points (-0.22%) to end at 3,110.78. The Dow managed to move up another 27.57 points (0.20%) to close at 13,534.89; the S&P 500 slipped 1.66 points (0.11%) to end the day at 1,472.34. Oil closed at 93.42, Oil settles back below $94; OPEC output drops; Gold ended at 1,680: Gold gains 0.9%; platinum's more costly than gold. The VIX rose 0.03 points to 13.55.
   
"The technology sector was in focus Monday, as shares of Apple declined and Dell's stock surged. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    U.S. retail sales climb 0.5% in key month of December. "Monthly sales rise as American shoppers apparently shrugged off a bitter budget battle in Washington."   
    Institutions finally buy into the market.    
    Investor appetite for risk rises to 9-year high"The "Great Rotation" out of bonds and other takeaways from latest B. of A./Merrill survey."  
    'Animal spirits' in full stride: investor appetite for risk rises to 9-year high, survey finds.    
    Fear of balance sheet prompting Fed caution.    
    Rosengren: Qualitative Easing until jobless rate hits 7.25%.    
    U.S. producer prices decline.    
    Empire State index contracts
    U.S. business inventories rise 0.3% in November.    
    Home prices edge up: CoreLogic.    
    U.S. home price acceleration at six-year peak.    
   
Key points in U.S. economy for Tuesday    
    Euro-zone debt crisis in new phase.    
    Pimco's Gross ponders if Bundesbank gold move means central banks don't trust each other.    
    Darell Delamaide notes that Merkel’s popularity could sink her partner.    
    Fitch reiterates U.S. debt warning.    

    Why U.S. might be ‘a nation of deadbeats’"Consumers have been paying down some debt but walking away from even more, Brett Arends says." 
    Paul Farrell says Out with Bernanke, in with Bloomberg as Fed chair.    
    Irwin Kellner asks: Why is inflation so low?.    
    Mark Hulbert says Bet on despised firms over admired ones.    
    'Loving will' saves Downton Abbey"An ethical will rescues the Crawley family home."   
    This index could make you a richer investor.    
    Behind the indexed annuity curtain.  "Time to lift the curtain on indexed annutities."  
    Adjust now to offset tax increasesDon't waste time: Adjust your portfolio now to offset higher income taxes brought on by fiscal cliff legislation and by increases in health care taxes." 
    Baby boomers beware"3 things that will change our future significantly."  
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Waiting On The Next Theme To Develop.    "With the S&P 500 up more than 3% year-to-date as of yesterday's close, it is easy to get a little complacent about the year. After all, the first five days of January were up, which is supposed to lead to an up January. And based on the old Wall Street saw, "As January goes, so goes the year," a gain in January portends well for the rest of the year. Yes, I know there are exceptions and a barrel full of flaws here, but unless stocks start to tank hard, January is looking like it will be up. However, the problem is that anyone who might have been a little ... Read More »"  
    Fitch Warns of Downgrade If Debt Ceiling Not Raised
.  "Although the U.S. Treasury department is not slated to officially run out of money for another month or so, the battle over the budget and the potential increase in the debt ceiling is heating up ... Read More »"      
    NAAIM Index: Active Managers Bullish.    
    .   
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

   
Market futures are slightly positive tonight..


2013-1-14: (Monday Night): The markets marched in place again today, mostly because of a xharp drop in Apple Computer: U.S. stocks end mostly lower on Apple's sharp fall, Tech in focus as Apple drags, Dell rallies.    The NASDAQ Composite declined 8.14 points (-0.26%) to end at 3,117.50. The Dow managed to move up 18.89 points (0.14%) to close at 13,507.32; the S&P 500 slipped 1.37 points (-0.09%) to end the day at 1,470.68. Oil closed at 94.13, Oil settles above $94, near four-month high; Gold ended at 1,668: Gold gains 0.5%; platinum at three-month high. The VIX rose 0.16 points to 13.52.
   
"The technology sector was in focus Monday, as shares of Apple declined and Dell's stock surged. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    QE3? Inflation? Don't worry about it, Bernanke says. "Nation's top central banker says the worst thing to do would be "to raise interest rates prematurely,"
and downplayed concerns that the bond-buying program will head to higher inflation or asset bubbles."
   
    Geithner: U.S. will bump up against the debt ceiling between mid-February and early March.    
    Why to worry over U.S.'s struggle to grow, add jobs. "The U.S. had added an average of 153,000 jobs a month for two years, and U.S. growth has jogged along at a lackluster 2% pace since the end of the Great Recession. Is it simply a new normal?"
    How S&P can gain 11% in 12 months.    
   
Why dividends aren't dead.    
    Home sales up 6% in 2012, first gain since 2005.    
    Obama to Congress- Raise debt limit.    

    Potential whipsaws ahead for S&P 500.  
    Alert: Bill Gross boosts Treasury holdings.    
    Treasury thinking the unthinkable about the debt ceiling.    
    Why to worry over U.S.'s struggle to grow.    
    The market in a minute: S&P up 3.22% in 2013.    
    David Marsh warns Western governments to borrow in renminbi.    
    Embrace mature workers ... or else.  "Businesses that don't move fast to accommodate their most mature and seasoned workers will be at a huge disadvantage."  
    Can retail handle tax hikes?  "December sales reports should show solid holiday-season results. But tax increases may drag on momentum."    
.    Drastic tax changes only way to save middle class."Commentary: Marcus Pohlmann looks at prospect of 90% top rates and limit on capital-gains break."      
    3.1% rally makes China runaway Asia leader.  
    Part-time jobs for students.
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:    
    In Search Of A One-Armed Analyst.    "SAs we talked about yesterday, the market has encountered bouts of intraday selling on a consistent basis so far in 2013. One of the explanations I've heard as to why traders are selling strength currently is because the market became extremely overbought after the impressive sigh of relief rally that ... Read More »"  
    As January Goes, So Goes The Year?
.  "There are many ways to interpret the so-called "January Effect." However, there is no denying that, so far at least, the month of January is off to a good start. So, does that mean 2013 will follow ... Read More »"      
    NAAIM Index: Active Managers Bullish.    
    .   
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

   
Market futures are flat tonight..


2013-1-11: (Friday Night): The markets dipped and then recovered today: Blue chips in the black, Stocks rise for 2nd week in a row.    The NASDAQ Composite inched up 3.88 points (0.12%) to end at 3,125.64. The Dow managed to move up 17.21 points (0.13%) to close at 13,488.73; the S&P 500 adjusted 0.07 points (-0.01%) to end the day at 1,472.05. Oil closed at 93.63, Oil down 0.3% on session, but up 0.5% on week; Gold ended at 1,660: Gold ends 1% lower, but gains 0.7% on week. The VIX downshifted 032% points to 13.49.
  
"U.S. stocks edge up as jobless claims point to ongoing pickup. China, Europe support mood."
   
"U.S. stocks finished little changed Friday, a day after the S&P 500 closed at a 5-year high, as investors digested earnings from Wells Fargo and a fresh batch of economic data. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:   
    U.S. Dec. budget deficit $260 million: Treasury. "Government's deficit of $260 million in December is the best showing for the final month in five years."  This is $260 million, not $260 billion... practically zero.

    U.S. stocks enjoy biggest weekly inflow since 2008"Huge stock-fund flows have Wall Street abuzz on a relatively quiet trading day. Merrill report shows money flowing into U.S. equities early this year at fastest rate in years."  
    New tax tables show the impact of the fiscal cliff"IRS reports cutoff points for various brackets."  
    Big fund flows spark the great rotation debate.    
    GDP forecasts cut on sharply wider trade deficit.    
    U.S. economy plodding along like ‘plow horse’"Economist Brian Wesbury says government is dragging us down."  
    Wall Street's herd mentality in one chart.    
    Stocks slip as banks skid with Wells Fargo.    
    Don't look now, but budget sequester is back in play"Backburnered by the 11th-hour deal aevrting the fiscal cliff, sequestration — as the 9.4% Pentagon budget slash and other federal spending reductions are termed — could yet kick in by March (blog)."  
    Ford to add 2,200 jobs in 2013.  
    American Express to slash 5,400 jobs.    
    Philly Fed president against platinum coin.    
    U.S. trade deficit widens sharply.    
    Europe stock waver along with U.S. futures.    
    Semis symmetry signals rally.    
    Gold shakes off 2013 skid as bulls come out of hiding"Confidence is returning, but hang on for a volatile year, and buy gold on the dips, say strategists."  
    Weekend Investor: Rich bond yields you’re likely missing.  "Once viewed as a risky fringe investment, emerging-market bonds now seem one of the safest bets in fixed income."  
    How the 'sequester' would cut spending.    
    Too much bullishness could trigger a market meltdown by summer: Merrill strategist  
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Memo To Bears- It's a 'Good' Overbought Condition.    "SAs we talked about yesterday, the market has encountered bouts of intraday selling on a consistent basis so far in 2013. One of the explanations I've heard as to why traders are selling strength currently is because the market became extremely overbought after the impressive sigh of relief rally that ... Read More »"  
    Earnings Update: Well Fargo
.        
    Trade Deficit Widens in November.    
    .   
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

   
This was another "up" week..


2013-1-10: (Thursday Night): The markets again rose today: Blue chips in the black, S&P 500 at 5-year high.    The NASDAQ Composite rebounded 15.95 points (0.51%) to end at 3,121.76. The Dow advanced 80.71 points (0.60%) to close at 13,471.22; the S&P 500 gained 11.1 points (0.76%) to end the day at 1,472.12. Oil closed at 93.83, Oil rises near $94 after Chinese export data; Gold ended at 1,676: Gold settles up 1.4% on China data, weak dollar. The VIX downshifted 032% points to 13.49.
  
"U.S. stocks edge up as jobless claims point to ongoing pickup. China, Europe support mood."
   
"U.S. stocks logged a second straight day of gains Thursday, pushing the S&P 500 to a fresh-5 year high. But the advance was modest as investors took a cautious approach ahead of a slew of earnings reports next week. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:

    Jobless claims in U.S. rise 4,000 to 371,000.    
    Tech sector leads as U.S. stocks take claims in stride.  "U.S. stocks edge up as jobless claims point to ongoing pickup. China, Europe support mood."  
    Nolte: Market in a "strange zone" right now.    
    Economy: What to watch Friday.    
    Mario Draghi dashes hopes for an ECB rate cut.    
    Europe stocks waver as ECB stands pat.    
    10-year Spain bond yield below 5%.    
    China’s exports surge, boosting trade surplus.    
    Food feeds China's inflation"Chinese consumer inflation quickens in December as food prices increase more than expected."  
    Constitution is key to China reform.    
    Bullard sees U.S. growth over 3% next two years.    
    Fed hawks get their day in the sun.    
    Darrell Delamaide: Obama challenges Street myth.    
    Forget platinum coins — op-ed makes case for 'scrips' as debt ceiling maneuver.  
    Kevin Marder observes that Growth stocks pass torch to cyclicals.    
    Why Pimco thinks there’s no bond bubble.  
    Good demand for 30-year sale helps Treasury market.    
   
Buffett: U.S. banks no threat to economy.    
    What’s ahead for Social Security in 2013.   "If Congress and White House take on Social Security reform, they may tackle such issues as as "chained" CPI and a higher retirement age." 
    Feds finalize rules on safer mortgages.   "Federal regulators release final mortgage rules aiming to clean up the marketplace."
    Smarter homes come at a cost.  "Jetson-like homes getting hype this weed at the Consumer Electronics Show, But privacy might be at risk, writes Theresa Poletti"
    CES 2013: TVs go 'ultra-high-definition (video)'    
    CES: Fire the masseuse, get the robot.  
    A 3-D TV without glasses - Video - Technology .      
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Why Are Traders So Glum Thus Far in 2013?.    "Spending hours each day watching the intraday action of the stock market may not be possible for the average investor or even most financial advisors. However, you can certainly learn a lot by watching what occurs on a 1-minute chart of the S&P 500. You will see when and how hard the algos hit as it becomes obvious what the indices react to. And in short, watching the action on a very short-term basis can provide a big clue about what is most important to the big money on Wall Street. While stocks are higher since it was announced that ... Read More »"  
    Philly Fed Revisions Impact Trader Confidence
.        
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Pulls Back.    
    .   
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

   
Market futures are up slightly again tonight.


2013-1-9: (Wednesday Night): The markets reversed course and rose today: U.S. stock indexes rise after two-day slide, Stocks falter ahead of earnings.    The NASDAQ Composite adjusted downward another 7.00 points (-0.23%) to end at 3,091.81. The Dow subtracted another 55.37 points (-0.41%) to close at 13,328.92; the S&P 500 slipped another 4.74 points (-0.32%) to end the day at 1,457.15. Oil closed at 93.20, Crude reverses, moves higher; Gold ended at 1,661: Feb. gold up $15 at $1,661.30 after $1,662.30 high. The VIX uphifted 0.04 points to 13.83.
  
"U.S. stocks fall for second day as Wall Street looks ahead to after-the-bell results from Alcoa."
   
"U.S. stocks tumbled Monday as investors shift their focus from the nation's fiscal woes to the outlook for corporate earnings. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:

    Alcoa earnings boost Europe stocks; banks rise.    
    Five trading days in, 2013 already looks like a winner — here's why.    
    Bond star Jeff Gundlach's 2013 market calls.    
    Investors should care about China exports.    
    <att Lyn says: Don’t ignore the growing Europe"Another Europe has escaped debt crisis — and it's booming."  
    Darrell Delamaide says: Italy's vote will be colorful, will solve nothing.    
    3 reasons ECB won't cut rates — and 1 that it will"Expectations for easier policy have faded. Bill Watts looks at why that is — and prospect of further cut."  
    Greed trumps common sense.  "Watch out for annuity bonuses and provisos."    
    Michael Casey argues: $1 trillion coin punditry threatens dollar.        
    Paul Farrell says Asteroid mining 2022 a $1 trillion bet for Earth.   
    Brett Arends asks: Are junk bonds really ‘junk’?.    
    This search engine knows you  
    What Herbalife sells is dreams.   
    Google to offer free wi-fi in N.Y.'s Chelsea.  
    4 charts that say ‘cult of equity’ is dying.    
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:    
    What To Expect From The Earnings Parade.    "Well, it's that time of year again - earnings season. If you've been at this game for any length of time, you know that this is where things really get interesting. This is where the rubber meets the road, where the estimates meet with reality (oops, I mean where the highly paid analyst guess work meets with reality), and where themes develop for companies, sectors, and the market as a whole. This is also where the algorithms that control the vast majority of trading in the market take over and ... Read More »"  
    Investors Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Rising Again
.        
    .   
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

   
Market futures are up ¼ % tonight.


2013-1-8: (Tuesday Night): The markets pulled back again today: Stocks extend losses, Stocks falter ahead of earnings.    The NASDAQ Composite adjusted downward another 7.00 points (-0.23%) to end at 3,091.81. The Dow subtracted another 55.37 points (-0.41%) to close at 13,328.92; the S&P 500 slipped another 4.74 points (-0.32%) to end the day at 1,457.15. Oil closed at 93.20, Crude reverses, moves higher; Gold ended at 1,661: Feb. gold up $15 at $1,661.30 after $1,662.30 high. The VIX uphifted 0.04 points to 13.83.
  
"U.S. stocks fall for second day as Wall Street looks ahead to after-the-bell results from Alcoa."
   
"U.S. stocks tumbled Monday as investors shift their focus from the nation's fiscal woes to the outlook for corporate earnings. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:

    S&P 500 pullback likely: why a selloff is necessary.    
    Blue chips off 80 points as earnings season limps in.  "U.S. stocks extend losses into a second session as Wall Street looks ahead to after-the-close quarterly results from Alcoa, with the aluminum producer expected to report a rebound from year-ago losses."  
    History shows Alcoa isn't kind to bulls after earnings reports.    
    Great banking swindle of 2013"David Weidner explains how a tool designed to make the financial system safer makes it more dangerous."  
    Faraway look- Overseas havens for U.S. retirees. "American retirees seeking to stretch the dollar may wish to widen search. Take a look at International Living’s 10 best countries in which to retire."   
    AIG, mulling lawsuit, looks federal gift horse in mouth"Insurer resuscitated by Uncle Sam in 2008 may sue over the terms of the giant bailout (The Tell)."  
    Gold's dilemma in 2013.      
   
Welcome to the year of the jumbo, jumbo mortgage"Surge in big loans last year fueled by falling interest rates."      
    Paul Farrell says Asteroid mining 2022 a $1 trillion bet for Earth.   
    Best way to debt reduction: You choose.  "Regulators reach major settlement with 10 large financial institutions over foreclosure missteps."  
    Michael Ashbaugh writes: Charting the 2013 stock-market breakout  
    Mark Hulbert says that The S&P 500 will be at 1,525 on Jun. 30.     
    Chuck Jaffe warns: Be wary of award-winning funds.     
    'Obama taps Hagel and Brennan"President nominates ex-Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel as next defense secretary and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan as CIA director."   
    Facing the new tax reality"Income-tax diversification, Roth conversions and muni bonds all need to be considered in light of changes to the tax law, Robert Powell writes. Plus, investors need to be ready for future tax reform." .  
 
  Netizens hit back at China censorship (video).   
    Google to offer free wi-fi in N.Y.'s Chelsea.  
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Tuesday's Market.    
    What Do The Cycles Say for 2013?.    "While long-time readers know that I simply abhor the predictions game, it seems that one of the most popular things I write about has to do with the historical cycles of the stock market. In the past week, I have received a handful of notes asking me to update the report I did at the beginning of 2012, which laid out how the markets had acted historically from a one-year, four-year, and ten-year cycle perspective. So, given that the market ... Read More »"  
    FTC Says Google Gets A Pass"This week's Quotable Quotes is, as usual, a must read. For starters, the FTC ruled that their investigation into Google's business practices "does not justify legal action." In addition... ... Read More »"  
    NFIB: Small Business Optimism Remains Weak Due to Cliff Concerns
.        
    .   
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

   
Market futures are slightly positive tonight..


2013-1-7: (Monday Night): The markets pulled back today: U.S. stocks retreat Monday, dropping from 5-year highs, Stocks skid on eve of earnings season.    The NASDAQ Composite adjusted downward 2.85 points (-0.09%) to end at 3,098.81. The Dow subtracted 50.92 points (-0.38%) to close at 13,384.29; the S&P 500 slipped 4.58 points (-0.31%) to end the day at 1,461.89. Oil closed at 93.21, Oil bobs around $93, awaits supply, demand cues; Gold ended at 1,648: Gold futures log third-straight session loss. The VIX dipped another 0.04 points to 13.79.
  
"The next fiscal challenge facing the U.S. is sure to put stocks on edge again, and that means the early-year decline for the VIX is likely to be reversed."
   
"U.S. stocks tumbled Monday as investors shift their focus from the nation's fiscal woes to the outlook for corporate earnings. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:

    Stock futures slip before earnings season.    
    Stocks retreat after last week's gains.    
    VIX sees record weekly slide.  
    Volatility's down, not out:  The VIX will strike back. "The next fiscal challenge facing the United States is sure to put stocks on edge again, and that means the early-year decline for the so-called fear gauge is likely to be reversed."   
    Low bar paves way for more earnings blowouts"Expect tepid earnings for the reporting season that kicks off Tuesday, say Wall Street analysts."  
    Battle lines harden for new budget fights.      
   
Gold set to face challenges in 2013 as stocks gain favor.  "Commentary: Gold has been a fantastic investment over the past decade, but the headwinds facing the metal in 2013 may be the heaviest seen in quite some time, writes Michael A. Gayed."      
    Avi Gilburt asks Are we finally on track for S&P 1575?.   
    Banks to pay $8.5 billion over foreclosure abuses.  "Regulators reach major settlement with 10 large financial institutions over foreclosure missteps."  
    Will Dr. Copper make a house call?"Copper's currently setting up for a head-and-shoulders pattern, but should it fail, and it very well might, a significant rally could follow."   
    Krugman joins $1 trillion coin brigade  "New York Times columnist Paul Krugman joins the calls for the U.S. to mint a $1 trillion platinum coin as a way around the debt ceiling (Political Watch)."     
    David Marsh writes: Weidmann pushes back against ECB.     
    'Obama taps Hagel and Brennan"President nominates ex-Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel as next defense secretary and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan as CIA director."   
    Facing the new tax reality"Income-tax diversification, Roth conversions and muni bonds all need to be considered in light of changes to the tax law, Robert Powell writes. Plus, investors need to be ready for future tax reform." .  
 
  Bonds caught between auctions, worries.   
    Be wary of award-winning funds.  
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Tuesday's Market.    
    Is Good News Still Good For Stocks?.    "Good morning and welcome to the new format for the "State of the Markets" report. The goal for my morning market missive is to provide readers with an all-encompassing summary of the market environment. To be honest, the reason behind the change to the report format was selfish, as I wanted a single report on the key market data at my fingertips each day. The new format includes my oftentimes meandering take on the action, the current market drivers, the "state" of the charts, market ... Read More »"  
    FTC Says Google Gets A Pass"This week's Quotable Quotes is, as usual, a must read. For starters, the FTC ruled that their investigation into Google's business practices "does not justify legal action." In addition... ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Monday 1/7/13
.        
    Employment Trends Index Up in December.   
    Confidence Continues to Improve in Eurozone.    
    
   
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

   
Market futures are flat tonight..


2013-1-4: (Friday Night): The markets rose today: Stocks swoon after Fed; Stocks hold steady after jobs report. The NASDAQ Composite adjusted upward 1.09 points (0.04%) to end at 3,101.65. The Dow added 43.85 points (0.33%) to close at 13,435.21; the S&P 500 jumped 7.10 points (0.49%) to end the day at 1,466.47. Oil closed at 92.95, Oil futures up 0.2% on day, up 2.5% on week; Gold ended at 1,652: Gold ends 1.5% lower in extended fallout from Fed. The VIX dipped another 0.77 points to 13.79.
  
"U.S. stocks rebound late in the session; S&P 500's weekly gain of 4.6% is best streak since 2011."
   
"U.S. stocks traded slightly lower Thursday afternoon, following the release of the minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:

    Stocks on track for highest close since 2007"U.S. stocks rebound late in the session; S&P 500 is poised for weekly gain of more than 4%"  
    December's payrolls expand by 155,000.  "The all-important U.S. jobs report shows the unemployment rate flat at 7.8% last month as growth in nonfarm payrolls matches what's been the average pace for two years now: 155,000 positions.
    Breaking down 2012’s jobs data in charts"See the charts breaking down America’s job situation. Health-care employment continues to boom, while manufacturing is struggling to recover."  
    Analysts, lawmakers respond to jobs report.      
   
David Weidner discusses: The 'uncertainty' con"
    Why next U.S. downgrade will really matter.   
    Four investor predictions and a 2013 wild card.  "Howard Gold offers a look at how 2013 will turn out for the economy and markets"  
    Stocks set for 50% to 100% upside.    
    Cracking the 2013 tax code.  "A guide to the changes wrought by the fiscal-cliff deal."   
    Euro-zone PMI signals downturn eased.     
    Retirement savers face their own 'fiscal cliff'"Americans shouldn't mimic on a personal scale the recent errors that leaders in Washington have been making, Chuck Jaffe writes. They must work to avert their personal fiscal cliff."   
    Retirement: Winning the loser’s game.   
    Why investors should ignore January.  
 
  MarketWatch's retirement section ».   
    Taxpayers gird for 6.2% payroll levy.  "Ink on new fiscal-cliff bill is barely dry, but IRS has quickly issued guidelines on higher payroll taxes."
    FOMC fallout: Gold tanks as metals suffer big losses.  "Gold is knocked down roughly 2%, a day after Fed signals bond buying may end this year. Losses are somewhat tempered by jobs data."  
    Boehner re-elected House speaker    "Rep. Eric Cantor, ex-Rep. Allen West, and even Colin Powell all get votes as the new House convenes, but in the end Ohio Republican John Boehner narrowly reclaims the gavel."  
.   Geithner may leave at month's end- report
    Robots help you work from home"Telepresence robots help telecommuters feel like they're actually in the office. Charlie Turner has Take on Tech."  
    Fed's Yellen doubts one-size-fits-all bank rules.    
    Investors funnel $30 bln into ETFs while mutual funds lose out.    
    What happens to oil if Chávez goes?"With Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s health declining, uncertainty over the future of his country’s oil wealth is on the rise."  
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:
    JJobs Report- Economy Gained 1.835 Million Jobs in 2012.    "The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Nonfarm Payrolls, which is one of the most closely followed gauges regarding the state of the economy, was in line with expectations as 155,000 new jobs were created in the month of December. The increase in the number of new jobs was very close to the consensus estimates for an increase of 154K but above November’s revised 146K (October: 137K). As usual, there were revisions to the prior two months’ reports. November’s jobs total was increased to 161,000 from 146,000 while October’s total was cut by 1,000. The new totals show and additional 14,000 new jobs than previously reported. For the year, the ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Friday 1/4/13
.        
    Factory Orders Flat in November.   
    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index Above Expectations in December.    
    Jobs Report: Economy Gained 1.835 Million Jobs in 2012.   
    Eurozone Service PMI Improves Again in December.    
    Big Picture Market Models - 1/3/13.
"We review the key indicators of the market every Thursday in order to keep in tune with the bigger picture. Stay on top of the current market environment with SoTM's Big Picture Market Models Report ... Read More »"    
    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

   
This has been a very good week for the equity markets.


2013-1-3: (Thursday Night): The markets regrouped a little today: Stocks swoon after Fed; Fed spooks stocks. The NASDAQ Composite adjusted 11.69 points (-0.38%) to end at 3,100.57. The Dow eased 21.19 points (-0.16%) to close at 13,381.36; the S&P 500 slipped 3.05 points (-0.21%) to end the day at 1,459.37. Oil closed at 92.87, Oil settles below $93 level after FOMC minutes; Gold ended at 1,664: Gold falls below $1,670 in electronic trading. The VIX dipped another 0.12 points to 14.56.
  
"U.S. stocks fall after the Federal Reserve signals a likely end in 2013 to its binge of bond buying."
   
"U.S. stocks traded slightly lower Thursday afternoon, following the release of the minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:

    The Fed admits it’s running low on ammunition
"For the first time since the financial crisis of five years ago, the Federal Reserve has at last made its first signal that its extraordinary loose monetary policy will start to get tougher."  
    Fed sees bond buying ending this year.  
    Why next U.S. downgrade will really matter.   
    Finally, good news for mutual-fund managers.  
    How to read ‘quirky’ December jobs report.  "December is never easy because of the holiday season and end-of-the-year quirks. Economists estimate 160,000 jobs were created last month."  
    Cracking the 2013 tax code.  "A guide to the changes wrought by the fiscal-cliff deal."   
    Tax changes help families paying for college.     
    Roth conversions easier, but are they right?"The fiscal-cliff tax deal makes it easier to convert to a Roth, but how do retirement savers know if the time is right and the best way to do it? Robert Powell has the answers."   
    10 steps to rebuilding your retirement portfolio.   
    9 ways to protect seniors from identity theft.  
 
  MarketWatch's retirement section ».   
    Roubini is not an optimist.  "Economist Nouriel Roubini says another fiscal crisis will arrive shortly, but even a resolution to budget disputes won't end Washington's agony (The Tell)."
    Pimco's Gross warns on inflation.    
    Boehner re-elected House speaker    "Eric Cantor, Allen West, and even Colin Powell get votes, but Ohio Republican is re-elected to post."  
.   Geithner may leave at month's end- report
    Cody Willard writes about Debt ceilings, dividends, bubbles and Apple.     
    Michael Gayed asks: Winter breakout in stocks coming?.    
    Prepare for zero real growth in 2013.    
    Billionaire Jeffry Vinik's cheap stock picks.  
    Darrell Delamaide says that Tactical deal on ‘cliff’ risks permanent damage.    
    Jon Friedman asks: Now, will America watch al-Jazeera?.    
    Mideast change may start in Iran.    
    How I went over the cliff and into the blue.    
    Michael Farr: Skeptical of rally and fiscal farce.    
    Gov. Christie rips into Speaker Boehner over lack of Sandy aid.  "New Jersey governor rips into Speaker John Boehner after House fails to bring up $60 billion Sandy aid package cleared by the Senate (blog)."  
    Cliff deal ignites global rally (video).    
    Fiscal solutions elusive (video).    
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:
    Jobs Data Encouraging In Front of Friday's 'Big Kahuna'.    "Although the “Big Kahuna” of economic data – the Nonfarm Payrolls report – isn’t due out until Friday morning, the reports received on the state of the jobs market today were certainly encouraging. The recent worry in the market has been that the cantankerous battle in Washington over the fiscal cliff would cause employers to put off any hiring decisions due to the uncertainty over taxes, regulations, and overall employee costs. However, Thursday’s data points on the jobs market were ... Read More »"  
    Investors Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Still High.
.        
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Upticks.   
    Weekly Jobless Claims Up 10K In Latest Week.    
    ADP Employment Report Surprises to Upside.   
    Challenger: December Planned Job Cuts 2nd Lowest of Year.    
    China's Non-Manufacturing PMI Best In Four Months.    
    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

   
Stock market futures are marginally lower tonight.


2013-1-2: (Wednesday Night): The markets reached for the sky today: Dow industrials rack up biggest opening-day gain; Stocks start 2013 with broad gains. The NASDAQ Composite rocketed 92.75 points (3.07%) to end at 3,112.26. The Dow catapulted 308.41 points (2.35%) to close at 13,105.98; the S&P 500 explod 36.23 points (2.54%) to end the day at 1,462.42. Oil closed at 92.87, Oil settles up 1.4% after fiscal cliff deal; Gold ended at 1,689: Gold settles up $13 or 0.8% at $1688.80/oz. The VIX dipped another 3.34 points to 14.68.
  
"Budget deal triggers a major rally with Dow shooting up more than 200 points, its second consecutive triple-digit up session."
   
"For at least the first day of trading, 2013 is proving to be a very good year. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:

    U.S. stocks rally into 2013 after fiscal-cliff resolution
"Wall Street lauds Washington compromise averting spending cuts and tax increases as 2013 kicks off."  
    The Tell: Can we trust this stock surge, or is it just a relief rally?  "
The Tell: Investor relief over fiscal-cliff compromise is understandable, given the weeks of uncertainty, but that relief may be temporary, say strategists focused on teh debt limit and longer-term budget issues."
    Fiscal Cliff II, coming soon to a Congress near you"Democratic leaders signed off on the agreement on Monday, but the measure was not going to pass in time for Congress to meet its Dec. 31 deadline to avert automatic tax increases and spending cuts."  
    If you liked the fiscal cliff... "Three more budget-related battles lie over the horizon, and Washington and Wall Street are already buckling up for the next bumpy ride (blog)."  
    Fiscal cliff resolved, but super cliff lies ahead.    
    U.S. manufacturers see slight December gains..     
    Treasury yields at highest levels since Sept.     
    Meta-question facing investors in new year"The big issue investors need to ponder as 2013 kicks off is an uncommonly fundamental one."   
    Why China's cash is flying west.   
    How special is January?.  "History points up need to distinguish between patterns that impress statisticians and those big enough to stir investors, says Mark Hulbert,"
 
   Mark Hulbert explains the consequences of Santa Claus’s failure to visit Wall Street.   
    Lynn says it simply: Equity markets are dying.  
    Kevin Marder comments: New Year’s rally no surprise, has room to run.    
    Best 2013 targets point to 11% DJIA gain.  . 
    2013 could be lucky for U.S. stock funds, ETFs"After enjoying a blockbuster 2012, stock investors have good reason to expect mutual funds and exchange-traded funds to do well in 2013."   
    Stores to post grim December.  "Holiday-season sales reports are due Thursday, and the results will very likely be disappointing."  
    China stocks bear risk of capitulation in 2013.    
    A no-fail investment strategy"No methodology seems to work all of the time."  
    Fiscal-cliff bill retains aid for struggling homeowners.    
    Most taxpayers should cheer fiscal-cliff bill"Most taxpayers can celebrate the provisions of fiscal-cliff bill passed by Congress: The continuation of the income-tax rates they’ve enjoyed for a decade and the extension of a number of popular tax breaks."  
    Cliff bill retains aid for struggling homeowners.    
    13 Wall Street voices to ignore — or not — in 2013"On Wall Street, notes David Weidner, money talks, and the people on this list walk."  
    Michael Farr: Skeptical of rally and fiscal farce.    
    Gov. Christie rips into Speaker Boehner over lack of Sandy aid.  "New Jersey governor rips into Speaker John Boehner after House fails to bring up $60 billion Sandy aid package cleared by the Senate (blog)."  
    Cliff deal ignites global rally (video).    
    Fiscal solutions elusive (video).    
    .   
State of the Markets articles include:
    "Much as we did not want to lead with the “fiscal cliff” this week, it is awfully hard to avoid it. The time-honored political sentiment above is being bandied about in one form or another in editorial commentary all across the media and blogosphere. But it is not only the media pundits expressing this sentiment, it is many politicians themselves: “The average American wonders why it is that in this town for some reason you can’t get stuff done in an organized timetable…This is déjà vu all over again… the American people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy, not right now.” –Pres. Obama on Friday (Washington Post) “They pretend they are fighting up there, but they ... Read More"  
    The State of the Economy: Wednesday 1/2/13.
.        
    ISM Manufacturing Index Rebounds in December.   
    Construction Spending Dips in November.    
    Markit PMI Up in December.   
    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    For the moment, a deal has been reached, but for the longer term...