Daily Investment Interpretations Archive

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Daily Investment Interpretations Archive

 

 

2012-12-6: (Thursday Night): After yo-yoing up and down, the markets eventually closed up: U.S. stocks hold up Thursday under fiscal-cliff pressures; Tech stocks boost market as Apple rebounds. The NASDAQ Composite added 15.57 points (0.52%) to end at 2,989.27. The Dow gained 39.55 points (0.30%) to close at 13,07.04; the S&P 500 advanced 4.95 points (0.33%) to end the day at 1,413.94. Oil closed at 87.87 bbl; Gold ended at 1,702: Feb. gold up $8, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,701.80. The VIX rose 0.12 points to 16.58.   
  
"U.S. stocks closed slightly higher for a second day Thursday, thanks to strength from the technology sector, including Apple's 1.6% rise. But the gains were limited as investors refrained from making big bets as long as the fiscal cliff remains unresolved. More"
      

Marketwatch says:

    Six tax issues to watch as we edge toward fiscal cliff.   "As 2012 winds down and debt talks continue, here are the tax issues that will affect you the most." 
   
401(k) tax breaks in lawmakers’ gunsights.    

    Fiscal cliff would take 10% or more off the Dow- poll.  
    Brett Arends asks: Are stock investors going insane? "Commentary: Stock investors aren’t paying enough attention to the fiscal cliff — or anything else."  
    Political risk rises as Italy's Monti feels the heat.    
    White House wants debt-limit hike by year-end.  
    U.S. stocks steady after jobless claims report.     
    Jobless claims off third week in row.    
    Dividend ETFs may be first ‘fiscal cliff’ casualty.  "Commentary: In a post-’fiscal cliff’ environment, after-tax dividend income is bound to decline — possibly by far more than investors realize, writes Conrad de Aenlle"  
    Shinal: Don’t fear fiscal cliff; it's the new Y2K.    
    German stocks hit nearly 5-year high, Europe gains.    
    Kevin Marder says we're: Waiting for volume to confirm the move.    
    Nigam Arora discusses A $9 billion message for gold and silver.    
    Commodity 'renaissance' argues you favor sector.  "Goldman Sachs report forecasts near-term returns of 11% for the asset class."  
    Darrell Delamaide suggests that Progressive backlash may tilt fiscal cliff talks  
    Draghi’s no Grinch, but ECB won’t play Santa.      
    U.S. foreclosure sales fall in Q3 vs. year earlier.    
    Households back to slashing debt, Fed says.
    .    
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Wednesday's Market.    
   Of Margin Calls and Rebel Yells.  
"Once again, stocks started off on the right foot (well for the bulls anyway) yesterday morning. The Chinese markets had rebounded strongly on word that the new leadership was talking ... Read More »" 
    Apple's Crazy Day.  "While there are all kinds of stories in the market today, the crazy move in Apple is one not to be missed or ignored. So, with the world's biggest company down $27 we wanted to know the reason or ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Thursday 12/6/12.    
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Sags.    
    Weekly Jobless Claims Down 25K.    
    German Factory Orders Above Expectations in October.    
    Challenger- Planned Job Cuts Rise in November.           

   
ADP Employment Report- Rate of Job Growth Slowed.      

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

    Market futures are flat again tonight..


012-12-5: (Wednesday Night): Stocks meandered around and basically went nowhere again today: Dow, S&P rise, but Nasdaq sours with Apple in wild day; Stocks end mixed as afternoon rally cools. The NASDAQ Composite dropped 22.99 points (-0.77%) to end at 2,973.70. The Dow gained 82.71 points (0.64%) to close at 13,029.49; the S&P 500 advanced 2.23 points (0.16%) to end the day at 1,409.28. Oil closed at 87.87 bbl; Gold ended at 1,695: Gold falls a second day, stays below $1,700. The VIX fell 0.66 points to 16.46.   
  
"U.S. stock indexes moved higher Wednesday, with the exception of the Nasdaq, as investors welcomed upbeat corporate news and comments from President Obama on the fiscal cliff. More"
      

Marketwatch says:

    Radio Update: GOP talks taxes and lifts Dow.    
   
Why Wal-Mart mortgages could fuel the next bubble.  "If the financial crisis taught us anything, it should be that shopping for a new home-equity line should not be as easy as driving to Wal-Mart, writes Al Lewis."  

    An investment for those who shun the market.  "Commentary: Stock-market investors are wounded and weary from the past 12-year bear and sideways market. Here are some alternative places to stash your nest egg.
    10 numbers that can change your life "Every investor who is planning to retire must confront his or her financial future. Basic retirement planning can be distilled into these 10 numbers."  
    MarketWatch's Retirement section ».    
    Tax incentives should be restructured.  
    Top 10 IRA-planning mistakes to avoid.  "The rules on IRA rollovers and transactions are complicated. Here are the most common IRA planning errors and how to avoid them."  
    More IRA-planning mistake to watch for.    
    Obama spurns Republican fall-back plan.  "Obama rejects a nascent GOP plan to extend middle-class taxes and Republicans demand that the president send a new proposal to Congress."  
    Businesses more productive in third quarter.    
    An investment for those who shun the market.  "Commentary: Stock-market investors are wounded and weary from the past 12-year bear and sideways market. Here are some alternative places to stash your nest egg."  
    Michael Gayed says: Melt-up begins as ‘dividendsanity’.    
    Mark Hulbert discusses Stocks in the first year of presidential cycle.    
    David Waring presents 4 investment ideas from Bill Gross  
    ECB policy seen on hold"Focus shifts to Draghi comments as Bank of England is expected to leave policy unchanged."    
    Dollar up as Spain problems keep pressure on euro.    
    Fox News sidelines Karl Rove.  "Fox News chairman's decision to keep pundits Karl Rove and Dick Morris off cable network's guest roster, is latest fallout from 2012 presidential election.
    .China stocks may flee U.S  "A mass exodus of Chinese companies listed on U. S. exchages looks possible as an accounting rift between the two countries reaches a dangerous stage."  
    U.K. austerity a ‘cautionary tale’ for U.S.     
    Apple is starting to falter, as expected..      
    Matthew Lynn says The era of central bank independence is over.    
    How fracking could save the dollar.    
    Darrell Delamaide on: Greek progress leaves euro’s fate murky.    
    David Weidner cautions There’s a 30% chance this column is lying.    
    Businesses more productive in third quarter.    
    ISM services index rises to 54.7% in November.    
    Buying life insurance to cover estate taxes.     

    What to expect from Warren on Senate bank panel.  "Massachusetts Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren is likely to focus her efforts on the Senate Banking Committee in areas that go far beyond her bread-and-butter expertise in consumer protection, analyst say."  
    Home values up, but should you sell?.  "Some homeowners are sitting on big gains. But here's why they should consider the potential tax bill before selling."
    How Diet Can Prevent Heart Attacks (video).    
    Sanders says fiscal cliff really about financial inequality.    
    Geithner willing to go over cliff over taxes.    
    .    
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Wednesday's Market.    
    Assuming Away The Can.  
"Three men are stranded on a deserted island with nothing to eat but several cans of beans. Unfortunately though, our castaways have no utensils and no tools. The question, of course, is how are the men going to eat the beans without a can opener? After a while, hunger sets in and the three men begin to attack the issue in earnest. The first man, an engineer by trade, proposes that the group build a can opener out of rocks ... Read More »" 
    Apple's Crazy Day.  "While there are all kinds of stories in the market today, the crazy move in Apple is one not to be missed or ignored. So, with the world's biggest company down $27 we wanted to know the reason or ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Wednesday 12/5/12.    
    Factory Orders Better Than Expected in October.    
    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index Above Expectations in November.    
    NAAIM Index Shows Active Managers Growing Cautious.    
    Nonfarm Productivity Up in Q3; Unit Labor Costs Fall.             

   
ADP Employment Report- Rate of Job Growth Slowed.      
   
Investors Intelligence- Bullish Sentiment Rising.    
    Eurozone Service PMI Improves in November.    

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

    Market futures are flat tonight..

2012-12-5: (Wednesday Night): Stocks meandered around and basically went nowhere again today: Dow, S&P rise, but Nasdaq sours with Apple in wild day; Stocks end mixed as afternoon rally cools. The NASDAQ Composite dropped 22.99 points (-0.77%) to end at 2,973.70. The Dow gained 82.71 points (0.64%) to close at 13,029.49; the S&P 500 advanced 2.23 points (0.16%) to end the day at 1,409.28. Oil closed at 87.87 bbl; Gold ended at 1,695: Gold falls a second day, stays below $1,700. The VIX fell 0.66 points to 16.46.   
  
"U.S. stock indexes moved higher Wednesday, with the exception of the Nasdaq, as investors welcomed upbeat corporate news and comments from President Obama on the fiscal cliff. More"
      

Marketwatch says:

    Radio Update: GOP talks taxes and lifts Dow.    
   
Why Wal-Mart mortgages could fuel the next bubble.  "If the financial crisis taught us anything, it should be that shopping for a new home-equity line should not be as easy as driving to Wal-Mart, writes Al Lewis."  

    An investment for those who shun the market.  "Commentary: Stock-market investors are wounded and weary from the past 12-year bear and sideways market. Here are some alternative places to stash your nest egg.
    10 numbers that can change your life "Every investor who is planning to retire must confront his or her financial future. Basic retirement planning can be distilled into these 10 numbers."  
    MarketWatch's Retirement section ».    
    Tax incentives should be restructured.  
    Top 10 IRA-planning mistakes to avoid.  "The rules on IRA rollovers and transactions are complicated. Here are the most common IRA planning errors and how to avoid them."  
    More IRA-planning mistake to watch for.    
    Obama spurns Republican fall-back plan.  "Obama rejects a nascent GOP plan to extend middle-class taxes and Republicans demand that the president send a new proposal to Congress."  
    Businesses more productive in third quarter.    
    An investment for those who shun the market.  "Commentary: Stock-market investors are wounded and weary from the past 12-year bear and sideways market. Here are some alternative places to stash your nest egg."  
    Michael Gayed says: Melt-up begins as ‘dividendsanity’.    
    Mark Hulbert discusses Stocks in the first year of presidential cycle.    
    David Waring presents 4 investment ideas from Bill Gross  
    ECB policy seen on hold"Focus shifts to Draghi comments as Bank of England is expected to leave policy unchanged."    
    Dollar up as Spain problems keep pressure on euro.    
    Fox News sidelines Karl Rove.  "Fox News chairman's decision to keep pundits Karl Rove and Dick Morris off cable network's guest roster, is latest fallout from 2012 presidential election.
    .China stocks may flee U.S  "A mass exodus of Chinese companies listed on U. S. exchages looks possible as an accounting rift between the two countries reaches a dangerous stage."  
    U.K. austerity a ‘cautionary tale’ for U.S.     
    Apple is starting to falter, as expected..      
    Matthew Lynn says The era of central bank independence is over.    
    How fracking could save the dollar.    
    Darrell Delamaide on: Greek progress leaves euro’s fate murky.    
    David Weidner cautions There’s a 30% chance this column is lying.    
    Businesses more productive in third quarter.    
    ISM services index rises to 54.7% in November.    
    Buying life insurance to cover estate taxes.     

    What to expect from Warren on Senate bank panel.  "Massachusetts Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren is likely to focus her efforts on the Senate Banking Committee in areas that go far beyond her bread-and-butter expertise in consumer protection, analyst say."  
    Home values up, but should you sell?.  "Some homeowners are sitting on big gains. But here's why they should consider the potential tax bill before selling."
    How Diet Can Prevent Heart Attacks (video).    
    Sanders says fiscal cliff really about financial inequality.    
    Geithner willing to go over cliff over taxes.    
    .    
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Wednesday's Market.    
    Assuming Away The Can.  
"Three men are stranded on a deserted island with nothing to eat but several cans of beans. Unfortunately though, our castaways have no utensils and no tools. The question, of course, is how are the men going to eat the beans without a can opener? After a while, hunger sets in and the three men begin to attack the issue in earnest. The first man, an engineer by trade, proposes that the group build a can opener out of rocks ... Read More »" 
    Apple's Crazy Day.  "While there are all kinds of stories in the market today, the crazy move in Apple is one not to be missed or ignored. So, with the world's biggest company down $27 we wanted to know the reason or ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Wednesday 12/5/12.    
    Factory Orders Better Than Expected in October.    
    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index Above Expectations in November.    
    NAAIM Index Shows Active Managers Growing Cautious.    
    Nonfarm Productivity Up in Q3; Unit Labor Costs Fall.             

   
ADP Employment Report- Rate of Job Growth Slowed.      
   
Investors Intelligence- Bullish Sentiment Rising.    
    Eurozone Service PMI Improves in November.    

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

    Market futures are flat tonight..

2012-12-5: (Wednesday Night): Stocks meandered around and basically went nowhere again today: Dow, S&P rise, but Nasdaq sours with Apple in wild day; Stocks end mixed as afternoon rally cools. The NASDAQ Composite dropped 22.99 points (-0.77%) to end at 2,973.70. The Dow gained 82.71 points (0.64%) to close at 13,029.49; the S&P 500 advanced 2.23 points (0.16%) to end the day at 1,409.28. Oil closed at 87.87 bbl; Gold ended at 1,695: Gold falls a second day, stays below $1,700. The VIX fell 0.66 points to 16.46.   
  
"U.S. stock indexes moved higher Wednesday, with the exception of the Nasdaq, as investors welcomed upbeat corporate news and comments from President Obama on the fiscal cliff. More"
      

Marketwatch says:

    Radio Update: GOP talks taxes and lifts Dow.    
   
Why Wal-Mart mortgages could fuel the next bubble.  "If the financial crisis taught us anything, it should be that shopping for a new home-equity line should not be as easy as driving to Wal-Mart, writes Al Lewis."  

    An investment for those who shun the market.  "Commentary: Stock-market investors are wounded and weary from the past 12-year bear and sideways market. Here are some alternative places to stash your nest egg.
    10 numbers that can change your life "Every investor who is planning to retire must confront his or her financial future. Basic retirement planning can be distilled into these 10 numbers."  
    MarketWatch's Retirement section ».    
    Tax incentives should be restructured.  
    Top 10 IRA-planning mistakes to avoid.  "The rules on IRA rollovers and transactions are complicated. Here are the most common IRA planning errors and how to avoid them."  
    More IRA-planning mistake to watch for.    
    Obama spurns Republican fall-back plan.  "Obama rejects a nascent GOP plan to extend middle-class taxes and Republicans demand that the president send a new proposal to Congress."  
    Businesses more productive in third quarter.    
    An investment for those who shun the market.  "Commentary: Stock-market investors are wounded and weary from the past 12-year bear and sideways market. Here are some alternative places to stash your nest egg."  
    Michael Gayed says: Melt-up begins as ‘dividendsanity’.    
    Mark Hulbert discusses Stocks in the first year of presidential cycle.    
    David Waring presents 4 investment ideas from Bill Gross  
    ECB policy seen on hold"Focus shifts to Draghi comments as Bank of England is expected to leave policy unchanged."    
    Dollar up as Spain problems keep pressure on euro.    
    Fox News sidelines Karl Rove.  "Fox News chairman's decision to keep pundits Karl Rove and Dick Morris off cable network's guest roster, is latest fallout from 2012 presidential election.
    .China stocks may flee U.S  "A mass exodus of Chinese companies listed on U. S. exchages looks possible as an accounting rift between the two countries reaches a dangerous stage."  
    U.K. austerity a ‘cautionary tale’ for U.S.     
    Apple is starting to falter, as expected..      
    Matthew Lynn says The era of central bank independence is over.    
    How fracking could save the dollar.    
    Darrell Delamaide on: Greek progress leaves euro’s fate murky.    
    David Weidner cautions There’s a 30% chance this column is lying.    
    Businesses more productive in third quarter.    
    ISM services index rises to 54.7% in November.    
    Buying life insurance to cover estate taxes.     

    What to expect from Warren on Senate bank panel.  "Massachusetts Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren is likely to focus her efforts on the Senate Banking Committee in areas that go far beyond her bread-and-butter expertise in consumer protection, analyst say."  
    Home values up, but should you sell?.  "Some homeowners are sitting on big gains. But here's why they should consider the potential tax bill before selling."
    How Diet Can Prevent Heart Attacks (video).    
    Sanders says fiscal cliff really about financial inequality.    
    Geithner willing to go over cliff over taxes.    
    .    
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Wednesday's Market.    
    Assuming Away The Can.  
"Three men are stranded on a deserted island with nothing to eat but several cans of beans. Unfortunately though, our castaways have no utensils and no tools. The question, of course, is how are the men going to eat the beans without a can opener? After a while, hunger sets in and the three men begin to attack the issue in earnest. The first man, an engineer by trade, proposes that the group build a can opener out of rocks ... Read More »" 
    Apple's Crazy Day.  "While there are all kinds of stories in the market today, the crazy move in Apple is one not to be missed or ignored. So, with the world's biggest company down $27 we wanted to know the reason or ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Wednesday 12/5/12.    
    Factory Orders Better Than Expected in October.    
    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index Above Expectations in November.    
    NAAIM Index Shows Active Managers Growing Cautious.    
    Nonfarm Productivity Up in Q3; Unit Labor Costs Fall.             

   
ADP Employment Report- Rate of Job Growth Slowed.      
   
Investors Intelligence- Bullish Sentiment Rising.    
    Eurozone Service PMI Improves in November.    

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

    Market futures are flat tonight..

 


2012-12-4: (Tuesday Night): Stocks meandered around and basically went nowhere again today: Wall Street slips as investors seek cliff progress; Fiscal cliff wrangling pressures stocks. The NASDAQ Composite adjusted declined 5.51 points (-0.18%) to end at 2,996.69. The Dow lost 13.82 points -0.11%) to close at 12,951.78; the S&P 500 trimmed 2.41 points (-0.17%) to end the day at 1,407.05. Oil closed at 88.48 Oil futures pull back below $89 after recent gains; Gold ended at 1,697: Gold futures drop below $1,700 on Asia selling. The VIX climbed 0.48 points to 17.12.   
  
"Sick of the fiscal cliff negotiations yet? Well, tough luck -- the ongoing talks in Washington took center stage for investors again on Tuesday. More"
      

Marketwatch says:

    Gross: Four big issues weighing on U.S. economy.  "Pimco founder lays out four structural factors that are hitting U.S. economy in monthly newsletter.
    The four structural factors are: (1) high debt levels leading to tax increases and/or ntitlement cuts (removing spendable money from the economy?); (2) globalization may wear off; (3) technological unemployment... automation replacing human workers; and (4) Demographics: an aging population, with baby boomers moving into retirement. (Retirees need fewer new cars and new homes.)

    Gross, others looking past Treasurys for 2013.   
    Why U.S. is printing so many $100 bills "
U.S. government printed 3 billion $100 bills this past year, 100% more than the average over the past five years. 
    Small-business owners cautious on hiring.    
    'Future you' to you: Save more money.  
    Why China’s stock market is a value trap.  "Chinese stocks seem cheaply price, but ineffective state-owned enterprises and lack of transparency should give investors pause, says strategist Junhang Li.  
    Four bullish flags to watch.    
    Kevin Marder writes: Stocks refuse to blink.  "With the fiscal cliff talk moving from optimistic to pessimistic, the stock could have tanked. That they didn't tells us something about this market."  
    Michael Ashbaugh notes: Bulls, bears make case while surfing fiscal cliff.    
    Sell the fiscal-cliff news.    
    Why bankrupt companies still hand out bonuses (video).  "
Financially hobbled companies such as Hostess often pay bonuses to executives and private-equity owners before filing for bankruptcy protection."  
    High-speed trading hurts investors: report..    
    Warren a drag on Wall St.?.  "Commentary: Elizabeth Warren is granted a spot on the powerful Senate Banking Committee, but bank CEOs aren't happy (First Take)"  
    Obama says no fiscal-cliff deal without higher tax rate on wealthy.  "President rejects Republican plan in TV interview, saying proposal doesn't add up. White House calls it 'magic beans and fairy dust.'"  
    Reid to Boehner: Show me the revenue.  "The Senate leader urges the House speaker to outline specific ways to increase revenue as part of a plan to avoid tax-rate hikes."   
    Obama's olive branch?.      
    Palin sorry for calling GOP 'wusses'.    
    Benefits for wounded warriors. "Two Social Security programs help anyone who has been disabled, including soldiers."   
    Irwin Kellner warns: Get ready to go over the fiscal cliff.    
    Warren a drag on Wall Street?.    
    Fed's Tarullo: Shadow bank rules job number one.    
    Long-term-care coverage? Worth the price?
    Buying life insurance to cover estate taxes.     

    Warren a drag on Wall Street?.  "Commentary: Elizabeth Warren is granted a spot on the powerful Senate Banking Committee, but bank CEOs aren't happy. (First Take)"  
    U.S. home prices lower in October.  "CoreLogic registers monthly dip but strong year-on-year advance."
    Solar power your retirement.  "Solar makes green sense and greenback sense."  
    Never dip into your 401(k).  "The temptation to use your retirement money to pay off dubts can be a powerful one, but outside of bankruptcy or foreclosure, it must be resisted."  
    Market reaches an inflection point.    
        
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Wednesday's Market.    
    At Least They're Talking, Right?.  
"In my humble opinion, there were three key drivers to Monday's action in the stock market. Unfortunately for anyone long stocks though, the lone positive came before the opening bell rang while the other two were negative and wound up dominating the session. To be sure, it was another day where the machines controlled the action. However, the bottom line is I don't think the alogs are interpreting the way the fiscal cliff game is being played out in Washington right now. Before I begin, ... Read More »" 
    Fiscal Cliff Update: Who's Winning The Blame Game.  "
With plenty of time left on the fiscal cliff clock, politicians in Washington continue to pose and posture in order to appease their constituents. Here's the latest on the state of the blame game ... Read More »"  
  

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

    Market futures are up ½ % tonight..

 


2012-12-3: (Monday Night): Stocks meandered around and basically went nowhere today: U.S. stocks hold gains as fiscal talks continue; Stocks waver as fiscal fears hit economy. The NASDAQ Composite adjusted declined 8.04 points (-0.27%) to end at 3,002.20. The Dow lost 59.98 points -0.46%) to close at 12,965.60; the S&P 500 trimmed 6.72 points (-0.47%) to end the day at 1,409.46. Oil closed at 89.04 Oil up modestly, scores three-session win; Gold ended at 1,718: Gold logs losses for the day, week and month. The VIX climbed 0.77 points to 16.64.
    "The administration and House Republicans are at loggerheads as the White House puts tax increases on the table and House Speaker John Boehner says there is “no substantive progress” in talks."    
  
"U.S. stocks ended lower Monday, lurching into the final month of the year with all eyes on the stalemate in Washington over the nation's fiscal policy. More"
   
Not only did President Obama talk reassuringly about resolving the deadlock: so did Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner.
      

Marketwatch says:

    9 market themes for 2013.   "J.P. Morgan Cazenove tells investors that euro-zone equities will outpace U.S. stocks next year, and the so-called periphery is set to present a better risk-reward proposition — plus seven more projections."  

    ISM index drops to 49.5% in November.   
    U.S. construction spending jumps.    
    Geithner: GOP will agree to tax hike.  "Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner predicts congressional Republican opposition to tax increases on rich will eventually crumble."   
    Mark Hulbert explains Stocking stuffers for Santa Rally.  "Which securities might you want to purchase in anticipation of a so-called Santa Claus Rally?"  
    China report boosts Europe stocks.    
    Euro-zone manufacturing's 16th down month.    
    How to protect your portfolio in December.    
    Housing stocks aboard Santa's sleigh?.    
    Will the real ‘Santa Claus Rally’ stand up?.   
    Trading the 'cliff' to S&P 1,500.  "Commentary: Avi Gilburt's analysis has outlined potential moves to both the downside and upside, but the market’s recent action suggests that one is now more likely than the other."  
    Michael Gayed advises: Stocks positioned to stage another melt-up.    
    Gundlach: Prepare for financial catastrophe.      
    Myra Saefong suggests Any fiscal-cliff deal will do for oil and gold.    
    David March advises that Germany’s failure to adjust irks Europe.    
    Rex Nuttig tells How to fix Medicare the right way.    
    Foreclosure backlogs may hurt home buyers.
    Don’t tread on our 401(k)s.     
        
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Tuesday's Market.    
    Seasonality Says It's Time To Buy The Dips.  
"Editor's Note: Curtis Bergquist, editor of the PRO Trader service, is filling in for Dave M. this morning. In this report, Curt continues his in-depth look at year-end seasonality. For this portion of our discussion of market seasonality we'll be looking at historical tendencies from mid-November through early January. This will of course include an examination of the details regarding the widely known "Santa Claus" rally. We will begin with a look at the markets more recent historical performance for the period beginning from the close of the trading day ... Read More »" 
    Will Bill Clinton Run For Office Again (In Another Country-).  "
Although the the focus of the markets is clearly on the state of the fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington, there were some other stories worth a look this week. One included former U.S. President ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Monday 12/3/12.   
  
 ISM Manufacturing Index Dives in November.   
    Construction Spending Up in October.     
    Markit PMI Up in November.    
    Eurozone PMI's Show Slight Improvement.    
    China's PMI Signals Expansion Continues.    

  

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

    Market futures are down by 0.21% for the S&P 500 to 0.45% for the Dow..

2012-12-3: (Monday Night): Stocks meandered around and bsically went nowhere today: U.S. stocks hold gains as fiscal talks continue; Stocks waver as fiscal fears hit economy. The NASDAQ Composite adjusted declined 8.04 points (-0.27%) to end at 3,002.20. The Dow lost 59.98 points -0.46%) to close at 12,965.60; the S&P 500 trimmed 6.72 points (-0.47%) to end the day at 1,409.46. Oil closed at 89.04 Oil up modestly, scores three-session win; Gold ended at 1,718: Gold logs losses for the day, week and month. The VIX climbed 0.77 points to 16.64.
    "The administration and House Republicans are at loggerheads as the White House puts tax increases on the table and House Speaker John Boehner says there is “no substantive progress” in talks."    
  
"U.S. stocks ended lower Monday, lurching into the final month of the year with all eyes on the stalemate in Washington over the nation's fiscal policy. More"
   
Not only did President Obama talk reassuringly about resolving the deadlock: so did Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner.
      

Marketwatch says:

    9 market themes for 2013.   "J.P. Morgan Cazenove tells investors that euro-zone equities will outpace U.S. stocks next year, and the so-called periphery is set to present a better risk-reward proposition — plus seven more projections."  

    ISM index drops to 49.5% in November.   
    U.S. construction spending jumps.    
    Geithner: GOP will agree to tax hike.  "Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner predicts congressional Republican opposition to tax increases on rich will eventually crumble."   
    Mark Hulbert explains Stocking stuffers for Santa Rally.  "Which securities might you want to purchase in anticipation of a so-called Santa Claus Rally?"  
    China report boosts Europe stocks.    
    Euro-zone manufacturing's 16th down month.    
    How to protect your portfolio in December.    
    Housing stocks aboard Santa's sleigh?.    
    Will the real ‘Santa Claus Rally’ stand up?.   
    Trading the 'cliff' to S&P 1,500.  "Commentary: Avi Gilburt's analysis has outlined potential moves to both the downside and upside, but the market’s recent action suggests that one is now more likely than the other."  
    Michael Gayed advises: Stocks positioned to stage another melt-up.    
    Gundlach: Prepare for financial catastrophe.      
    Myra Saefong suggests Any fiscal-cliff deal will do for oil and gold.    
    David March advises that Germany’s failure to adjust irks Europe.    
    Rex Nuttig tells How to fix Medicare the right way.    
    Foreclosure backlogs may hurt home buyers.
    Don’t tread on our 401(k)s.     
        
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Tuesday's Market.    
    Seasonality Says It's Time To Buy The Dips.  
"Editor's Note: Curtis Bergquist, editor of the PRO Trader service, is filling in for Dave M. this morning. In this report, Curt continues his in-depth look at year-end seasonality. For this portion of our discussion of market seasonality we'll be looking at historical tendencies from mid-November through early January. This will of course include an examination of the details regarding the widely known "Santa Claus" rally. We will begin with a look at the markets more recent historical performance for the period beginning from the close of the trading day ... Read More »" 
    Will Bill Clinton Run For Office Again (In Another Country-).  "
Although the the focus of the markets is clearly on the state of the fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington, there were some other stories worth a look this week. One included former U.S. President ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Monday 12/3/12.   
  
 ISM Manufacturing Index Dives in November.   
    Construction Spending Up in October.     
    Markit PMI Up in November.    
    Eurozone PMI's Show Slight Improvement.    
    China's PMI Signals Expansion Continues.    

  

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

    Market futures are down by 0.21% for the S&P 500 to 0.45% for the Dow..

2012-12-3: (Monday Night): Stocks meandered around and bsically went nowhere today: U.S. stocks hold gains as fiscal talks continue; Stocks waver as fiscal fears hit economy. The NASDAQ Composite adjusted declined 8.04 points (-0.27%) to end at 3,002.20. The Dow lost 59.98 points -0.46%) to close at 12,965.60; the S&P 500 trimmed 6.72 points (-0.47%) to end the day at 1,409.46. Oil closed at 89.04 Oil up modestly, scores three-session win; Gold ended at 1,718: Gold logs losses for the day, week and month. The VIX climbed 0.77 points to 16.64.
    "The administration and House Republicans are at loggerheads as the White House puts tax increases on the table and House Speaker John Boehner says there is “no substantive progress” in talks."    
  
"U.S. stocks ended lower Monday, lurching into the final month of the year with all eyes on the stalemate in Washington over the nation's fiscal policy. More"
   
Not only did President Obama talk reassuringly about resolving the deadlock: so did Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner.
      

Marketwatch says:

    9 market themes for 2013.   "J.P. Morgan Cazenove tells investors that euro-zone equities will outpace U.S. stocks next year, and the so-called periphery is set to present a better risk-reward proposition — plus seven more projections."  

    ISM index drops to 49.5% in November.   
    U.S. construction spending jumps.    
    Geithner: GOP will agree to tax hike.  "Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner predicts congressional Republican opposition to tax increases on rich will eventually crumble."   
    Mark Hulbert explains Stocking stuffers for Santa Rally.  "Which securities might you want to purchase in anticipation of a so-called Santa Claus Rally?"  
    China report boosts Europe stocks.    
    Euro-zone manufacturing's 16th down month.    
    How to protect your portfolio in December.    
    Housing stocks aboard Santa's sleigh?.    
    Will the real ‘Santa Claus Rally’ stand up?.   
    Trading the 'cliff' to S&P 1,500.  "Commentary: Avi Gilburt's analysis has outlined potential moves to both the downside and upside, but the market’s recent action suggests that one is now more likely than the other."  
    Michael Gayed advises: Stocks positioned to stage another melt-up.    
    Gundlach: Prepare for financial catastrophe.      
    Myra Saefong suggests Any fiscal-cliff deal will do for oil and gold.    
    David March advises that Germany’s failure to adjust irks Europe.    
    Rex Nuttig tells How to fix Medicare the right way.    
    Foreclosure backlogs may hurt home buyers.
    Don’t tread on our 401(k)s.     
        
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Tuesday's Market.    
    Seasonality Says It's Time To Buy The Dips.  
"Editor's Note: Curtis Bergquist, editor of the PRO Trader service, is filling in for Dave M. this morning. In this report, Curt continues his in-depth look at year-end seasonality. For this portion of our discussion of market seasonality we'll be looking at historical tendencies from mid-November through early January. This will of course include an examination of the details regarding the widely known "Santa Claus" rally. We will begin with a look at the markets more recent historical performance for the period beginning from the close of the trading day ... Read More »" 
    Will Bill Clinton Run For Office Again (In Another Country-).  "
Although the the focus of the markets is clearly on the state of the fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington, there were some other stories worth a look this week. One included former U.S. President ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Monday 12/3/12.   
  
 ISM Manufacturing Index Dives in November.   
    Construction Spending Up in October.     
    Markit PMI Up in November.    
    Eurozone PMI's Show Slight Improvement.    
    China's PMI Signals Expansion Continues.    

  

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

    Market futures are down by 0.21% for the S&P 500 to 0.45% for the Dow..

2012-12-3: (Monday Night): Stocks meandered around and bsically went nowhere today: U.S. stocks hold gains as fiscal talks continue; Stocks waver as fiscal fears hit economy. The NASDAQ Composite adjusted declined 8.04 points (-0.27%) to end at 3,002.20. The Dow lost 59.98 points -0.46%) to close at 12,965.60; the S&P 500 trimmed 6.72 points (-0.47%) to end the day at 1,409.46. Oil closed at 89.04 Oil up modestly, scores three-session win; Gold ended at 1,718: Gold logs losses for the day, week and month. The VIX climbed 0.77 points to 16.64.
    "The administration and House Republicans are at loggerheads as the White House puts tax increases on the table and House Speaker John Boehner says there is “no substantive progress” in talks."    
  
"U.S. stocks ended lower Monday, lurching into the final month of the year with all eyes on the stalemate in Washington over the nation's fiscal policy. More"
   
Not only did President Obama talk reassuringly about resolving the deadlock: so did Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner.
      

Marketwatch says:

    9 market themes for 2013.   "J.P. Morgan Cazenove tells investors that euro-zone equities will outpace U.S. stocks next year, and the so-called periphery is set to present a better risk-reward proposition — plus seven more projections."  

    ISM index drops to 49.5% in November.   
    U.S. construction spending jumps.    
    Geithner: GOP will agree to tax hike.  "Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner predicts congressional Republican opposition to tax increases on rich will eventually crumble."   
    Mark Hulbert explains Stocking stuffers for Santa Rally.  "Which securities might you want to purchase in anticipation of a so-called Santa Claus Rally?"  
    China report boosts Europe stocks.    
    Euro-zone manufacturing's 16th down month.    
    How to protect your portfolio in December.    
    Housing stocks aboard Santa's sleigh?.    
    Will the real ‘Santa Claus Rally’ stand up?.   
    Trading the 'cliff' to S&P 1,500.  "Commentary: Avi Gilburt's analysis has outlined potential moves to both the downside and upside, but the market’s recent action suggests that one is now more likely than the other."  
    Michael Gayed advises: Stocks positioned to stage another melt-up.    
    Gundlach: Prepare for financial catastrophe.      
    Myra Saefong suggests Any fiscal-cliff deal will do for oil and gold.    
    David March advises that Germany’s failure to adjust irks Europe.    
    Rex Nuttig tells How to fix Medicare the right way.    
    Foreclosure backlogs may hurt home buyers.
    Don’t tread on our 401(k)s.     
        
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Tuesday's Market.    
    Seasonality Says It's Time To Buy The Dips.  
"Editor's Note: Curtis Bergquist, editor of the PRO Trader service, is filling in for Dave M. this morning. In this report, Curt continues his in-depth look at year-end seasonality. For this portion of our discussion of market seasonality we'll be looking at historical tendencies from mid-November through early January. This will of course include an examination of the details regarding the widely known "Santa Claus" rally. We will begin with a look at the markets more recent historical performance for the period beginning from the close of the trading day ... Read More »" 
    Will Bill Clinton Run For Office Again (In Another Country-).  "
Although the the focus of the markets is clearly on the state of the fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington, there were some other stories worth a look this week. One included former U.S. President ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Monday 12/3/12.   
  
 ISM Manufacturing Index Dives in November.   
    Construction Spending Up in October.     
    Markit PMI Up in November.    
    Eurozone PMI's Show Slight Improvement.    
    China's PMI Signals Expansion Continues.    

  

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

    Market futures are down by 0.21% for the S&P 500 to 0.45% for the Dow..

2012-12-3: (Monday Night): Stocks meandered around and bsically went nowhere today: U.S. stocks hold gains as fiscal talks continue; Stocks waver as fiscal fears hit economy. The NASDAQ Composite adjusted declined 8.04 points (-0.27%) to end at 3,002.20. The Dow lost 59.98 points -0.46%) to close at 12,965.60; the S&P 500 trimmed 6.72 points (-0.47%) to end the day at 1,409.46. Oil closed at 89.04 Oil up modestly, scores three-session win; Gold ended at 1,718: Gold logs losses for the day, week and month. The VIX climbed 0.77 points to 16.64.
    "The administration and House Republicans are at loggerheads as the White House puts tax increases on the table and House Speaker John Boehner says there is “no substantive progress” in talks."    
  
"U.S. stocks ended lower Monday, lurching into the final month of the year with all eyes on the stalemate in Washington over the nation's fiscal policy. More"
   
Not only did President Obama talk reassuringly about resolving the deadlock: so did Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner.
      

Marketwatch says:

    9 market themes for 2013.   "J.P. Morgan Cazenove tells investors that euro-zone equities will outpace U.S. stocks next year, and the so-called periphery is set to present a better risk-reward proposition — plus seven more projections."  

    ISM index drops to 49.5% in November.   
    U.S. construction spending jumps.    
    Geithner: GOP will agree to tax hike.  "Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner predicts congressional Republican opposition to tax increases on rich will eventually crumble."   
    Mark Hulbert explains Stocking stuffers for Santa Rally.  "Which securities might you want to purchase in anticipation of a so-called Santa Claus Rally?"  
    China report boosts Europe stocks.    
    Euro-zone manufacturing's 16th down month.    
    How to protect your portfolio in December.    
    Housing stocks aboard Santa's sleigh?.    
    Will the real ‘Santa Claus Rally’ stand up?.   
    Trading the 'cliff' to S&P 1,500.  "Commentary: Avi Gilburt's analysis has outlined potential moves to both the downside and upside, but the market’s recent action suggests that one is now more likely than the other."  
    Michael Gayed advises: Stocks positioned to stage another melt-up.    
    Gundlach: Prepare for financial catastrophe.      
    Myra Saefong suggests Any fiscal-cliff deal will do for oil and gold.    
    David March advises that Germany’s failure to adjust irks Europe.    
    Rex Nuttig tells How to fix Medicare the right way.    
    Foreclosure backlogs may hurt home buyers.
    Don’t tread on our 401(k)s.     
        
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Tuesday's Market.    
    Seasonality Says It's Time To Buy The Dips.  
"Editor's Note: Curtis Bergquist, editor of the PRO Trader service, is filling in for Dave M. this morning. In this report, Curt continues his in-depth look at year-end seasonality. For this portion of our discussion of market seasonality we'll be looking at historical tendencies from mid-November through early January. This will of course include an examination of the details regarding the widely known "Santa Claus" rally. We will begin with a look at the markets more recent historical performance for the period beginning from the close of the trading day ... Read More »" 
    Will Bill Clinton Run For Office Again (In Another Country-).  "
Although the the focus of the markets is clearly on the state of the fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington, there were some other stories worth a look this week. One included former U.S. President ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Monday 12/3/12.   
  
 ISM Manufacturing Index Dives in November.   
    Construction Spending Up in October.     
    Markit PMI Up in November.    
    Eurozone PMI's Show Slight Improvement.    
    China's PMI Signals Expansion Continues.    

  

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

    Market futures are down by 0.21% for the S&P 500 to 0.45% for the Dow..


2012-11-30: (Friday Night): Stocks meandered around and bsically went nowhere today: U.S. stocks hold gains as fiscal talks continue; Stocks stuck on fiscal cliff treadmill. The NASDAQ Composite adjusted downward 1.79 points (-0.06%) to end at 3,010.24. The Dow gained a scant 3.76 points (0.03%) to close at 13,025.58; the S&P 500 rose even scantier 0.23 points (0.02%) to end the day at 1,416.18. Oil closed at 88.84. Oil futures climb, score 3% monthly gain; Gold ended at 1,717: Gold logs losses for the day, week and month. The VIX climbed 0.81 points to 15.87.
    "The administration and House Republicans are at loggerheads as the White House puts tax increases on the table and House Speaker John Boehner says there is “no substantive progress” in talks."    
  
"U.S. stocks went nowhere Friday as investors remain sidelined by political gridlock in Washington. More"
   
Not only did President Obama talk reassuringly about resolving the deadlock: so did Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner.
      

Marketwatch says:

    Rising prices signaling a ‘recovery' in U.S. housing   "Week in Charts: See the charts that back the case for an enduring housing-market rebound."  

    Fiscal cliff a bond boon—but an economic nightmare  "No deal between Congress and the White House to soften the blow of expiring tax and spending measures at year-end would be the best scenario for Treasurys. But even bond investors don't want that."
    Obama warns economy will stall if taxes hiked.    
    Wall Street assumes 'cliff' deal but tunes in talks' tone.  "Fiscal-cliff negotiations to continue next week, sharing market focus with jobs data, reports MarketWatch's Polya Lesova."    
    Mark Hulbert explains Why Disney’s dividend hike is a recession stopper.    
    Chicago PMI inches into expansion territory.    
    When Grantham bails out of bonds, should you?    
    Gold's view: Stocks to rise.  "Commentary: Forget cliff. Potential upside greater than potential downside, Howard Gold argues."  
    U.S. consumer spending drops in October.    
    Thomas H. Kee, Jr. discusses The myth behind leveraged ETFs.   
    Rajoy’s treatment of Draghi is disgraceful.      
    U.N. recognizes Palestine in blow to U.S.    
    Looming changes for college savings accounts (audio).    
    Naroff sees new-home sales heading sideways(audio).    
    India growth slows again.  "One of the key BRIC countries sees growth rise 5.3% in the fiscal second quarter, but that's well off a 6.7% rate in the prior period."  
    Asia stocks buoyant at month’s end.    
    Stronger yen may soon destroy Japan.    
        
State of the Markets articles include:
    Four Ways To Play The Cliff Game.  
"In case it is not blatantly obvious by now, the current market driver is anything and everything relating to the state of the fiscal cliff. And at this point, we can even identify how much a good or bad comment on the status of either party's position is worth to the market. You see, one of the things we've learned this week is that any comment from a ranking politician on the outlook for the negotiations is good for a move of about 6-8 points on the S&P 500 (approximately 0.5%) within about 5 minutes. Thursday was a perfect example ... Read More »" 
    The State of the Economy: Friday 11/30/12.   
  
 Chicago PMI Moves Back Above 50, But New Orders Plunge.   
    Personal Income and Spending Below Expectations.     
    Weekly Jobless Claims Improve 23K.    
    U.S. GDP Improves to 2.7% in Second Quarter.    

  

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

    It's been an "up" week. I suspect that if our fiscal cliff is avoided, stocks will slip their leashes and race higher..


2012-11-29: (Thursday Night): Stocks rose today in spite of mixed news on the economy : U.S. stocks hold gains as fiscal talks continue; Stocks inch higher as fiscal cliff worries remain. The NASDAQ Composite expanded 23.99 points (0.81%) to end at 2,991.78. The Dow gained 36.71 points (0.28%) to close at 13,021.32; the S&P 500 frose 6.02 points (0.43%) to end the day at 1,415.95. Oil closed at 87.58. Crude-oil futures rally on ‘cliff’ talk, GDP; Gold ended at 1,727: Gold futures rebound after big selloff. The VIX fell 0.45 points to 15.06.
    "The administration and House Republicans are at loggerheads as the White House puts tax increases on the table and House Speaker John Boehner says there is “no substantive progress” in talks."    
  
"U.S. stocks rose modestly Thursday, but closed below the day's highs as investors digested downbeat comments from House Speaker John Boehner on ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations. More"
   
Not only did President Obama talk reassuringly about resolving the deadlock: so did Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner.
      

Marketwatch says:

    Boehner rebuffs Obama's bid for $1.6 trillion in taxes  
    Treasury's Geithner proposed taxing dividends as income: report.    
    Why the mortgage-interest deduction may sail by fiscal cliff.    
    Goldman's plan for 2013.  "Investment bank's crystal ball also predicts the
S&P 500 to be at 1,575 in 12 months.
"  
    Sen. Harkin wants high-speed trading taxed in fiscal-cliff deal.    
    Michael Gayed tells Why the fiscal cliff is actually bullish.   
    David Waring warns about The fiscal cliff no one is talking about.    
    As housing recovers, will interest rates rise?.    
    Debt ceiling can wait till March: CBO.  "Treasury will be able to keep funding government operations without an increase in the debt limit, which is a testy part of the talks. (blog)."  .   On watch for Sweden's breakout.
    Darrell Delamaide remarks that there are No drama in Obama’s economic jobs.    
    $899 for a tablet?  "Microsoft's premium pricing for Surface Pro is not likely to appeal, even if it does have a full Windows offering, writes Therese Poletti. (First Take)"  
    Mark Hulbert gives us A contrarian take on consumer confidence  
    China 'world factory' status on line.   
    China data, untraded shares slam market.    
    Michael Ashbaugh advises that Fiscal cliff debate vies with market technicals.    
    Retirement: Visit MarketWatch's newest section.  

    How to choose a great financial adviser.    
    Retail gasoline price hits its 2012 high.  
    Retailers positive about holidays.      
        
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Friday's Market.    
    Tis The Season For....  
"Editor's Note: Dave M has an early meeting and has asked Curtis Bergquist, a longtime friend, fellow money manager, and the editor of the PRO Trader service, to fill in for him. In this report, Curt is continuing his in-depth look at holiday seasonality. The next seasonality area for us to discuss is that which relates to November and the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Let's start with a review of the historical market tendencies for the days immediately preceding and following Thanksgiving Thursday. Other calendar based seasonality biases such as month-end ... Read More »" 
    Big Picture Market Models - 11/29/12  "
AWe 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 »"    
    The State of the Economy: Thursday 11/29/12.   
  
 Pending Home Sales Surge in October.   
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Improves.     
    Weekly Jobless Claims Improve 23K.    
    U.S. GDP Improves to 2.7% in Second Quarter.    

  

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

    Stock market futures are mixed tonight.


2012-11-28: (Wednesday Night): Stocks dipped and then rose again today : Dow's triple-digit comeback on hopes for budget deal; Stocks climb a wall of worry. The NASDAQ Composite expanded 23.99 points (0.81%) to end at 2,991.78. The Dow gained 106.98 points (0.83%) to close at 12,985.11; the S&P 500 fidgeted up 10.99 points (0.79%) to end the day at 1,409.93. Oil closed at 86.65. Oil settles lower for a third-straight session; Gold ended at 1,719: Gold futures drop as much as $36.80 an ounce. The VIX fell 0.40 points to 15.51.
    "Stocks rise sharply, lifting S&P 500 back into the green for the week, after comments by President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner say the right things about reaching an agreement."    
  
"U.S. stocks pushed higher Wednesday, but gains were held in check as investors remain on edge over fiscal cliff negotiations. More"
   
Not only did President Obama talk reassuringly about resolving the deadlock: so did Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner.
      

Marketwatch says:

    U.S. stocks turn positive with Boehner assessment "Fiscal-cliff fears recede as Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama say they're optimistic about reaching a deal."  
    Grand bargain best deal for stocks.   "Fiscal-cliff uncertainty and related squabbles are seen as main impediment to a stock advance.
    Bowles concedes Democrats need to move on entitlement spending.    
    Geithner to meet with lawmakers.    
    Bonds up for 3rd day on fiscal-cliff worries.  "Bonds up" means interest rates are down, meaning that worried investors are scrambling to buy bonds because of their perceived safety.  
    Fed’s Beige Book finds weak factory activity.    
    Buffett: Higher taxes no match for profit motive.  "Warren Buffett tells "Daily Show" audience that desire to make a fortune outstrips concern about tax on that fortune (The Tell).."   
    Gold futures drop as much as $36.80 an ounce.  
    10 things SEC won’t say.  "Wall Street watchdog less fierce than you'd think."  .   
    Small caps with big dividends.    
    Investing inside frontier markets
    Mark Hulbert gives us A contrarian take on consumer confidence  
    China 'world factory' status on line.   
    China data, untraded shares slam market.    
    Michael Ashbaugh advises that Fiscal cliff debate vies with market technicals.    
    Retirement: Visit MarketWatch's newest section.  

    How to choose a great financial adviser.    
    Retail gasoline price hits its 2012 high.  
    Retailers positive about holidays.      
        
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Thursday's Market.    
    First, The Good News.  
"Unfortunately, we've got one of those good news/bad news situations to deal with in the market right now as we attempt identify the drivers of the current stock market action. And since I admit to being a card-carrying member of the glass-is-at-least-half-full club when it comes to my outlook on both life and the markets, I'll start with the positive. The good news is that the U.S. stock market no longer appears to give a hoot about Greece. I don't know about you, but for me this was a very long time in coming and I am thrilled that I ... Read More »" 
    How Is Retail Looking After Black Friday and Cyber Monday?  "
After months of speculation and many rounds of negotiations, a deal between Greece and the troika regarding the country's debt and the next tranche of aid has finally been announced ... Read More »"    
     Beige Book Shows U.S. Economic Activity "Grew At A Measured pace".   
 
   New Home Sales Number A Big Miss.   
     NAAIM Index Shows Active Managers Hedging Bets.       

  

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

    Stock market futures are down slightly tonight.


2012-11-27: (Tuesday Night): Stocks backed up a lot today after Senator Harry Reid announced that little progress was being made in fiscal=cliff talks: Senate fiscal-cliff bickering spooks U.S. stock market; Stocks pressured by fiscal cliff worries. The NASDAQ Composite backed up 8.99 points (-0.30%) to end at 2,967.79. The Dow slipped 89.24 points (-0.69%) to close at 12,878.13; the S&P 500 fidgeted up 7.35 points (-0.52%) to end the day at 1,398.94. Oil closed at 87.71. Oil slips with Greece, Mideast in the spotlight; Gold ended at 1,742: Gold futures edge higher after Greek deal. The VIX rose 0.36 points to 15.50.
   "Sniping between Senate leaders over the fiscal cliff helped pressure stocks on Tuesday, even as the White House insisted that talks about averting tax hikes and spending cuts are on track."
   "U.S. stocks dropped modestly Tuesday, as investors remain worried about the contentious fiscal cliff battles in Washington. More"
      

Marketwatch says:

    Little progress made in cliff talks: Sen. Reid "U.S. stocks turn decisively lower Tuesday afternoon after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says little progress has been made in fiscal-cliff talks. White House denies budget talks have broken down."  
    MarketWatch's full coverage of fiscal cliff ».    
    Fiscal cliff- The case for doing zilch.    
    CEOs plan to meet separately with Obama and Republicans.    
    U.S. home prices rise again.  "Case-Shiller study of 20 top metropolitan areas reveals a sixth straight month of price pickups."   
    U.S. durable-goods orders for October defiantly flat.  
    Consumer confidence at post-recession peak.    .   
    Michael Ashbaugh notes that Dow, Nasdaq return to scene of the breakdown.    
    The Greek myth of euro progress.  "Darrell Delamaide is keeping watch for reality to puncture illusion of Greek progress."
    Another short-term fix for Greece? (The Tell)"  
    Greece deal lifts bourses in Europe.   
    The debt deal.    
    Euro tops $1.30.    
    Norquist says GOP won't cave in. "Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist says Republicans are merely discussing their "impure thoughts," and party won't vote for tax hikes."  

    OECD: Fiscal-cliff failure could cause recession.    
    India 2012 gold demand likely to rise 23%    
    Indications are very bullish.    
    SEC chief’s to-do list starts with market fix.  "After four less-than-revolutionary years under Mary Schapiro, the Securities and Exchange Commission is getting new leadership. Here's what Elisse Walter needs to do."  
    John Nyaradi warns about The biggest, baddest fiscal cliff ever.    
    Banks facing cyber-threat: Fed's Lockhart.    
    Sandy’s aftermath will distort the data.      
    Reports of economy’s death premature.      
.
   
Stocks dead, bonds deader till 2022: Pimco.    
   
Europe’s growing divide.    
   
Chinese industry profits again.    
    China OKs $26 billion for new infrastructure.    
   
China gets serious on new-energy cars.    
   
Michael Gayed says Japan’s rally is irrationally rational.    
        
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Wednesday's Market.    
    Does It Really Need To Be So Complicated?  
"As I've said a time or twenty, I believe the key to long term success in the stock market revolves around the idea of staying in tune with the primary trend of the market. No, I'm not talking about the latest 2% algo-induced move or the wiggles and giggles on the chart caused by the last headline to hit the tape. I'm referring to the big moves in the market that tend to occur a few times a year. The bottom line is if you can get most of these moves right, you will consistently perform. To get a picture of what I'm talking about, click out of that 1-minute chart you've probably got up on your ... Read More »" 
    Deal Finally Reached On Debt Reduction in Greece.  "
After months of speculation and many rounds of negotiations, a deal between Greece and the troika regarding the country's debt and the next tranche of aid has finally been announced ... Read More »"    
     The State of the Economy: Tuesday 11/27/12.   
 
    FHFA House Prices Index Up in September.   
    Richmond Fed Report- Activity Improved in November.     
    Consumer Confidence At 4.5 Year High in November,    
    Case-Shiller Index: Home Prices Up 8th Straight Month.    
    Durable Goods Orders Surprise to Upside in October.    

  

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

    Stock market futures are down a little tonight.


2012-11-26: (Monday Night): Stocks backed up a bit today after last week's strong gains: Stocks fall after 5 up days; Stocks slump on fiscal cliff concerns. The NASDAQ Composite eased up 9.93 points (0.33%) to end at 2,976.78. The Dow slipped 42.31 points (-0.33%) to close at 12,967.37; the S&P 500 fidgeted up 2.86 points (-0.20%) to settle at 1,406.29. Oil closed at 87.71. Oil slips with Greece, Mideast in the spotlight; Gold ended at 1,749: Gold ends slightly lower with focus on Europe. The VIX rose 0.36 points to 15.50.
   "Stocks pull back after last week's gains as Street eyes Congress's effort to reach a budget deal."
   "U.S. stocks were mostly lower Monday as investors kept one eye on the results of the start of the holiday shopping season, and the other on upcoming economic negotiations in Washington and Europe. More"
      

Marketwatch says:

    Why Black Friday won’t save November sales.     
    What you need to know about the GDP paradox.  "Early indications are giving retailers including Macy’s higher hopes for holiday season."  
    Warren Buffett renews 'millionaire tax' push in op-ed.    
    Cyber Monday stretching out over weeks (video).   
    Norquist says GOP won't cave in. "Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist says Republicans are merely discussing their "impure thoughts," and party won't vote for tax hikes."  

    Buy the stock market’s next dip. "Commentary: The market’s bulls were desperate for a win, and they got one last week. Any overly aggressive bear who shorted last week will tell you the bounce certainly felt real, but can it last?"   
    Avi Gilbert asks: Has S&P begun the rally to 1,500-plus?    
    Transports correction winds down.    
    John Niardi warns that Recession in Europe is bad news for U.S.    
    Fiscal-cliff resolution may fuel rally.    
    Schapiro to step down from SEC.      
    Schapiro’s legacy: controversy.      
.
   
New SEC chief's muni-bond focus.  "Obama's surprise pick to lead the SEC, Elisse Walter, has focused much of her time at the agency on the $3.7 trillion municipal-security market."  
        
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Tuesday's Market.    
    Understanding The Way The Game Is Played  
"The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally a quiet session where anyone actually at their desks winds up questioning their decision and doing a lot of online shopping. However, this time around stocks exploded higher with the DJIA gaining 173 points. The move capped off a week in which the indices gained ground each day and put up the best weekly performance in over two months. To anyone long the market, Friday's action produced a smile by the time the closing bell rang. But the joyride to the upside also left a lot of folks scratching ... Read More »"      
    Chicago Fed National Activity Index Down in October.     
    The State of the Economy: Monday 11/26/12,    

  

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

    Stock market futures are up ¼ % tonight


2012-11-23: (Friday Night): Stocks moved up smartly today: Stocks hot as doorbusters, add 3% or more for week; Dow back above 13,000. The NASDAQ Composite ratcheted up 40.3 points (1.38%) to end at 2,966.85. The Dow amalgamated 172.79 points (1.35%) to close at 13,009.68; the S&P 500 fidgeted up 18.12 points (1.30%) to settle at 1,409.15. Oil closed at 88.26. Oil wobbles on Mideast cease-fire, China data; Gold ended at 1,752: Gold rallies, ends at best in more than a month. The VIX dipped a scanty 0.17 points to 15.14.
   "Shortened session is no impediment to market gains in the U.S. as focus is on holiday buying."
   "U.S. stocks wrapped up Black Friday more than 1%, inking the fifth straight day of gains. More"
      

Marketwatch says:

    Mark Hulbert Commentary: Black Friday is useless market indicator.     
    Black Friday stokes   holiday-season hope.  "Early indications are giving retailers including Macy’s higher hopes for holiday season."  
    Black Friday shoppers sound optimistic (audio).    
    Find your ‘Millionaire Code’.  "You can up your earning power and live a happier, healthier life. How? Carl Jung had some ideas, writes Paul Farrell."  
    Four must-have job skills in 2013

    12 firms with most minimum-wage workers.    
    Matthew Lynn warns: Your tax money is going to Greece.    
    U.S. consumers shrug off negatives.    
    Brett Arends writes about The end of the world: How to profit from it.    
    Europe stocks shrug off Greek disappointment.    
    Jet Lag Re-Timer    
    Fiscal cliff: More like fiscal bump in the road, says MFS strategist .      
.
   
The ETF way to buy into Bill Gross's bond-market savvy.    
        
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Friday's Market.    
    A Look at Elections, Seasonality, and the Crystal Ball  
"To begin our discussion of seasonality let's examine seasonality and the U.S. election cycle. Please note that in this and further articles we will be speaking in generalities. Seasonality is not an exact science and thus we should not view it as more than a general guide. We'll start by looking at how seasonality relates to the 4-year election cycle and specifically the Presidential Election Year. Then we'll dig a little deeper and look at how such things as incumbent election success (or lack thereof) and pre-election movement can affect the markets seasonal performance. As a frame of reference remember that the standard 1-year cyclical pattern shows ... Read More »"      
    Has This Historical Buy Signal Failed?     
    Germany's IFO Business Climate Index Improves in November,    

  

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

    The seasonality, and the historical-buy-signal articles above paint a gloomy picture for the remaining five weeks of this year.


2012-11-21: (Wednesday Night): Stocks moved up slightly today: S&P 500 ends higher for fourth session in light volume; Stocks up despite more Europe worries. The NASDAQ Composite ratcheted up 9.87 points (0.34%) to end at 2,926.55. The Dow amalgamated 48.36 points (0.38%) to close at 12,836.89; the S&P 500 fidgeted up 0.92 points (0.07%) to settle at 1,387.81. Oil closed at 87.68. Oil rises as market mulls cease-fire, supply data; Gold ended at 1,729: Gold climbs but remains below $1,730/oz. The VIX gained 0.23 points to 15.31.
   "Stocks finished modestly higher on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 up for a fourth session although trading volume was one of the year's lowest on the day ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Investors welcomed news that a ceasefire was declared to end the flare-up in violence between Israel and the Palestinians, though the lack of a deal to release emergency aid for Greece limited the market's advance."
   "SStocks traded higher Wednesday as the U.S. government's strong report on jobless claims offset new worries over Greece. More"
      

Marketwatch says:

    10 people who brought us to the edge of fiscal cliff.  "From Arthur Laffer to President Obama, they fed our guilt and greed, writes Rex Nutting."  
    Dividend games at fiscal cliff edge.  "As in 2010, when dividend taxes were slated to go up — though they didn’t — you can expect companies to bump up their payout dates."  
    Fiscal cliff to affect many families (audio).    
    10 markets with most vacant homes.  "Vacancy rates speak volumes about a housing market’s long-term condition. Here are the 10 markets with the most empty houses. (slide show)"  
    Owning a home unattainable for many- survey

    Housing recovery looks real.    
    Mark Hulbert observes that: Insider behavior points to imminent rally..    
    Kevin Marder says: Stocks: All that glitters is gold (and silver).    
    Brett Arends writes about The end of the world: How to profit from it.    
    Europe stocks shrug off Greek disappointment.    
   
Social Security claiming tricks to maximize payout.
        
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Friday's Market.    
    Will It Ever End?  
"One of the most important aspects of long-term success in the stock market is being able to identify and understand the current market environment. From there, one can implement the appropriate strategy for the type of market that exists at the time. Obvious examples include the go-go growth period of the late 1990's, where an aggressive long approach to the highest beta stocks was the key to success. However, if one failed to switch gears by the summer of 2000, there was a great deal of pain to be endured. So, my first point this morning is that based on the above example, it is easy to see that adapting one's investing strategy to the environment at hand can be ... Read More »"      
    NAAIM Index Shows Managers Cautiously Optimistic
"The current exposure level for the National Association of Active Investment Managers (who stand for anything but buy and hope) shows that managers remain ... Read More »"  
    Leading Economic Index Up +0.2% in October.    

    UofM Sentiment Holds Steady in November.  

    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Pulls Back    
   
Flash PMI Above Consensus in November.    
    Weekly Jobless Claims Pull Back But Remain Above 400K.    
  

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

    We're entering a favorable season for stock market rallies.


2012-11-20: (Tuesday Night): Stocks took a breather today after the last two days' dramatic run-ups: Stocks hold steady; Stocks lose steam. The NASDAQ Composite inched up 0.61 points (0.02%) to end at 2,916.68. The Dow retrenched 7.45 points (-0.06%) to close at 12,688.51; the S&P 500 fidgeted up 0.92 points (0.07%) to settle at 1,387.81. Oil closed at 87.29. Oil, gasoline, distillate supplies drop- API; Gold ended at 1,728: Gold futures settle with a nearly $11 loss. The VIX 1ost 0.16 points to 15.08.
   "Nasdaq and S&P 500 end slightly higher after late-day turnaround. H-P's slide weighs on Dow."
   "So much for the rally. U.S. stocks ended flat after a choppy trading session Tuesday, amid a sharp sell-off in Hewlett-Packard shares and renewed worries about Europe. More"
      

Marketwatch says:

    Obama and Pelosi hopeful on budget agreeement.    
    U.S. housing-starts data are strongest in more than four years.    
    Why home builders are perking up. "Sentiment, not to mention stock prices, of home builders is perking up, and for good reason."   
    Sales of existing homes rise in October.    
    Bernanke presses lawmakers to resolve fiscal cliff"B
ernanke calls for swift action to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, saying uncertainty over fiscal policy is damaging the U.S. economic recovery."|
    Economy has lost some pop, Bernanke says"The financial crisis seems to have reduced the economy’s potential growth rate, at least for a time, Fed chief says in speech Tuesday."  
    Nasdaq OMX chief calls for accord without big dividend-tax hike.    
    Limited maneuvering room in upper-income taxes.    
    Depression, Fed policy find uneasy equilibrium.    
    SEC alleges largest-ever insider scheme.    
    Investors discount France downgrade ... for now
    Just ahead: avoidable recession.   
    Hong Kong suffers worrying downgrade.    
    It’s small companies adding jobs.    
    Trading Deck: 'Budget progress' means short the bounce?  
   
Dow transports near the end of their correction.    
   
Why recession in Europe is bad news for U.S.    
    SEC alleges largest-ever insider-trading scheme. "A hedge-fund manager and a doctor are at the heart of what securities regulators are calling one of the largest insider-trading schemes ever pursued."    
   
3 ways to get payments for life.    
        
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Wednesday's Market.    
    Where Things Stand on the Fiscal Cliff:  
"Although stocks have been rallying on the hopes of a deal on the fiscal cliff, apparently Washington insiders are not as confident about the outcome as Wall Street appears to be ... Read More »"      
    Noodling On 'The Solution'
"Stocks blasted higher on Monday as the indices enjoyed their best day in more than two months. The reason for the joyride to the upside was pretty straightforward as all sides of the fiscal cliff debate decided to talk nice over the weekend. As such, those betting that the U.S. would plunge into recession come January 1 did some rethinking and those who had pressed their bets to the short side scurried for cover. Sure, there were other issues at work yesterday including a big day in Japan on the hopes that a new election might bring more stimulative measures ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Tuesday 11/20/12.    

    Housing Starts Improve, Building Permits Pull Back in October.  

    Daily State of the Markets Nominated for STAR Award    
  

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

    Market futures are down ½ % tonight.


2012-11-19: (Monday Night): Stocks rose about 2 % today on the strength of further soothing words from Nancy Pelosi and President Obama: Wall Street surges on hope for a U.S. budget deal; Stocks enjoy biggest rally in months. The NASDAQ Composite soared 62.94 points (2.21%) to end at 2,916.07. The Dow leaped 207.65 points (1.65%) to close at 12,795.951; the S&P 500 jumped 6.55 points (0.48%) to settle at 1,359.88. Oil closed at 89.14. Oil rallies, ends above $86 to score weekly gain; Gold ended at 1,732: Gold up nearly $20 to settle at highest in a month. The VIX fell a sizable 1.17 points to 15.24.
   "Stocks notch their best day in two months on confidence a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff will be reached and after upbeat reports on home-builder sentiment and existing-home sales."
   "U.S. stocks rallied Monday, logging their best gains in months, as investors started the holiday-shortened week optimistic that fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington are progressing. More"
      

Marketwatch says:

    Obama and Pelosi hopeful on budget agreeement.    
    Can muni bonds help you deal with fiscal cliff?    
    Fiscal cliff among factors as companies scale back spending.  
    Multiyear earnings win streak likely to end.    
    Depression, Fed policy find uneasy equilibrium.    
    Fear overtaken as Wal-Mart makes break.    
    Goldman's O'Neill says watch the yen
    Middle East woes, U.S. debt talks lift oil prices.   
    Is 1,500 on the S&P out of the question?    
    U.S. oil independence isn’t a sure thing.    
    How bad does Sen. Lindsey Graham want deal? He'll raise taxes.  
 
           
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Tuesday's Market.    
    Are The Bulls Growing Weary?  
"Editor's Note: Dave M has an early meeting and has asked Curtis Bergquist, a longtime friend, fellow money manager, and the editor of the PRO Trader service, to fill in for him. Dave asked us to remind everyone that Curt currently maintains a bearish view of the global macro picture (although he is also playing for a bounce higher in the near term), but has some good stuff to share with us on the state of the bull market and the earnings season. So, without further ado, here are Curt's thoughts on this fine Monday morning. Good morning, I have ... Read More »"      
    Moody's Downgrades France's Bond Rating
"Ratings agency Moody's downgraded France's government bond ratings after the Wall Street's close on Monday. Moody's said the decision was based on several factors including the country's growth ... Read More"  
    The State of the Economy: Monday 11/19/12.    

    NAHB Homebuilder Confidence Index Up Again in November.  

    Existing Home Sales Up 2.1% in October    
  

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

    Market futures are neutral tonight.


2012-11-16: (Friday Night): Stocks rose about ½ % today on the strength of soothing words from Congress Stocks rise on 'cliff' talks, but suffer weekly declines; Stocks finish higher on hopes for fiscal cliff deal. The NASDAQ Composite tacked on 16.19 points (0.57%) to end at 2,853.13. The Dow advanced 45.93 points (0.37%) to close at 12,588.31; the S&P 500 gave back 6.55 points (0.48%) to settle at 1,359.88. Oil closed at 86.62. Oil rallies, ends above $86 to score weekly gain; Gold ended at 1,712: Gold futures score modest gain, post weekly loss. The VIX fell a sizable 1.58 points to 16.41.
   "U.S. stocks rise after top congressional leaders say they had a constructive meeting with President Obama aimed at averting the so-called fiscal cliff — tax hikes and spending cuts set to kick in next year."
   "U.S. stocks ended with slight gains Friday afternoon, as investors welcomed positive comments from Washington lawmakers on the fiscal cliff negotiations but remained cautious ahead of an actual deal. More"
      

Marketwatch says:

    White House's fiscal-cliff talks labeled 'constructive'.   "Top congressional leaders say they had a constructive meeting with President Obama aimed at averting the so-called fiscal cliff — a cluster of tax hikes and spending cuts set to kick in at the start of the year."  
    Greenspan: Cliff would 'crater' markets.  
    Fed's Lockhart: QE3 to stay even if cliff averted"Philadelphia Fed president and "QE" critic says current policies "pose substantive longer-term risks.""  
    Dudley: Bank breakups a last resort.    
    Stock-market vigilantes will force a deal
    U.S. stocks waver after budget talk.   
    U.S. yields at lows since August.    
    Why fresh investing ideas go stale fast.    
    Thomas H. Kee, Jr., writes: Why you shouldn't short this market.     
    Howard Gold opines that: Housing’s comeback looks real.    
    Al Lewis says: Vets return from war to something worse.    
.   Rex Nutting: Calling it a 'fiscal cliff' is overheated rhetoric.  
    David Weidner says, Fiscal cliff- more hype than hazard.. "The financial media have been irresponsible in covering the supposed fallout from the fiscal cliff and it's only fueling alarmists."    
    Apple HDTV is coming in 2013.   
    Homeowners race to beat gift-tax expiration.  "With exemption set to expire, wealthy families wrap up a generous gift for their kids: real estate."  
 
           
State of the Markets articles include:
    Are The Worries Warranted?  
"As of Thursday afternoon's close, the S&P 500 finds itself down -7.67% from the recent bull-market high set on September 14th and is off -5.25% in the seven sessions since President Obama was re-elected. Unless you've been holed up in meetings for the past week, you are also likely aware of the fact that there are lots of worries in the market right now. Some of the worries are new and some are old. But to be sure, there are plenty of issues to fret about. And the question in ... Read More »"   
    Congressional Leaders Say They 'Get It'.  
"Stocks spiked up off their lows on Friday after Congressional Leaders emerged from negotiations on the fiscal cliff singing a unity song. All the major players said "we get it" and will work toward a ... Read More »"   
    TThe State of the Economy: Friday 11/16/12.    

    Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization Below Expectations in October.  

    Quad-Witch Friday: It's All About The Cliff    
  

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

    The markets are still oversold, but they're in a short-term and intermediate-term downtrend. For now, cash is king.


2012-11-15: (Thursday Night): After yoyoing up and down all day,the stock market indices ended only slightly lower than where they started: U.S. stocks finish lower on Sandy data, cliff woes; Dow, Nasdaq close lower for 4th straight day. The NASDAQ Composite lost 2.50 points (-0.04%) to end at 2,836.94. The Dow retreated 28.57 points (-0.23%) to close at 12,542.38; the S&P 500 gave back 2.17 points (-0.16%) to settle at 1,353.32. Oil closed at 85.44: Oil prices fall below $86 on economic worries; Gold ended at 1,730: Gold futures end higher, top $1,730 an ounce. The VIX moved up 0.20 points to 18.12.
   "Indexes slip as latest economic data measure the impact of superstorm on U.S. eastern seaboard."
   "The stock market couldn't shake its slump Thursday, as investors weighed negative reports on the U.S. economy and turmoil overseas. More"
      

Marketwatch says:

    Mortgage standards remain overly tight: Ben Bernanke.   "Lending standards appear to be "overly tight" and are preventing creditworthy borrowers from buying homes, thus slowing the revival in housing and impeding the economic recovery, Fed chief says."  
    Stocks react as data weigh Sandy impact on economy.  
    Europe in double-dip recession
    Jobless claims soar after Sandy.   
    Factory gauges go south.    
    Hundreds of rockets raining down on Israel.    
    What fiscal cliff could cost middle class: $1,984.  "You've probably heard about the high-stakes budget showdown in Washington. Here's what the potential tax hikes would mean for you (Slide show)."   
    Meet China's new generation of leaders.    
    Michael Gayed asks: Stock-market crash or mini-correction?.    
.   1979 in reverse: What should you be buying?   
    Cliff or no, demographic depression will continue
.      
    Cody Willard asks Why aren't you panicking yet?.    
   
Double your retirement income in just five years.   "It's not mere hype, says Paul Merriman, who has advice on doubling a nest egg in golden years."          
   
Economist Cooper sees bright future for U.S.    
  
  Darrell Delamaide: Obama’s urge for ‘big deal’ is misguided"From Toronto vantage point, Sherry Cooper — the winner of MarketWatch’s October Forecaster of the Month award — sees better days ahead."  
    The decline of the text message"Wireless carriers have little to LOL about as cellphone users shift from texts to Internet messaging."  
 
           
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Friday's Market.  
    Eurozone Economy Slips Back Into Recession.  
"While not exactly a surprise to anyone who has been following the data, the Eurozone slipped into a recession during the July – September period. This is the second time the region’s GDP has contracted since the global financial crisis of 2009. While the economies of Germany and France did manage to improve during the third quarter, analysts note that the growth rate has slowed to a standstill. Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office said on Thursday that Eurozone GDP contracted by -0.1% in the fourth quarter, which was in line with the consensus expectations. The ... Read More »"   
    The State of the Economy: Thursday 11/15/12.    

    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort At Best Level Since April.  

    Philly Fed Index Reverses Lower in November; Sandy Blamed    
    Update: Weekly Jobless Claims Soar - Here's Why.  
   
Consumer Price Index Shows Inflation Stays Tame.    
   
Empire Manufacturing Index Stays Weak, But Above Expectations.     
  

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

    Market futures are flat tonight. (Stocks are still oversold in the short term, and are still due for a bounce.)

2012-11-15: (Thursday Night): After yoyoing up and down all day,the stock market indices ended only slightly lower than where they started: U.S. stocks finish lower on Sandy data, cliff woes; Dow, Nasdaq close lower for 4th straight day. The NASDAQ Composite lost 2.50 points (-0.04%) to end at 2,836.94. The Dow retreated 28.57 points (-0.23%) to close at 12,542.38; the S&P 500 gave back 2.17 points (-0.16%) to settle at 1,353.32. Oil closed at 85.44: Oil prices fall below $86 on economic worries; Gold ended at 1,730: Gold futures end higher, top $1,730 an ounce. The VIX moved up 0.20 points to 18.12.
   "Indexes slip as latest economic data measure the impact of superstorm on U.S. eastern seaboard."
   "The stock market couldn't shake its slump Thursday, as investors weighed negative reports on the U.S. economy and turmoil overseas. More"
      

Marketwatch says:

    Mortgage standards remain overly tight: Ben Bernanke.   "Lending standards appear to be "overly tight" and are preventing creditworthy borrowers from buying homes, thus slowing the revival in housing and impeding the economic recovery, Fed chief says."  
    Stocks react as data weigh Sandy impact on economy.  
    Europe in double-dip recession
    Jobless claims soar after Sandy.   
    Factory gauges go south.    
    Hundreds of rockets raining down on Israel.    
    What fiscal cliff could cost middle class: $1,984.  "You've probably heard about the high-stakes budget showdown in Washington. Here's what the potential tax hikes would mean for you (Slide show)."   
    Meet China's new generation of leaders.    
    Michael Gayed asks: Stock-market crash or mini-correction?.    
.   1979 in reverse: What should you be buying?   
    Cliff or no, demographic depression will continue
.      
    Cody Willard asks Why aren't you panicking yet?.    
   
Double your retirement income in just five years.   "It's not mere hype, says Paul Merriman, who has advice on doubling a nest egg in golden years."          
   
Economist Cooper sees bright future for U.S.    
  
  Darrell Delamaide: Obama’s urge for ‘big deal’ is misguided"From Toronto vantage point, Sherry Cooper — the winner of MarketWatch’s October Forecaster of the Month award — sees better days ahead."  
    The decline of the text message"Wireless carriers have little to LOL about as cellphone users shift from texts to Internet messaging."  
 
           
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Friday's Market.  
    Eurozone Economy Slips Back Into Recession.  
"While not exactly a surprise to anyone who has been following the data, the Eurozone slipped into a recession during the July – September period. This is the second time the region’s GDP has contracted since the global financial crisis of 2009. While the economies of Germany and France did manage to improve during the third quarter, analysts note that the growth rate has slowed to a standstill. Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office said on Thursday that Eurozone GDP contracted by -0.1% in the fourth quarter, which was in line with the consensus expectations. The ... Read More »"   
    The State of the Economy: Thursday 11/15/12.    

    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort At Best Level Since April.  

    Philly Fed Index Reverses Lower in November; Sandy Blamed    
    Update: Weekly Jobless Claims Soar - Here's Why.  
   
Consumer Price Index Shows Inflation Stays Tame.    
   
Empire Manufacturing Index Stays Weak, But Above Expectations.     
  

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

    Market futures are flat tonight. (Stocks are still oversold in the short term, and are still due for a bounce.)


2012-11-14: (Wednesday Night): The stock market indices fell again today: Stocks' drop intensifies on worries over fiscal cliff; Stocks fall1% as sell-off accelerates. The NASDAQ Composite lost the most percentage-wise at 37.08 points (-1.29%) to end at 2,846.91. The Dow retreated 147.00 points (-1.45%) to close at 12,756.18; the S&P 500 dipped 19.04 points (-1.39%) to settle at 1,355.49. Oil closed at 86.24: Oil ends higher, Mideast tension threatens supply; Gold ended at 1,730: Gold futures end higher, top $1,730 an ounce. The VIX moved down 0.03 points to 16.65.
   "U.S. stocks tumble toward multimonth lows with budget negotiations to avert more than $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax hikes taking center stage. Dow is off more than 180 points."
   "U.S. stocks fell more than 1% Wednesday as fears of turmoil in the Middle East added to ongoing concerns about a fiscal showdown in the United States. More"
      

Marketwatch says:

    A money problem worse than the U.S. fiscal cliff?   "Commentary: Going over the "cliff" may help U.S. public finances, reduce the deficit and slow the rise of America’s debt mountain, writes Satyajit Das. But, it won't solve deeper financial problems."  
    S&P 500 short-term set for a bounce.   
    U.S. retail sales retreat in October
    U.S. wholesale costs decline.   
    Europe stocks drop as U.S. fiscal fears weigh.    
    Fed’s Yellen backs new way to give guidance.    
    Fed debates future asset purchases.    
    Obama to seek $1.6 trillion  in new taxes.    
    Mark Hulbert on impact of 200-day-average violation.    
.   Europe stocks drop as U.S. fiscal fears weigh.   
    China's new stimulus should cheer markets
.      
    Living the Chimerican dream.    
   
Mutual Fund Investors Head Lemming-Like Toward Bond Cliff.             
   
The fiscal cliff: Countdown clock and complete coverage.    
  
  Darrell Delamaide Greek bailout debate shifts to who bears losses.   
    David Marsh suggests that: Obama may take the gloves off with Europe.  
   
Kerry at top of Pentagon list?    "Senator and former presidential candidate is being mentioned for defense-secretary position."  
   
Irwin Kellner advises: To help the economy, do first things first.  
 
           
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Thursday's Market.  
    Is It Finally Time To Buy Apple Again?  
"IAs a journalist, active trader, and daily blogger on the markets, I tend to read and watch everything I possibly can, while healthily ‘discounting’ at least 50% of the chatter. Like you, I watched in semi-amazement as AAPL rocketed to what seemed like a new all-time high nearly every week, and the publicity- seeking calls for a $1000 price target. I parsed out every word of noted Apple analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, and made the occasional weekly option play myself, with some success and some not so great trades to both sides. But I have also watched and listened during this 20%+ decline on AAPL’s stock. And heard ... Read More »"   

    FOMC Update: Summary of Minutes from October 23-24 Meeting.  

    Business Inventories Rise in September    
    Retail Sales Pull Back; Sandy Blamed.  
   
PPI Falls in October.    
  

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

    Market futures are up slightly tonight. (Stocks are oversold in the short term, and are due for a bounce.)


2012-11-13: (Tuesday Night): The stock market indices dropped somewhat today: 'Cliff' fears spook stocks, wiping out session's gains.; Stocks drift in cautious trading. The NASDAQ Composite lost the most percentage-wise at 41.71 points (-0.70%) to end at 2,883.89. The Dow retreated 58.9 points (-0.46%) to close at 12,756.18; the S&P 500 dipped 5.5 points (-0.40%) to settle at 1,374.53. Oil closed at 86.08: Oil settles above $86, up over 1% for the week; Gold ended at 1,726: Gold futures end lower, down over $6 an ounce. The VIX moved down 0.03 points to 16.65.
   "U.S. stocks knocked down as fears about the so-called fiscal cliff overtake earlier enthusiasm that came after Home Depot's upbeat results. Microsoft's 4% decline weighs on Dow industrials."
   "U.S. stocks were little changed Tuesday, as investors question whether lawmakers will cut a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. More"
      

Marketwatch says:

    A money problem worse than the U.S. fiscal cliff?   "Commentary: Going over the "cliff" may help U.S. public finances, reduce the deficit and slow the rise of America’s debt mountain, writes Satyajit Das. But, it won't solve deeper financial problems."  
   Romney adviser- Up taxes on rich.  "Campaign's top economy adviser says he backs raising 'revenue.'"  
    'Implausible' that Republicans won’t agree to a fiscal deal: Geithner "Treasury secretary also says "there's a lot of magical thinking" about how much can be raised from tightening tax loopholes."  
    Obama talking to labor unions.    
    ‘Cliff’ muddies economy.    
     Fed’s Yellen backs new way to give guidance.    
    Jindal: Enough of the 'dumbed-down' conservatism.    
.   Charting the S&P 500’s precarious position.   
    How Wall Street would fix the fiscal cliff..      
   
Cash is king as weakness in leaders continues.  "The waiting game continues, as the markets down-to-sideways move goes on, leaving intermediate-term investors with few places to go."  
   
The fiscal cliff: Countdown clock and complete coverage.    
  
  Darrell Delamaide Greek bailout debate shifts to who bears losses.   
    David Marsh suggests that: Obama may take the gloves off with Europe.  
   
Kerry at top of Pentagon list?    "Senator and former presidential candidate is being mentioned for defense-secretary position."  
   
Irwin Kellner advises: To help the economy, do first things first.  
 
           
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Wednesday's Market.  
    Believe It Or Not, The Greece Saga Is Back In The Spotlight.  
"In case you are not aware, Greece is back in the spotlight (yes, again). The big story out of Europe this morning is the on-again, off-again deal for the next tranche of aid for the Greek government. Prime Minister Samaras has hinted recently that Greece might end up getting more than the €31.5B that is said to be needed to get the country through its current and expected cash flow shortage. Reports had indicated that a decision on covering the additional Greek shortfall had been ... Read More »"   

    NFIB Small Business Rises in October"

    Home Depot Report Beats on Top and Bottom Lines    
    German ZEW Index Weakens in November.  
  

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

    Market futures are up ¼ % tonight.  


2012-11-9: (Friday Night): The stock market ended the day essentially where it started:: Stocks scale back gains.; Stocks lose traction after Obama. The NASDAQ Composite gained the most atl 41.71 points (0.32%) to end at 2,904.87. The Dow advanced a mere 4.07 points (0.03%) to close at 12,815.39; the S&P 500 climbed 2.34 points (0.17%) to settle at 1,379.85. Oil closed at 86.08: Oil settles above $86, up over 1% for the week; Gold ended at 1,731: Gold futures rise more than 3% for the week. The VIX moved up 0.12 points to 18.35.
   "Stocks rise Friday, but worries about Washington's ability to resolve the fiscal cliff weigh on sentiment. Dow and S&P both suffer worst week since June."
   "U.S. stocks lost traction Friday after President Obama spoke about raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans to solve the issue of the looming fiscal cliff. More"
      

Marketwatch says:

    Sentiment data put stocks in line to snap losing streak.   "U.S. stocks turn positive after University of Michigan data show has consumer mood at five-year high."  
    U.S. consumers in best mood since 2007.    
   .U.S. trade deficit drops 5.1% in September    
    Dollar probes two-month high on ‘cliff,’ Greece.    
    Stocks drop 2% for week.    
.   Obama to House: Extend middle-class tax cuts now.  "President calls on House to swiftly pass extension of middle-class tax cuts for those earning less than $250,000 — pointing out that the Senate has already done so"  
    Boehner digs in: Standoff over taxes as fiscal cliff nears.      
   
Darrell Delamaide: Senate Democratic wins may thwart ‘grand bargain’.    
   
Fiscal-cliff talks to start next week.    
  
  Dollar buoyed amid fiscal-cliff worries, Greece.   
    China data upbeat amid leadership change.  
   
China prepares to usher in new slate of leaders.    
   
Borrowing costs fall at Spanish bond auction.  
 
  McDonald's sales news worse than expected.  
    What Obama win means for gold.  "President's re-election gives gold investors more to think about."  
    Post-vote prospects looking dimmer for coal.  
    Jon Markman notes that Current stock skid echoes 1987 crash's prelude"Commentary: The charts, timing, and news cycle bear more than a passing similarity to the period before October 1987, writes Jon D. Markman."    
    Mark Hulbert asks: Is the Dow Theory now on a sell signal?.   
    Paul Farrell has an interesting proposal for the next U. S. presidential election (2016): Clinton vs. Rice is U.S. best bet for 2016..    
    Michael Gayed writes: QE3 tops euro as deflation pulse beats.  After forecasting the summer melt-up, as bond money shifts into stocks, Mr. Gayed is now sounding the opposite theme: cash and bonds are kings.The market indices, having pushed below their 50-day and their 200-day moving averages are now in a confirmed downtrend.  
        
State of the Markets articles include:
    The Risk Manager Report - November 8, 2012.  
"The first step to successful investing is to identify the Market's "Big Picture" Environment in terms of risk versus reward. You can stay in tune with the risk/reward relationship of the market with ... Read More »"   

    Things Don't Matter Until They Do, But Then...  "With the stock market having a bit of a problem lately, I've been getting a lot of questions about why stocks are going down. One colleague asked, "Is it really the election?" Another wondered aloud if the 'fiscal cliff' was finally catching up to stock prices. A friend phoned to ask if Europe in general and Greece in particular were to blame for the weakness. And still another caller suggested in no uncertain terms that Apple's (AAPL) demise was the premise for the market's sudden swoon. While all of the ... Read More »"

    The State of the Economy: Friday 11/9/12.  "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 ... Read More »"    
    University of Michigan Sentiment Up Again in November.  
    
Import Prices Up in October, Export Prices Unchanged.  
  

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

    Dow, S&P suffer worst week in more than 5 months.


2012-11-8: (Thursday Night): The stock market crashed and burned today: Fiscal-cliff fears hit stocks; Stocks tumble 1% on fiscal cliff fears. The NASDAQ Composite declined an additional 41.71 points (-1.42%) to end at 2,895.58. The Dow plunged 121.26 points (-1.42%) to close at 12,811.47; the S&P 500 plummeted 17.02 points (-1.22%) to settle at 1,377.51. Oil closed at 85.17: Oil prices rise back above $85 following selloff; Gold ended at 1,734: Gold climbs with ECB, U.S. fiscal cliff in focus. The VIX moved down 0.73 points to 18.35.
   "Stocks tumble for a second session with Wall Street on edge over a Congress still divided."
   "U.S. stocks sank Thursday, adding to the previous day's sharp declines, as investors continue to worry that political gridlock in Washington will drive the economy off the fiscal cliff. More"
      

Marketwatch says:

    Greek concerns undo U.S. rebound.
    8 reasons stock-market selloff could worsen.  "As if investors don't have enough to worry about with the fiscal cliff, scary technical indicators are coming out of the closet. (The Tell)"
.   History lesson on post-election selloffs.  
    U.S. jobless claims fall 8,000 to 355,000.      
  
  U.S. trade gap narrows by 5% in September.   
    ECB’s Draghi keeps pressure on politicians.  
   
China prepares to usher in new slate of leaders.    
   
Borrowing costs fall at Spanish bond auction.  
 
  McDonald's sales news worse than expected.  
    Why freak out over the 'fiscal cliff'?  
    S&P: 15% chance U.S. will fall over 'fiscal cliff'.  
    Four reasons we’re in for a rough ride.  
   Selloff did technical damage.  
    Why college savers should fear the coming fiscal cliff.  "Scheduled spending cuts and tax hikes could raise costs for students — unless Congress acts first."
    Wall Street took a beating at polls.  David Weidner notes that: "The financial industry spent more than $400 million supporting various candidates nationwide, but ended up with little to show for it."
    Pimco has some advice for Obama.  ""
    The new Democratic majority.  "This election packs potential to break stalemate and create a new Democratic majority, writes Alan Draper."
    Michael Gayed says: Obama not to blame for correction.  
    Pawlenty: ‘Walls of reality’ closing in.  "Former Republican presidential candidate and Romney adviser sees Congress getting real."
    Obama loath to ax mortgage deduction. "Economist says Tuesday's blue states may hold key to retention of mortgage-interest deduction."  
    China inflation eases "China's consumer-price inflation show surprise easing in October, while wholesale prices deflate further, modestly supporting the markets." 
    Why China's economy has bottomed out.  
    Australia central bank cuts growth forecasts.  
        
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Wednesday's Market.  

    Much Ado About Nothing?  "Talk about a disappointment. No, not that fact that just about one-half of the country is bumming that their guy didn't win the Presidency. But rather the amount of time, energy, and money (more than $2 billion) that went into the election. After more than a million television ads, countless dollars spent, and six months of worth of campaigning (while our elected officials effectively put the important issues of the country on the back burner so they could tend to their "real jobs" of getting re-elected), nothing changed. So, in the immortal words of William ... Read More »"

    The State of the Economy: Thursday 11/8/12.  "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 ... Read More »"    
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Improves Modestly.  
    
NAAIM Index Shows Active Managers Staying With Bulls.  
   
U.S. Trade Deficit Improved in September.  
   
Weekly Jobless Claims Improve 8K.  
   
What's In a Name? Winter Storm Packs a Punch.  
  

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

    Market futures are up slightly tonight.


2012-11-7: (Wednesday Night): The stock market crashed and burned today: Dow goes deep red; worst day in 2012, Stocks plunge: Dow's worst day of the year. The NASDAQ Composite free-fell 74.64 points (-2.48%) to end at 2,937.29. The Dow plunged 312.95 points (-2.36%) to close at 12,932.73; the S&P 500 plummeted 33.86 points (-2.37%) to settle at 1,394.53. Oil closed at 84.95: Oil falls further after EIA supply data; Gold ended at 1,714: Gold futures settle slightly lower for the session. The VIX moved down 0.68 points to 17.73.
   "Blue-chip index tanks 313 points after Obama’s re-election, as looming fiscal reality sinks in"
   "A sell-off on Wall Street gained momentum Wednesday, with the Dow falling below 13,000 for the first time in two months, as investors focused on how President Obama plans to avoid the fiscal cliff after he won re-election Tuesday night. More"
   
Was yesterday's run-up a sign that Wall Street thought that Mitt Romney would win?  

Marketwatch says:

    Live: Roundtable chat on investing, Obama and the next four years.
.   Why one budget guru says Washington will go over fiscal cliff.  
    Where to put your money now that Obama has won.      
  
  Coal stocks brace for Obama.   
    Hospital stocks soar after election.  
   
Yields drop most since June.    
   
Draghi: debt crisis hits Germany.  
 
   Post-election fears: What will happen to fiscal cliff?"
LPL Financial's Jeff Kleintop offers his take on what the election results mean for the economy and the markets, especially with the impending fiscal cliff."
    Gephardt says stocks could tumble 1,000 points.  "Former House Majority Leader Dck Gephardt warns markets could face some 'bad days' as Congress struggles to work on debt deal."
    What Obama means for investors.  
    Obama's legacy is on line.  
    Obama needs a new economic spokesman: Pimco's El-Erian..  
    Five things the Republican Party must do now.  "The Republicans aren’t seeking my advice, and they aren’t likely to take it. But I’ll give it anyway, writes Rex Nutting. It's now time for the Grand Old Party to take a cold hard look at itself."
    Matthew Lynn identifies: Three global tasks for a second-termer.  
    Howard Gold writes about: 3 big post-election concerns for investors.  
    Darrell Delamaide observes that Senate Democrats thwart grand bargain.  
    Mark Hulbert presents: Interpreting market’s day-after reaction.  
        
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Wednesday's Market.  

    Back To Business: Are Stocks Overvalued?  "Since I flat-out refuse to waste your time with predictions about which stocks or sectors will/won't perform well based on the outcome of the Presidential election (anybody recall how all those "Obama stocks" fared after the election in 2008?), I've decided to forego any of the crystal ball stuff that is oh-so popular this week. As such, I thought we should get back to business and continue our objective review of stock market valuations. If you recall, in Tuesday's missive we took a look at a couple of different P/E ratios for the S&P 500. ... Read More »"

    The Obama Honeymoon Will Be Short As Fitch Warns of Downgrade.  "President Obama easily won re-election on Tuesday. However, ratings agency Fitch Ratings is already out with a warning that the U.S. credit rating could be downgraded unless the fiscal cliff is ... Read More»"    
    Investors Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Rose (For Now).  
    
German Industrial Production Down Again in September.  
   
Spain's Industrial Production Plunged in September.  
   
Retail Sales Down Again in Eurozone.  
  

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

    Market futures are up 0.4% tonight.


2012-11-6: (Tuesday Night): For some reason, the markets have rallied today: Wall Street in rally mode as voters head to the polls, Blue chips lead stocks higher on Election Day. The NASDAQ Composite advanced 12.27 points (0.41%) to end at 3.011.93. The Dow jumped 133.24 points (1.02%) to close at 13,245.68; the S&P 500 gained 11.13 points (0.79%) to settle at 1,428.39. Oil closed at 88.31: Oil, gasoline futures both settle up more than 3%; Gold ended at 1,714: Gold, other metals rise as U.S. votes. The VIX moved down 0.68 points to 17.73.
   "Stocks rise, though some say election is unlikely to resolve concern over the so-called "fiscal cliff.""
   "U.S. stocks advanced Tuesday as voters headed to the polls on Election Day. More"

Marketwatch says:

    What the election means for stocks, bonds and gold.
.   How investors can play a post-election market"Commentary: Here are several short and long stock picks to consider, depending on who emerges from the election as the victor."
    Jon Markman tells: Where to put your money if Obama wins.    MichaelGau Forget the election — A warning for risk assets  
  
  Irwin Kellner says Sandy has economic silver lining.   
    Michael Gayed cautions: Forget the election: Stocks warned.  "It can be difficult to determine what is and what is not important to the market. In this case, a collapse in the Greek market kay overshadow an election."
   
David Weidner offers 143 reasons to hate democracy.    
        

State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Wednesday's Market.  

    Since We've Got Some Time...  "Well the day is finally upon us. The day that for anyone who watches television couldn't come soon enough. The day that purportedly will make all the difference to the economy, to the future of the country, and to the stock market. Yep, it's Election Day and I trust that each and every one of you will take a few minutes out of your daily routine to go vote your conscience on who will best lead the country for the next four years. With the stock market having gone largely sideways for the past two weeks, it is safe to ... Read More »"

    "It's Wobbly Out On This Limb".  "The popular consensus seems to be that President Obama will win the hotly contested election at some point in the next 24 hours. However, based on the research I have done, the polls could be dead ... Read More »"    
    CoreLogic Home Price Index Best Since 2006.  
    
China's Wen Confident In Economic Growth Levels.  
  

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

    Market futures are mixed tonight.


2012-11-5: (Monday Night): The markets hemmed and hawed today in anticipation of tomorrow's election but rose into the close: U.S. stock indexes mixed on the eve of Election Day, Stocks slightly higher as election looms. The NASDAQ Composite fell 17.53 points (0.69%) to end at 2,999.66. The Dow regained  19.28 points (0.15%) to close at 13,112.44; the S&P 500 upshifted 3.06 points (0.22%) to settle at 1,417.26. Oil closed at 85.41: Oil edges up after previous steep losses; Gold ended at 1,684: Gold gains on caution ahead of U.S. election. The VIX moved up 0.83 points to 18.42.
   "Investment strategist Fred Dickson says market is rooting for a clear outcome in Tuesday election."
   "U.S. stocks drifted between small gains and losses Monday, as investors held tight ahead of an uncertain U.S. presidential election. More"

Marketwatch says:

   Decisive election could spur rally.  "The U.S. economy is showing resilience, says economist Heather Boushey. (Outside the Box)"
   
Street braces for economy-shaping vote (audio),  
   
Are coal stocks predicting a Romney win?   
    Michael Gayed cautions: Forget the election- Stocks warned.  "It can be difficult to determine what is and what is not important to the market. In this case, a collapse in the Greek market kay overshadow an election."
   
Oil seesaws between small gains and losses.  
   
Euro closes in on two-month low over Greece.   
   
Greek prime minister warns of euro exit.  
   
The stock market is an overreaction machine.  
   
Stocks will not love you back.  
   
The junk-bond-fund exodus continues.  
    What will the election say about the market? 
   
Why election may not matter.  
   
Watch the Fed, not who wins the election.  "A handover of control in the upper chamber of Congress to the GOP would put new chairmen on three committees of keen interest for investors."
    G-20 pledges to combat weak global growth.  
        

State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Thursday's Market.  

    Is The Data Now Too Good?  "In Thursday's missive, I wondered aloud if we might be seeing the beginnings of a shift in the trend of the economic data. This would be important because from a big-picture standpoint, the macroeconomic outlook has been a driving force behind the three important trends seen in the stock market so far in 2012. So, if the trend of the data is changing, then it makes sense to assume that the stock market trend might be able to change right along with it. Recall that stocks rallied in the beginning of the year as report after economic report was accompanied ... Read More »"

    "The Rich, The Famous, And The Narcissistic....  "Although our David Wismer has been without power in Fairfield County, CT for days and he had to travel miles to find an internet connection, that didn't stop him from another fine edition of Quotable ... Read More »"    
    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index Below Consensus, But.  
    
The State of the Economy: Monday 11/5/12.  
    
UK's Services PMI Pulls Back.  
   
Eurozone Sentix Reading Rises in November.  
   
China Non-Manufacturing PMI Up in October.  .  
   
According To The Stock Market, The Winner Is   (Mitt Romney)
  

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

    Market futures are slightly lower tonight.


2012-11-2: (Friday Night): The markets rapidly rose today, but then spent the rest of the day falling into the red as voters shifted their attention from the economic news to uncertainties about the election: Election has markets edgy, Stocks retreat as focus shifts to election. The NASDAQ Composite fell 37.93 points (-1.26%) to end at 2,982.13. The Dow plumged  109.99 points (0.83%) to close at 13,122.63; the S&P 500 downshifted 13.39 points (-0.94%) to settle at 1,414.20. Oil closed at 86.86  Oil settles below $85, down nearly 2% on week; Gold ended at 1,675: Gold drops over $40, suffers fourth weekly loss. The VIX moved up 0.79 points to 18.60.
   "With just four days before voters head to the polls, nervousness about outcome sinks stocks."
   "U.S. stocks dipped into the red Friday afternoon as investors looked ahead to the election next week. More"

Marketwatch says:

    Jobs numbers demonstrate strengthening economy.  "TU.S. economy is showing resilience, says economist Heather Boushey. (Outside the Box)"
   
Pace of job growth picks up in U.S.  
   
A look at the jobs data through charts.
   
Obama hits pre-election numbers.  
   
Reaction from Romney and economists.   
   
Dealing with the coming inflation threat.  
   
Putting a lump sum into stocks pays off.  "Dollar-cost averaging ends up hurting more investors than it helps, a new Vanguard study contends."
   
Paul Farrell presents: 6 ways billionaires try to play God on climate.  
    Howard Gold recommends: Stop obsessing over the fiscal cliff "When it comes to the combination of tax hikes and spending cuts "nobody knows anything," quotes Howard Gold."
   
How Republicans would change the Senate.  "A handover of control in the upper chamber of Congress to the GOP would put new chairmen on three committees of keen interest for investors."
   
Keep a Close Eye on the Market's Fear Gauge
   
The Weakness Lurking Within the S&P 500.   
        

State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Thursday's Market.  

    Time To Go The Other Way?  "For much of the past seven weeks, stocks have been entrenched in what the bears will term a correction and/or what the bulls refer to as a consolidation phase. And just about the time our furry friends in the bear camp had gotten everyone convinced that the only direction the stock market could head going forward would be down, something strange occurred - some good news showed up. Yep that's right, despite the less then ... Read More »"

    NAAIM Index Shows Managers SJobs Report Surprises to the Upside in October.  "The latest Nonfarm Payrolls report contained good news as the number of new jobs created in the economy came in well above expectations. In addition, the last two month's numbers were revised higher ... Read More »"    
    Jobs Report Surprises to the Upside in October.  
    
The State of the Economy: Friday 11/2/12.  
    
Factory Orders Rebound in September.  
   
Eurozone PMIs Improve Modestly in October.  
   
Wall Street Upgrades/Downgrades for 11/2/12.  
  

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

    It looks to me as though yesterday's (Thursday's) upsurge was a "dead-cat bounce". Perhaps  Tuesday's election will remove some of the uncertainty that currently overhangs the markets. (It looks as though the U. S. economy is slowly improving.)


2012-11-1: (Thursday Night): Stocks charged upward today on much better than expected economic news: Solid rally to start month, Stocks rally into November. The NASDAQ Composite leaped 42.83 points (1.44%) to end at 3,020.06. The Dow posted a double-digit  134.93 gain (1.04%) to close at 13,232.62; the S&P 500 soared 15.43 points (1.09%) to settle at 1,427.59. Oil closed at 87.09  CORRECT: Oil gains 85 cents to settle at $87.09; Gold ended at 1,716: Gold futures fall after upbeat U.S., China data. The VIX moved up 1.95 points to 16.65.
   "Economic data persuade investors that global recovery remains on track and equities respond."
   "U.S. stocks started November with a strong rally Thursday, following mostly upbeat jobs reports. All three major indexes jumped more than 1%, as Wall Street continues to recover from the two-day trading suspension due to Superstorm Sandy. More"

Marketwatch says:

    Data all point one way: up slightly.  
    ISM manufacturing for October better than forecast.  
   
Factories stay subdued, Markit's index shows  
   
Consumer confidence at highest in 4 1/2 years.
   
Initial jobless claims slip to 363,000.    
   
Private-sector payrolls grow by 158,000 in October.  
   
U.S. productivity rises 1.9%.  
   
Construction spending up 0.6%.  
    Retailers' October sales surprisingly strong 
   
Bank shares and German autos boost Europe's bourses.  
   
China PMI data lift Asia.  
   
There's more to housing's rebound than 'QE3'.  
    Boomers’ health insurance at stake at the polls "What becomes of the 2010 health reforms dubbed "Obamacare" could have a big financial impact for some older workers."
   
Memo to election pundits: Don’t just talk, bet!.  
    Are emerging markets ready to outperform?  
    Kevin Marder warns: Beware  of Apple.  
    John Shinal cautions: Facebook insiders still stampede to sell stock.  
    .  
    
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Friday's Market.  

    Watching And Waiting For...  "Based on yesterday's up-and-down action, it would appear that the stock market is waiting on the outcome of next Tuesday's Presidential election. Or at the very least, traders apparently want to get a look at the no fewer than 8 economic reports due out this morning as well as the Jobs report due out on Friday morning before pushing the indices one way or the other from their current perch. My take on Wednesday's action is that the bulls had a shot at changing the market's tone early. With Europe up nicely, most people breathing a sigh of relief that ... Read More »"

    Insider Buying Report - 11/1/12.  "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 »"
    
The State of the Economy: Thursday 11/1/12.  
    
Construction Spending Up in September.  
   
ISM Manufacturing Index Expands in October.  
   
Consumer Confidence Improves in October.  
   
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Stalls Out in Latest Week.  
    Nonfarm Productivity Up 1.9% in Q3; Unit Labor Costs Fall.  
    Weekly Jobless Claims Stabalizing.  
    ADP Employment Report Continues to Improve.  
    Challenger- Planned Job Cuts Surge in October.  
    China's PMI Moves Back Above 50 to Best Level Since July.  
   

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

    Market futures are neutral tonight.


2012-10-31: (Wednesday Night): After the first two-day closure in decades, the markets started in the red, but ended the day essentially flat: Stocks survive first day post-Sandy, Stocks mixed as market reopens for business. The NASDAQ Composite fell 10.72 points (-0.36%) to end at 2,977.23. The Dow was little changed at  -10.75 points (0.08%) to close at 13,096.46; the S&P 500 squirmed up 0.22 points (0.02%) to settle at 1,412.16. Oil closed at 86.24  Oil futures end up for second day in Sandy’s wake; Gold ended at 1,719: Gold gains as floor trading reopens. The VIX moved up 0.79 points to 18.60.
   "Rarely will an investor confront as many indicators that are due. Here's how to get through them."
   "U.S. stocks were mixed Wednesday morning as the markets reopened following a two-day closure due to Hurricane Sandy. More"

Marketwatch says:

    Sandy won’t crash insurers.  "The cost of the storm is said to be manageable, and analysts are keeping their buy ratings."
   
Homeowners hit could get a tax break  
   
Banks still making it hard to get a mortgage.
   
Days away from normal.    "As the Northeast begins picking up the pieces after Sandy, power and transit issues are expected to plague the region, possibly for weeks yet."
   
Big storms rarely dent economy for long.  
   
Failed test suggests move higher.  
   
Michael Gayed asks: In battle of the QEs, can Japan top U.S.?.  
    Darrell Delamaide notes: Campaign ignores climate change 
   
Mark Hulbert says: Insiders providing a ray of sunshine.  
   
David Weidner writes about 5 races investors must watch Election Day.  
   
Matthew Lynn asks:  Why do the Germans want their gold back?.  
    A different kind of crash.
    
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Thursday's Market.  

    A Frightful Outlook?  "With the stock market having been closed for the past two days, anyone not residing on the east coast was provided with some time to step back and review the big picture outlook for the economy and the stock market. There is little doubt that after having been turned off for a couple days, the computers will be rearing to go this morning. But after the initial burst of trading demand wears off and traders settle in again, I for one will be looking to see what type of attitude develops toward the future. You see, I can see things going either/both ways in the near term. I figure that stocks could easily move higher ... Read More »"

    NAAIM Index Shows Managers Sticking With Bulls (For Now).  "The latest survey from NAAIM, which shows what real live money managers are doing with their client accounts, indicates that the managers are sticking with a modestly positive position for now ... Read More »"
    
The State of the Economy: Wednesday 10/31/12.  
    
Chicago PMI Improves Slightly; Still In Contraction Mode.  
   
Employment Cost Index Below Consensus in Q3.  
   
Wall Street Upgrades/Downgrades for 10/31/12.  
   

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

    Market futures are down 0.3% tonight.


2012-10-26: (Friday Night): Once again, the markets opened in the green on a better-than-expected third-quarter GDP report and then backed off to end flat: Jobs data, election may overshadow earnings, Earnings keep stocks 'stuck in a rut'. The NASDAQ Composite rose 3;58 points 0.12%) to end at 2,989.70. The Dow was essentially unchanged at  0.12 points (0.00%) to close at 13,103.80; the S&P 500 slipped 0.82 points (-0.06%) to settle at 1,412.15. Oil closed at 86.05  Oil ends seesaw session up 32 cents at $86.05; Gold ended at 1,713: Gold finds upside support from Fed policy. The VIX backed down yet another  0.31 points to 17.81.
   "Earnings season may be only half over, but the focus on profits should subside next week as investors turn their attention to the coming election and Friday's jobs report, the last major data release before the November 6 contest. More bellwether companies are scheduled to report results in what will be another "peak week" of the earnings season."
   "U.S. stocks closed with slim gains Thursday, as investors weighed better-than-expected economic data against concerns about corporate earnings. More"

Marketwatch says:

    U.S. economy speeds up in third quarter.  
   
GDP sign of more modest growth- analysts  
   
U.S. GDP view cut to 1.7% after durables data.
   
Breaking down GDP- the winners and losers.    
   
How long before we recover from recession?  "Economists agree the recession was unlike any other, but how long should it take to get out of it?"
   
Pending home sales inch higher in September.  
   
U.S. corporate layoffs near 18,000 this week.  
    Consumers spending, businesses not "Consumers loosening purse strings as Corporate America tightens its own, earnings reports show."
   
Consumers drive growth as businesses hold back.  
   
Consumer sentiment at highest in five years in October.  
   
Analysis: This earnings season, more global means more pain.  
    Mark Hulbert offers A contrarian take on fiscal cliff worries.  He sugests that the markets may be overcompensating for the low probability of a dive of a fiscal cliff.
    Michael Gayed says that FearPad trumps iPad as stocks fall. He argues that Apple could be a better, safer investment than U. S. Treasuries, but investors continue to buy Treasury bonds rather than Apple stock.
    
State of the Markets articles include:
    The State of the Economy: Friday 10/26/12.  

    I'm Surrounded"It only requires a brief glance at the charts of the stock market indices (especially the NASDAQ) to see that the trend is now down. And in all honesty, given the state of the earnings parade, this isn't terribly surprising. When Google (GOOG), IBM (IBM), GE (GE), DuPont (DD), 3M (MMM), Intel (INTC), Chipotle (CMG), United Parcel (UPS), Amazon (AMZN), AND Apple (AAPL) - especially Apple - all miss, well, even a card-carrying member of the glass-is-at-least-half-full club has to admit that things aren't going so well out there in the economy right now. With ... Read More »"

    U.S. GDP Improves to 2.0% in Third Quarter.  "The state of the economy is clearly the focal point of the stock market at the present time. Thus, it is encouraging to see that GDP for the 3rd quarter come in above consensus expectations ... Read More »"
   
University of Michigan Sentiment Reading Best Since 2007.  
   
Merck Beats EPS, Narrows Guidance.  
   

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

    This week has been a downer.


2012-10-25: (Thursday Night): The markets started the day in green territory and ended it in the green: U.S. stocks rise modestly on economic data, Earnings keep stocks 'stuck in a rut'. The NASDAQ Composite rose 4.42 points 0.15%) to end at 2,986.12. The Dow added  26.34 points (0.20%) to close at 13,103.68; the S&P 500 regained 4.22 points (0.30%) to settle at 1,412.97. Oil closed at 86.05  Oil ends seesaw session up 32 cents at $86.05; Gold ended at 1,713: Gold finds upside support from Fed policy. The VIX backed down another  0.21 points to 18.58.
   ""
   "U.S. stocks closed with slim gains Thursday, as investors weighed better-than-expected economic data against concerns about corporate earnings. More"

Marketwatch says:

    U.S. durable-goods orders jump 9.9% in September"Orders for durable goods soar in September, mainly because of a rebound in aircraft bookings."
   
Is the economy really improving? (video)  "Mesirow Financial Chief Economist Diane Swonk discusses the state of the U. S. economy after data on durable goods and jobless benefits."
   
U.S. GDP view cut to 1.7% after durables data.
   
National activity index climbs in September.    
   
U.S. jobless claims fall 23,000 to 369,000.  
   
Pending home sales inch higher in September.  
   
Fed helps Republicans.  "When it comes to presidential elections, the Federal Reserve has generally helped the GOP win or hold the White House. (The Tell)"
    CEO fiscal-cliff note falls short "These 80 powerful CEOs won’t impact debt talks till they put money where their mouth is (First Take)." The author notes that, thanks to tax loopholes, these 80 corporations pay little or no income tax to the U. S. government, and their CEO's aren't about to want to eliminate the tax loopholes that keep their U. S. taxes unconscionably low. (This also speaks to Team-Romney claims that a Republican administration will make up for tax cuts by cutting tax loopholes. They know that once taxes have been cut, the only tax loopholes that will be eliminated will be those for the middle class.)
    Of 5 ‘fiscal cliff’ outcomes only 1 is disaster.  
    Business investment in U.S. has ground to a halt.  "Engine of economic and profit growth over the past three years has stalled out (First Take)."
    Memo to CEOs- Higher taxes slow economy.  
    Treasury urged to make TARP Libor-free.  
    U.K. out of recession; dollar off, sterling jumps.  
    U.K. economy grows 1% in third quarter.  
    Michael Gayed writes: This correction is not because of earnings.  
    Third-quarter profits falter, raising fourth-quarter alarm.  "Even as companies slash outlook, analysts' forecast for the S&P remains at an all-time high."
    Apple results miss targets"Apple's earnings climb 24%, but results fall short of expectations given a slowdown of iPhone sales and lower-than-expected iPad shipments."
   
Amazon swings to a loss.  "Amazon reports a loss of $274 million, but shares move lower in late trading after a revenue miss."
    
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Friday's Market.  

    A Change In The Air"As I ran out for a quick errand on Wednesday morning, I couldn't help but take note of the fact that it was an absolutely gorgeous fall day in Colorado. There were crystal blue skies, bright sunshine, not a cloud in sight, and a temperature reading in the car that caused me to start planning for an afternoon bike ride. However, a few hours later it was clear that a change was in the air and my bike would have to remain hanging from its hook in the garage. Such is life living in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. ... Read More »"

    The State of the Economy: Thursday 10/25/12.  "Stocks continued to struggle on Thursday after Wells Fargo and JPMorgan cut their GDP estimates for Q3. It is obvious that the state of the economy remains a key focus for traders ... Read More »"
   
Apple Reports Rare Earnings Disappointment.  
   
Amazon.com Report Disappoints on All Fronts.  
   
Pending Home Sales Up Slightly in September.  
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Improving
    Durable Goods Orders Rebound in September.
    Weekly Jobless Claims Fall 23K.
    China LEI Improves Modestly in September.  

    UK GDP Improves in Q3.  

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

    Market futures are down 0.19% to 0.48% tonight, and falling after Apple and Amazon earnings both disappointed.

2012-10-25: (Thursday Night): The markets started the day in green territory and ended it in the green: U.S. stocks rise modestly on economic data, Earnings keep stocks 'stuck in a rut'. The NASDAQ Composite rose 4.42 points 0.15%) to end at 2,986.12. The Dow added  26.34 points (0.20%) to close at 13,103.68; the S&P 500 regained 4.22 points (0.30%) to settle at 1,412.97. Oil closed at 86.05  Oil ends seesaw session up 32 cents at $86.05; Gold ended at 1,713: Gold finds upside support from Fed policy. The VIX backed down another  0.21 points to 18.58.
   ""
   "U.S. stocks closed with slim gains Thursday, as investors weighed better-than-expected economic data against concerns about corporate earnings. More"

Marketwatch says:

    U.S. durable-goods orders jump 9.9% in September"Orders for durable goods soar in September, mainly because of a rebound in aircraft bookings."
   
Is the economy really improving? (video)  "Mesirow Financial Chief Economist Diane Swonk discusses the state of the U. S. economy after data on durable goods and jobless benefits."
   
U.S. GDP view cut to 1.7% after durables data.
   
National activity index climbs in September.    
   
U.S. jobless claims fall 23,000 to 369,000.  
   
Pending home sales inch higher in September.  
   
Fed helps Republicans.  "When it comes to presidential elections, the Federal Reserve has generally helped the GOP win or hold the White House. (The Tell)"
    CEO fiscal-cliff note falls short "These 80 powerful CEOs won’t impact debt talks till they put money where their mouth is (First Take)." The author notes that, thanks to tax loopholes, these 80 corporations pay little or no income tax to the U. S. government, and their CEO's aren't about to want to eliminate the tax loopholes that keep their U. S. taxes unconscionably low. (This also speaks to Team-Romney claims that a Republican administration will make up for tax cuts by cutting tax loopholes. They know that once taxes have been cut, the only tax loopholes that will be eliminated will be those for the middle class.)
    Of 5 ‘fiscal cliff’ outcomes only 1 is disaster.  
    Business investment in U.S. has ground to a halt.  "Engine of economic and profit growth over the past three years has stalled out (First Take)."
    Memo to CEOs- Higher taxes slow economy.  
    Treasury urged to make TARP Libor-free.  
    U.K. out of recession; dollar off, sterling jumps.  
    U.K. economy grows 1% in third quarter.  
    Michael Gayed writes: This correction is not because of earnings.  
    Third-quarter profits falter, raising fourth-quarter alarm.  "Even as companies slash outlook, analysts' forecast for the S&P remains at an all-time high."
    Apple results miss targets"Apple's earnings climb 24%, but results fall short of expectations given a slowdown of iPhone sales and lower-than-expected iPad shipments."
   
Amazon swings to a loss.  "Amazon reports a loss of $274 million, but shares move lower in late trading after a revenue miss."
    
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Friday's Market.  

    A Change In The Air"As I ran out for a quick errand on Wednesday morning, I couldn't help but take note of the fact that it was an absolutely gorgeous fall day in Colorado. There were crystal blue skies, bright sunshine, not a cloud in sight, and a temperature reading in the car that caused me to start planning for an afternoon bike ride. However, a few hours later it was clear that a change was in the air and my bike would have to remain hanging from its hook in the garage. Such is life living in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. ... Read More »"

    The State of the Economy: Thursday 10/25/12.  "Stocks continued to struggle on Thursday after Wells Fargo and JPMorgan cut their GDP estimates for Q3. It is obvious that the state of the economy remains a key focus for traders ... Read More »"
   
Apple Reports Rare Earnings Disappointment.  
   
Amazon.com Report Disappoints on All Fronts.  
   
Pending Home Sales Up Slightly in September.  
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Improving
    Durable Goods Orders Rebound in September.
    Weekly Jobless Claims Fall 23K.
    China LEI Improves Modestly in September.  

    UK GDP Improves in Q3.  

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

    Market futures are down 0.19% to 0.48% tonight, and falling after Apple and Amazon earnings both disappointed.


2012-10-24: (Wednesday Night): The markets started the day in green territory but ended it in the red: Post-Fed rebound falters, Investors sidelined by cloud of uncertainty. The NASDAQ Composite parted with 8.76 points (-0.29%) to end at 2,981.70. The Dow slipped  27.75 points (-0.21%) to close at 13,074.78; the S&P 500 relinquished 4.36 points (-0.31%) to settle at 1,408.75. Oil closed at 85.73  Oil futures fall for a fifth session in a row; Gold ended at 1,702: Gold futures end lower, but hold above $1,700. The VIX backed down 0.25 points to 18.58.
   "U.S. stocks fell mildly Wednesday after an attempted rebound from the prior day’s bruising faltered, with gains that came on data signaling
an improved housing market fading.
"
   "U.S. stocks traded in a narrow range Wednesday afternoon, as investors found little reason to place any big bets. More"

Marketwatch says:

    Fed sticking to QE3 plan"The Federal Reserve continues to express concern about the economy as it makes no changes in its ultra-easy policy stance."
   
Text of Fed statement.
   
Fiscal cliff is bigger than Bernanke.    
   
Fed sees slow job growth, says inflation has picked up.  
   
Be like Bernanke, and get perspective on economy. "The Fed may not have a crystal ball, but it rarely gets faked out by short-term trends. (First Take)
    Street plays tug-of-war "U.S. stocks are edging lower after Fed statement."
    B. of A. sued for $1 billion over mortgage losses.  "Government files a civil lawsuit against the bank, alleging it misrepresented the quality of home loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac."
    Pimco COO blasts financial culture.  
    3 Intrade numbers to worry Obama.  "President has fallen off the Intrade cliff. Take a look at three numbers from the prediction market. (blog)"
    Michael Gayed writes: This correction is not because of earnings.  
    Matthew Lynn names the Most powerful person in the global economy.  
    The Social Security payroll-tax cut: Let it die"Commentary: Extending 2011 tax break could make it harder to keep Social Security solvent."
    
State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Thursday's Market.  

    Will The Elevator Door Finally Slam Shut on Donald Trump?  "Donald Trump promised an election "game changer" announcement on Wednesday. But instead of a major piece of investigative reporting, Trump wound up singing a tired song... ... Read More »"

    The State of the Economy: Wednesday 10/24/12.  
   
Have The Worries Returned? "After it became clear that the Mario Draghi was not going to let the Eurozone implode this summer and that the U.S. economy was not going to plunge into recession, investors began to look ahead. And what they saw wasn't half bad. They saw corporate America with a boatload of cash and decent earnings. They saw the housing market starting to show signs of improvement. They saw the consumer starting to regain some confidence. And they saw Ben Bernanke readying his printing press again. So, ... Read More »"
    Fed "Ties Cinder Block To Gas Pedal" of Economy
    NAAIM Index Shows Managers Cautiously Optimistic.
    New Home Sales Up 5.7% in September.
    DuPont Misses; Announces 1500 Layoffs.  

    3M Also Light on Revenues and Cuts Guidance.
    United Technologies Beats on Bottom Line and Reaffirms Guidance.  
    Moody's Downgrades Five Spanish Regions.  


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

    Market futures are up 0.30% to 0.47% tonight.


2012-10-23: (Tuesday Night): Today, the markets bought the farm: Nasdaq ends below 3,000, Dow tumbles 242 points. The NASDAQ Composite parted with 26.5 points (-0.58%) to end at 2,990.46. The Dow deflated  243,36 points (-1.82%) to close at 13,102.53; the S&P 500 nosedived 20.71 points (-1.44%) to settle at 1,413.11. Oil closed at 86.67  Oil futures settle at lowest since mid-July; Gold ended at 1,709: Gold settles at lowest since early September. The VIX finally backed down 2.21 points to 18.83.
   "U.S. stocks fall sharply on weaker earnings. Dow has worst one-day point loss since June."
   "Stocks sold off Tuesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average sliding more than 240 points to a seven-week low following a slew of disappointing earnings. More"

Marketwatch says:

    Dow falls 250 as earnings,  Europe put Street on edge "U.S. stocks trade steeply lower as weaker earnings spur fresh concerns about the global economy."
    The chart Republicans don't want you to see.  
    Michael Ashbaugh asks whether we're Charting a technical trend shift?  
    Irwin Kellner advises that Social Security checks need to rise faster.  
    Bond yields may be headed toward recent lows.  
    Will stocks fare better under Romney or Obama?  "Unfortunately, according to Mark Hulbert, noone quite knows how market will react to election."
    Wall St. debate reaction: Romney selloff?  
   3 money topics missing in Romney-Obama debates "These pocketbook issues didn’t airtime but have big impacts on consumers and investors."
    Delamaide: Business, bank lobbies on heels.  
    States that tax most and least.  
    Spain is decaying from within.
    The real growth of corporate America.  


State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Wednesday's Market.  

    The Donald Says He Has an Obama 'Game-Changer'"Donald Trump is known for making a splash in the media. However, "The Donald" now says that he has a game-changing announcement to make regarding President Barack Obama... ..."

    The State of the Economy: Tuesday 10/23/12.  
   
My Best (And Most Disappointing) Call.. "As I may have mentioned a time or two hundred, I don't make "market calls." I just don't believe in investing according to what I expect or suspect is going to happen next. Perhaps this is why, despite my more than 25 years in the investment management business and being the founder of a respected market website, I have yet to be interviewed on CNBC or Bloomberg. The problem is my answer to just about every question relating to the market would be the same. "You see, Maria, while I may think this or that about the economy, Europe, earnings, the election, or the price action, the bottom line is that I base my investing ... Read More »"
    China- Hard Landing, Soft Landing, Or The New Normal?. "There has been no shortage of news, opinions and data relating to China. In this report we look at what has been said lately about the world's 2nd biggest - and perhaps most important - economy ... Read More »"
    Richmond Fed Report: Activity Pulled Back in October.
    UPS Report In Line With Expectations; Guidance Narrows.
    DuPont Misses; Announces 1500 Layoffs.  

    3M Also Light on Revenues and Cuts Guidance.
    United Technologies Beats on Bottom Line and Reaffirms Guidance.  
    Moody's Downgrades Five Spanish Regions.  


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

    Market futures are up 0.4% tonight.


2012-10-22: (Monday Night): The markets took a scary dive today, but rose into the close : Markets battle back late, Stocks close flat, more earnings loom. The NASDAQ Composite rose  11.34 points (0.38%) to end at 3,016.96. The Dow reflated  2.38 points (0.02%) to close at 13,345.89; the S&P 500 inched upward 0.63 points (0.04%) to settle at 1,433.82. Oil closed at 88.73: Oil ends lower; pipeline, Mideast, dollar in focus; Gold ended at 1,726: Gold futures end higher after two-session decline. The VIX finally backed down 0.44 points to 16.62.
   "Stocks recover from big afternoon drop to erase most losses, stabilizing after Friday's big sell-off. Nasdaq leads the way. | Australia up early"
   "U.S. stocks closed a choppy session little changed Monday, as investors took a cautious approach at the start of a big week for Corporate America. More"

   
Although today was frightening, according to my sources, the bull market is still intact, at least for today. Disappointing tech earnings reports, coupled with the fact that this is the 25th anniversary of the Crash of '87, may have contributed to today's downdraft. Lost in the fine print is the news that banks have topped forecasts. But Monday (which is commonly a "down" day) should tell us more about what to expect.


Marketwatch says:

    Supersizing QE3.  "Fed and Chairman Ben Bernanke will discuss expansion of its bond-buying program and better ways to guide markets at this week's meeting.."
    Low rates don't spur borrowing plans (audio).  
    Yahoo delivers for Mayer.  "New CEO's first earnings report is a good one, as sale of Alibaba shares boosts bottom line."
    Yahoo’s Mayer makes her strategy clear.  
    Mortgage REITs must be analyzed over time.  
    Michael Gayed notes that Tech Wreck signals tectonic rotation.  
    John Freidman suggests 6 Wall Street blogs you should be reading.  
    Markman: One way to play housing recovery.  "Three swing states with weak housing markets are battlegrounds for November."
    Poles won’t reject euro, but won’t join yet.  
    Unemployment drops in most swing states.  
    Jaffe: Crash memories aren't about losses (video).
    How to make the most of compound returns.  


State of the Markets articles include:
    Looking Ahead to Tuesday's Market.  
    A Catalyst Found?
. "To be sure, Friday's selling was intense as the market experienced its worst day in four months. The media had a field day as stocks sold off hard on the 25th anniversary of the '87 Crash (Was anybody else bothered by the 30-something anchors talking authoritatively about something that occurred when they were in elementary school?). In a fitting tie-in to the historical event, Tech stocks and the NASDAQ were absolutely trashed on Friday and many of the recent leaders finished with big red numbers. And it was important to note that the type of selling we saw to close ... Read More »"
    The Abuse of The New Normal Is.... "AIt turns out that chronic abuse of the term "The New Normal" has become, well, the new normal. Especially after China reported lackluster economic statistics this past week. In addition ... Read More »"
    Texas Instruments Beats But Cuts Guidance.
    Yahoo Beats on Top and Bottom Lines.
    Caterpillar Report Continues Trend of Light Revenues.

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

    Market futures are up a little tonight.


2012-10-19: (Friday Night): The markets crumpled today on additional poor earnings reports: Stocks take nasty tumble, Wall Street under pressure from weak earnings. The NASDAQ Composite tumbled 67.25 points (-2.19%) to end at 3,005.62. The Dow deflated  205.2 points (-1.51%) to close at 13,343.74; the S&P 500 declined 24.15 points (-1.66%) to settle at 1,457.34. Oil closed at 90.14: Oil falls to nearly $90, down 2% on week; Gold ended at 1,723: Gold drops over $20 an ounce, loses 2% on week. The VIX finally jumped, rising 1.61 points to 16.64.
   "On the anniversary of the 1987 stock-market crash, the major indexes fall broadly, albeit just 2%."
   "A slew of weak earnings reports sent investors reeling Friday and pushed all three indexes down nearly 2%. The sell-off accelerated throughout the day. More"

   
Although today was frightening, according to my sources, the bull market is still intact, at least for today. Disappointing tech earnings reports, coupled with the fact that this is the 25th anniversary of the Crash of '87, may have contributed to today's downdraft. Lost in the fine print is the news that banks have topped forecasts. But Monday (which is commonly a "down" day) should tell us more about what to expect.


Marketwatch says:

    Selloff grips Wall Street.  "Dow tumbles triple digits as quarterly reports from several heavy hitters worry investors."
    Black Friday for the Nasdaq.  "On anniversary of 1987 stock crash, indexes fall broadly. Dow, S&P stay positive for the week."
    SPX: Key levels and next targets.  
    Existing-home sales drop.  
    Wealthy home buyers return to risky ARMs.  "Adjustable-rate mortgages can offer big savings over fixed-rate loans--at least for a period."
    Markman: One way to play housing recovery.  "Three swing states with weak housing markets are battlegrounds for November."
    How housing weakness could swing election.  
    Unemployment drops in most swing states.  
    Jaffe: Crash memories aren't about losses (video).
    10 big lessons from the 1987 stock-market crash.  "Crash introduced Wall Street to a new era of volatility. Here’s some wisdom from investors who were in the trenches 25 years ago when the stock market saw its biggest one-day percentage drop."
    Best time to buy stocks is after a market crash.  
    1987 crash memories aren't what you'd expect.  
    My wife and I were in our car returning from a vacation weekend along the Gulf Coast when we heard about the market crash on our car radio. We were disappointed, but felt that it was too late to sell, and we had no money to buy. 
    The next crash will be tweeted: Friedman.  
    Investors are destroying their own wealth.  "
Commentary: The seven sins committed by individual investors and how to avoid them, writes Howard Gold."
    Cody Willard advises: Don't forget the last time financials collapsed.  
    Don't like U.S. banks? Look south.  
    Investor fears of euro-zone catastrophe fading.  
    Banks topping forecasts.  "
Just how strong a quarter has it been?"
    Housing is foundation for bank stocks.  
    Bank stocks leaving techs in the dust.  
    Goldman Sachs bails on BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) funds.  
    Revolving door didn’t protect hedge fund.
    AMD finally wakes up.  "
Commentary: Advanced Micro Devices was slower than others to react to changes in the chip industry. Now, it's paying the price."
    Hold Microsoft until November.  
    McDonald's- disappointing, not disastrous (audio).  "Fast-food giant's quarterly earnings fall 3% as currency hit both the top and bottom lines. Management needs to inject some new excitement into the brand, BurgerBusiness.com's Scott Hume says."

    PC industry layoffs to only deepen.  


State of the Markets articles include:
    Can Stocks Survive The Earnings Slowdown?. "If nothing else, the bear camp is certainly consistent. Despite the fact that the stock market (as defined by the S&P 500 Index) is up +16.2% year to dates and both the Dow and S&P are a buy-program away from new highs for the current bull market cycle, our friends in fur continue to pound the table that the end is nigh. In fact, one of my now self-proclaimed "perma bear" buddies said yesterday that the market "Feels to me a lot like 2007 and this isn't going to end well." Yikes. But in the next breath, my friend, colleague, and lifelong fan of "da ... Read More »"
    Top Bankers Send Message to Washington: It's Time. "According to reports, 15 of the nation's top finance executives have sent a letter to Washington urging the White House and Congress to take action on the so-called 'fiscal cliff' ... Read More »"
    The State of the Economy: Friday 10/19/12.
    Stock Trade Alert: As Easy as AMX.
    GE Revenues Soft; Immelt Says Global Economy is Uncertain.
    Microsoft Report Disappoints.

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

    The Dow and the S&P 500 ended the week slightly higher, while the Nasdaq ended a bit lower.


2012-10-18: (Thursday Night): The markets fell today on a poor earnings report from Google: Google sinks the Nasdaq, Stocks tumble as Google disappoints. The NASDAQ Composite tumbled 31.25 points (-1.01%) to end at 3,072.87. The Dow slipped a piddling 8.06 points (-0.06%) to close at 13,548.94; the S&P 500 glost 3.57 points (-0.24%) to settle at 1,457.34. Oil closed at 91.96: Oil slips as data fail to offer demand catalyst; Gold ended at 1,743: Gold futures fall after China GDP data. Surprisingly, the VIX slipped another 0.04 points to 15.03.
   "A surprise earnings report from Google pushes the rest of the tech sector deep into the red, casting a particularly hard shadow over Facebook and Yahoo. S&P 500 halts a three-session winning streak."
   "U.S. stocks fell Thursday as investors focused on the latest corporate results -- particularly weaker-than-expected Google earnings that were released prematurely -- and mixed economic data. More"

Marketwatch says:

    Black Monday vets recall next day as prime buy time.  "A $10,000 stake in the 30 Dow stocks on Oct. 20, 1987 — the day after Black Monday wiped out many people on Wall Street — would be worth more than $137,000 now, writes Jonathan Burton."
    Get set to buy stocks after a market crash.  "Wall Street has never been a market for old men — yet when the going gets tough, the graying veterans get the 3 a.m. call for help, writes Jonathan Burton."
    Leading economic indicators rise.
    Philly region's factories pick up pace.  
    Will housing recovery last?  "Signs of recovery are emerging in latest housing data on sales, prices and construction. But how much room is there for further expansion?"
    Golden State data tarnish jobless-claims report again.  "
Seesawing California data makes it hard to pin down the U.S. labor market."
    U.S. jobless claims rise by 46,000.  
    Stocks: Things could be worse, much worse.  "
Stateside, the best thing the economy (and the market) has going for it is the smart rebound in the housing sector."
    Vanguard founder Bogle: Invest, don't trade.  
    Google slide takes toll on U.S. stock indexes.  
    Pan-Europe stock index ends at 16-month high.  
    6 Wall Street blogs you should be reading
.  

    How to maximize your Social Security payout.  
    Protect your money from the next stock crash.  "Even in a highly uncertain market climate, return on capital is still an extremely important objective, writes strategist David Rosenberg. His advice: Protect yourself from a shaky market by diversifying and being defensive."

    Crashes are money-making opportunities.  "The market remains on solid footing, writes money manager Jim O’Shaughnessy. But if a crash of the same magnitude happens again, he says, investors should do one thing: buy."  


State of the Markets articles include:
    A Major Top?. "If nothing else, the bear camp is certainly consistent. Despite the fact that the stock market (as defined by the S&P 500 Index) is up +16.2% year to dates and both the Dow and S&P are a buy-program away from new highs for the current bull market cycle, our friends in fur continue to pound the table that the end is nigh. In fact, one of my now self-proclaimed "perma bear" buddies said yesterday that the market "Feels to me a lot like 2007 and this isn't going to end well." Yikes. But in the next breath, my friend, colleague, and lifelong fan of "da ... Read More »"
    Insider Buying Report - 10/18/12. "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 »"
    Market Mover: Google Releases Earnings Early (And They Are NOT Good).
    The State of the Economy: Thursday 10/10/12.
    Leading Economic Index Up +0.6% in September.
    Philly Fed Index Improves in October.
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Rebounds.  
    Weekly Jobless Claims Bounce Back After Data Controversy.  

     
Microsoft Report Disappoints.   

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

    Market futures are flat again tonight.


2012-10-17: (Wednesday Night): The markets clambered up again today: Dow shrugs off IBM, Intel, Stocks mixed as earnings roll in. The NASDAQ Composite tiptoed up 2.95 points (0.10%) to end at 3,104.12. The Dow added a piddling 5.22 points (0.04%) to close at 13,557.00; the S&P 500 gained 5.99 points (0.41%) to settle at 1,460.91. Oil closed at 91.98: Oil holds at $92 as supply rises, dollar falls; Gold ended at 1,750: Gold ends higher on soft dollar, demand prospects. The VIX slipped another 0.15 points to 15.07.
   "Blue-chip index ekes out gain despite IBM's roughly 5% decline as upbeat housing data appear to trump disappointing tech earnings."
   "U.S. stocks closed little changed Wednesday, as investors took in new housing data and another batch of corporate earnings. More"

Marketwatch says:

    U.S. home construction surges 15% in September.  "Construction surpasses forecasts — and hits the highest level in more than four years. Forward-looking permits jump nearly 12%."
    Mark Hulbert: Why another crash like 1987’s is inevitable. "Prepare yourself for another stock-market crash as damaging as that of Oct. 19, 1987, writes Mark Hulbert. At current levels, that would mean a single-session Dow decline of more than 3,000 points."
    Is a quarter-million a year a middle-class income?  "
Upper end of Obama and Romney “middle class” range — $250,000 a year — might be too high."
    How debt is drowning the American Dream.  "
Whoever wakes up in the White House after the inauguration ball will have to confront the reality of oppressive debt levels, writes Satyajit Das."
    Why your kids need a Roth IRA
"Modest contributions during your children's teenage years can add up to a good amount by retirement. It’s also tax smart."
    Thomas Kee, Jr., advises: Keep emotion out of the market.  
   
China cooling may seal gold's demise.  

    Euro at 1-month high as Moody’s affirms Spain.  
    Cost of insuring Spain debt at 15-month low.  

    Gallup puts unemployment rate lower than Labor Dept.  "Gallup data go beyond affirming the recent government data that caused firestorm (blog)."
    Treasurys lose appeal after Spain keeps rating.  
    Matthew Lynn says, The next euro storm is in Italy.
    3 places to hide your cash from a market implosion.
    These Dow stocks are ready to tumble.    
    Nobel winner Michael Spence: Obama's plan better than Romney's:. "Economics laureate explains why he favors Obama's economic plan."  


State of the Markets articles include:
    Does Spain Trump Earnings, Fiscal Cliff, Etc?. "After twenty-one days in which the intraday stock market action was just plain lousy, the bulls appear to have found their long lost mojo this week. While there is no telling whether or not the current joyride to the upside will bump its head on the top end of the trading range in another 15 S&P points, it has been a relief to see stocks not succumb to relentless intraday selling this week. But what is interesting is the reason behind the rally seems to be trumping all of those worries that we'd heard so much about over the past three and one-half weeks. If you will recall, the bears had been carping incessantly about ... Read More »"
    NAAIM Index- Active Managers Show Concern. "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 ... Read More »"
    Investors Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Declines.
    Housing Starts and Building Permits Up Strong.
    Moody's Confirms Spain Rating Above Junk Status.
    Bank of America Earnings Top Estimates.
    Intel Beats on Top and Bottom Lines.  
    IBM Beats EPS But Misses on Revenues.  

        

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

    Market futures are flat tonight.


2012-10-16: (Tuesday Night): The markets clambered up again today: Dow's best day since QE3, Stocks gain ground on solid earnings. The NASDAQ Composite scampered up 36.99 points (1.21%) to end at 3,101.17. The Dow snared 127.55 points (0.95%) to close at 13,551.78; the S&P 500 annexed 14.79 points (1.03%) to settle at 1,454.92. Oil closed at 92.45: Oil closes above $92 on Spain bailout hopes; Gold ended at 1,750: Gold futures score first gain in three sessions. Curiously, the VIX slipped 0.05 points to 15.22.
   "U.S. stocks are on the rise as several major companies post strong quarterly results and as reports indicate Spain is moving closer to making a request for a line of credit from the European Union."
   "U.S. stocks ended the day higher Tuesday as investors welcomed a batch of strong corporate earnings and digested the latest inflation data. More"

Marketwatch says:

    Builder sentiment at 6-year high
   
Industrial output rebounds.  

    5 European earnings reports to watch.  
    Moody's affirms Spain at Baa3 but outlook negative.  

    Irwin Kellner: Labor market weaker than it looks.. "Hedge fund consultant Michael Belkin makes his case for a market drop in the coming 12-15 months. MarketWatch's Sam Mamudi reports."   
    Bonds backed by rental insurance   "Here's how your rent check is set to make private-equity investors rich."
    Bond people worry most about 'fiscal cliff'.  
    Why you shouldn't worry about the fiscal cliff.  
    Consumer inflation rises 0.6% in September.  
    Social Security benefits expected to see tiny rise.  "Don’t spend it all in one place: average monthly benefit likely to increase less than $20 in 2013."  
    Avi Gilbert asks: Is S&P 500 targeting 1,300 or 1,500?   
    Barry Ritholtz sees rally 'hanging by a thread'.  
    Michael Ashbaugh notes that S&P, Dow survive test of major support.  
   
Black Monday memories still vivid for veterans.  
    Gold and silver investors, take notice: Core PPI falls.
     Election is all about the 47% .  
   
A123 joins Solyndra hit list.  
    Europe stocks rise after Chinese, U.S. data.


State of the Markets articles include:
    Blame It On The Algos Or.... "Yesterday's batch of economic data wasn't half bad. The Commerce Department said that Retail Sales were up +1.1% in the month of September, which was above the consensus for a third straight month. In addition, the number marked a two year high. This, on top of Friday's University of Michigan Confidence number, which was the highest in 5 years, as well as the recent drop in Unemployment and the general uptick in housing, got me to thinking. While this is clearly just one guy's opinion, it seems to me that those people with jobs and ... Read More »"
    Spain Hinting At Requesting Intervention. "Both the WSJ and the FT have reports this morning suggesting that Spain is close to requesting aid from the EU and that such a request would take the form of a line of credit instead of a full-scale ... Read More »"
    NAHB Homebuilder Confidence Index Up For 6th Straight Month.
    Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization Both Improve in September.
    CPI Report: Inflation Remains Largely In Check.
    Spain Hinting At Requesting Intervention.
    Coca-Cola Earnings Slightly Below Forecast.  
    Goldman Sachs Beats Estimates for EPS and Revenues.  

        

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

    Nasdaq futures are up 1¼ % tonight, with the Dow and the S&P 500 modestly elevated.


2012-10-15: (Monday Night): Today, the markets reversed course and climbed significantly : Street starts week strong, Stocks end higher on earnings and economic data The NASDAQ Composite stepped up 20.07 points (0.66%) to end at 3,064.18. The Dow regained 95.38 points (-0.72%) to close at 13,424.23; the S&P 500 annexed 11.54 points (0.81%) to settle at 1,440.13. Oil closed at 91.67: Oil bounces back after sub-$90 dip, ends near flat; Gold ended at 1,738: Gold drops over $20, marks second-session loss. Curiously, the VIX retreated 0.57 points to 15.27.
   "U.S. stocks rise as pressure on energy stocks eases allowing pharma gains to lift the market."
   "U.S. stocks moved higher Monday as investors welcomed a sharp rise in retail sales and better-than-expected quarterly earnings from Citigroup. More"

Marketwatch says:

    Blue chips hit Monday high
   
Phone helps U.S. retail sales — but only a little.  

    5 biggest positive earnings surprises so far.  "Of the 32 S&P 500 companies that have reported through so far, 63% have beat profit targets."

    Belkin predicts 40% stock-market drop (video).. "Hedge fund consultant Michael Belkin makes his case for a market drop in the coming 12-15 months. MarketWatch's Sam Mamudi reports."   
    Bonds backed by rental insurance   "Here's how your rent check is set to make private-equity investors rich."
    Bond people worry most about 'fiscal cliff'.
    Social Security benefits expected to see tiny rise.  "Don’t spend it all in one place: average monthly benefit likely to increase less than $20 in 2013."  
    Avi Gilbert asks: Is S&P 500 targeting 1,300 or 1,500?   
    Barry Ritholtz sees rally 'hanging by a thread'.
    Gold and silver investors, take notice: Core PPI falls.
     Election is all about the 47% .  
    Europe stocks rise after Chinese, U.S. data.


State of the Markets articles include:
    A Very Important Decision. "To be honest, I am not a terribly political person and I try my best to keep my political views out of my writing. I generally vote for the presidential candidate that I believe is best for the country. As such, I will admit to having voted for both teams over the years. However, since there about a zillion places to get biased political commentary, I figure the world doesn't need one more. So, rest ... Read More »"
    Market Flailing Like A-Rod Trying To Hit a Fastball. "Stocks continue to struggle during this consolidation phase. But there was no shortage of quotable quotes coming from Wall Street, Main Street, and Washington this week ... Read More »"
    Business Inventores Up in August.
    Empire Manufacturing Index Weak Again in October.
    Citigroup Earnings Above Analyst Estimates.
    Lagarde Urges Action in Europe.

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

    Market futures are flat tonight.


2012-10-12: (Friday Night): Once again, the stock market rose and then fell back : Market's leaves turn brown, Stocks fizzle at end of lackluster week. The NASDAQ Composite ratcheted down another 5.3 points (-0.17%) to end at 3,044.11. The Dow crept up 18.58 points (-0.14%) to close at 13,328.85; the S&P 500 closed down 4.25 points (0.02%) to settle at 1,428.59. Oil closed at 91.61: Oil falls as IEA lowers yearly demand view; Gold ended at 1,756: Gold futures retreat; market awaits Spain bailout. Curiously, the VIX advanced 0.55 points to 16.14.
"Major indexes close their worst week in four months, as worries about Europe overcame an unexpected rise in U.S. consumer confidence."
"U.S. stocks capped a down week with modest declines Friday as investors turned cautious ahead of key corporate reports due next week. More"

Marketwatch says:

Stocks off 2%-3% in week. "Major indexes close their worst five-day period in four months, as worries about Europe overcame an unexpected rise in U.S. consumer confidence."
Consumer sentiment jumps to a five-year high. "
Mood gauge jumps for a second straight month, pushing past analysts’ expectations to 2007 level."

2012 deficit: $1.089 trillion.

Can we trust the CBO?
Dollar edges down; euro gains on Spain talk
Thomas H. Kee advises: Sell complacency, and buy capitulation.
Mark Hulbert says Don't be so quick to call the stock market insane.
Myra Saefong says Gold’s primed for a breakout. "Like U.S. equities in the run-up to the Fed’s latest "QE" decision, the euro is finding support on what would normally be taken as bad news."
Dollar edges down; euro gains on Spain speculation.
Charting the claims shocker and Greek surprise
In charts: Jobless, Greece. "See charts from the week’s economics reports, including the sharp drop in jobless claims and an improvement in Greek industrial production."
Who's afraid of the 'fiscal cliff' (video)?

Brush up your identity-protection skill (audio).

Google wooing lawmakers over driverless autos. "Search giant revs up lobbying efforts to build support of its driverless car."

Bernanke to give speech in Tokyo on Sunday.

State of the Markets articles include:
Is the Sky Falling Again?. "
Do you feel it? Is that a twinge of doubt starting to creep in? Is your stomach starting to hurt just a little after a day like yesterday? Does each and every successive intraday failure cause your anxiety level to move upward in an exponential fashion? Do you find yourself wondering why oh why does everyone on the planet want to sell shares of Apple (AAPL) and/or Google (GOOG) day after day (after day)? Does the fact that your portfolio hasn't had a good day in what feels like a month make you want to sell everything and throw your stapler through a screen or two? If you answered yes ... Read More »"
A Trillion Here and a Trillion There. "
Well, it's official. The U.S. government has once again spent more than a trillion dollars it doesn't have in the past year. How much is a trillion dollars, you ask? Well, if you spent... ... Read More »"
University of Michigan Sentiment Improves Again in October.
PPI Headline Hotter Than Expected, Core Cooler.
Wells Fargo Revenues Come In Light.
JPMorgan Beats on Top and Bottom Lines

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


This was a down week, with the Nasdaq closing below its 50-day moving average. So far, though, this is a typical correction in an ongoing uptrend, with the S&P retesting the 1420 to 1430 level (see "Is the Sky Falling Again?" above).


2012-10-11: (Thursday Night): The stock market rose and then fell back today: U.S. stocks end near flat; S&P 500 barely up., Stocks lose steam. The NASDAQ Composite inched down 2.37 points (-0.08%) to end at 3,049.41. The Dow shrank 18.58 points (-0.14%) to close at 13,32639; the S&P 500 closed up 0.28 points (0.02%) to settle at 1,432.84. Oil closed at 92.32: Oil futures top $92, pare gain after supply data; Gold ended at 1,770: Dec. gold rises to $1,770.60 as dollar weakens. Curiously, the VIX retreated 0.70 points to 15.59.
    "The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped to a 4-1/2 year low last week, suggesting that hiring may be picking up after stalling since the spring."
  
    "U.S. stocks pared earlier gains and ended little changed Thursday afternoon, as enthusiasm over upbeat economic data faded. More"    
      

    Marketwatch says: 
    Jobless claims plunge to four-year low.  "The U.S. economy 'expanded modestly' with housing becoming a bright spot and manufacturing somewhat improved, the Fed's Beige Book reveals"
    Is weekly jobless-claims plunge a California thing?  "Questions hang in the air after first-time claims fall to their lowest level since February 2008."
    U.S. stocks rise as financials lead gains.  "U.S. stocks rise, with the S&P 500 Index bouncing back from a four-session losing streak."
    Treasurys and dollar down after jobs data.  
    Europe stocks rise; Spain weighs after cut.  "Like U.S. equities in the run-up to the Fed’s latest "QE" decision, the euro is finding support on what would normally be taken as bad news."
    Why bad news for Spain is good news for euro.   
    If the EU were more like Norway....  "When European Union finance ministers met this week to ponder their various problems, they should have scheduled a side trip to Norway."
    Stocks: More decay is on the way.  "In times like these, a medium-term speculator's prey is usually found in the more speculative climes of the market, i. e., the Nasdaq titles."
    Wall Street pay: a reality check.  "Spare us the whining about tough times  in finance. On average Wall Street professional earns five times (at $363,000) an average Joe (at $67,000 in New York City, $50,000 elsewhere), writes David Weidner." (The article states that your average brain surgeon made $234,520 versus your average broker at $123,000.)
    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking Ahead to Thursday's Market.
    No Catalyst Needed.  "YThe question I've been asked most frequently this week is, "Why are stocks going down?" The question has usually been accompanied by some commentary stating that there really hasn't been any major negative data, news stories, headlines or even any significant new rumors out of Europe. It has also been pointed out that the Chinese markets have actually rallied a bit since coming back from a week long holiday and that Mitt Romney has been gaining in the polls. And yet stocks seem to be losing 100 points or more ... Read More »"
    Weekly Jobless Claims Improve by 30K.  
    The Daily Decision for Thursday, 10/11/12.
   
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Pulls Back.  
    Trade Deficit Widened in August.  
    Import/Export Prices Up Again in September.  
   

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

    Market futures are slightly higher tonight.


2012-10-10: (Wednesday Night): The stock market cratered again today: Alcoa, Chevron sink DowBlue chips lead broad sell-off. The NASDAQ Composite slipped another 13.24 points (-0.43%) to end at 3,051.78. The Dow dropped another 128.56 points (-0.95%) to close at 13,344.97; the S&P 500 declined 8.92 points (-0.62%) to settle at 1,441.48. Oil closed at 91.30: Oil ends 1.2% lower on supply, demand prospects; Gold ended at 1,764: Gold ends losing streak, closing higher. Curiously, the VIX retreated 0.09 points to 16.29.
    "U.S. stocks extend losses with Dow industrials tumbling triple digits after aluminum producer Alcoa cuts its outlook for global demand and Chevron warns of lower earnings."
  
    ".S. stocks were under pressure Wednesday as concerns about China's slowing growth and corporate earnings mounted. More"    
      

    Marketwatch says: 
    Fed: Slow-grow September.  "The U.S. economy 'expanded modestly' with housing becoming a bright spot and manufacturing somewhat improved, the Fed's Beige Book reveals"
    Dollar index defies QE pressures.  
    History shows stocks will continue to rise.  "While there may be gloom all around, investors would do well to learn the lesson of history — that stocks are rising and will do so for years to come, says asset manager O'Shaughnessy."
    Barofsky labels TARP double-edged sword.  
    Barofsky slams regulators.  
    Ex-FDIC chief Bair talks bailouts, stress tests.   
    Mark Hulbert asks if we wamt to Join insiders in betting on a market decline?  
    Should seniors bother paying off debt?  "An older couple paid off $120,000 in credit-card debt, but some experts say at their age they might have been better off in bankruptcy."
    Matthew Lynn suggests: Instead of a bailout, Spain could opt out.  
    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking Ahead to Thursday's Market.
    Let's Talk About HFT.  "Yesterday morning's sudden dive in the stock market was a great example of HFT (high frequency trading) in action. I was on a conference call at the time yammering on about our approach to stock selection and our active risk management system. In the midst of explaining the importance of having a risk management system that could adapt to changing environments, I glanced up at my screens. To my surprise the S&P 500 was in the process of plunging from 1454 to 1443. Although I was on a call, I ... Read More »"
    Spain Credit Rating Cut by S&P.
   
Fed's Beige Book: Economy Expanding Modestly.  
    Wholesale Inventories Rise in August.  
    NAAIM Index Shows Active Managers Staying With Trend.  
   
Investors Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Receding.  
   
Costco Earnings Better Than Expected.  
    IMF Warns of Risks to Eurozone Banks.  
   

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

    Market futures are mixed (flat) tonight.


2012-10-9: (Tuesday Night): The stock market cratered today: U.S. stocks finish lower on earnings anxiety, IMFStocks retreat ahead of earnings. The NASDAQ Composite careened 47.33 points (-1.52%) to end at 3,065.02. The Dow drooped 110.12 points (-0.81%) to close at 13,473.53; the S&P 500 declined 14.4 points (-0.99%) to settle at 1,441.48. Oil closed at 92.35: Oil rallies 3%, at best in more than a week; Gold ended at 1,766: Gold extends losses to a third day. The VIX retreated another 1.26 points to 16.37.
    "Technology leads session's sharp declines as investors await the start of earnings season."
  
    "U.S. stocks fell Tuesday as investors gear up for the unofficial start of the third-quarter earnings season but despite the day's weakness, the Dow and S&P 500 continue to hover near five-year highs. More"     
      

    Marketwatch says: 
    Tech weighs on Wall St.  "Nasdaq suffers biggest one-day percentage decline since June 25. Intel weighs on Dow."
    Netflix's 10% slide trips circuit breaker.  
    Intel falls to 52-week low, leading tech retreat.  
    Alcoa kicks off with a loss.  "Aluminum giant's results top Wall Street's targets, but a slowdown in China hits outlook."
    Mark Hulbert asks if Bear market begins today?  "Oct. 9, for better or for worse, is a big date for the stock market."
    Welch quits Fortune.  "Former GE boss Jack Welch, who accused the White House of manipulating jobs data, leaves Fortune after critical article. (The Tell)"
    Shinal: Be wary of a Netflix pump and dump.  "Online-video firm has become the latest to be bolstered by analysts eager to pump up a tech stock ahead of an earnings report that’s expected to be lousy, writes John Shinal."
    Dollar rises as IMF sounds warning.
    Treasurys gain; IMF stirs global growth worries.  
    Spain could opt out instead of getting a bailout.
    Irwin Kellner warns: Deficit cuts: Whose belt will be tightened?  
    Reagan-style tax reform a trap: lawmaker.
    David Weidner discusses The truth about Wall Street profits.
    Euro is down but not out.  "Three years into crisis, Europe is finally acting to preserve the union,"
    IMF: euro-zone nations to miss deficit targets.  
    IMF's Lagarde: Greece needs to do more.  
    Behind sudden downdraft in euro?.  
    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking Ahead to Wednesday's Market.
    The Next Phase is Coming Soon.  "I am going to argue that this year's stock market can be divided up into three or four distinctly different phases so far and that the current "sloppy period" could very well wind up being a prelude to the final phase of the year. Before you start booing, throwing things at your screen and calling me a hypocrite based on my oft cited "no predictions" rule, let me state that this morning I'll be spending much of our time looking back at what has transpired as opposed to looking into my very cloudy crystal ball. If you will recall, the beginning of the year was ... Read More »"
    Alcoa Kicks Off Earnings Season On Positive Note.
   
The Early Look- Stock Hold Steady in Front of Alcoa's Report.  
    NFIB Small Business Index Holds Steady.  
    The Daily Decision for Tuesday, 10/9/12.  
   

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


2012-10-8: (Monday Night): The stock market fell back  today: Earnings bill comes dueStocks falter as growth worries persist. The NASDAQ Composite slid another 23.84 points (-0.76%) to end at 3,112.35. The Dow slipped 26.5 points (-0.19&) to close at 13,583.65; the S&P 500 backed off 5.05 points (-0.35%) to settle at 1,455.88. Oil closed at 89.33: Oil ends lower as traders worry about demand; Gold ended at 1,777: Gold, silver end lower on demand concerns. The VIX retreated another 0.78 points to 15,11.
    "Investors are girding themselves for what's expected to be a weak period for profits, while watching developments in Europe."
  
    "U.S. stocks closed slightly lower Monday, as worries about slowing growth kept investors sidelined on a relatively slow day of trading. More"   
    Monday has been a down day for 16 pf the last 18 sessions; today was no exception.   
      

    Marketwatch says: 
    Rally's success riding on earnings.
    Europe stocks drop with Greece, Spain in focus.  
    Michael Gayed asks: China to buck October correction?  "The country has been underperforming the U. S. for some time, but a turn appears to be taking place and it may not matter what happens here."
    Avi Gilbert asks: Are you ready for the run over 1,500?
    High-frequency trading must die.  
    Why Alcoa's results matter.  "If Alcoa misses targets, is that a troubling sign for the rest of corporate America and stock market?"
    Analysis: Alcoa as earnings bellwether Video).  
    Moody's cuts Cyprus rating on bank weakness.
    Moody's gives ESM its triple-A rating.
    Gold ends lower as dollar gets safety bids.
    David Marsh says Merkel’s Greek trip is politics, not economics.
    Cooking the books'? Jobs report in charts.  
    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking Ahead to Tuesday's Market.
    "These Chicago Guys Will do Anything" And Other Quotes of the Week.  "Thanks to the Presidential debate and a campaign seasn that is really heating up, our "Quotable Quotes" column is chock full of zingers this week. Heading up the list is a tweet from former GE ... Read More »"
    World Bank Reduces China GDP Growth Rate.
   
German Industrial Production Pulls Back in August.  
    HSBC's Services PMI for China Improves.  
    The Daily Decision for Monday, 10/8/12.  
   

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

    Market futures are up 0.2% tonight.. 


2012-10-5: (Friday Night): The stock market closed up again  today on a favorable on a favorable ADP jobs report: Mixed Friday for stocks, but a weekly winStocks end mixed as jobs boost fades. The NASDAQ Composite slipped 14.23 points (-0.42%) to end at 3,136.19. The Dow added 34.79 points (0.26%) to close at 13,610.15; the S&P 500 eased 0.47 points (-0.03%) to settle at 1,460.93. Oil closed at 91.57: Oil tops $91 as Syria conflict feeds supply fears; Gold ended at 1,779: Gold ends lower as jobs data raises QE questions. The VIX retreated another 0.22 points to 14.33.
    "The S&P 500 broke a four-day string of gains, ending slightly lower on Friday as an unexpected drop in the U.S. unemployment rate was overshadowed by concerns about the coming earnings season, which begins with Alcoa next week."
  
    "U.S. stocks continued to march higher this week, with the Dow and S&P 500 flirting with five-year highs. But a cloudy outlook for the global economy remains a significant drag on the market. More"   
    Two noteworthy items: the S7P 500 is testing resistance at 1460, and the VIX is getting relatively low,   
      

    Marketwatch says: 
    Will jobs data shorten QE3?  "Friday's jobs data show a drop in the unemployment rate to 7.8% in September. Every one-tenth percentage-point drop in the jobless rate will shorten Fed's bond buys by about a month, analysts say."
    Jobless rate falls to 7.8%: everything you need to know.  
    What jobs data mean for the markets (video).  
    ‘Treat this as a good number’ — and more reactions.
    Why you should ignore the jobs report (audio).  
    Drop in unemployment may be misleading.  
    Unemployment measure is a volatile one.  
    Fact-check: Most new jobs are full-time ones.  "Some people say part-time jobs have pulled the unemployment rate down to 7.8%. They're wrong."
    Why oil has a better chance at $80 vs. $100.  "It didn’t take much to propel oil past $100 a barrel last month, but apparently it takes even less to trigger a significant price retreat."
    The jobs report Obama's been waiting for.
    Welch's conspiracy theory.  "Jobs report prompts a tweet from GE boss Jack Welch, who appears to accuse Obama administration of cooking the books. (The Tell)"
    Cooking the books'? Jobs report in charts.  
    Five not-so-obvious jobs take off.  "Hiring is expected to soar for these five not-so-obvious positions over the next few years."
    5 charts you need to see.  "Pay attention to these crucial market metrics--from the Dow's track record to recent trends in the VIX."
    Brace for worst earnings since recession’s rebound.  "This earnings season threatens to be one of the roughest since the height of the financial crisis — even if, as usual, results don’t live up to the worst of the gloom-and-doom forecasts. Alcoa kicks off third-quarter earnings seaso with results on Tuesday. J. P. Morgan and Wells Fargo are due to report earnings next Friday"
    .Q4: Be afraid, very afraid  "Think election, as well as Washington gridlock, the "fiscal cliff" and Europe in crisis. Despite double-digit gains, many investors are still uncertain about the staying power of the stock market."
    Europe stocks rally on U.S. jobs data.  
    Gold run on Romney win defies logic.  
    Germany's Merkel to visit Greece Tuesday.  
    Howard Gold asserts that QE3 was a sign of failure.  
    Hulbert: Second-guessing Halloween indicator
    
   
Markets: What a difference a year makes (video): From bear market fears and historic volatility to edging toward historic highs, a look at how markets have changed from October 2011 to now.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Jobs Report Shows Unemployment Rate Drops to 7.8%.  "The Labor reported that Nonfarm Payrolls, which is perhaps the most closely followed piece of economic data each month, contained at least one very big surprise ... Read More »"
    The Debate, Social Media, and a Very Simple Story.  "I was watching the debate last night with my wife, initially thinking I really would rather be doing just about anything else. (No, not being with my wife, watching the debate). But I quickly got into it and sat there with laptop open and two screens up, Twitter and a live streaming chart of the S&P futures. (My wife was wondering what the heck I was doing. She was more annoyed at the moderator, Jim Lehrer, than anything else. Lehrer, of PBS fame, took a lot of hits for his performance and an AP lead this morning was, “Jim Lehrer ... Read More »"
    Jobs Report Shows Unemployment Rate Drops to 7.8%.
   
Factory Orders Pull Back As Expected in August.  
    The Daily Decision for Friday, 10/5/12.  
   

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

    Stocks rose a bit for the week in the face of various kinds of threats to prosperity. 


2012-10-4: (Thursday Night): The stock market closed up again  today on a favorable on a favorable ADP jobs report: Stocks climb on dataBank stocks lead markets higher. The NASDAQ Composite regained 14.23 points (0.45%) to end at 3,149.46. The Dow added a stout  80.75 points (0.60%) to close at 13,575.36; the S&P 500 garnereded 10.41 points (0.72%) to settle at 1,461.40. Oil closed at 91.57:Oil tops $91 as Syria conflict feeds supply fears; Gold ended at 1,793: Gold near $1,800 an ounce; stocks, euro rise on U.S. data. The VIX retreated another 0.75 points to 13.68.
    "Wall Street chalks up a solid rise, with the S&P 500 index up for a fourth session, after another round of U.S. data exceeds expectations."
  
    "Bank stocks led markets higher Thursday after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi reiterated the central bank's commitment to its new bond-buying plan. More"   
    Two noteworthy items: the S7P 500 is testing resistance at 1460, and the VIX is getting relatively low,   
      

    Marketwatch says: 
    Treasury yield gap widens.
    U.S. initial jobless claims climb to 367,000.  
    Wall Street cheers jobs news (audio).  
    Why the economy is still laboring to produce jobs.  "The U. S. likely added enough jobs in September to keep the unemployment rate from rising much, but people looking for work are still striking out."
    Sept. planned layoffs up nearly 5%: Challenger.  
    How will jobs number affect debates (video)?  
    Debate hits hospital stocks.  "Shares in hospital companies fall in the wake of President Obama’s weak debate performance against Mitt Romney."
    Did Romney win juice market?  
    Should ‘the 47%’ pay income taxes?  
    Fed: Uncertainty, jobs sparked QE3.  "The sluggish job market and worries about global growth and the fiscal cliff pressed the Fed into its third round of QE, meeting minutes show."
    Fed to get more specific on QE3's end.
    Michael Gayed advises: Wal-Mart indicator to bulls: Be careful.  
    Gold run on Romney win defies logic.  
    Technicals go bullish for gold, gold miners.  
    Your right to resell your own stuff is in peril.  
    Retailers’ miss raises concern.  "U.S. retailers’ comparable-store sales disappoint, flagging concerns about the holiday season."
    

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking Ahead to Friday's Market.  
    The Debate, Social Media, and a Very Simple Story.  "I was watching the debate last night with my wife, initially thinking I really would rather be doing just about anything else. (No, not being with my wife, watching the debate). But I quickly got into it and sat there with laptop open and two screens up, Twitter and a live streaming chart of the S&P futures. (My wife was wondering what the heck I was doing. She was more annoyed at the moderator, Jim Lehrer, than anything else. Lehrer, of PBS fame, took a lot of hits for his performance and an AP lead this morning was, “Jim Lehrer ... Read More »"
    ECB's Draghi Says OMT Program Already Having Effect.
   
Factory Orders Pull Back As Expected in August.  
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Improves Again,  
    The Daily Decisionfor Thursday, 10/4/12. 
   
Weekly Jobless Claims Hold Steady.  
   

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

    Stock market futures are 0.2 % higher tonight.


2012-10-3: (Wednesday Night): The stock market closed up somewhat  today on a favorable on a favorable ADP jobs report: H-P's slide caps Dow's rise Stocks end modestly higher. The NASDAQ Composite regained 15.19 points (0.49%) to end at 3,135.23. The Dow rose a puny  12.25 points (0.09%) to close at 13,494.61; the S&P 500 progressed 5.24 points (0.36%) to settle at 1,450.99. Oil closed at 88.03:Oil slides below $90: "Crude futures tumble more than 4%, the barrel's largest one-day decline since December."; Gold ended at 1,781: Gold inches up, long-term prospects seen promising". The VIX crept down 0.28 points to 15.43.
    "U.S. stocks close off day's highs as Hewlett-Packard's steep fall puts a dent in Dow's gains."
  
    "U.S. stocks closed modestly higher Wednesday as investors welcomed improved reports on the U.S economy, but gains were tempered by concerns about growth in Europe and Asia. More"   
    Tonight, the financial news outlets that I watch seem to be holding their collective breath awaiting the outcome of tonight's TV debate between Romney and Obama.  
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Treasury yields near lowest in a month.
    Caution still in order for bears and bulls.
    Euro-zone financials face more uncertainty.  
    Matthew Lynn explains: QE’s biggest problem? Destruction of savings.  
    Lawrence G. McMillan says that Support builds for S&P 500 gains.  
    Rex Nutting notes that Presidential debate avoids jobs solution.
    What's U.S.'s FICO score?  "What if the U.S. government had to go through the same hoops as the rest of us, instead of issuing debt?"
    Private payrolls add 162,000 in September.  
    Growth in U.S. services sector accelerates.  
    Fed minutes:5 things to watch.  "Investors on Thursday will be examining the minutes of the Fed's September meeting to see if they yield clues for any new rules of the road."
    After Draghi’s bazooka,' wait-and-see.  
    Euro-zone PMI points to 'inevitable' recession.
    Poland is latest central bank to surprise.  
    Did Australia's rate cut help?  
    Home prices; biggest average gain in 6 years.  

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking Ahead to Thursday's Market.  
    Are Traders Preparing For The Worst?  "As we've been discussing lately, the recent "tape action" seen in the market hasn't exactly been stellar. In fact, it's been pretty crummy overall and downright ugly at times. Over the past thirteen sessions, the bulls can to point to exactly one decent day while our friends in the bear camp are quick to point out that there has been at least one bout of intense intraday selling in twelve of the thirteen days in question. And once again yesterday, ... Read More »"
    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (Services Sector) Improves Again, But...
   
NAAIM Index Shows Active Managers Becoming Nervous.  
    Investors Intelligence- Bullish Sentiment Pulling Back,  
    The Daily Decision for Wednesday, 10/3/12. 
   
ADP Employment Report Improves Again in September.  
   
Eurozone Services PMIs Remain Soft.  
   

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

    Stock market futures are ¼ % higher tonight.


2012-10-2: (Tuesday Night): The stock market closed mixed today: Dow ends lower as focus shifts to earnings Spain keeps investors sidelined. The NASDAQ Composite regained 6.51 points (0.21%) to end at 3,120.04. The Dow dipped 32.75 points (-024%) to close at 13,482.36; the S&P 500 gained 31.26 points (0.09%) to settle at 1,445.75. Oil closed at 91.74Oil ends lower; natural gas extends gains; Gold ended at 1,776: Gold futures retreat from 7-month high". Metals react to stronger manufacturing data and lingering concerns about the euro zone weakness." The VIX crept down 0.61 points to 15.71
    "U.S. stocks extend losses, pressured by concerns ahead of quarterly earnings and outlooks"
  
    "U.S. stocks finished the day mixed Tuesday as fears about Spain kept investors sidelined. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    I don’t believe in the imminent demise of the U.S. economy and its financial markets. But I’m afraid for them.  "Bill Gross says only gold and real assets will thrive in fiscal ‘ring of fire’."
    SEC panel backing fast-trading kill switch.  "Following up on a number of recent snafus that have hurt investor confidence, a panel of experts at the securities regulator supports the creation of computerized “kill switches” and other limits to computerized-trading problems."
    Paul Farrell writes: Romney, Obama both stock-market killers.  
    Darrell Delamaide observes that ‘Populist’ parties lead protests of austerity.  
    Irwin Kellner explains that The markets are the message for inflation.  
    David Weidner warns: A Goldman comeback? Don’t bet the house.    
    Europe buckles up for October.  "Dates on which the euro zone's long-running crisis could come to head."
    Merkel role in Spain delay.
    Market's real October surprise.  
    Has natural gas peaked?  "On a technical basis, natural gas has had a terrific climb, but the momentum gauges suggest that it may be time for it to take a rest. (Trading Deck)"
    Mark Hulbert warns: Get ready for roller coaster ride.  
    
      
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking Ahead to Wednesday's Market.  
    Does It Really Matter Anymore?  "The bears were quick (I mean, VERY quick) to inform me that Monday's tape action was exceptionally bad. There was talk of a "key reversal" day, which tends to be a precursor of bad things to come in the ensuing days, as stocks gave up the strong early gains on the back of a better-than-expected ISM report and wound up finishing mixed. And I will agree that the "action" certainly has not been encouraging of late. However, my question this fine morning is: Does it really matter? To be fair, ever since Ben Bernanke confirmed that the Fed was going to infinity and beyond with its latest QE program, the action has been downright disappointing. For example, in the twelve sessions since Gentle Ben announced ... Read More »"
    Bill Gross: "We Are Acting Like Meth Addicts".  "Bill Gross's monthly investment outlook usually has a theme that gets people's attention. And this month is no exception as the co-founder of PIMCO says that the U.S. is acting like ... Read More »"
   
Core Logic Home Price Index Hits Highest Leve Since 6/10.  
    The Daily Decision for Tuesday, 10/2/12. 
   

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

    Stock market futures are flat-to-lower tonight.


2012-10-1: (Monday Night): The stock market climbed today on news that U. S. factory output has resumed growing after three months of contraction, and then faded into the close:  ISM data lifts U.S. stocks, but Bernanke 'taketh away'; Stocks lose steam. The NASDAQ Composite eased 2.7 points (-0.09%) to end at 3,113.53. The Dow jumped 77.98 points (0.58%) to close at 13,515.11; the S&P 500 gained 3.82 points (0.27%) to settle at 1,444.49. Oil closed at 92.48Oil ends higher; natural gas up 4.8% on weather; Gold ended at 1,779: Gold gains, ends off session highs;, "Metals react to stronger manufacturing data and lingering concerns about the euro zone weakness." The VIX crept up 0.59 points to 16.32
    "Wall Street's advance loses some of its momentum as the Fed's focus on stimulus underscores worries about weak growth."
  
    "A rally on Wall Street lost steam Monday afternoon following comments from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Stocks trim back gains.  "Wall Street's advance loses some of its momentum as the Fed's focus on stimulus underscores worries about weak growth."
    Dow's averaged October gains of 1.8%.  
    Factories' growth returns.  "U.S. manufacturers resume growing after three months of contraction, outperforming most of the rest of the world, according to ISM."
    'We shouldn't get too excited' about ISM (audio).  
    U.S. August construction spending down 0.6%.  
    El-Erian handicaps 'fiscal cliff'.    
    Bernanke hits 'QE3' critics.  "Metals react to stronger manufacturing data and lingering concerns about the euro zone weakness."
    Bernanke shows fresh focus on slow growth.  
    Fed's Evans see QE3 lasting until through 2013.  
    Gold getting less and less QE bounce.  
    Jobless rate in euro zone hits record 11.4%.
   
China manufacturing data show contraction.  
    Euro-zone PMI data drop for 14th time in a row.  
    Moody's weighs in on Spain's bank plan.  
    Spanish banks: Why to stay worried.  
    Michael Gayed asks whether or not a deeper pullback is in the cards: From hesitation to correction?.  
    A bigger correction on tap?  "With the market breaking down below important levels of support, it raises some questions, writes Avi Gilburt. (Trading Deck)"
    Markets await Moody's review of Spanish debt.  "Moody's Investors Service review of Spanish sovereign debt could come as soon as the close of Europe or U.S. markets Friday, say analysts."
    Spain bank-stress tests due.   
    When October comes, don’t fear the Reaper.
    Mark Hulbert asks: Will the Halloween Indicator work?  "
    What top bond market forecasters predict.  
    Are you ready for a German default?  
    David Marsh writes: Asia absorbs euro-crisis lessons.
    Crain Stephens discusses: China’s messy leadership transition.
      
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Do You Have What It Takes To Get Rich Quick?  "It is probably a safe assumption that most people invest in the stock market with a goal of creating wealth (i.e. "getting rich") over time. And I'm guessing that a fair number of people - especially those seeking investment guidance on the internet - would prefer to "get rich" sooner rather than later. Please note that this is not meant in a derogatory manner. No, I'm simply suggesting that most investors likely have an investment time frame of 10 to 15 years as opposed to 40 or 50 years. As ... Read More »"
    Quotable Quotes and Notable Notes -- October 1, 2012.  "Did you ever think you would hear Apple apologize for anything? Did you ever think that the U.S. Ryder Cup team could blow that kind of a lead? Did you ever think that RIMM would actually ... Read More »"
   
Construction Spending Pulls Back in August.  
    ISM Manufacturing Index Returns To Expansion Mode.  
    European Manufacturing PMI's Uptick in September.
    China's PMI Improves Slightly in September.  
    Fitch Warns of Potential Downgrade for UK.  
    The Daily Decision for Monday, 10/1/12. 
   

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

    Stock market futures are flat tonight.


2012-9-28: (Friday Night): The stock market sank today:  U.S. stocks pare losses after Spanish bank news; Stocks to end strong quarter on a weak note. The NASDAQ Composite shed 20.37 points (-0.65%) to end at 3,116.73. The Dow dropped 48.84 points (-0.36%) to close at 13,437.13; the S&P 500 backpedaled 6.48 points (-0.45%) to settle at 1,440.67. Oil closed at 91.98 Oil edges lower, looks at big quarterly gain; Gold ended at 1,775: Gold has best quarter in over two years. The VIX lapsed 0.88 to 15.72
    "Friday declines narrow after stress tests find Spain’s banks to be mostly solvent."
  
    "Investors were spooked Friday after a dismal report showed manufacturing declining in the United States, but results of stress tests on Spanish banks offered a little relief in late session. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Stocks get the chills.  "Chicago PMI reading is the lowest in three years, spooking U.S. markets Friday."
    Spending burns up savings.  "Consumers are forced to dip into savings in August to pay for gas and other items as wages stagnate."
    Sold in May? That smarts.  ""Sell in May and go away" used to work like a charm, but the market has come roaring back and is now ahead of where it was at the end of April."
    Nasdaq on a 4-month tear.  "Unexpected Midwest contraction had Wall Street cutting still-sizable quarterly and September gains, historically a poor month for Wall Street."  "Summer strength isn't unusual, but beware October."
    Rally lands U.S. stock funds in the money.  "Investors are getting selective, but as summer winds down, Wall Street is in a buying mood."
    Window into Fed dealings.  "Central bank is releasing details of emergency borrowing by banks and open-market operations."
    Sentiment index rises in September.
   
Gold set up well for year-end gains.  "Many commodities have been strong in the third quarter, but gold looks likeliest to roll on, reports Myra P. Saefong."
    Housing Q&A: more evidence of recovery.  
    What tech bubbles can tell us about housing.  "Two tech-boom-era charts may be a warning sign for home-builder stocks. (The Tell)"
.   Why money's heading to Indonesia and Philippines.  "Trouble in Europe and lackluster growth elsewhere have drawn new attention to Indonesia and the Philippines. Here's a look at the opportunities,
and pitfalls, of investing in these markets.

    Fitch affirms U.K.'s AAA-rating, outlook negative.  "Agency does warn the likelihood of a downgrade has increased due to its budget deficit."
    Markets await Moody's review of Spanish debt.  "Moody's Investors Service review of Spanish sovereign debt could come as soon as the close of Europe or U.S. markets Friday, say analysts."
    Spain bank-stress tests due.   
    How to play Spain's austerity.
    A late summer glow.  "Investors are becoming more selective, but as summer ends, Wall Street has been in a buying mood."
    What top bond market forecasters predict.  
    Are you ready for a German default?  
    Oil seesaws, looks at big quarterly gain.  
    Al Lewis opines: Driverless cars raise too many questions.  (Pretty funny!)
    Howard Gold warns about: The 3 most overvalued assets today.  Hint: they're long bonds, inflation-protected bonds, and municipal bonds. He's echoing Cody Willard, who's been expecting a flight from bonds to equities to cause stock prices to soar (but this hasn't happened yet).
    Mark Hulbert writes: Where stock market will be in fall of 2016.  Mark Hulbert is channeling a market forecaster whose long-term forecasts have been spectacularly right. Mark advises that stocks are now fully priced. His guru-du-jour predicts market levels in 2016 that are about where they are today.
    This doesn't take into account the flight to "safety" that, if Howard Gold and Willard Cody are correct, will be among the least safe investments. If that enormous cash stash starts rolling over into other asset classes such as real estate and stocks, we could see a rise to extreme valuation levels in the stock market. How extreme? Well, in 1999, the S&P 500 reached a level of 1,550 with a price-to-earnings ratio of 38:1, with the NASDAQ at 5500. A corresponding stock bubble now would see the S&P 500 rising by a factor of nearly 3 to roughly 4000. I'm not predicting that this will happen, and would hope that it won't... it's taken us 13 years for earnings growth to not quite catch up with the swollen 1999 P/E ratio... but an expansion of the P/E ratio by 50% and a rise in the S&P 500 to 2100 wouldn't exceed historic norms.
      
State of the Markets articles include:    
    The Right Stuff?  "After suffering through an extended "sloppy period" (my trusty charts indicate that the DJIA had been down 4 days in a row and it had been nine days since the S&P had enjoyed a good day - and frankly, that day also ended badly) the bulls finally recovered some of their long-lost mojo on Thursday. Just about the time the bears had convinced everyone that the "growth slowing" theme was going to ruin the global economy, that QE3 wasn't going to work, and that the ECB was powerless to end the European debt crisis, it appears that Spain said all the right stuff yesterday. While ... Read More »"
    I'm Buying TBT For the Long-Term. Here's Why.  "PRO Trader manager, Curtis Bergquist explains why he is building a long-term bearish position on the bond market. And anybody who knows Curt knows that he will stick to his guns on this one ... Read More »"
   
Fitch Warns of Potential Downgrade for UK.  
    University of Michigan Sentiment Improves in September.   
    Chicago PMI Dives in September.
    Personal Income and Spending a Mixed Bag in August.  
    Big Picture Market Models - 9/27/12.  "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 »"
    The Daily Decision for Friday, 9/28/12. 
   

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

    The stock market is down for the week (about 20 points on the S&P 500) Tonight is the end of the week, the end of September, and the end of the third quarter: Stocks down day, week but winning month, quarter .


2012-9-27: (Thursday Night): The stock market surged today:  Jobs data propel stocks; S&P snaps five-day losing streak. The NASDAQ Composite hopped 42.9 points (1.39%) to end at 3,136.60. The Dow skipped 72.46 points (0.54%) to close at 13,485.97; the S&P 500 jumped 8.27 points (0.96%) to settle at 1,447.15. Oil closed at 92.13 worriesOil ends near $92 a barrel on Iran tensions; "Why oil should be trading at $80"; Gold ended at 1,780: Gold at 7-month high after poor data, Spain budget. The VIX lapsed 1.97 to 14.84
    "Revised government numbers show more U.S. jobs being created than thought, boosting equities."
  
    "Investors breathed a sigh of relief Thursday after Spain released its official 2013 budget. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    S&P: more room to rise?  
    Spain sees mild 2013 recession.  
    Spain's budget underwhelms analysts.
    Leading stocks nicked amid flight to safety.  
    Kevin Marder says The emerging headache of QE3.  
    Michael Ashbaugh asks: is this a Corrective bounce, or is it a successful test?   
    Labor Department says it underestimated job growth.  "U. S. government's revision for the period of April 2011 to March 2012 brings average monthly job growth up to 194,000 from 162,000."
    Durable orders sink 13% in August.  
    Why Catalonia wants to leave Spain.  
    Second-quarter U.S. growth cut to 1.3%.  
    Republicans get new ammo.  
    Curbs on high-speed trades.  "Moves toward curbs on high-speed trading seem to have, well, kicked into high gear in Europe —but that's not necessarily the case in the U.S. (The Tell)"
    .  
      
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking Ahead to Friday's Market.  
    It Gets Tougher From Here.  "I'm going to submit that we've had what might be called the "easy" moves in the market over the past two months. First there was the upbeat market action based on the anticipation of the ECB's new - and widely telegraphed - bond-buying program (which, of course, assumed that the program would actually commence one day). Then there was the run-up on the expectation of Ben Bernanke "going to infinity and beyond" with an open ended QE program. And finally, there was the pullback from an overbought market condition. Easy, easy, and easy from a ... Read More »"
    U.S. GDP Growth Rate Worse Than Expected in Q2. "Perhaps Ben Bernanke and the FOMC did indeed know something we didn't as the U.S. GDP growth rate for the second quarter came in well below Wall Street's expectations ... Read More »"   
    Pending Home Sales Fall in August.
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Improving.  
    FHFA House Price Index Up Slightly in July.  
    The Daily Decision for Thursday, 9/27/12. 
   
Weekly Jobless Claims Fall 19K.  
    Durable Goods Orders Plunged in August.  
    

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

    Market futures are up 0.1% tonight.


2012-9-26: (Wednesday Night): The stock market opened up and then fell off a cliff on words from Philadelphia Fed's Plosser (see below):  U.S. stocks hold drop after housing data; S&P 500 slides for 5th straight day. The NASDAQ Composite contracted 24.03 points (-0.77%) to end at 3,093.70. The Dow sacrificed another 44.04 points (-0.33%) to close at 13,413.51; the S&P 500 divested itself of another 8.27 points (-0.57%) to settle at 1,433.32. Oil closed at 90.00: Oil ends under $90, off 1.5% on Europe worries; "Why oil should be trading at $80"; Gold ended at 1,754: Gold futures tumble on Europe’s woes. The VIX rose 1.38 to 16.81
    "This retracement presents a buying opportunity, writes L.A. Little. (Trading Deck)"
  
    "U.S. stocks declined Wednesday, with the S&P 500 logging its fifth consecutive daily loss, as investors kept an eye on unrest in Greece and Spain. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Why now is the time to buy.  "President of the Philadelphia Fed's comments reflect persistent deep divisions at central bank."
    VIX snaps back from rare lows.  
    It's time to buy volatility.
    Fed’s next move: QE3.5.  "The Fed’s next move will be outright purchases of Treasurys at the end of the year, analysts say."
    The emerging headache of QE3.  
    8 inflation warning signals.   "When it comes to inflation, writes Robert Powell, these early-warning signs are worth monitoring.."
    Al Lewis explains why Economists are as bad as the politicians.
    Spain’s chicken game won’t end happily.  "Matthew Lynn says markets and politicians think the other side will swerve first to avert the crash."
    Why Catalonia wants to leave Spain.  
    Spain to act to restrict early retirement.  
    CEOs worry about fiscal cliff's impact.  
    Bond yields in longest losing streak in 16 months.  
    Mark Hulbert lists: Signs that bond market finally has topped.
    Why inflation bonds are a screaming buy.  
    What charts say about the election.  "Charts can be used to analyze a variety of different things, not just the stock market.. Trading Deck's Martin Pring takes a look at election data to see what they have to say."
    Ohio surge puts Obama inches away from win.  
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking Ahead to Thursday's Market.  
    Are We Seeing a Change in Character?  "It never fails. Write a bullish piece on the stock market and wham! - The bears come out of the woodwork to make you look like an idiot. Such was the certainly case yesterday. No sooner had I presented the bullish case for the stock market through the end of the year than Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser starts dissing QE3 and talking about how the Fed's newest bond buying binge won't help the economy in any meaningful way. No sooner had I mentioned that the bulls should be given ... Read More »"
    The Risk Manager Report - September 26, 2012. "The first step to successful investing is to identify the Market's "Big Picture" Environment in terms of risk versus reward. Stay in tune with the risk/reward relationship of the market with State's ... Read More »"   
    New Home Sales Hold Steady in August.
    NAAIM Index- Active Managers Stick With Bulls.  
    FHFA House Price Index Up Slightly in July.  
    The Daily Decision for Wednesday, 9/26/12. 
   
Bullish Sentiment Pulls Back in Latest Investors Intelligence Poll.  
    

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

    Market futures are up 0.4% tonight.


2012-9-25: (Tuesday Night): The stock market opened up and then fell off a cliff on words from Philadelphia Fed's Plosser (see below):  Fed talk spooks Wall Street; Stocks drift amid global growth worries. The NASDAQ Composite tumbled 43.05 points (-1.36%) to end at 3,117.73. The Dow declined a not-so- skimpy 101.37 points (-0.75%) to close at 13,457.55; the S&P 500 hemorrhaged 15.3 points (-1.05%) to settle at 1,441.55. Oil closed at 91.14: Oil turns lower on dollar, Plosser comments; "Why oil should be trading at $80"; Gold ended at 1,764: Gold ends up on data; Plosser comments weigh. The VIX rose 1.28 to 15.43
    "U.S. stocks dive with late-session selloff sparked by a Fed official's hawkish comments."
  
    "U.S. stocks drifted lower Tuesday afternoon as worries about global economic growth overshadowed positive reports on the U.S. housing market and consumer confidence. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Fed’s Plosser blasts QE3.  "President of the Philadelphia Fed's comments reflect persistent deep divisions at central bank."
    U.S. stocks' declines deepen on Fed talk.
    Behind confidence-gauge numbers.  
    Which colleges help grads snare top salaries?   "Price tag has gone from unsettling to obscene, but it need not be considered a sunk cost."
    How rich investors stay rich.
    U.S. vote cited in possible delay on Greek bailout
    Irwin Kellner warns: Falling profits spell trouble ahead.  
    Mark Hulbert explains: True meaning of Dow transports’ weakness.
    Darrell Delamaide notes: U.S. election the least of Europe’s worries.  
    Greece needs more time to fix finances- report.  
    Greece: just like 'Groundhog Day'.  
    Spain's long-running market 'inquisition'.  
    Borrowing costs rise at Spanish auction.  
    David Weidner says, Don’t let Obama claim this victory.  
    Paul Farrell cautions: Dow will repeat 2007-08 peak-crash cycle.  
    Amy Hoak advises: Home woes may scuttle your FHA mortgage.  
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    And Now A Word From...  "Yesterday morning we spent a fair amount of time listening to the arguments presented by the bear camp. To be sure, the list of negatives espoused by my friend and colleague Curtis Bergquist (who has been managing client assets for more than 30 years) was not all inclusive. I told Curt that I had a deadline and that my readers don't tend to put up with more than a couple thousand words, so he agreed to keep it short and stick to the key points (something that Curt tends to struggle with as his arguments tend to be voluminous and rarely lack enthusiasm). And all in all, I think we ... Read More »"
    The 'Pain Trade' vs. the 'Protect the Gain' Trade. "With the 3rd Quarter fast approaching, one of the hottest topics of various financial sites and blogs is the behavior of both relatively faster money traders and more staid funds going into quarter ... Read More »"   
    Richmond Fed Indices Show Improvement.
    Consumer Confidences Spikes Higher in September.  
    FHFA House Price Index Up Slightly in July.  
    The Daily Decision for Tuesday, 9/25/12. 
   
Case-Shiller Home Price Index Improves For 3rd Straight Month.  
   
ECB's Bond Buying Program May Face Legal Scrutiny.  
    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are mixed (flat) again tonight.


2012-9-24: (Monday Night): The stock market closed down today, but not as precipitously as Friday's forecasts suggested:  EU confusion drags stocks; Stocks weighed down by growth worries. The NASDAQ Composite drooped 19.18 points (-0.60%) to end at 3,160.78. The Dow subtracted another skimpy 20.66 points (-0.15%) to close at 13,558.92; the S&P 500 parted with 3.26 points (-0.22%) to settle at 1,456.89. Oil backed up to 92.05: Oil, gold fall as dollar, bonds gain on growth worries; stocks near flat; "Why oil should be trading at $80"; Gold ended at 1,768. The VIX rose 0.17 to 14.15.
    "S&P extends losses to a third session, as leaders differ over how to confront their regional debt crisis."
  
    "U.S. stocks were under pressure Monday, as persistent pessimism over the global business climate weighed on markets. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Oil futures fall as debt crisis back in focus.
    Pump prices are stubborn.  "Gasoline's making a slow descent from summer peak so drivers have to wait weeks for relief."
    Muni plays pay off for Pimco's Gross.  
    Pick your stocks for 2013.  "Wall Street's rosy predictions for corporate profits could be a bust. Favor firms with low expectations.
    Fear and greed are facing off.  
    IMF no ‘yes-man’ for euro zone, Lagarde says
    Fed's Williams: QE3 may be expanded.  
    Bundesbank will seek extra leverage at ECB?.  
    Treasurys gain as Spain, Greece worries resume.
    Corporate China — exposed abroad.  
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking Ahead to Tuesday's Market.
    A Visit To The Bear Den.  "Since Ben Bernanke announced the launch of what is now being called by many "QEinfinity," the stock market has actually done very little. In fact, the S&P 500 is up just 0.16 points or 0.01% since the big announcement was made on Thursday, September 13th. And with stocks essentially moving sideways on a closing basis last week, the argument in the analyst community over what comes next continues to rage. As such, I thought it might be a good idea to sit down with one of my colleagues who just happens to be uber bearish at the present time, in an attempt to objectively consider the bear case these days. ... Read More »"
    We Now Interrupt Coverage of iPhone 5 To Bring You. "I tweeted about iPhone5 mania a few times this past week and then wondered who needed more to "get a life", those willing to wait on line for hours, or me? But the Apple iPhone5 story was one which ... Read More »"   
    Germany's IFO Business Climate Index Slides in September.  
    Trade Alert - Insiders Portfolio.
    The Daily Decision for Monday, 9/24/12. 
    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Stock market futures are mixed (essentially flat) tonight.


2012-9-21: (Friday Night): The stock market opened up and then closed mixed on this quadruple-witching day:  Stocks suffer weekly loss; Stocks pare gains, finish mixed. The NASDAQ Composite mosied up 6.66 points (0.13%) to end at 3,179.96. The Dow subtracted a skimpy 17.46 points (-0.13%) to close at 13,579.47; the S&P 500 pared 0.11 points (-0.01%) to settle at 1,460.15. Oil closed at 93.15: Oil edges higher, but notches 6% weekly loss; "Why oil should be trading at $80"; Gold ended at 1,776: Gold futures post modest weekly gain. The VIX rose 0.10 to 13.97.
    "Nine S&P 500 members have announced payout increases this week, as firms spend cash hoards"
  
    "U.S. stocks shaved earlier gains and finished mixed Friday, as investors kept tabs on the global economy. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Do transports signal a sell?  "The wheels came off the transport sector this week as the benchmark tumbled 5%. For those who heed Dow Theory, that means it's time to pull over."
    Many S&P 500 companies forecasting third-quarter misses.  "Of the companies providing guidance so far, 80% are running below Wall Street estimates — the most negative outlook since 2006."
    Spain's 2-year bonds give up Draghi-inspired gains.  
    Fiscal cliff would hit poor, rich the hardest.   
    The 99% can invest like 1%.  "The rich are different from the rest of us, except when it comes to types of investments. Here are three portfolio diversifiers, writes Jonathan Burton."
    Spendy hedge-fund returns lagging
    Mark Hulbert warns: Stocks’ future return: Just 5.6% annualized.  
    Jon Markman writes: Dumb money sees a rally, so gird for a dip.
    On the other hand, Howard Gold says we're On the cusp of a big new bull market.  
    Al Lewis says We fear China beating us at our own game, while Jon Friedman opines: Reckless Romney’s strategy isn’t working.
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    Free Market Advice- Worth About What You Pay For It?  "I have made plenty of trading mistakes, big and small, but have perhaps finally learned two important lessons: A) Risk management is probably the most important skill a trader can learn and B) it is a ... Read More »"
    Tough To Get In. "One of the most difficult aspects of managing money is to get new money invested when stocks are in rally mode. Unfortunately, not all clients and/or subscribers begin on January 1 each year. No, some people insist on putting their money to work at times other than the beginning of a month, quarter, or year. As such, it can be challenging to find a good spot/time to bite the bullet and get this new money "in line" with your current strategy. Such is the case right now. Our active risk management strategy went long the stock market on July 26 ... Read More »"   
    There Goes That Siren Song Again.
    The Daily Decision for Friday, 9/21/12. 
    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Mid-September into early October is typically a "down" time in the stock market. Also, Monday is expected to be a "down" day. We'll see.


2012-9-20: (Thursday Night): With the stock market quite overbought, professional investors are stepping back again today:  Dow scores late-day gain; Stocks 'anticipating a hangover'. The NASDAQ Composite edged back 6.66 points (-.0.21%) to end at 3,175.96. The Dow added a skimpy 18.97 points (0.14%) to close at 13,596.93; the S&P 500 retracted 0.79 points (-0.05%) to settle at 1,460.26. Oil closed at 92.14: Oil futures end lower on lackluster global data; Gold ended at 1,771: Gold edges lower; silver bucks downward trend. The VIX rose 0.30 to 14.18.
    "Data from U.S., China and the euro zone do little to curb concerns about the health of the global economy though Dow sees late-day reversal."
  
    "U.S. stocks logged modest declines Thursday, as disappointing reports in Asia and Europe showed further signs of slowing global growth. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Speedy trading in spotlight.  "Senate committee participants suggest regulators consider taking steps to curb manipulation and stabilize the markets after recent technological snafus that have hurt investor confidence."
    U.S. stocks drop as global data disappoint.  "U.S. stocks fall after economic reports intensify worries about the world economy."
    What's on bond guru Bill Gross's mind today?  
    Pagnato: Stock moves and U.S. elections (audio).   
    Fed fighting a losing battle?
    Don’t expect a big raise next year
    ‘Smart Money’ selling Apple.  "Sophisticated investors who know more, know early, and have more analysis power were the sellers of $767 million of Apple stock Wednesday."
    It's Time to Take Money Off the Table- Here's Where to Begin.  
    Spain vs. the Wicked Witch.  "The Spanish government sells more at an auction, but markets may be running out of patience with the bailout-holdout nation. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy may think he's got some latitude to maneuver, but the markets may well have another idea (The Tell)."
    China, euro-zone PMI highlight global fears.  
    Greece, troika need several days 
for cuts
.  
    Liikanen: Bank shareholders must bear risk.  
    U.S. jobless claims show little improvement.  "Few improvement in hiring trends across the nation even as claims for benefits decline."
    Household debt climbs at fastest rate in 4 years  
    Kevin Marder proclaims: Stocks on firm ground,  
    Manufacturing in Philadelphia area contracts,  
    Bullard backs QE3.  
    Rosengren: Japan lessons.  
    U.S. sells TIPS at negative yield again; bonds up.  
    Tax-free party over at Amazon.  
    Romney vs. the 47% freeloaders.  
    Darrell Delamaide asks: is Romney too rich to be president?  "Mitt Romney is just the latest wealthy candidate who has trouble connecting with the rest of us, writes Darrell Delamaide."
    What Romney should have said.  "What Romney didn’t say, notes Diana Furchtgott-Roth, was that his policies might turn some of the 47% into taxpayers."
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking Ahead to Friday's Market.  
    Another Cycle To Consider. "Although the bears will contend that stocks are overbought, that sentiment is too upbeat, and that the market is a single headline away from launching into a significant downtrend, so far at least, it appears that the major indices are merely consolidating the recent QE-induced gains during this quadruple-witch options expiration week. And since the intraday volatility hasn't been too intense this week, I've had a little time on my hands to review some bigger picture indicators and themes. If ... Read More »"   
    Leading Economic Index Dips Slightly in August.
    Philly Fed Improves in September.  
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Shows Improvement.
    U.S. Flash PMI Shows Slow Growth Mode Continuing.  
    Weekly Jobless Claims Hold Steady.  
    The Daily Decision for Thursday, 9/20/12.
   
China's Flash PMI Shows Little Improvement.  
    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are up ¼% tonight.


2012-9-19: (Wednesday Night): The stock market rebounded slightly today: Stocks build a solid base; Investors shun stocks, sell oil. The NASDAQ Composite gained a modest 4.82 points (0.15%) to end at 3,182.62. The Dow added another skimpy 13.32 points (0.10%) to close at 13,577.96; the S&P 500 tacked on 1.73 points (0.12%) to settle at 1,461.05. Oil closed at 91.80: Oil tanks after supply data: "Crude-oil futures drop 3%, extending the week's losses after report shows a larger-than-expected increase in supplies."; Gold ended at 1,773: Gold pares gains after early BOJ boost. The VIX fell 0.30 to 13.88.
    "Gains in housing starts and home sales underpin a modest advance for the markets."
  
    "Stocks turned in another lackluster performance. Instead, investors have shifted their focus to oil prices, which fell to a six-week low Wednesday. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    U.S. stocks jump with housing in focus.  
    OPEC’s El-Badri says oil market well supplied.
    Supply data leaked ahead of release?  
    @reformedbroker:Is crude slide good or bad?   
    After QE3, is inflation back from the dead?.
    Romney remarks were deplorable. "Clint Eastwood debated an imaginary president; and Mitt Romney seems to be running to lead an imaginary America, a country where 47% are tax-avoiding parasites, writes MarketWatch's Rex Nutting.
    Mitt Romney's comments were on the mark.  "The voters need to face facts: We can't survive with so many dependent on government handouts, writes Rep. Allen West (R., Fla.)"
    Slide show: The 47% not paying income tax.  
    Romney doubles down on 47%.  
    Housing rebound taking shape,  "After data on housing construction and resales, it appears the sector is gaining strength, writes Rex Nutting."
    Existing-home sales jump.  
    Canceled contracts dog real-estate recovery.  
    Housing starts up.  
    Irwin Kellner says: QE3 is much ado about nothing.  
    Will QE3 bring reflation or stagflation?  "Regardless of what fiscal policy Congress and the president pursue in the coming quarters, the U. S. is now moving firmly on a path toward inflation, writes Kirk Spano."
    Why junk bonds are a better way to play QE3.  
    Michael Ashbaugh: Charting a technical breakout.  
    Mark Hulbert discusses: Lopsidedly bullish consensus on Apple.  Wall Street's overwhelmingly bullish on Apple, but you can
't look to Wall Street analysts for advice on when to sell shares. History shows us why.  
      
    State of the Markets articles include:   
    Looking Ahead to Thursday's Market.   
    What Are The Cycles Saying Now?. "With the market having pushed higher by a nifty +14.7% from June 1 through September 14, a move that was aided by the announcement of QE programs in both the ... Read More »"   
    Existing Home Sales Strong in August.
    Housing Starts Up in August, Permits Lower.  
    NAAIM Index Shows Managers Becoming Skeptical.  
    Investors Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Still Rising.
    The Daily Decision for Wednesday, 9/19/12.
    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are flat tonight.


2012-9-18: (Tuesday Night): With the stock market quite overbought, professional investors are stepping back again today:  3 sectors set to benefit from QE3; Stocks flat as Apple, Fed set the floor. The NASDAQ Composite edged back 0.87 points (-.0.03%) to end at 3,177.80. The Dow added a skimpy 11.09% points (0.09%) to close at 13,564.79; the S&P 500 relracted 1.87 points (-0.13%) to settle at 1,459.32. Oil closed at 95.38: Oil pulls back as analysts debate prior-day tumble: "Oil prices remain under pressure on Tuesday as analysts continue to speculate over the cause of a dramatic fall the prior day."; Gold ended at 1,769: Gold ends nearly flat; platinum among top losers. The VIX rose 0.39 to 14.20.
    "Stocks stay in a drifting mode as a gauge of builders's sentiment shows improvement, and shipper FedEx reduces its profit forecast."
  
    "The Fed and Apple appear to be keeping the stock market from pulling back too sharply this week. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    QE3: 3 sectors set to win.  "Based on previous rounds of quantitative easing, precious metals and commodities seem most likely to gain, writes John Nyaradi. (Trading Deck)"
    Fed’s Evans: QE3 provides crucial support.  
    Why QE3 makes retirees queasy.   
    U.S. stocks still adrift as post-QE3 glow fades.
    Is your mortgage-interest deduction safe? "Fear not, if you’re someone who benefits from the mortgage-interest deduction: Politically, it remains nearly impossible to get rid of the perk.
    Obama is stealing Wall Street from Romney.  "Like it or not, writes MarketWatch columnist David Weidner, Wall Street is betting on four more years of an Obama administration."
    Romney video diverts attention from campaign.  
    Romney's unflattering take on 'the 47%'.  
    Kevin Marder proclaims: Stocks are looking rosy,  
    Oil firms, banks pressure European stocks,  
    Dutch vote for euro highlights north-south gap.  
    Michael Ashbaugh: Charting a technical breakout.  
    Mark Hulbert discusses: Stock market rally was nice while it lasted.  This title is, possibly, a trifle misleading. Mark Hulbert's doyen is forecasting a higher stock market by February.  
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    A Market Signal Not To Be Ignored. "Although the DJIA finished lower Monday for the fourteenth time out of the last fifteen weeks, I found some good news when running through my weekly review of our favorite stock market indicators. But before I get into what could easily be viewed as a bullish argument going forward, let me offer the caveat that stocks have run a long way over the last week, over the last month, and since the dog days of summer. As such, we need to recognize that the market is becoming a little frothy and could easily succumb to a pullback or what I like to call a "sloppy period" in the coming days ... Read More »"   
    
    Homebuilder Confidence Continues to Increase in September.  
    FedEx Earnings Beat Estimates But Cuts Guidance.
    Yields Fall at Spanish T-Bill Auction.  
    German ZEW Confidence Index Upticks.  
    The Daily Decision for Tuesday, 9/18/12.
    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are flat tonight.


2012-9-17: (Monday Night): Right on schedule, stocks backed up today:  Stocks wilt; Apple at high; Stocks: Investors step back. The NASDAQ Composite backpedaled 5.28 points (-.0.17%) to end at 3,178.57. The Dow retreated 40.27 points (-0.30%) to close at 13,553.10; the S&P 500 relinquished 4.58 points (-0.31%) to settle at 1,461.19. Oil closed at 96.65: Oil ends lower on reserve release rumors; Gold ended at 1,765: Gold futures edge lower after Fed glow The VIX rose 0.08 to 14.59.
    "Major indexes end lower for the first day in five, hit by profit-taking and unease over world tensions."
  
    "U.S. stocks were in the red Monday as investors took a step back from last week's Fed-inspired rally. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Equity party may end soon.  
    5 market catalysts to follow QE3.  
    Apple tops $700 after hours.   "Major indexes end lower for the first day in five, hit by profit-taking and unease over world tensions."
    IPhone 5 dials up a record.  Apple sees 2 million-plus orders for new iPhone 5 in 24 hours, double that seen for the iPhone 4S."
    Apple prints money faster than the Fed.
    A wistful GM exit strategy. "It's unlikely the auto maker's stock price will reach breakeven for the U.S. stake anytime soon.
    GM wants out of U.S. stake.  
    Moody's cuts 2013 forecast for auto sales.  
    Rally in trouble as negatives weigh in.
    Craig Stephen warns: Beware China’s quantitative tightening,  
    Peter Brimelow advises that QE3 rules — for now,  
    Chuck Jaffe suggests: Meet the best investor you’ve never heard of.  
    One way or the other, Germany will pay.  
    Mark Hulbert discusses: What QE3 rally and Lehman demise share.    
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    The Need To Be Right (And Other Performance Killers). "If you've been reading my meandering morning market missive for any length of time, you probably know that I've been managing other people's money for quite some time. Over the past 25+ years, I've seen lots of talented as well very intelligent professional investors come and go in this business. I've seen the likes of Joe "I'm the Greatest" Granville, Robert Prechter, Elaine Garzarelli, Abby Joseph Cohen, and then more recently John Paulson at the heights of their careers. And ... Read More »"   
    Ben and Mario's Most Excellent Adventure.  "Certainly the actions by Ben Bernanke and the FOMC, combined with the ECB announcement the prior week, have dominated the headlines and largely accounted for the global rally which added about +3.9% ... Read More »"
    Empire Manufacturing Index Down Again in September.  
    Egan-Jones Downgrades US Credit Rating.
    The Daily Decision for Monday, 9/17/12.
    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are flat tonight.


2012-9-14: (Friday Night): Stocks rose again today, apparently on a follow-through from yesterday's Fed news:  Stocks up 4% in two weeks; Stocks end week at multi-year highs. The NASDAQ Composite rocketed up 28.12 points (0.89%) to end at 3,183.95. The Dow added 53.51 points 0.55%) to close at 13,593.37; the S&P 500 vaulted 5.78 points (0.40%) to settle at 1,465.77. Oil closed at 99.00: Crude closes at $99 a barrel, up nearly 3% on week; Gold ended at 1,773: Gold rises, notches weekly gain after Fed moves. The VIX fell 0.46 to 14.51.
    "Major indexes cap another weekly rise, still basking in the aftermath of the latest central-bank moves."
  
    "Investors were on a Fed-induced high this week, pushing stocks to their best levels in several years. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Spain bailout delay poses final market hurdle.  
    Spain to raise €2.74B via energy-sector overhaul.   
    Markets in Spanish hands?  "With the question of Fed stimulus out of the way and its effects streaming through global markets, Spain is remaining hurdle, and not just for Europe."
    Mark Hulbert explains: Same forces at play in Lehman collapse, QE3 rally.  "It’s fitting that the stock market would celebrate the fourth anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy by staging a huge rally, Mark Hulbert writes."
    10 non-QE-addicted stocks. "These stocks are likeliest to be resilient once the Fed asset-buying euphoria fades away.
    What Fed's MBS buys mean for your mortgage.  "Try lower refi rates. But the Fed by itself won't be able to get the U.S. housing market back on its feet (The Tell)."
    Fed seeks stimulus via mortgage securities.  
    Fed chief Bernanke meets the press: highlights.
    The Fed lands a haymaker against crisis,  
    Asia less likely to loosen policy in wake of Fed move,  "How latest round of U.S. asset purchases could discourage Asian central banks from new easing."
    Twisting China's view of Fed stimulus.  
    Fed raises stakes for Bank of Japan.  
    Howard Gold discusses Grading Obama on the economy.    
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    Insider Buying Report - 9/13/12. "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 »"   
    "An Amazing Time at Apple" But Will The Magic Fade?  "Wednesday’s launch of the new iPhone5 perhaps generated as much advance publicity and speculation as any new product launch we have ever seen, and the comments surrounding the launch have continued non-stop. So what have they been saying? It would seem appropriate to lead with the introductory remarks by Tim Cook, Apple CEO, “It’s an amazing time at Apple…I feel the need to be the best….We don’t view our products as a checklist of features…this is the biggest thing to ... Read More »"
    University of Michigan Sentiment Surprises to the Upside.  
    Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization See Big Declines in August.
    The Daily Decision for Friday, 9/14/12.
    Retail Sales Improve in August.  
    CPI Report: Inflation In Line With Consensus.  
       
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Another up week spins to a close. Given the magnitude of this "up" move, I would expect some backing and filling to take place next week, but the intermediate trend is still up. (This may be why the VIX ("fear") index rose today instead of falling further.) In the meantime, the VIX has gotten fairly low, and sentiment indicators are pretty positive, which, from a contrarian standpoint, tends to signal balance-restoring scares just ahead. Also, charts show (below), the indices have broken above their trendlines, moving almost vertically. That's an invitation to a temporary pullback.


2012-9-13: (Thursday Night): Stocks rose heftily today, on an open-ended QE3 promise from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke:  Fed sparks Wall Street rally; Rally pushes stocks to nearly 5-year highs. The NASDAQ Composite rocketed up 41.52 points (1.33%) to end at 3,155.83. The Dow erupted 206.74 points 1.55%) to close at 13,540.09; the S&P 500 vaulted 23.43 points (1.63%) to settle at 1,459.99. Oil closed at 98.05: Oil gains; Fed, Mideast tensions in focus; Gold ended at 1,768: Gold at highest in nearly seven months. The VIX fell 1.82 to 13.98.
    "U.S. stocks extend gains after the Federal Reserve opts for a third round of quantitative easing."
  
    "A rally on Wall Street gained momentum Thursday afternoon, sending stocks to fresh multi-year highs, as investors welcomed the Federal Reserve's new bond-buying plan. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Fed will do whatever it takes to get hiring going.  "Fed up with the anemic pace of hiring, the Federal Reserve promised that it would do whatever it takes to reduce unemployment, writes Rex Nutting."
    Federal Reserve to launch QE3.  
    QE3 offers no joy for savers.  
    Text of Federal Reserve's policy statement.  
    Highlights of Bernanke press conference.  
    When will Fed know it's time to stop buying bonds?  "Bernanke says the Fed doesn't have a particular number in mind for the unemployment rate to fall before ending QE3."
    Long-term Treasurys drop after Fed decision,  
    Fed plan lifts financials close to 52-week high,  
       Jon D. Markman presents: Parsing the Ben Show, zombies and ovens.  
    Kevin Marder advises that Stocks haven't topped yet.  
    Gold bugs haven’t lost the Midas touch.  
    U.S. companies awash in cash.   
    Darell Delamaide says: Ryan vanishing in Romney’s shadow.
    Peter Brimelow describes Another successful fully-invested strategy.  
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    Bernanke Delivers- Open Ended QE3 Begins September 14th.    
    Don't Miss The Fed!  "Most experienced traders are familiar with the age-old Wall Street saw, "Don't fight the Fed." The idea here is that when the Fed is in the process of either stimulating the economy or slowing inflation, they usually succeed in their mission and the markets tend to react accordingly. History has shown that when the Fed's monetary policy has been "easy," it has paid to own stocks. However, I'm guessing that most investors aren't aware of just how important "Fed days" are to the market. The concept of "Don't fight the Fed" tends to focus on the intermediate- to long-term time frame, meaning that investors can ... Read More »"
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Improves.  
    Producer Price Index Hotter Than Expected.
    The Daily Decision for Thursday, 9/13/12.
    Weekly Jobless Claims Up Again.  
       
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are up more than 1% tonight.


2012-9-12: (Wednesday Night): Stocks rose slightly today, on hopes regarding QE3 and the Eurozone:  Stocks wary ahead of Fed; Stocks edge higher ahead of Fed. The NASDAQ Composite clambered up 8.78 points (0.32%) to end at 3,114.31. The Dow tiptoed up 9.99 points (0.07%) to close at 13,333.35; the S&P 500 uncoiled and stretched up 3.00 points (0.21%) to settle at 1,435.55. Oil closed at 96.81: Oil prices fall after unexpected supply increase; Gold ended at 1,734: Gold closes lower after seesawing session. The VIX fell 0.61 to 15.80.
    "Investors are cautious a day ahead of possible monetary-easing moves by Fed's Bernanke."
  
    "
U.S. stocks closed modestly higher Wednesday, as investors look beyond the latest development in Europe to focus on the possibility that the Federal Reserve will announce another round of quantitative easing. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Moody's warns ahead of 'fiscal cliff (video)':. "Ratings agency says budget negotiations ahead of the looming "fiscal cliff" will likely determine the future its triple-A rating on U.S. government debt."
    'QE3' hopes running high.  "Fed will continue to prepare for launch of QE3 at its meeting this week but may delay the countdown until later this year, analysts say. As a result, the Fed’s low-rate pledge will take center stage."
    Why Fed’s words mean more than its actions.  "The Fed may try something new on Thursday: Promise to allow the economy to get back all the way before raising rates, writes Rex Nutting."
    Vote: What's the Fed likely to do Thursday?  
    Powell: 7 QE3 moves to make with your money.  
    Expectations ramp up for QE3 — but not now? 
    Paul Ryan: QE3 does more harm than good.
    Financial crisis to cost $7.6 trillion by 2018.
    Michael Gayed explains How uncertainty turned bullish.  
    When will we know when the Euro crisis is over?  "There's been a sprinkling of good news out of the euro zone recently, including Draghi's bond plan and German court ruling. Vote in our poll."
    German court opens door to rescue fund.
    Treasurys fall after auction, German court ruling.
    Mario Draghi’s do-or- die moment.
    Matthew Lynn warns U.K. will lose AAA, and chaos will follow
    Mark Hulbert asks  Who’s afraid of the fiscal cliff?  
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking To Thursday: All About the Fed.  
    Majority of Economist Now Looking For QE3.  "Polls from both Bloomberg and CNBC today indicate that the vast majority of economists surveyed now expect Ben Bernanke's Fed to announce a new round of bond-buying tomorrow... ... Read More »"
    German Constitutional Court Approves ESM.  
   German High Court Doesn't Say "Nein!" Exactly, But..."I would like to emphasize a comment I heard earlier this morning on CNBC. The German Constitutional Court has ruled that it will not stop the ESM from being formed by rejecting the complainants requests and removing the temporary injunction. However, before you join the crowds in celebrating the ruling there is a detail or two that should probably be considered. The court also ruled that the German liability as related to the funding of the European Stability Mechanism cannot exceed 190 billion euros as things stand now. Any increase to the amount which Germany ... Read More »"
    NAAIM Survey: Managers Sticking With Bull Case. "The National Association of Active Investment Managers' survey shows what actual money managers are doing with their client accounts. This week, the survey shows... ... Read More »"
    Bullish Sentiment Inches Up in Latest Investor's Intelligence Poll.           Wholesale Inventories Rise in July.  
       
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are minimally lower tonight.


2012-9-11: (Tuesday Night): Stocks rose today, on hopes regarding QE3 and the Eurozone: U.S. stocks end higher; Dow at highest since 2007, Dow closes at 5-year high. The NASDAQ Composite inched up a pathetic 0.51 points (0.02%) to end at 3,104.53. The Dow shinnied up 69.07 points (0.52%) to close at 13,323.36; the S&P 500 arched its back and swelled 4.48 points (0.31%) to settle at 1,433.56. Oil closed 2% higher at 96.42: Oil futures back to black, push toward $96; Gold ended at 1,741: Gold rallies more than 2% after payrolls report. The VIX rose 0.13 to 16.41.
    "Stocks rise ahead of decisions this week by Germany’s top court and the Federal Reserve."
  
    "U.S. stocks advanced Tuesday, rebounding from the previous day's pullback, as investors geared up for key decisions out of Europe and from the Federal Reserve later this week. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Moody's warns ahead of 'fiscal cliff (video)':. "Ratings agency says budget negotiations ahead of the looming "fiscal cliff" will likely determine the future its triple-A rating on U.S. government debt."
    'QE3' hopes running high.  "Fed will continue to prepare for launch of QE3 at its meeting this week but may delay the countdown until later this year, analysts say. As a result, the Fed’s low-rate pledge will take center stage."
    Six reasons 'QE3' may not come this week
    Fed holds the power to halt gold's rally.  
    Treasurys fall; yields touch 3-week high.  
    5 money moves a ‘risk-on’ strategist is making now
    Euro-zone day of reckoning.  "A decision due Wednesday by a German constitutional court could derail efforts to stem the debt crisis, resulting in a significant market collapse, not only in Europe, but also globally, according to Kiron Sarkar."
    Irwin Kellner asks: Are you better off than four years ago?
    Darrell Delamaide notes that France toes German line on austerity.  
    Michael Ashbaugh: Charting a bullish backdrop.
    Dutch elections test Europe’s austerity resolve.
    One last boom for the boomers.
    Paul Farrell says: Fiscal cliff. Crash. Depression: A way out.
    Boehner: 'Fiscal cliff' may be unavoidable.  
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    A Personal Note About 9/11.  "I am not usually one to get too emotional about things but one cannot help but have a lot of memories come back after watching a fair amount of today’s 9/11 Anniversary events and memorials. I thought some of you might be interested in hearing my personal story that day, especially those who do not live and work in the New York Metro area. I will keep this as brief as possible, as I could probably write for hours. I was working at the time for one of the world’s largest consulting/marketing/communications firms and the morning of 9/11 we were ... Read More »"
   The Daily Decision - September 11, 2012.
    We Must Never Forget.
    NFIB Small Business Optimism Index Improves.         
       
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are up ¼% tonight.


2012-9-10: (Monday Night): Stocks fell today, on a speech given by Mario Draghi asserting that ECB bond buys are back on again: Stocks trip to session lows, Investors cautious ahead of Fed, German vote. The NASDAQ Composite wilted 32.40 points (-1.02%) to end at 3,104.02. The Dow relinquished 52.35 points (-0.39%) to close at 13,254.29; the S&P 500 disgorged 8.84 points (-0.61%) to settle at 1,429.08. Oil closed 2% higher at 96.42: Oil futures back to black, push toward $96; Gold ended at 1,741: Gold rallies more than 2% after payrolls report. The VIX rose 1.90 to 16.28.
    "Wall Street gets swept up in a late-day selloff. Expectations are running high that the Fed is set to signal another round of bond buying."
  
    "U.S. stocks ended lower Monday, as investors remain cautious ahead of a key decision out of Europe and the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Economy ‘highly mediocre,’ top forecaster says.
    Euro optimism:It won’t last.  "
Markets forgetting that the German Parliament can veto the floated aid programs, writes David Marsh."
    Germany's Merkel keen on easing Greece deal
    Germany’s court to decide rescue fund’s fate.  
    German depression on tap.  "Legendary fund manager George Soros says the recession in Europe will spread to Germany, euro zone's largest economy, within six months."
    EU banks face ringfence on trading assets
    Portfolio for the ‘New Normal’.
    Avri Gilbert warns: Something bad is about to hit the market.
    Emerging-market bonds crush the competition.  
    Time to harvest farm-commodity funds.
    Bad time for gasoline prices to rise.
    Hollande’s French honeymoon ends early.
    Day trading is done, but it’s not dead.
    Peter Brimelow advises that Gold gets some powerful friends.  
    How to collect coins.  
    Consumer credit drops for first time in 11 months.  "Consumer credit declines in July as Americans turned to their plastic less and as growth in student loans cooled, data show."  
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking Ahead to Tuesday's Market.  
   President Clinton’s Convention Speech vs. the Misery Indicators“The state of the job market and a variety of other “misery” indicators will be in the sightlines of Republicans in light of Bill Clinton‘s unabashed and entertaining defense of the President’s ... Read More»"
    Quotable Quotes: “Blanko-Scheck fur Schuldent-Staaten"  "We had the “Big Four” of stories dominating the headlines last week: The Democratic Convention in Charlotte, NC, the ECB action and Draghi press conference, further speculation over the FOMC meeting and possible announcement next week, and the disappointing jobs report, which tied into the other three storylines. In terms of market action, the ECB certainly stole the spotlight, helping to lead the S&P to a new multi-year high, most of it achieved on Thursday’s melt-up. On the week, the SPX was +2.2%, the Dow +1.6%, and the NASDAQ Comp +2.3%, helped again in no small part by AAPL. (The NASDAQ actually put in a ... Read More »"
    Key Economic Data from China.  
    Jobs Report Disappoints; July and June Numbers Revised Lower.       
       
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are flat tonight.


2012-9-7: (Friday Night): Stocks closed slightly higher today, on bad news (suggesting that Fed intervention is imminent): Dow clings to 2007 high, Stocks: Weak jobs report fuels QE3 hopes. The NASDAQ Composite inched up 0.51 points (0.02%) to end at 3,136.42. The Dow crept up 14.54 points (0.11%) to close at 13,306.64; the S&P 500 added another 5.8 points (0.40%) to settle at 1,437.92. Oil closed 2% higher at 96.42: Oil futures back to black, push toward $96; Gold ended at 1,741: Gold rallies more than 2% after payrolls report. The VIX fell 1.22 to 14.38.
    Nasdaq at best level since 2000; S&P, Dow also rally.

    "Nasdaq paces weekly gains, up more than 2%."
  
    "U.S. stocks ended the week higher for the first time in three weeks, after the European Central Bank satisfied investors with an unlimited bond buying program and hopes grew that the Federal Reserve will follow through with its own stimulus program next week. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    U.S. stocks mixed after nonfarm-payrolls report.  "Like the report itself — lower unemployment rate but fewer new jobs — market's reaction is mixed."
    Job market has improved, but gloom remains.  "As election campaigning heats up, Republicans and Democrats are cherry-picking data to make their case about the labor market’s performance over the past four years. Here’s the truth."
    U.S. unemployment rate falls to 8.1%.  
    'Little solace' in 8.1% rate.  
    Why S&P breakout will continue.
    Jobs data and U.S. housing.  "A disappointing jobs report confirms to some economists that 2012 housing recovery will be modest."
    Get busy, Fed.  
    Stubborn politicians threaten ECB-fueled rally.  "Falling yields in Spain and Italy can’t be sustained if Madrid continues to drag its feet on applying for help from Europe’s rescue funds, strategists say."
    Irish luck — and bonds — returns.
    Dividends hidden value in European stocks.  "Opportunistic investors and managers of diversified global portfolios are drawn to beaten-down European stocks. Dividends are one reason."
    Putin is stockpiling gold.  "Russia and other emerging-market countries are bulking up gold reserves, and Brett Arends looks for an explanation."
    Silver steals the spotlight from gold.  
    How to collect coins.  
    Howard Gold discusses Romney's jobs fantasy.    
    Mark Hulbert says: Who said ‘sell in May and go away'?  
    High-yield bond defaults surge in August.  
    Paul Farrell warns that Romney, Obama are killing Planet Earth.  
    China's floundering stocks spark debate.  "Analysts' opinions are divided over whether more stimulus can help reboot China’s growth and resuscitate its ailing stock markets."
    Playing 'the Plan' in China.  "Pain for Chinese stocks in the short term may be offset in the long term, thanks to structural changes in China’s current Five-Year Plan."
    China adds highways to stimulus plan.  
    Britain back to business in a big way.  
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking Ahead to Friday's Market.  
    Jobs Report Disappoints; July and June Numbers Revised Lower“The Big Kahuna of economic reports - Nonfarm Payrolls - disappointed in August. According to the Labor Department, the economy created just 96K jobs last months. What's worse is... ... Read More »"
    Draghi Didn't Solve Europe's Problems Did He?  "TMario Draghi's introduction of the OMT (Outright Monetary Transactions) yesterday came off about as expected - largely because the details of the plan had pretty much been leaked on Wednesday. To the bulls, the plan was a breath of fresh air because it meant that the ECB was at least trying to do something to stop the rate contagion in Europe. And at first blush, it looks like the plan might have a shot at ... Read More »"
    Chinese Announce 1 Trillion Infrastructure Improvements.  "The Chinese government has announced significant infrastructure improvements this week... ... Read More »"
    German Industrial Production Improves in July.  
    The Daily Decision for Friday, 9/7/12.     
       
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    The NASDAQ and the S&P 500 broke out to new four-year highs this week. This bull market is still intact.


2012-9-6: (Thursday Night): Stocks soared today, on a speech given by Mario Draghi asserting that ECB bond buys are back on again: Stocks hit multiyear highs, ECB plan sends stocks rallying . The NASDAQ Composite surged 66.54 points (2.17&) to end at 3,069.27. The Dow annexed 244.52 points (1.82%) to close at 13,292.00; the S&P 500 surged another 28.68 points (2.04%) to settle at 1,432.12. Oil closed (very slighter) higher at 94.75: Oil stocks rally on firmer crude, euro boost; Gold ended at 1,699: Gold atop $1,700. The VIX fell 2.14 to 15.60.
    Nasdaq at best level since 2000; S&P, Dow also rally.

    "U.S. stocks have best day since June after ECB says it will launch unlimited bond purchases."
  
    "U.S. stocks surged Thursday, with all three major indexes closing at the highest levels in years, as optimistic investors went on a buying spree. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Draghi: Bond buys are on.  "
The next six days will make or break the markets, writes Michael Casey.
    No ECB rate cut.
    Bank of England stands pat.
    European stocks consolidate gains on ECB.  
    How to profit from a European bond bailout.  
    ADP private-sector jobs up 201,000 in August.
    First-time unemployment claims fall to 365,000.  
    Planned job cuts running at 20-month low.  
    Kevin Marder warns: Never short a dull market.  
    Hope rises for August jobs.  "Available evidence opens possibility data could top the economist-consensus 125,000 forecast."  
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking Ahead to Friday's Market.  
    ECB To Launch "Outright Monetary Transactions" to Fight Debt Crisis“ECB President Mario Draghi unveiled the central bank’s latest weapon to combat the European sovereign debt crisis on Thursday. The ECB President announced that in response to continued weak economic growth and the disruption in the government bond markets, the central bank will implement “Outright Monetary Transactions.” "We need to be in a position to safeguard the monetary policy transmission mechanism in all countries of the euro area," Mr. Draghi said to reporters at the press conference following the ECB’s ... Read More »"
    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (Services Sector) Improves Again in August.  "The latest data on the state of the services sector of the economy from the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index came in better than expected on Thursday ... Read More »"
    Weekly Jobless Claims Fall 12K.
    ADP Employment Report Surprises To Upside Again in August.  
    The Daily Decision for Thursday, 9/6/12.     
       
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are flat again tonight.


2012-9-5: (Wednesday Night): Stocks dithered again today, closing mixed: Stocks brace for 6 big days, Stocks rudderless in cautious trade . The NASDAQ Composite dropped 5.79 points (-0.19%) to end at 3,069.27. The Dow hopped 11.92 points (0.09%) to close at 13,047.86; the S&P 500 slipped another 1.50 points (-0.11%) to settle at 1,403.44. Oil closed (very slighter) higher at 95.52: Oil ends seesawing day in the black; Gold ended at 1,695: Gold ends down; ECB, jobs data sideline buyers. The VIX fell 0.16 to 17.82.
   
"U.S. stocks closed in mixed territory Tuesday as investors digested two economic reports showing sluggishness in the U.S. economy. More"  
    "U.S. stocks drifted in a narrow range Wednesday, as investors wait to take cues from jobs numbers due out Friday. All eyes are also focused on whether the European Central Bank will act to protect the euro when it meets Thursday morning. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Stocks brace for 6 big days.  "
The next six days will make or break the markets, writes Michael Casey.
    Doubt shrouds Draghi.  "Markets are afloat on expectations that the ECB chief will deliver a detailed plan to steer down borrowing costs for troubled euro-zone countries — yet traders may be getting ahead of themselves."
    Gamble on ECB — with money you can lose.  "Germany may try to derail Draghi’s plan to save the euro, but Matthew Lynn says investors should bet on the ECB — with money they can afford to lose."
    Bond-buy talk lifts euro.  "The euro erases a loss versus the U.S. dollar, with more reports swirling ahead of crucial meeting."
    Euro-zone woes deepen.  "Markit's PMI gauge mired in contraction mode, presupposing onset of "technical recession."
    Greeks reportedly told to work six days.  
    Greece's big underground economy.  
    Danger lurks if ECB disappoints.  
    Democrats increasingly embrace ‘drill, baby, drill’.  "Four years after Republicans made it a chant, Democrats are giving the idea a fuller listen."
    Surprise investing winner under Obama: coal.
    Unions put feet on street.  "Labor groups are backing the president's re-election, and, says an industrial-relations expert, they have his ear, if not all his eforts."
    Bill Gross's secret sauce.  
    Michael Gayed observes that Utilities deja-vu signals new kind of fear
    Todd Harrison sees a crash coming.  
    Mark Hulbert warns that there's More bad news — this time from insiders.  
    Obama’s biggest failure.  "President Barack Obama hasn’t been able to change our political system the way he hoped, writes Rex Nutting."
    Sept. is a downer, no matter how you slice it. 
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking Ahead to Thursday's Market.  
    ECB Plan Leaked: Said To Include Unlimited Buying“A flurry of reports have hit the wires and the Twittershpere this morning indicating that details of the ECB's bond buying program are being finalized ... Read More »"
    Market Movers: PIMCO vs. Goldman.  "Comments by influential analysts often move the markets. Especially when most market participants are currently playing the waiting game. Yesterday, PIMCO squared off against Goldman ... Read More »"
    Where On Earth Are The Values?  "Well here we are, waiting and watching. Waiting on the ECB meeting (Thursday, September 6). Waiting on the Nonfarm Payrolls report (Friday, Sept. 7). Waiting on the European Commission to deliver their proposal on the new banking union (Sept. 11). Waiting on the German constitutional court to provide their ruling on the fate of the free world (aka the EU bailout fund and the Fiscal Compact on Sept 12). Waiting on yet another Fed meeting (Sept. 12-13). And waiting on the latest EU finance ministers meeting, which is currently set for Sept. 14-15. While we're ... Read More »"
    NAAIM Index Shows Managers Increasingly Bullish.  
    The Daily Decision for Wednesday, 9/5/12.
    Investors Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Moves Higher. 
    U.S. Productivity Improves, Labor Costs Hold Steady.  
    China Manufacturing PMI Continues to Decline.     
       
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are flat again tonight.


2012-9-4: (Tuesday Night): Stocks dithered today, closing mixed: Stocks get a second wind, Stocks: A choppy start to September . The NASDAQ Composite hopped 8.1 points (0.26%) to end at 3,075.06. The Dow dropped 54.9 points (-0.42%) to close at 13,035.94; the S&P 500 slipped 1.04 points (-0.12%) to settle at 1,404.94. Oil closed (very slighter) higher at 95.47: Oil ends lower on disappointing manufacturing data; Gold ended at 1,700: Gold ends at more than 5-month high. The VIX fell 0.51 to 17.98.
"Apple's rally is contagious as Dow claws back from triple-digit decline and Nasdaq turns positive."
"U.S. stocks closed in mixed territory Tuesday as investors digested two economic reports showing sluggishness in the U.S. economy. More"

Marketwatch says:
Word on the Street: An economy 'swimming in peanut butter' and three more market quotes.
Has 'QE3' already begun?
Odds tilt in favor of Fed move in September.
Q&A with St. Louis Fed’s James Bullard.
Best Fed move is no move: LaVorgna.
ISM factory index contractsfor third straight month. "Gauge for nation's factory sector weakens, stirring fears that slowdown in manufacturing is lingering."
Kevin Marder asks: Stocks: Calm beforethe storm?
Avi Gulbert asserts: A final rally is still likely.
David Weidner writes: Fool's gold standard. "The rekindled interst in adopting a gold standard is folly, writes David Weidner. The downsides far outweigh the benefits."
Irwin Kellner asks: What’s up with the housing market? "It appears that, after several false starts, the long-depressed housing market is finally climbing out of the basement. But, Irwin Kellner writes, political factors still drag on the rebound."
Moody's warns on EU. "Moody's slaps a negative outlook on the European Union's Aaa debt rating, in line with concerns about the core members of the bloc."
Michael Ashbaugh notes that Bears come to life near major resistance.
Mark Hulbert advises: Stocks likely to end year higher than now.
Darrell Delamaide questions: Any consequences for failing to tell truth?
Paul Farrell offers 10 rules to keep Wall Street’s sharks at bay.
Spain's Andalusia seeks help from Madrid.
U.K. manufacturing PMI rebounds in August.
Euro-zone manufacturing worse than expected.
Nowotny: No worries of euro-zone inflation.
Rally around Weidmann. "Rumors of the departure of Jens Weidmann from the Bundesbank add to the constraints on the European Central Bank as it prepares to announce plans for bond purchases, writes David Marsh."
ESM chief says rescue fund needs Germany.
Merkel calls for solidarity with euro nations.
Europe stocks jump most in a month.
China won’t go big on stimulus. "China's incoming leaders will likely focus on slow reform and avoid a bazooka-style fiscal stmulus used against past slowdowns, analysts say."
Peter Brimelow presents: Blue-chip thermal continues.

State of the Markets articles include:
Looking Ahead to Wednesday's Market.
Go Ahead, Make My Day. “'Go Ahead, Make My Day!' may have applied equally this week to 'Dirty Harry’s' performance at the Republican Convention and the attitude of traders awaiting Uncle Ben’s comments at Jackson Hole. We’ll get to Clint Eastwood’s over the top act in a bit. As for Ben Bernanke, we’ll let his faithful scribe, Jon Hilsenrath of the New York Times, provide the summary here: “A defiant Ben Bernanke sought to shoot down criticism of the Federal Reserve's easy-money policies and strengthen the case for new efforts by the central bank to bring down what he described ... Read More »"
Big Miss: Construction Spending Dives in July.
ISM Manufacturing Index Remains Weak in August.
Markit's Flash Manufacturing PMI Holds Steady.
The Daily Decision for Tuesday, 9/4/12.
The Downgrades are Back- Moody's Cuts Outlook on EU.
Eurozone PMI's Improve From July Levels.
China Manufacturing PMI Continues to Decline.

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

Market futures are flat tonight.


2012-8-31: (Friday Night): Stocks zoomed upward today on good news from the Fed: Stocks rise for third month, Stocks end August with Bernanke-inspired bounce. The NASDAQ Composite hopped 18.25 points (0.60%) to end at 3,066.96. The Dow popped 90.13% points (0.69%) to close at 13,090.84; the S&P 500 tumbled 7.1 points (0.51%) to settle at 1,406.58. Oil closed (very slighter) higher at 96.42: Oil ends nearly 2% higher as easing hopes live on; Gold ended at 1,690: Gold jumps to 5-month high. The VIX fell 0.36 to 17.47.
    "
Wall Street gains for third straight month after Bernanke signals Fed is ready to act."
    
"August was a painfully quiet month on Wall Street but stocks still managed to end the month with solid gains. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Bernanke: 'QE' can do more.  
    ‘QE3’ necessary, Bernanke hints.
    Benjamins and Jacksons: stocks, gold and oil rally.  "Markets respond on the expectation Fed chief Ben Bernanke will, sooner rather than later, push the button and launch next phase of bond buying."
    Analysts see up to 70% chance of 'QE3'.  
    Bernanke makes the case, economists say.  
    Romney adviser: More 'QE' a mistake.  
    Draghi’s ‘convertibility’ fears set ECB tough task.
    Europe stocks inch higher.    
    Is your exit strategy in place?
    Dollar falls to lowest in more than 3 months.  
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    Bernanke Speech Focuses on Jobs; Suggests More QE is Coming.   "As expected, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s much anticipated speech entitled 'Monetary Policy Since the Crisis' at the Kansas City Fed's annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, moved the markets on Friday morning. The key question for traders coming into Friday was whether or not Mr. Bernanke would (a) announce or (b) provide hints that more monetary stimulation (aka QE – quantitative easing) is forthcoming. But while traders wanted certainty, they only received what we will interpret as more dovish comments ... Read More »"
    University Of Michigan Confidence Improves.
    Chicago PMI Headline Below Consensus But...
    Apple Loses? What Is Going On Here?  
    The Daily Decision - August 31, 2012.  
       
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Today marks the end of another quiet week.


2012-8-30: (Thursday Night): Stocks retracted today: Global concern grips Street, Stocks- Good news is bad news. The NASDAQ Composite fell 32.48 points (-1.05%) to end at 3,048.71. The Dow dropped 106.77 points (-0.81%) to close at 13,000.71; the S&P 500 tumbled 11.01 points (-0.78%) to settle at 1,399.48. Oil closed (very slighter) higher at 94.70: Oil extends losses to second day ahead of Bernanke; Gold ended at 1,658: Gold settles lower on fading hopes of easing. The VIX rose 0.57 to 17.06.
    "U.S. stocks drop after reports show economic confidence in the euro area sliding to a three-year low and Japan’s retail sales fell in July."
     "
U.S. stocks fell Thursday as a string of positive economic reports dimmed hopes that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke would announce new stimulus on Friday. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    U.S. stocks drop sharply on talk from Spain.  
    How to trade Jackson Hole.  "If Fed's Ben Bernanke stays on the sidelines, buy the dollar, says one currency analyst."
    Bernanke might not take QE3 plunge.  
    Sell gold unless speech screams QE3.  
    Gold pressured ahead of Bernanke speech.
    Who will take Jackson Hole spotlight?    
    'RomneyCare' rewrite.  "Plan chucks individual mandate Romney championed six years earlier as a governor."
    Romney’s mission: Sway middle-class voters.  
    If Romney wins in November, buy coal.  "Fund manager has two strategies that cover the possible outcomes. If Obama wins, consider staples and infrastructure stocks. (The Tell)" If Romney wins, the author expects a spending buildup in military, big pharma, banks, coal, industrials, and financials.
    'RomneyCare' nixes its own individual mandate.   
    Treasurys rise as worries about Europe resume    
    Tomi Kilgore advises that ‘Stochastics’ suggest upside momentum.
    Peter Brimelow asks whether this is the Calm before the storm for stocks?
    Chuck Jaffe details How to dodge market touts and traps.
    Darrell Delamaide says, Republicans not party of small government.  
    For retirees, 70 may not be the new 65.  "It also projected a much bigger gap between rich and poor: While 90% of those making at least $72,500 in annual income would have a 50% chance of meeting their retirement income needs by age 65, those making $11,700 and below would need to work until 84 to have the same probability of success."  And this is with Social Security and Medicare intact!
    Privatize Social Security? Wall Street can't wait! A few more burst  bubbles, and guess who will own your and your employer's Social Security contributions? 
    Low income workers (the halt and the lame) who live from paycheck to paycheck aren't able to save the huge sums required to fund a retirement. (Do you pay your child's/grandchild's medical/dental bills or do you save that money for retirement?)
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking Ahead to Friday's Market. 
    What To Expect From "The Hole".   "Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s much anticipated speech entitled "Monetary Policy Since the Crisis" at the Kansas City Fed's annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole on Friday, is scheduled for Friday, August 31st at 10 ET. To say that the market participants have been anticipating the Bernanke speech is a bit of an understatement. The bottom line is there has been no shortage of speculation surrounding the contents of the speech from the press, traders of all shapes and sizes, and from the economist community. While ... Read More »"
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Remains Weak.
    Personal Income and Spending In Line With Expectations.
    Weekly Jobless Claims Not Improving.  
       
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Stock market futures are a little lower tonight.


2012-8-29: (Wednesday Night): Once again, stocks ended the day about where they started: Market Snapshot: Market ends a shade higher, Stocks stuck in a summer rut. The NASDAQ Composite tiptoed up yet another 4.05 points (0.13%) to end at 3,081.19. The Dow advanced a slim 4.49 points (0.03%) to close at 13,107.48; the S&P 500 inched up 1.10 points (0.08%) to settle at 1,410.49. Oil closed (very slighter) higher at 94.98: Oil ends lower on inventories rise; Gold ended at 1,660: Gold ends lower on caution before Bernanke speech. The VIX rose 0.57 to 17.06.
    "Sears Holdings Corp. to be replaced in index by chemical and polymer maker LyondellBasell."
     "
Stocks ended with slim gains Wednesday, as many investors remain sidelined or on vacation. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    U.S. grew at 1.7% pace in second quarter, up from earlier 1.5% estimate.  
    U.S. economy growing ‘gradually’- Fed.  
    Stocks rise after GDP data.  "U.S. stocks open higher after government hikes economic growth estimate and as investors look to Fed chief Bernanke’s speech in Wyoming."
Light volume, Small moves.    
    Dow gets decisive.  "U.S. stock indexes, after loitering near flat line through most of session, gather some steam."
    Lawrence McMillan writes: Bulls not finished yet.    
    Mark Hulbert says, Small trading volumes are no big deal: Hulbert.  
    GOP speakers toe the economic hard line.  "Republicans in Tampa detail their prescription for fixing the flagging U.S. economy as they introduce nominee Mitt Romney to a national audience."
    Cartoon convention ignores real problems.  "Republicans put their best talent on display, but don't address deep issues, writes Rex Nutting."
    Wall Streeters bet on Romney, one of their own.  "Donors with Street ties are betting on Republican whose positions may well shift in coming months."
    Bernanke might not take the plunge at Jackson Hole.  "Fed watchers think Bernanke might leave markets disappointed when he speaks Friday.
    Kevin Mahn: Jackson Hole waiting game (audio).  
    Bernanke speech: Sell the news.    
    Draghi in Die Zeit (newspaper): ECB respects its mandate.  
    Small caps need Fed.  "After a month of outperformance, small caps may now need Fed lending incentives to keep it going."
    The small-cap message.  
    The tea party at 3.  "Conservative movement is trying to mature and take on political chores it sees as winning ones."
    QE3 and the looming currency war.  "If Bernanke opens the door to more quantitative easing, an unstable situation in the currency market could worsen, writes Michael Casey.
   
Holes in yellow brick road.  "Talk among Republicans of return to gold standard as economic solution is likely just that — talk."
    Matthew Lynn notes that Even talk of a gold standard would lift price.  
    Europe banks' rare funding window.  "Several European banks have made a quick grab at the funding reins in August, thanks to a rare period of calm across broader markets.
    EU to study interventions in bond market.  
    Italy's Monti warns Germany on inflation risk.  
    Grim testament to growing old in America.  "A recent study finds nearly half of retirees die with savings of $10,000 or less, writes Andrea Coombes."  
    
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
     
    NAAIM Index Shows Managers Giving Bulls Benefit of Doubt.   "Unlike the "sentiment" surveys, the NAAIM Index shows what actual money managers are doing with their client accounts. This week, the index suggests that managers are giving the bulls the benefit of ... Read More »"
    ECB Bond Buying - Not A Matter of If, But When and How.  "In an opinion piece for the Germany weekly Die Zeit, ECB President Mario Draghi wrote that the ECB will continue to do what is necessary to “ensure price stability” – which is the ECB’s one and only mandate. However, the ECB President pointed out that fulfilling this mandate sometimes requires it to go beyond standard monetary policy tools. And to market analysts, this seems to be yet another sign that another round of bond buying from the ECB looks to be a matter of when and not if. The piece was posted on the ECB’s ... Read More »"
    The Daily Decision for Wednesday, 8/29/12.
    Q2 GDP Revision Shows Economy Grew at +1.7% Rate.  
       
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Stock market futures are ¼ % lower tonight.


2012-8-27: (Monday Night): Stocks ended the day about where they started: Apple paces early tech gain, Stocks- Investors quiet ahead of Bernanke. The NASDAQ Composite tiptoed up 3.40 points (0.11%) to end at 3,073.19. The Dow retreated 33.3 points (-0.25%) to close at 13,124.67; the S&P 500 slipped 0.69 points (-0.05%) to settle at 1,410.44. Oil closed higher at 95.72: Oil futures end lower; gasoline up on storm; Gold ended at 1,667: Bonds, gold the big winners; Apple boosts stocks. The VIX rose 1.17 to 16.35.
    "After high-profile patent win over Samsung, Apple shares jump 2%. Google is among the losers."
     "
U.S. stocks failed to find momentum Monday, as investors waited for central banks to decide if the global economy is in need of further stimulus measures. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Tea party to play nice (video)?  "Party's task for next four days — and 10 weeks — is to persuade voters it isn’t a radical faction intent on remaking America, writes Rex Nutting."
   
Treasury yields fall to two-week low.
    The obvious investment winners.
    Michael Gayed advises that: Some Fed watchers preparing for QE4.  
    Mark Hulbert writes about Apple Computing: The bigger they are, the harder they fall.    
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    Bernanke's Letter Says There Is Room to Ease"Stocks rebounded strongly Friday morning on a WSJ report which cited a letter from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, defending the Fed's action to a member of Congress. In the letter... ... Read More »"  
    Bullard Kills The Mood, But Gross Says Fed Easing 'A Done Deal'.   "Although St. Louis Fed President James Bullard poured cold water on the bulls’ hopes yesterday that the Fed would initiate a third round of quantitative easing at next month’s FOMC meeting, PIMCO’s Bill Gross, the manager of the largest bond fund in the world, said Thursday that a Fed easing is a “done deal.” While the stock market was looking like it was ready to embark on a corrective phase earlier in the week, the ... Read More »"
    Have We Seen The Kardashian Top?  "Many market technicians were calling Tuesday's action a "key reversal day." However, those with a more vivid imagination may wind up calling it the Kardashian top... ... Read More »"
    
Bernanke's Letter Says There Is Room to Ease.
    Durable Goods Orders Up Again in July.
       
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Stock market futures are neutral tonight.


2012-8-24: (Friday Night): Stocks rose smartly today on reassuring statements by the Fed: Stocks like the letters QE, Stocks rally on growing hope for Fed action. The NASDAQ Composite swelled 16.39 points (0.54%) to end at 3,069.79. The Dow advanced 117.99 points (0.77%) to close at 13,157.97; the S&P 500 gained 9.05 points (0.65%) to settle at 13,157.97. Oil closed higher at 96.12: Oil edges lower after multimonth highs; Gold ended at 1,673: Gold rises to 4-month high: "Gold futures rise 2% to settle at $1,672.80 an ounce, their highest level since April.". The VIX rose 0.78 to 15.18.
    "Fed chairman's letter stating the central bank has more stimulus tools ready sends stocks higher."
     "
U.S. stocks ended the week on a high note, as investors hope that the central bank will step in with stimulus measures to fuel growth. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Bernanke: There's scope for more Fed easing.
   
Use the next correction to prepare for inflation.
    Evacuations begin in Gulf of Mexico.
  "Energy companies beginning pulling staff from rigs in the likely path of tropical storm that could strengthen over weekend." 
    Why Henry Blodget is dead wrong.  
    Mark Hulbert writes about Apple Computing: The bigger they are, the harder they fall.    
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    Bernanke's Letter Says There Is Room to Ease"Stocks rebounded strongly Friday morning on a WSJ report which cited a letter from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, defending the Fed's action to a member of Congress. In the letter... ... Read More »"  
    Bullard Kills The Mood, But Gross Says Fed Easing 'A Done Deal'.   "Although St. Louis Fed President James Bullard poured cold water on the bulls’ hopes yesterday that the Fed would initiate a third round of quantitative easing at next month’s FOMC meeting, PIMCO’s Bill Gross, the manager of the largest bond fund in the world, said Thursday that a Fed easing is a “done deal.” While the stock market was looking like it was ready to embark on a corrective phase earlier in the week, the ... Read More »"
    Have We Seen The Kardashian Top?  "Many market technicians were calling Tuesday's action a "key reversal day." However, those with a more vivid imagination may wind up calling it the Kardashian top... ... Read More »"
    
Bernanke's Letter Says There Is Room to Ease.
    Durable Goods Orders Up Again in July.
       
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    As usual on Friday nights, there isn't much to say, since it can all change by Monday morning.


2012-8-23: (Thursday Night): Stocks fell smartly today: Dow extends losing streak, Stocks sell off on slowing growth. The NASDAQ Composite shrank 20.27 points (-0.66%) to end at 3,053.40. The Dow retreated 114.29 points (-0.87%) to close at 13,058.47; the S&P 500 tumbled 11.34 points (-0.80%) to settle at 1,4102.12. Oil closed higher at 96.12: Oil edges lower after multimonth highs; Gold ended at 1,673: Gold rises to 4-month high: "Gold futures rise 2% to settle at $1,672.80 an ounce, their highest level since April.". The VIX rose 0.79 to 15.90.
    "U.S. stocks retreat on doubts over further Fed action. H-P's 8% slide pressures Dow industrials."
     "
Stocks fell Thursday, as Hewlett-Packard dragged down the Dow Jones Industrial Average after reporting disappointing sales and revenue forecasts. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Treasurys rise for a fifth session.
   
Brimelow: Is gold heading to $4,500?
    Another reason for the recent rise in rates?
    Darrell Delamaide argues that Greece needs debt restructuring, not time.  
    FTSE 100 trades choppy as data disappoint.  
    Investor sentiment looks fragile for stocks.
    Unlimited data plans: smart idea?  "T-Mobile and MetroPCS unveil unlimited data offerings, betting consumers will ditch their current providers — but experts say this might not be a good idea."
   
From caps and gowns to mops and brooms.  "Recent grads increasingly are taking jobs that not only are unrelated to their majors but don't require a college education at all."
    Recent grads in U.S., U.K. face bleak job market.  
    Why go to college if I can't land a job?  
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking Ahead to Friday's Market.  
    It's About The Fed, Greece (Yes, Really), And Well, The HFT...  "I am fairly confident that I have made my disdain of high frequency trading (HFT) fairly clear over the past year or so. But just in case I haven't, let me say that I firmly believe all the HFT front-running (yea, I said it, it's front running and for some reason the big boys with their uber-fancy computer toys are allowed - heck, even encouraged - to do it), the algo-induced mo-mo trades, and the AI thievery going on today is ruining the market for average investors everywhere. How else do you explain the fact ... Read More »"
    Have We Seen The Kardashian Top?  "Many market technicians were calling Tuesday's action a "key reversal day." However, those with a more vivid imagination may wind up calling it the Kardashian top... ... Read More »"
    
Big Picture Market Models - 8/23/12
    New Home Sales Perk Up in July
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Heads Lower Again.  
    The Daily Decision for Thursday, 8/23/12.  
    Markit's Flash Manufacturing PMI Improves Slightly.  
    Weekly Jobless Claims Up Again.  
    Preliminary PMIs in Europe Below 50 For 7th Month.  
       
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market indices are flat again tonight.


2012-8-22: (Wednesday Night): Stocks rose today and then fell: U.S. stocks extend slide into second day, Stocks trim losses after Fed. The NASDAQ Composite swelled 6.41 points (0.21%) to end at 3,073.67. The Dow backed up 31.75 points (-0.24%) to close at 13,171.83; the S&P 500 gained 0.34 points (0.02%) to settle at 1,413.51. Oil closed higher at 97.30: Oil ends at highest in three months on supply drop; Gold ended at 1,657: Gold ends lower as other metals gain. The VIX rose 0.04 to 15.06.
    "Equities' run stalls despite home-sales pickup."
     "
U.S. stocks trimmed losses Wednesday afternoon after minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting showed the central bank leaning toward taking measures to stimulate the economy. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    An economic silver lining.  "Best news is hidden in the bad news about Europe, China and the United States, writes Michael Casey. These are all necessary, if painful, elements in a much-needed global rebalancing."
   
Fresh 'fiscal cliff' warning.  "The U.S. economy will contract instead of expand in 2013 if scheduled tax hikes and spending cuts go into effect in January, the CBO warns."
   
Get ready for QE3.  "Top officials of the Federal Reserve are leaning strongly in favor of a third round of bond buying, known colloquially as QE3, writes Rex Nutting."
   
Fed minutes show active discussion of QE3.  
   
Treasury yields fall most since early June.  
     Europe stocks drop ahead of Greece talks.   
    Euro tops $1.25.  
    Matthew Lynn advises: Fortunes to be made off euro, just not yet.  
    Draghi: The boxed-in banker.  
    Spain vs. ECB: Who blinks first?  "Falling yields on Spanish (and Italian) government bonds may, paradoxically, complicate efforts to get European Central Bank to kick off bond-buying program."
    Asia in retreat.  
    Sales of existing homes rise 2.3% in July.
    CBO issues fresh ‘fiscal cliff’ warning
    Oil move is underway.  
    Michael Gayed asks Are the Melt-Up and Summer Surprise over?      
    Thomas Kee advises that Dow data forcing new approach. "Barring an H-P miracle, the Dow will show negative growth year-over-year so investors will have to take a different look at the market.
    Apple spoils market's party.
    Mark Hulbert explains that: May-June correction was a failure.  "Contrarian analysis suggests stocks' rally is living on borrowed time. Recent developments have only reinforced the concerns."   
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking Ahead to Thursday's Market.  
    Fed Minutes Indicate Additional Stimulus Is Warranted Unless Economy Perks Up.  "For most investors, the release of the minutes from the latest FOMC meeting isn’t a reason to drop what they are doing and head to the newswires. The report is usually lengthy and filled with Fedspeak and thus, isn’t a great read. And since the markets have usually long since digested what the Fed had to say at their last meeting, there isn’t generally much of anything new contained in the minutes. However, Wednesday’s release ... Read More »"
    Will Morgan Stanley Remain "King of the Valley" After A $60+ Billion IPO Hit?  "Back in prehistoric tech days, the mantra of the IT manager was, “I can’t go wrong picking IBM”. In more recent years, the cry of the hot tech pre-IPO CFO has been, “I can’t go wrong picking Morgan Stanley”. But the chorus of: “Faceplant. Facebeat. Facebomb. Facebust. Flopbook. Fakebook.Muppet Bait. To Receive a Facial. To get Zuckered.” is not exactly what top execs at Morgan wanted or expected to hear three months after the Facebook IPO. Especially when the business press was fawning over their ... Read More »"
    Existing Home Sales Rebound in July.
    The Daily Decision for Wednesday, 8/22/12.  
    NAAIM Index Shows Active Managers Staying Bullish  
    Investors Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Advances With Indices.  
    Architecture Billings Index Rises in July.  
       
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market indices are mixed tonight.


2012-8-21: (Tuesday Night): Stocks rose today and then fell: Wall Street's early rally craters, Stocks end lower. The NASDAQ Composite pared 8.95 points (-0.29%) to end at 3,067.26. The Dow dove 68.06 points (-0.51%) to close at 13,203.58; the S&P 500 subtracted 4.96 points (0.35%) to settle at 1,413.17. Oil closed higher at 96.55: Oil rises to three-month high on euro-zone hopes; Gold ended at 1,639: Gold at three-month high on stimulus hints, dollar. The VIX rose 1.00 to 15.02.
    "Stocks finish solidly lower, with the S&P 500 retreating from four-year highs earlier in the day. Apple loses ground."
     "
U.S. stocks ended lower Tuesday, after the S&P 500 briefly rose above its highest closing level in four years. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Stocks break out on higher volume.  
    European stocks rise on bond rescue hopes.   
    Treasurys slip on reports about Greece, ECB.  
    Delamaide: Euro optimism may prove illusory.
    Michael Ashbaugh: The battle for 4-year highs. 
    Ayn Rand: Patron saint or soulless capitalist?.  "A growing darkness in U.S. conservatism stems from a fear that it’s “too late” for a world in decline, writes Paul Farrell. The message: Give up."  
    Treasurys slip on reports about Greece, ECB      
    The case for supply-side tax cuts
    The dangerous word 'quant'.
    Rex Nutting says: Economy not helping Romney or Obama.   
    Irwin Kellner notes that: Investors hope this time it’s different. 
    David Weidner tells us: How the tea party beat Occupy Wall Street.  
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking Ahead to Wednesday's Market.  
    Are Divergences A Problem For The Bulls?  "Even the most enthusiastic bear will likely admit that their opponents have been firmly in charge of the market action over the past twelve sessions. And with the exception of a brief pullback seen at the end of July, the bulls have actually had things going almost exclusively their way for the better part of the past month. The primary driver of the action has been pretty easy to identify as expectations for additional stimulative measures from the central bankers of the Eurozone, China, and the good ol' USofA have pushed the DJIA up more than 650 points since July 25th. It is also worth ... Read More »".
            
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market indices are down about % tonight.


2012-8-20: (Monday Night):
    Last Friday I went to my... wait for it!... 65th high school class reunion. (Yes, we were all in varying states of decrepitude.) As a result, I wasn't able to prepare last Friday's "Daily Investment Interpretations". Sorry. Fortunately, almost nothing happened.
    Stocks ended the day about where they started: 
U.S. stocks pare loss, ending flat ahead of Federal Open Market Committee, Stocks dip but remain near 4-year highs. The NASDAQ Composite pared 0.38 points (-0.01%) to end at 3,076.21. The Dow minced downward 3.56 points (-0.03%) to close at 13,271.64; the S&P 500 readjusted 0.03 points (0.00%) to settle at 1,418.13. Oil slightly lower at 95.82: Oil prices end below $96 after four-session climb; Gold ended at 1,623: Gold settles at highest since mid-June. The VIX rose 0.57 to 14.02.
    "Stocks were flat on Monday on signs of fatigue after a six-week run of gains as the European Central Bank quelled speculation about the form of market intervention that may be taken to stem the region's debt crisis"
     "
Stocks stopped right around where they started Monday on yet another quiet August trading day. Still, all three indexes remain near their highest levels in more than four years. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    U.S. stocks fall; Europe bond report dismissed.  
    Treasurys up after ECB denies yield report... i. e. Treasury yields are down.  
    The very best mortgage rates are going fast.  "Rates remain historically low, but if you're mulling a refi it's likely the time to act is here."
    Amy Houk asks:  Did you miss out on lowest mortgage rates? 
    Canada’s housing market frothy.  "Housing market in Canada is frothy — driven by debt-ridden borrowers — but a dangerous U.S.-style crisis isn't in the cards, experts say."  Of course, these experts also assured us in early 2007 that the U. S. housing bubble wasn't a problem.
    David March says, Merkel looks both ways on Greece.      
    The case for supply-side tax cuts
    Charles Sizemore says: Get ready for another food crisis.
    Avi Gilbert projects how we will be Making our way to a top.  What he is projecting is a rise to the S&P = 1422-1440 area. He warns against large long positions above 1423+, since he is expecting a rapid, nasty decline from somewhere north of 1422 that will set us up for a year-end run to 1574
    Tomi Kilgore advises that: Facebook flashes ‘buy’ signal.  
    Myra Saefong asks: Is it time to jump on gold’s bandwagon?  
    Howard Gold discusses: What should I do with my money now?  
    Peter Brimelow mentions: Dines in the doldrums.  "Le Grand James", the octogenarian (nonagenarian?) author of The Dines Letter", is at sixes and eights right now, seeing this as a market that isn't governed by its historical rules.
      
    State of the Markets articles include:    
    Looking Ahead to Tuesday's Market.   
    Quotable Quotes and Notable Notes -- August 20, 2012.  "The market put in some of the most somnolent trading of the year this week and tightest ranges, but the path of least resistance remained to the upside. The cliché, “Never short a dull market” comes to mind. It was “All Quiet on the European Front”, as much of Europe, and Wall Street, remained on vacation. Ms. Merkel, however, did return to the scene and had some prominent proclamations in support of the ECB on a trip to Canada. Oil prices were in focus and there was some talk of ... Read More »".
    Would You Invest In Corzine's New Hedge Fund?.  "The latest potential career comeback for ousted GS CEO, former New Jersey Governor, and MF Global head honcho is rather curious. After vaporizing client assets at MF Global, Mr. Corzine is apparently ... Read More »"
    Leading Economic Index Above Consensus in July.  
    University of Michigan Sentiment Rebounds.
    It's Not The Economy, Stupid
    Would You Invest In Corzine's New Hedge Fund?    
            
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market indices are mixed (flat) again tonight.


2012-8-16: (Thursday Night): Stocks jumped today on good news from Cisco and from Angela Merkel: Cisco drives Dow higher, Stocks end higher on Cisco earnings, economic data. The NASDAQ Composite is up 31.46 points (1.04%) to end at 3,062.39. The Dow advanced 85.33 points (0.65%) to close at 13,250.11; the S&P 500 gained 9.98 points (0.71%) to settle at 1,415.51. Oil slightly lower at 95.39: Oil extend gains, ends at highest in three months; Gold ended at 1,619: Gold rises as demand drop seen seasonal. The VIX fell 0.34 to 14.29.
    "U.S. stocks gain with a boost from the tech sector countering disappointing manufacturing data."
     "
U.S. stocks closed solidly higher Thursday, as investors parsed through a mixed bag of economic data. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    Merkel says Germany committed to euro.  
    Trading volume lowest since August 2006  "Volume is expected to bump along at below-average levels for another three weeks as investors await Fed and ECB action."
     Romney rebuts tax critics.  "Mitt Romney says he never paid less than 13% on his income taxes over the past decade. (Political Watch)"  
    The case for supply-side tax cuts
    Kevin Marder makes the case for Stock averages in bullish pattern.  
    Darrell Delamaide says Timid U.S., IMF leaving Europe in the lurch.  
    Spanish stocks rally; banks lift Europe.  
    Gold rises; demand drop keeps gains in check.  

    Mick Weinstein wants you to Look who's super bullish on gold
    The economy: Less bad or much worse?  
    Thomas Kee, Jr., tells you how to find Success in a sideways market.
    Philly Fed: August gauge worse than forecast. 
    Initial jobless claims almost on mark: 366,000.  
    Building permits hit post-recession high in July.
    Average rate on 30-year mortgage hits 3.62%.  

    State of the Markets articles include:     
    Checking The Scoreboard  "Only in the stock market game can players ignore the scoreboard entirely by using arguments and statistics to create their own reality. For example, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is just 114 points (or 0.86%) from its high-water mark for the current bull market cycle. The S&P 500 is also less than 1% away from a new bull market high. And for those of you keeping score at home, the S&P is up +107% from its March 2009 low. Yet, the bulls still can't get any respect these days as the weapons of fear and uncertainty (as well as a little HFT-induced volatility) are employed ... Read More »".
    Would You Invest In Corzine's New Hedge Fund?.  "The latest potential career comeback for ousted GS CEO, former New Jersey Governor, and MF Global head honcho is rather curious. After vaporizing client assets at MF Global, Mr. Corzine is apparently ... Read More »"
    Can Shatner Re-Engage Priceline's Warp Drive?  
    Philly Fed Index Sub-Zero Fourth Consecutive Month.
    Housing Starts Down and Building Permits Up in July. 
    Weekly Jobless Claims Up 2K.    
            
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market indices are mixed (flat) tonight.


2012-8-15: (Wednesday Night):Stocks have been treading water since we left on vacation last Friday: Stocks zig-zag, Stocks: Investors step back. The NASDAQ Composite is up 13.95 points (0.46%) to end at 3,030.93. The Dow lost  7.36 points (-0.06%) to close at 13,164.78; the S&P 500 advanced 1.6 points (0.11%) to settle at 1,405.53. Oil slightly lower at 94.34: Oil at three-month high after supply drop; Gold ended at 1,606: Gold inches up, breaking losing streak. The VIX fell 0.22 to 14.63.
    "U.S. stocks make a tentative advance as investors sift through a series of economic reports."
     "
U.S. stocks ended little changed Wednesday, as investors weighed a mixed batch of economic data with hopes that the Fed and other central banks might take further stimulus action. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    No 'QE3' in September?  "Better-than-expected data have raised doubts that the Fed will ease at its next policy meeting."
    August builder confidence at 5-year high.
    July industrial output picks up to 0.6% increase.  
    Empire State factory gauge in negative territory.  

    U.S. consumer prices unchanged in July
    Thomas Kee asks: The economy: Less bad or much worse?  
    Treasury yields rise to highest since May.
    A top for Treasurys?  
    Obama or Romney: big pharma loses either way.  "The general thinking is that the pharmaceutical industry will suffer under President Obama but will flourish under Romney. A closer look suggests that may not be the case, writes Nigam Arora."
    Matt Lynn writes: When will the euro collapse? It’s already dead.
    David Weidner advises: Paul Ryan is the Holy Grail for Wall Street.
    Paul Frrell says: China’s neo-capitalism beats U.S. free markets.
    Lawrence McMillan is Overbought but still bullish.
    Micael Ashbaugh observes that U.S. benchmarks hold the range.  
    Irwin Kellner warns: Stagflation is back, ready or not.  

    State of the Markets articles include:     
    Which Trend Will Resume-  "Admittedly, a long weekend filled with a family wedding and all the associated gatherings left me a little less than prepared for this week's market action (there were no fewer ... Read More »".
    From The Bear Camp: It's 2007 All Over Again.  "Curtis Bergquist has been managing his client's money in the stock market since the mid-1970's. And at this stage of the game he remains an ardent Bear. Here's why... ... Read More »"
    NAHB Homebuilder Confidence Up Again In August  
    Investors Intelligence:-] Bearish Sentiment Moves Higher
    Industrial Production, Capacity Utilizatin In Line With Consensus 
    Empire Manufacturing Index Dives in August.
    CPI Stayed Flat in July.  
    Retail Sales Rebound Strongly in July.    
            
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market indices are slightly positive tonight.


2012-8-10: (Friday Night): Stocks fell today and then staged a turnaround, closing a bit in the blackStocks stage a comeback, Stocks: Up for the week. The NASDAQ Composite gained 2.22 points (0.07%) to end at 3,020.86. The Dow incremented 42.76 points (0.07&) to close at 13,207.95; the S&P 500 advanced 3.07 points (0.22%) to settle at 1,405.87. Oil slightly lower at 93.38: Oil edges up on China data, tropical storm; Gold ended at 1,620: Gold inches higher on hopes of easing. The VIX fell 0.54 to 14.74.
    "Down most of the day on poor China trade data, major market indexes turn positive in late trading."
     "
U.S. stocks finished a week of gains with a Friday of little change, following disappointing economic data from China and the U.S. heightened fears about a global slowdown. More"   
    

    Marketwatch says: 
    How student loans could hit your Social Security  "Retirees are finding out the hard way the student-loan defaults could threaten Social Security."
    Bond sentiment is waning.  
    Willard Cody discusses Trading in a rigged market.  

    Thomas Kee notes that Fair value and P/E don't add up
    Mark Hulbert explains the Meaning of weakness in Dow transports.  
    Forgive student loans, it’s good for stocks.  
    Russian equities are in a European stalemate  

    State of the Markets articles include:     
    The "Brilliant" Stand-Up Comedy of Barack Obama  ""It’s like Robin Hood in reverse. It’s Romney Hood." -Pres. Obama at Connecticut fundraiser this week, referring to Romney’s supposed tax policies if elected. This column is generally all about the markets and the newsmakers who define them. So what are we doing talking about Pres. Obama’s “stand-up routines” and deft comic timing? Well, real simple. It can be easily argued there will be no more important market-moving events this year than the Presidential and Congressional elections. With the Obama campaign struggling with the current economic data points, the “cult ... Read More »"
    China Trade and Bank Loan Data Weak.  
            
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Another "up" week.


2012-8-9: (Thursday Night): Once again, the markets ended about where they began the day: U.S. stocks little changed; Nasdaq Composite rises, Stocks: Investors move to the sidelines. The NASDAQ Composite slipped 7.39 points (0.25%) to end at 3,018.64. The Dow decremented 10.45 points (-0.08%) to close at 13,165.10; the S&P 500 added a meager 0.58 points (0.04%) to settle at 1,402.80. Oil ended unchanged at 93.69: Oil edges up on China data, tropical storm; Gold ended at 1,620: Gold inches higher on hopes of easing. The VIX fell 0.03 to 15.29.
"After four up days, Dow industrials give up small morning gains and turn negative."
"
U.S. stocks closed mixed following choppy trading Thursday as investors digested a handful of economic reports. More"
The markets are currently overbought, and due for a short-term pullback that is at least to test their support in the S&P = 1290 area. However, longer-term, the intermediate-term trend is solidly up.

Marketwatch says:
Darrell Delamaide says: Euro crisis on pause until after vacation.
Willard Cody declaims that Megacap stocks about to break out.
Ominous sign on 10-year Treasury chart.
Peter Brimelow says, Stocks stall, putting higher rates in focus.
Computers vs. humans hits the tipping point. I have retained these articles for a third day because I want to comment on them, and was unable to do so yesterday and Tuesday. In this article, Mitch Tuchman Says, "The active trading vs. passive investing argument can finally be put to rest. Will the last human being trading stocks please get the lights? We have long known about high-speed trading by computer programs, so-called "high-frequency trading." But as Jason Zweig recently pointed out in The Wall Street Journal , things have taken a turn for the ridiculous. Last week, on the day the Federal Reserve was to announce its course on rate policy, stocks went nuts at the open. Volumes spiked by a factor of 20 on a broad selection of widely held shares. Some fell 10% and then corrected.
.....................
"So much for the reassurances from regulators and stock-exchange officials that a repeat of the "flash crash" is impossible. Wednesday's tumble wasn't quite as scary as the nearly $1 trillion drop of May 6, 2010, but it conveyed the same sense of markets spinning out of control and trading machinery going mad.
.....................

"The takeaway for the rest of us humans should be easy to grasp. Whatever claim to relevancy active money managers had is quickly disappearing. Not only is trying to beat the market virtually impossible, even sticking your neck out in the active trading vs. passive investing fight is an invitation to get walloped. That's why we recommend a neatly assembled, well-allocated portfolio of low-cost ETFs, the passively managed ones with usually over $1billion in assets that cover broad indexes, exercising disciplined rebalancing, and allowing the portfolio to work its compounding magic over the years."
This Wall Street tech deal doomed investors. David Weidner says, among other things:
"
Consider that seven years ago the scandal-shocked New York Stock Exchange closed the door on its history by acquiring an electronic market, Archipelago Holdings Inc.

Click to Play

Weidner: Electronic trading has doomed investors

" Marketwatch columnist David Weidner checks in on Mean Street and says electronic trading has failed the marketplace. (Photo: Bloomberg News)

"Critics of the NYSE hailed the move. After all, the Big Board had endured embarrassment after embarrassment: the secret accrual of more than $187 million in pay for its chairman, Dick Grasso, allegations of cronyism on the board and, not the least of which, a systemic fraud allegedly perpetrated by the NYSE’s seven specialist firms.
"That last part was the one that really hurt. The floor broker/specialist system at the Big Board was discovered to be inherently corrupt. Investigators found that the specialists regularly stepped in front of customers to trade for their own accounts. By 2004, five specialist firms agreed to pay a combined $241 million settlement. Read SEC announcement of specialist settlement."

State of the Markets articles include:
Looking Ahead to Friday's Market
Let's Review (Part III) "Stocks appear to be treading water at current levels while waiting for the next batch of news/data/reports/rumors that would cause traders to adjust their views on the potential for additional stimulus from the ECB and/or the U.S. Federal Reserve. And make no mistake about it; it is expectations for additional central bank help - first in Europe and second in the U.S. - that is driving the action in the stock market. So, since things are fairly quiet right now, this appears to be a good time to wrap up our review of my major market models that was presented on Monday and Wednesday. In the first two parts of the report, we introduced each ... Read More »"
U.S. Trade Deficit Shrinks in June
Weekly Jobless Claims Fall 6K.
Wholesale Inventores Decline in June.
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Declines Again.
Chinese Economic Data from July Suggests Stimulus Likely.

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

Market futures are slightly lower again tonight.
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2012-8-8: (Wednesday Night): The markets ended about where they began the day: Stocks manage 4th day up, Stocks: Investors step back. The NASDAQ Composite slipped -4.61 points (-0.15%) to end at 3,011.25. The Dow incremented 7.04 points (0.05%) to close at 13,175.64; the S&P 500 added a meager 0.87 points (0.06%) to settle at 1,402.22. Oil ended unchanged at 93.41: Oil lower after last-minute bout of profit-taking; Gold ended at 1,617: Gold inches higher on data, stimulus hopes. The VIX fell 0.68 to 15.30.
"Major indexes end barely in the black, with the exception of the Nasdaq, down slightly." 
"U.S. stocks were little changed Wednesday as investors took a breather with the three major indexes at their highest levels since early May. More" 
The markets are currently overbought, and due for a short-term pullback that is at least to test their support in the S&P = 1290 area. However, longer-term, the intermediate-term trend is solidly up.

Marketwatch says: 
3-month high but no higher. "J.P. Morgan envisions a recession scenario if a gridlocked Washington can't act. Investors, won't be happy — try 1,000 for the S&P 500. (Political Watch)" 
Thomas McKee warns that Rally may be running out of fuel. 
Mark Hulbert cautions: Watch out for a correction — or worse. 
Gold to gain following drought, higher food prices? 
Fed set to make 'Operation Twist' Treasury buys 
Al Lewis writes Uncle Ben wants us to be happy. 
Don’t get suckered in by the 'Draghi put' "Unlike ex-Fed head Alan Greenspan, when European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi talks tough, he doesn’t deliver, writes Matthew Lynn."
Michael Casey: Draghi's shrewd move 
Bank of England cuts growth, inflation forecasts 
Will Bank Of England chief turn out wrong again? 
Will BOE chief turn out wrong again? 
Equity, bond divergence widest this century. 
Computers vs. humans hits the tipping point. I have retained these articles for second day because I want to comment on them, and was unable to do so yesterday. 
This Wall Street tech deal doomed investors. 

State of the Markets articles include: 
.Looking Ahead to Wednesday's Market 
Let's Review (Part II) "Given that the S&P 500 has finished each of the last two days about where it was a minute or two after each day's open, it is fairly clear that the dog days of summer have set in. As such, this is probably as good a time as any to finish up the review of our most important market models and their readings that we began in Monday's report. If you will recall, on Monday we checked in with our Market Environment Model (which was and still is positive), the Technical Health Model (which shows that the vast majority of industries remain technically healthy at this point), our primary Trend indicators (both the short- and intermediate-term trends are positive), Market ... Read More »"
What Is PIMCO's Agenda These Days? "The Co-CIO's at Pacific Investment Management Company (aka PIMCO) have been all over the airwaves recently making some bold statements about the outlook for stocks and bonds... ... Read More »"
NAAIM Index Shows Active Managers Remain Bullish. 
Investors Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Moves Higher. 
U.S. Worker Productivity and Labor Costs Rise. 

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

Market futures are slightly lower tonight.


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2012-8-7: (Tuesday Night): The markets rose (smartly) for yet another day: S&P 500 ends above 1,400, Stocks gain on hopes for central bank action. The NASDAQ Composite climbed 25.95 points (0.87%) to end at 3,015.86. The Dow escalated 51.09 points (0.39%) to close at 13,1168.60; the S&P 500 gained 7.12 points (0.51%) to settle at 1,401.35. Oil moved up smartly to 93.43: Oil ends at its highest in more than two months; Gold ended at 1,614: Gold slips with demand for safe havens. The VIX rose another 0.03 to 15.98.
"Broad-based index moves above 1,400 for first time in three months as earnings lend support." 
"U.S. stocks rose Tuesday, extending gains for a third day, as investors continue to bet global central banks will step in to support the market. More" 

Marketwatch says: 
Kevin Marder observes that Stocks regain upward bias 
Expect a 5% rally going into the election. 
Michael Ashbaugh is Charting a major technical test. 
15% chance the U.S. falls off the 'fiscal cliff'. "J.P. Morgan envisions a recession scenario if a gridlocked Washington can't act. Investors, won't be happy — try 1,000 for the S&P 500. (Political Watch)" 
Doug Kass cuts long bets on S&P 
Kleintop: Fed not restoring market integrity. 
Boston Fed's Rosengren makes case for QE3. 
Job openings climb to 3.76 million in June. 
Computers vs. humans hits the tipping point. 
This Wall Street tech deal doomed investors. 
Fed policy: Is it time for a change?
Mark Hulbert writes: Good news: Earnings growth is slowing. 
German officials trapped in conservative culture. 
S&P lowers Greece ratings outlook to negative. 
Euro crisis brings world to brink of depression. 

State of the Markets articles include: 
.Looking Ahead to Wednesday's Market 
Fed's Rosengren Says More QE is Needed. "Sign Up to Receive an Email Alert when Flash Headlines are Published Fed Update: Rosengren Says Fed QE Needed In a NY Times interview, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren (who is not a voting member of the FOMC this year) said that he was in favor of the Fed further expanding its holdings of Treasury and mortgage bonds – a program commonly referred to as quantitative easing (QE). Rosengren added that the central bank should steadily continue its purchases until it was satisfied with the direction of the ... Read More »"
Fisher Says Real Problem With Economy is Congress. 
Manufacturing Orders Decline in Germany. 
Italy's Economy Contracts For Fourth Quarter 

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

Market futures are minutely lower tonight.


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2012-8-6: (Monday Night): The markets rose somewhat again today: U.S. stocks grinding higher, Stocks continue their rally. The NASDAQ Composite climbed 22.01 points (0.74%) to end at 2,989.91. The Dow inched up 21.34 points (0.16%) to close at 13,117.51; the S&P 500 incremented 3.24 points (0.23%) to settle at 1,394.23. Oil moved up smartly to 92.25: Oil end at highest in more than two weeks; Gold ended at 1,616: Gold settles at best in a week; platinum off. The VIX fell another 0.31 to 15.95.
"Street benchmarks find room for further upside. Satisfaction with earnings and Europe cited." 
"U.S. stocks moved higher Monday as investors continued to cheer an upbeat jobs report and welcomed lower borrowing costs in Spain and Italy. More" 

Marketwatch says: 
Stocks let off some steam "Major indexes end up but well off intraday highs, as a light news day keeps many investors on the sidelines."
Investors take comfort in lower Spanish yields. 
Treasurys stay up as investors eye Spain. 
Euro's rebound stalls out below $1.24 mark. 
ECB hopes keep rally alive for European stocks. 
Spain 2-year bond yield tumbles sharply. 
Market whipsaws aren't over 
Michael Gayed observes that Small caps reach pre-‘Melt-Up’ extreme. 
Ghost of Bundesbank past stalks Draghi. "ECB chief knows well how risky it is to brook full-frontal confrontation with the Bundesbank, writes David Marsh."
David Penn tells "How I'm trading this saw-toothed S&P rally". 

State of the Markets articles include: 
Looking Ahead to Tuesday's Market. 
Let's Review... "With the market being driven primarily by headlines, comments, and rumors relating to anything and everything having to do with Europe these days, it is easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment and lose sight of the big picture environment. To be sure, the intraday volatility continues to be eye-popping as the bots grab onto each important word they've been programmed to identify and then race each other to get to the trade first. And while we can't do much about the fact that HFT drives the vast majority of trading on the various exchanges and dark pools, we CAN try ... Read More »"
Quotable Quotes and Notable Notes -- August 5, 2012. "The National Institute for Mental Health has declared this summer's stock market legally insane, suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder. They offered as Exhibit A the ... Read More »" 
Europe Update: Spain, Italy in No Rush to Request Aid. 
Review of Greece Finances 'Productive' - Troika
Sentiment Continues to Falter in Eurozone. 

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

Market futures are minutely higher tonight.


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2012-8-3: (Friday Night): The markets rocketed upward today: It's payday on Wall Street, Stocks soar on jobs report. The NASDAQ Composite shed another 10.44 points (-0.36%) to end at 2,909.77. The Dow declined a further 92.18 points (-0.71%) to close at 12,878.88; the S&P 500 dipped another 10.32 points (-0.75%) to settle at 1,365.00. Oil moved up smartly to 91.48: Oil rallies nearly 5%, at highest in two weeks; Gold ended at 1,608: Gold ends higher; silver leads metals, up 3%. The VIX fell 1.39 to 17.57.
"Economy created 163,000 jobs in July, much more than analysts expected, Stocks surged on the news, giving indexes gains for the week." 
"Stocks rallied Friday as a stronger-than-expected July jobs report helped lift markets for the week. More" 

Marketwatch says: 
Jobs report lifts stocks. "Economy created 163,000 jobs in July, much more than analysts expected, giving the bulls plenty of room to run. Also helping: talk that Spain will file a request for financial aid."
Labor market's treading water — and that's not bad. "Treading water doesn't get you very far but it does prevent you from going under, Rex Nutting argues." 
Rally puts week into black "Winning run for the Dow and S&P 500 now in fourth week after July jobs report exceeds expectations."
July data show improved hiring. 
Morici: Jobs recovery should be stronger by now. 
Romney calls July jobless rate a 'hammer blow'. 
Why stocks can grow more than the economy. 
Michael Gayed weighs in on The most important charts in the world. 
Mark Hulbert: Don't get mad, get even. 
Howard Gold reports: Shilling: New recession has begun. 
Paul Farrell opines: Big Oil is Earth’s Public Enemy No. 1. 
Spaniards forge ahead. "Despite hurdles, Spanish people are setting up their own businesses as the more traditional options for career advancement shrink."
Will Spain send SOS today?
Rajoy: No decision yet on request for aid. 
Spanish unemployment hits all-time high. 
Spain 2-year yield plunges; 10-year holds above 7%. 
Peter Brimelow reports that the China letter shows signs of life. 

State of the Markets articles include: 
What's Really Behind The Rally? "Everyone has seen that the jobs report came in better than expected. Everybody knows that Spain has now admitted they have a problem and needs help. But what you may not know is... ... Read More »"
U.S. Job Growth Improves in July. "While most of the attention has been placed on the action (or lack thereof) from the world's central bankers this week, the state of the jobs market appears to have improved last month as the economy ... Read More »" 
Dragging Their Feet? Or.... "Many analysts have opined that last week's three-day joyride to the upside, during which the DJIA spurted more than 450 points higher, was based on (a) the hope that the European Central Bank would quit dinking around and finally do something about the spike in interest rates that is threatening the Eurozone and (b) the idea that the Fed would soon drop the flag on another Risk-On trade in stocks, emerging markets, and commodities. And with both Super Mario and Helicopter Ben having dropped some pretty big hints that something ... Read More »"
Draghi Says Bond Buying Plans Being Developed "Stocks initially sold off hard at the open of trading on Thursday in response to a lack of action taken by the ECB. However, ECB President Draghi seemed to assure reporters that plans were in the ... Read More »"
ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (Services Sector) Improves in July. 
Quote, Unquote: Super Mario Marinates Some Muppet Meat. 
Market Mover: Spain Rumored to Ask for Aid.
European Services PMI Improve Modestly.
China's Services PMI Pulls Back in July. 

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

This week, the markets have continued to present a rising sawtooth profile (please see the two-year charts below)..


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2012-8-2: (Thursday Night): The markets fell yet again today: Fourth day down, Stocks end in the red after Draghi disappoints. The NASDAQ Composite shed another 10.44 points (-0.36%) to end at 2,909.77. The Dow declined a further 92.18 points (-0.71%) to close at 12,878.88; the S&P 500 dipped another 10.32 points (-0.75%) to settle at 1,365.00. Oil closed down at 87.43: Oil trades lower after Draghi disappoints; Gold ended at 1,594: Gold under $1,600 as Draghi offers no plan. The VIX fell 1.39 to 17.57.
"Major indexes are lower but taper losses on disappointment over the ECB president's conditional efforts to tackle the European debt crisis." 
"U.S. stocks ended Thursday in the red, but off the lows of the day, after investors were disappointed by European Central Bank president Mario Draghi's failure to announce concrete plans to help solve Europe's debt crisis. More" 

Marketwatch says: 
Draghi fails to back up the talk. "The European Central Bank's president leaves investors grasping in vain for details (First Take)"
Text of Draghi's opening statement. 
Draghi: ECB ready but governments must act. 
ECB and Bank of England stand pat on rates. 
Will Bundesbank win facedown vs. Draghi? 
China's People's Bank Of China seeks stability. "The People's Bank of China says it will make stabilizing growth a bigger priority, signaling rising concern over the world's No. 2 economy." 
Kevin Marder notes that Institutional investors exit growth stocks. 
Thomas Kee, Jr., claims that Central banks can't stop the weakness.
Silver: How low can it go? 
Global state of delusion "Faith and fantasy seem to be sustaining the view that a worldwide recovery is indeed achievable, writes former banker and author Satyajit Das." 

State of the Markets articles include: 
Looking Ahead to Friday's Market. 
The "Bernanke Put" Will Return. "In case you are not familiar, the term "Bernanke Put" refers to the idea that if things get bad enough in the stock market, owners of equities will always be able to "put" their shares onto Ben Bernanke at some point. Well, not literally of course. However, history has shown that whenever things get ugly - I mean really ugly - the Fed's cavalry has always mounted their white horses and come to the rescue with plans to stimulate the economy, which, of course, caused stock prices to improve. To be fair, it wasn't always called the Bernanke Put. Before Gentle Ben's declaration that he ... Read More »"
Draghi Says Bond Buying Plans Being Developed "Stocks initially sold off hard at the open of trading on Thursday in response to a lack of action taken by the ECB. However, ECB President Draghi seemed to assure reporters that plans were in the ... Read More »"
ECB Leaves Rates Unchanged; All Eyes on Draghi's Press Conference 
Despite High Expectations, Draghi Doesn't Deliver 
Factory Orders Miss The Mark in June
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Pulls Back Again
Week Jobless Claims Remain in Recent Range. 
Challenger Planned Job Cuts Lowest of Year. 

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

Market futures are flat tonight.


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2012-8-1: (Wednesday Night): The markets fell again today: Stocks hold off for Europe, Stocks falter after Fed, eyes on ECB. The NASDAQ Composite fell another 19.31 points (-0.66%) to end at 2,820.21. The Dow dropped 32.55 points (-0.25%) to close at 12,976.13; the S&P 500 backpedaled 4 points (-0.43%) to settle at 1,375.32. Oil closed down at 88.88: Oil ends higher on supply drop, brushes off Fed; Gold ended at 1,603: Gold ends lower; silver leads losses among metals. The VIX rose 0.03 to 18.96.
"Markets end lower after Fed holds pat on policy. "The fireworks are tomorrow," says equity strategist Jim Russell on expected ECB move." 
"U.S. stocks edged lower Wednesday after the Federal Reserve left its economic policies unchanged, dashing hopes for more stimulus measures. More" 

Marketwatch says: 
Fed won't add to stimulus. "U.S. central bank downgrades economic outlook but leaves interest rate targets unchanged."
How to keep the young unemployed. "Various Washington policies have left those most in need of workplace experience sidelined and excluded, writes Diana Furchtgott-Roth in Commentary."
Buy farms and food. "So argues money manager Jeremy Grantham, who says a "global food crisis" is unlikely to ebb anytime soon."
ADP: 163,000 private-sector jobs in July. 
Thomas Kee, Jr., claims that Central banks can't stop the weakness.
Michael Gayed predicts Silver set to rally amid forced reflation. 
Four signs your investment is a Ponzi.
Matthew Lynn advises us that It’s time to buy burnt-out European stocks. 
Bundesbank rains on Draghi’s ambitions. 
Al Lewis concludes: The depression is here — it’s just invisible. 
When global investors stay home.
Mark Hulbert asks Are we in a Kids’ Market?. 

State of the Markets articles include: 
Fed Takes No Action But "Will" If Data Worsens. "As was largely expected, the FOMC did not make any changes to monetary policy on Wednesday. There was no new quantitative easing program, no extension of the ZIRP, and no extension of Operation Twist. However, the Fed’s statement did contain one hint that additional stimulus could be forthcoming in the near term. The key was a very subtle change of wording in the FOMC statement released Wednesday. On June 20th, the Fed statement read: “The Committee is prepared to take further action as appropriate to ... Read More »"
While We Wait... "In light of the fact that the world is waiting on word from the U.S. Federal Reserve today and then the ECB tomorrow as to whether or not more stimulative measures are going to be forthcoming, we thought it would be an appropriate time to review what to (and what not to) expect from the world's most influential central bankers. In addition, we thought that this might be a good time to check in on the status of our major market models. In other words, we needed something to occupy ... Read More »"
Will This Time Be Different? (I'm Just Asking) "ProTrader manager Curtis Bergquist offers up his view on the global macro environment. And in short, things aren't looking so hot to him. Here's the reason's why... ... Read More »"
Construction Spending Continues to Expand in June
ISM Manufacturing Index Stays Weak in July; Supports Stimulus Case. 
NAAIM Index Shows Active Managers Sticking with Stocks. 
Investors Intelligence- Bullish Sentiment Dips. 
ADP Employment Report Surprises To Upside in July. 
Eurozone PMI's Confirms Ongoing Contraction. 
Trouble in Motor City? 

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

Market futures are slightly positive tonight.


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2012-7-31: (Tuesday Night): The markets declined somewhat again today: Down day dents July gains, Stocks: Investors hit pause ahead of Fed, ECB. The NASDAQ Composite fell another 6.32 points (-0.21%) to end at 2,839.52. The Dow dropped 64,33 points (-0.49%) to close at 13,008.68; the S&P 500 backpedaled 5.98 points (-0.43%) to settle at 1,379.32. Oil closed down at 88.16: Oil futures turn lower, gain 4% for month; Gold ended at 1,619: Gold ends lower, holds to modest monthly advance. The VIX rose 0.90 to 18.93.
"Stock indexes fell Tuesday, but July still comes in a winner, marking a second straight month of market gains. Europe pessimism took its toll." 
"U.S. stocks closed down slightly Tuesday amid another day of cautious trading ahead of meetings by U.S. and European central bankers. More" 

Marketwatch says: 
Europe fears hit Street. "U.S. stocks tilt lower as optimism that Europe will take bold steps to curb the debt crisis subsides."
Bundesbank says ECB should focus on prices. "Germany's central bank wants monetary policy in the euro zone to remain strictly focused on price stability, with members with fiscal problems utilizing fiscal instruments."
Draghi leaves room for ECB disappointment. 
Germany returns to Realpolitik in euro crisis.
Jamie Dimon's next apology? 
Bond king Bill Gross may be stocks’ best buddy 
McMillan on the hated bull market 
Europe, politics hamper recovery: Geithner 
Kevin Marder notes that: Stocks idle before data deluge. 
Picture yourself at the Fed ""
Fed's likely to bide its time "FOMC will hold off from launching a new stimulus plan for the economy, in order to get a better handle on the outlook, economists say."
Consumer-confidence gauge rises in July. 
Spending falls in June. 
Home prices jump. 
Congress has budget deal "Stopgap spending measure that will fund the government for six months has agreement from Senate and House leaders, Sen. Reid says."
What a Romney win would mean for markets. 
Farrell: Real crash is dead ahead. 
David Weidner writes: Why being bad is better on Wall Street. 
Irwin Kellner discusses Living in a Catch-22 economy. 

State of the Markets articles include: 
Looking Ahead to Wednesday's Market. 
Will Europe Be Fixed? "Although the DJIA and S&P 500 remain just a rumor or two away from their respective high-water marks for the current bull market cycle that began on March 9, 2009, the global macro backdrop remains dour. The central theme for those seeing the glass as half empty these days is based on the ideas that (a) growth is slowing in the good 'ol USofA, China and India, and (b) that the sovereign debt crisis is going to end badly. As ... Read More »"
Apple Spikes For Third Day - What Gives?
Consumer Confidence Perks Up in July, But... 
Chicago PMI Headline BTE better than expected), But Employment Dives. 
Case-Shiller Home Price Index Down Again. 
Personal Income Up Nicely, Spending Flat in June. 

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

Market futures are mixed again tonight.


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2012-7-30: (Monday Night): The markets dipped minutely today: 3rd straight rally falls short, Investors await central bank action. The NASDAQ Composite fell back 12.25 points (-0.41&) to end at 2,845.84. The Dow eased 2.65 points (-0.02%) to close at 13,073.01; the S&P 500 retreated 0.67 points (-0.05%) to settle at 1,385.30. Oil closed down at 89.74: Oil ends marginally lower; natural gas rallies; Gold ended at 1,625: Gold extends gains to fourth session. The VIX rose 1/33 to 18.03.
"There's little Monday follow-up on last week's buying, but losses are muted by up days for Apple and Cisco. Dow gives up just 3 points." 
"Investors were unwilling to make any big bets Monday, waiting to see if there will be further stimulus announced by U.S. and European central bankers later this week. More" 
Note that there isn't a single article about the Eurozone tonight. "All's quiet on the Western Front."

Marketwatch says: 
This stock-market trend is a bullish sign.
Michael gayed notes that Inverse ‘Summer Crash’ takes shape.
Prepare yourselves for larger market whipsaws. 
Treasurys edge up before Fed, ECB meetings. 
Peter Brimelow asks: Is gold getting ready for take-off? 
Asia readies for QE3 roller coaster . 
Only small steps this month. "A new stimulus plan will be on hold, but Chairman Ben Bernanke may have the Fed poised to take small measures to hold rates low this week." 
Rex Nutting proffers Five lessons for Bernanke. 

State of the Markets articles include: 
Looking Ahead to Tuesday's Market. 
Buying the Rumor(s). "On July 15th, my morning missive was entitled Nobody Wants to Miss Out. After six consecutive down days, during which time investors had been treated to any number of negative headlines on the state of the U.S. economy, the weakening outlook in China, the latest Li(e)bor scandal, as well as the never ending debt crisis facing Europe, the market had spiked higher - on a Friday the 13th no less. If you recall, this particular joyride to the upside was triggered by comments from Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart, who had told an audience that the "another policy decision looms" and that the FOMC could indeed take further action before the current round of Operation ... Read More »"
Rates Decline at Italian Bond Auction
Eurozone Confidence Indices Continue to Suffer.
Quotable Quotes and Notable Notes -- July 29, 2012 
Earnings? What Earnings? 

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

Market futures are mixed tonight.


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2012-7-27: (Friday Night): The markets jumped again today: Euro-zone hopes aid stocks, Dow hits 13,000 as stocks rally. The NASDAQ Composite expanded 64.84 points (-2.24%) to end at 2,893.25. The Dow leaped 187.73 points (1.45%) to close at 13,075.66; the S&P 500 retreated 25.95 points (1.91%) to settle at 1,385.97. Oil closed up at 90.26: Oil gains on Europe, stimulus-talk hopes; Gold hopped up to 1,627: Gold settles higher on euro optimism. The VIX fell 0.83 to 16.70.
"U.S. stocks rally, with S&P 500 index joining the Dow in positive turf for the week, after Germany and France jointly pledge to protect he euro zone." 
"U.S. stocks rallied Friday on hopes that central banks in Europe and the United States will take steps to support the economy. More" 

Marketwatch says: 
Stocks gain 1%-2% in week "Triple-digit gains for Dow and S&P extend into second session after comments out of Europe."
Merkel, Hollande vow to 'protect' euro zone.
Geithner to meet with top European leaders 
China flexes muscle with Cnooc deal for Nexen 
Europe stocks rise on ECB bond-buying report. 
S&P affirms United Kingdom's triple-A rating. 
U.S. growth slows to 1.5% in second quarter. 
Sentiment edges up. 
July consumer sentiment at lowest point of year.
Is Blankfein right about the U.S.?
Michael Gayed writes: Central-bank paranoia returns. 

State of the Markets articles include: 
Market Mover- Draghi, Weidmann Talking New Crisis Measures. "Stocks surged to the highs of the day Friday afternoon on word that Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann and ECB President Mario Draghi will hold talks prior to next week’s ECB meeting in order to discuss new measures to combat the European sovereign debt crisis. In short, the move in stocks appears to have been underpinned by expectations for the ECB to offer an aggressive policy response to the latest flare-up in the Eurozone sovereign debt ... Read More »"
US Economic Growth Rate Slows in Q2. "The nation's economy slowed in the second quarter to the weakest rate since the second quarter of 2011. Analysts had expected growth to slow and the report was actually ... Read More »"
University of Michigan Sentiment Perks Up a Bit.
Is There a New Chairman at the Federal Reserve? 
ECB Reportedly Readying Plans to Buy Italian/Spanish Bonds 

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

The markets are slowly, slowly working their way up.


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2012-7-26: (Thursday Night): The markets jumped today after remarks by the European Central Bank's Mario Draghi: Dow surges back to black, Stocks hold strong rally. The NASDAQ Composite expanded 39.01 points (-1.37%) to end at 2,893.25. The Dow soared 211.88 points (-0.79%) to close at 12,721.46; the S&P 500 retreated 12.14 points (1.67%) to settle at 1,360.02. Oil eased down to 89.14: Oil futures rise on Draghi’s euro pledge; Gold hopped up to 1,617: Gold rises a second day on Draghi’s euro vow. The VIX fell 1.81 to 17.53
"Stocks soar after comments from ECB's Draghi and after some positive U.S. data reports."
"Hope for a real solution to Europe's ailing economy lifted U.S. stocks Thursday, after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi said the central bank would do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. More" 

Marketwatch says: 
ECB bond buys are back on table. "Mario Draghi says European Central Bank will do "whatever it takes" to preserve currency."
Europe rallies on Draghi. 
Spain yield below 7%. 
Euro jumps as ECB’s Draghi pledges to save it. 
GDP preview: The economy in charts.
Japan deflating faster. "Japan's deflation accelerates in June, making the Bank of Japan more likely to ease further and sending the yen briefly lower." 
Japan's retail sales worsen in June 
Asia rallies on Europe hope. "Asia markets rise, matching sharp U.S. gains, as investors cheer an apparent pledge from the European Central Bank to keep euro zone intact."
Jon Markman anticipates More trouble as funds abandon euro banks. "When formulating economic policy, we must first take care of our short-run needs before we can deal with those of the long run, writes Irwin Kellner."
QE3: Two reasons why it's different this time. 
Kevin Marder writes that Stocks flounder amid institutional dumping.
Darrell Delamaide notes that New disclosures cloud Geithner’s record.
Mark Hulbert tells how A contrarian handicaps the election..
Peru, Colombia forge ahead in Latin America. "Young populations, growing middle classes and dynamic economic expansion are helping Colombia and Peru attract more investment."
Matthew Lynn says 4 flash points make this August a hot one. 
Look to the hammer and nail, lads. 

State of the Markets articles include: 
Looking Ahead to Friday's Market. 
Draghi Says ECB Will Do 'Whatever It Takes' To Save Euro. "Reuters highlighted dovish comments Thursday from ECB President Mario Draghi who, while speaking at an investment conference in London, gave the markets hope that the central bank is ready to spring into action to fight the growing European sovereign debt crisis. Draghi said that the central bank will do whatever is necessary to protect the ... Read More »"
Pending Home Sales Pull Back in June.
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Heading Wrong Direction. 
Weekly Jobless Claims Fall 35K. 
Going For The Gold. "The Olympic games kicked off this week amidst the weakest economy in the UK since 2009. However, this doesn't mean there aren't a host of interesting tidbits about the games available this week ... Read More »"

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

Market futures are neutral tonight.


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2012-7-23: (Monday Night): The markets plunged again today: Stocks get Greco-Spanish flu, Skittish investors hold stocks lower. The NASDAQ Composite careened 35.15 points (-1.20%) to end at 2,890.15. The Dow dove 111.11 points (-0.79%) to close at 12,721.46; the S&P 500 retreated 12.14 points (-0.89%) to settle at 1,350.52. Oil eased down to 88.66: Europe sends oil tumbling; Gold lost a little to 1,577.40: Gold ends lower on concerns about Europe. The VIX rose 02.35 to 18.62
"Dow industrials have their first consecutive triple-digit point loss since April as investors worry about the ability of Spain and Greece to manage their debts." 
"Stocks pared losses on Monday, but all three indexes still closed lower as worries that Spain may need a full-blown bailout sparked a global sell-off. More" 

Marketwatch says: 
More bad Mondays ahead. "Monday’s triple-digit Dow decline was not an aberration. On the contrary, writes Mark Hulbert, the market will not be able to mount a sustainable rally until the Wall of Worry gets rebuilt."
U.S. stocks drop again as Europe fear mounts. 
Cisco laying off 2% of its workforce. 
Moody's warns on Germany. "Ratings agency lowers the outlook on Germany's triple-A rating to negative due to mounting uncertainties from the euro-zone debt crisis. Moody's also cuts outlooks on the Netherlands and Luxembourg."
Budget deficit should be bigger "When formulating economic policy, we must first take care of our short-run needs before we can deal with those of the long run, writes Irwin Kellner."
Asia softens despite data. "Most Asia stocks markets fall as fresh worries about Europe drain investor confidence, though some losses moderate after China data."
China factories revive but still weak, data show. "China's manufacturing activity gets its strongest reading since February, according to preliminary HSBC data, though sector remains in contraction."
Kevin Marder writes that Stocks get socked and cash is king. "
Bond action does not bode well for stocks.
The bear-market rally has ended.
Paul Farrell explains that Water is the new gold, a big commodity bet. 

State of the Markets articles include: 
Looking Ahead to Tuesday's Market. 
Mucking Up The Works. "Up until Friday, the path forward appeared to be fairly clear for the bulls. Although the argument being offered was well worn, it was also fairly straightforward as our heroes in horns suggested that stocks were a buy due to the likelihood of the Fed cavalry once again coming to the rescue of the economy if things soured going forward. The bulls have been arguing that if the economy weakens, the Fed will come in with more stimulus, which will create another big "risk on" opportunity for traders. And then if the economy improves, the ... Read More »"
Let's Look at Spain and Europe. "It looks like "risk off" is the key at the present time as the European debt crisis is back in a big way. However, this isn't exactly surprising to me as I've been negative on the situation for some ... Read More »"
HSBC China Flash Manufacturing PMI Improves. 
Moody's Cuts Germany, Netherlands and Luxembourg Rating Outlooks. 
Fed Update: Williams Says Further Action Needed.
Spain Bans Short Selling in All Stocks. 
IMF May Cut Off Aid to Greece Following ECB Move. 
Chinese Stocks Dive On Report of Further Slowdown. 
Yields Soar in Spain and Italy as Crisis Worsens. 

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

Market futures are neutral tonight.


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2012-7-20: (Friday Night): The markets plummeted today: Stocks' July gains gone, U.S. stocks slide 1%, financials drag. The NASDAQ Composite careered 40.6 points (-1.37%) to end at 2,925.30. The Dow dove 120.79 points (-0.93%) to close at 12,822.57; the S&P 500 retreated 13.85 points (-1.01%) to settle at 1,362.66. Oil moved up to 92.20: Oil snaps winning streak, but up 5% on week; Gold gained a little to 1,583: Gold ends higher; copper the top loser. The VIX fell 0.82 to 16.27
"GE and Microsoft earnings show struggle to grow revenue in slowing global economy, but it's blue-chip financials dragging on the Dow." 
"After three days of gains, U.S. stocks fell Friday, as a mixed bag of corporate news and ongoing debt problems in Europe prompted investors to take some money off the table. More" 

Marketwatch says: 
U.S. stocks fall as Europe fear overrides earnings. 
Treasurys strengthen as Spain worries grow. 
Brazilian stocks fall on rekindled Europe worries 
Safer with Dodd-Frank? "Banks are ramping up compliance, regulators are drafting copious new rules — and many analysts still doubt that the financial system is any more stable than it was after the 2008 financial crisis." 
Howard Gold observes that Volatility just ain't what it used to be.
Food inflation fears grow as corn jumps to record.
Credit pact lays new charges on consumers 

State of the Markets articles include: 
GE Beats EPS Estimate But Misses on Revenues. 

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

There's not a lot on the wires tonight.


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2012-7-19: (Thursday Night): The markets rose again today: Stocks hang on to black, Stocks 'stuck in limbo'. The NASDAQ Composite jumped 23.3 points (0.79%) to end at 2,965.90. The Dow advanced 34.66 points (0.27%) to close at 12,943.36; the S&P 500 rose 3.73 points (0.27%) to settle at 1,376.51. Oil moved up to 92.20: Oil leaps to 7-week highs; Gold gained a little to 1,581: Gold trades higher. The VIX fell 0.71 to 15.45
"Major indexes seesaw with earnings from IBM, others weighed against anemic economic data." 
"U.S. stocks held modest gains Thursday as investors weighed the latest corporate results against signs of economic weakness. More" 

Marketwatch says: 
THOMAS H. KEE JR.
Thomas Kee, Jr., writes: A bearish strategy for a bull market. 
Kevin Marder notes that Stocks scale wall of worry. 

Oil bears were wrong "Crude futures rise about 3%, advancing past the $90-a-barrel level, on their way to clinch a seventh day of gains on upbeat equity markets and data showing a decline in inventories." 
German parliament backs Spain bank aid.
Earnings boost Europe stocks.
The EU's struggles. 
Philly factory activity stays weak in July.
Sales of existing homes drop 5.4% in June. 
Leading economic index declines in June. 
U.S. weekly jobless claims shoot back up 
Youngsters should buy bonds now, stocks later 
Lawrence Macmillan says: In focus: Pessimism continues. 
U.S. job gains need to nudge housing 
Darrell Delamaide is leaving Marketwatch to become Editor-in-Chief of USA Today: My final salute to MarketWatch. "David Callaway, who is leaving marketwatch after the markets close on Friday, looks back on his 13 years at the helm of this financial-news site."
How FDR won re-election with 8% jobless rate "Barack Obama is trying to become the first president to win re-election with an unemployment rate above 8%. So how did Franklin Roosevelt do it in 1936 and 1940? (Political Watch)"
Offshoring, misunderstood 
Manufacturers press for lowering tax rate 

State of the Markets articles include: 
Looking Ahead to Friday's Market 
It's Not About the Reason; It's About... "I'm not exactly sure why network executives think they need to have bottle-blond former models or actresses with foreign accents reading teleprompters on the market channels these days. To be honest, I don't know of a single professional investor that tunes into a particular station to watch the "talent." And then when the usually less-than ... Read More »"
Google Beats on Top and Bottom Lines
Microsoft Earnings Beat Estimates; Stock Higher. 
Philly Fed Index Down Again In July.
US Leading Economic Index Falls Again in June. 
Existing Home Sales Fall in June. 
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Pulls Back. 
Weekly Jobless Claims Up Sharply. 

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

Market futures are flat tonight.


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2012-7-18: (Wednesday Night): The markets rose again today: Stocks rally for a 2nd day., Tech shares lead broad stock advance. The NASDAQ Composite jumped 32.56 points (1.12%) to end at 2,942.60. The Dow advanced 103.08 points (0.80%) to close at 12,908.62; the S&P 500 rose 9.11 points (0.67%) to settle at 1,372.78. Oil moved up to 89.844: Oil swells to seven-week high; Gold slipped a little to 1,575: Gold retreats for third day; copper gains. The VIX fell 0.70 to 15.78
"Undeterred by a slightly weaker Fed Beige Book, stocks move higher with technology shares in the lead" 
"U.S. stocks closed higher Wednesday as investors focused on better-than-expected corporate results and testimony from the chairman of the Federal Reserve. More" 

Marketwatch says: 
U.K. stock index up as unemployment falls 
Bernanke doesn’t expect double-dip recession. "Fed chief says he doesn’t expect the economy to slide back into recession. He held the door open for more easing but made no commitments."
Beige Book shows spreading U.S. slowdown. "More Fed districts report that the economy in their regions is losing steam."
Dollar, Treasury yields stay down after Beige Book 
‘Lie’-bor, or the art of the lie and your money. This is a compnaion article to David Weidner's article last night about the meaning of the LIBOR scandal.
Michael Gayed advises that Bond-to-stock switch can still flip.
Credit-card pact no deal for consumers. "The $7 billion settlement, if approved, sends a strong message to consumers: Buck up and plan on paying for the privilege of using a credit card."
Housing starts up; recovery years away. 
10 threats real estate faces. "Concerns include
an aging population, changing demands for office and retail space and student-debt burdens." 

State of the Markets articles include: 
The Path Forward. "Lots of folks are talking about the idea that the stock market is experiencing a case of déjà vu all over again at the present time. Given the similar chart patterns seen over the past two summers, the eerily familiar soft patch facing the economy once again, the similarities in the factors driving the action, and the general feeling that for the third summer in a row the outlook doesn't look very bright, I can't really blame anyone who might be looking ahead to the ... Read More »"
The Soap Opera at Procter & Gamble "There is definitely some drama going on at Procter & Gamble. CEO Robert McDonald has come under fire and activist investor Bill Ackman has even picked up a few shares to get into the game... ... Read More »"
NAAIM Index Shows Active Managers Staying Long. 
Housing Starts and Building Permits Mixed in June.
Investors Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Declines Slightly 

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

Market futures are up 0.2% tonight.


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2012-7-17: (Tuesday Night): The markets fell a little today: Putting a pop into stocks; Stocks hold on to rally. The NASDAQ Composite rebounded 13.10 points (0.45%) to end at 2,910.04. The Dow advanced 78.33 points (0.62%) to close at 12,805.54; the S&P 500 rose 10.03 points (0.74%) to settle at 1,363.67 Oil moved up to 88.94: Oil futures rally on dollar, Bernanke; Gold was basically unchanged at 1583: Gold ends lower. The VIX fell 0.52 to 16.58.
"Stock indexes did close off their lows as the euro improved against the dollar." 
"Solid results from Coca-Cola and Goldman Sachs lift markets as focus turns from Fed to earnings" 

Marketwatch says: 
Rex Nutting warns 'QE3' won't stop fiscal cliff. "Additional quantitative easing would be pointless, writes Rex Nutting. The U.S. economy still faces two major risks, and there's nothing Fed chief Bernanke or the Federal Reserve can do about it. (First Take)"
Pessimistic Bernanke doesn’t commit to action
Full text of Bernanke's testimony. 
Farrell warns on Bernanke and wealth destruction 
Builder confidence rises. "Home-builder trade group's sentiment survey climbs to highest since March 2007."
Lower energy costs curb retail-level inflation 
Industrial production rises 0.4% in June 
Irwin Kellner: Where did economic policy go wrong?
Michael Farr: Help needed from Congress (audio) 
David Weidner: Ignore Libor scandal at your own risk. This is a stunning exposé. David Weidner is pointing out that for the past seven years, banks have been rigging the London Interbank Offering Rate (LIBOR)... the benchmark rate that sets global interest rates. During this period, the banks have been in a position to profit by trading on their insider knowledge. Now, Bob Diamond, the responsible CEO, has been let off with a slap on the wrist, and, I would presume, a wealthy future.
Kevin Marder: 4 steps back, 3 forward 
Michael Ashbaugh's column: Charting the bull-bear battleground. 
Is Gross wrong about recession?. 
State budget crises to last "Even if the U.S. economy rebounds the financial woes facing many states will linger indefinitely."
Barclays: 10-year Treasury to hit 1.25%. Basically, what Barclay's is predicting is either deflation or an ever more desperate flight to safety.
U.S. yields up from near record low after Bernanke. The record low on the 10-year Treasury bond is about 1.43%.
Mark Hulbert advises us to Ignore the news headlines! "It’s been nearly one year since the unthinkable happened: The U.S. government’s credit rating was downgraded. Mark Hulbert looks at what we’ve learned in the past 12 months."

State of the Markets articles include: 
Diametrically Opposed. "It is often said that a disagreement between opposing sides is what "makes a market." What's especially interesting about this concept in the stock market is the fact that although there are two clearly defined teams in the game, oftentimes the expectation each has with regard to the future doesn't vary to any great degree. However at this point in time, the lines are clearly drawn and our two teams are diametrically opposed in their view as to what is likely to transpire next. Given that by definition the bulls ... Read More »"
Bernanke Says Economy Decelerating But Offers No Hints on QE
NAHB Homebuilder Confidence Index Moves Up in July 
Industrial Production Above, Capacity Utilization Below Expectations in June
CPI Report Shows Inflation Flat in June. 
Eurozone ZEW Index Stays Weak. 
German ZEW Confidence Index Slides Again in July 
Yields Fall At Spanish T-Bill Auction 
Coca Cola Report Beats Consensus 

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

Market futures are down a little tonight.


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2012-7-16: (Monday Night): The markets fell a little today: Dow, S&P 500 end lower for 7th seesion in 8; Stocks end in the red after weak retail sales. The NASDAQ Composite rlipped 11.53 points (0.40%) to end at 2,896.94. The Dow retreated 48.88 points (-0.39%) to close at 12,727.21; the S&P 500 gave up 3.14 points (-0.23%) to settle at 1,353.64 Oil jumped (yet again) to 88.20: Oil futures rally on dollar, Bernanke; Gold was basically unchanged at 1588: Gold ends lower, seen confined to range. The VIX rose 0.37 to 17.11.
"Stock indexes did close off their lows as the euro improved against the dollar." 
"U.S. stocks finished lower Monday as investors moved into Treasuries, sending the 10-year yield to a record low, following disappointing June retail sales data. More" 

Marketwatch says: 
Retail miss hitting stocks. "Weak retail sales data and more worries from Europe drag on U.S. stocks. Citi shares rise."
Coal stocks collapse.
Treasury yields near lows. 
Does Romney believe in capitalism? Obama? "Obama and Romney are beating each other up over outsourcing, but both know it’s the essence of our market economy, writes Rex Nutting."
U. S. retail sales drop 0.5%. 
Beemer: don't look for relief in retail sales (audio) 
Manufacturing rebounds a bit in New York 
IMF trims global forecast "The global economy is weak and is facing significant downside risks, according to the IMF."
David Marsh: Grimm tale from Eurozone. 
Craig Stephen: China deflation threatens profit. 
Pockets of strength aren't enough (video) "The Great Plains and Midwest are rebounding from the recession faster, but economists say their recoveries aren't enough to lift the rest of the U.S. economy." 
Avi Gilbert says: The stock market is building a top. 
Michael Gayed observes: Walmart indicator goes critical.
J.P. Morgan accused of pushing own funds. 
Economists slash U.S. GDP forecasts 
Ben Bernanke, the dove "Financial markets could cheer
up this week given what the Federal Reserve chief is likely to say about central bank's accommodating policy."
Moody's lowers ratings at 13 Italian banks 

State of the Markets articles include: 
Looking Ahead to Tuesday's Market. 
Nobody Wants To Miss Out "I'm guessing that many investors were likely left scratching their heads on Friday. After six straight down days, during which time the sentiment toward the global macro view went from bad to worse, an impressive blast higher occurred on Friday. Out of nowhere and on no news to speak of, the Dow surged 204 points. The move erased fully four days of losses in a single session (with the majority of the rally coming in the first 35 minutes Friday ... Read More>>"
Business Inventories Up +0.3% in May 
Empire Manufacturing Index Improves in July
Retail Sales Numbers Disapppoint in June. 
Citi's EPS Beats Expectations But Revenues Light. 

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

Market futures are up 0.4% tonight.


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2012-7-13: (Friday Night): The markets reversed sharply today: Banks lift stocks out of red; Stocks rally 1.5%. The NASDAQ Composite regained 42.28 points (1.48%) to end at 2,908.47. The Dow advanced 203.76 points (1.62%) to close at 12,777.01; the S&P 500 vaulted 22.01 points (1.65%) to settle at 1,356.77. Oil jumped (again) to 87.26: Oil ends higher, gains more than 3% on week; Gold hopped up to 1589: Gold ends higher, breaks string of losses. The VIX rose 0.10 to 20.29.
"A strong market surge led by bank shares clears out the week's losses and puts stocks firmly on track to end their longest losing run since May." 
"U.S. stocks rallied Friday, with the Dow and S&P 500 on track to snap a six-day losing streak, as JPMorgan Chase reported stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings despite a trading loss of $5.8 billion so far this year. More" 

Marketwatch says: 
Detrick: Expectations down, stocks on way up.
Atlanta Fed's Lockhart hints at QE3 support.
Financials in a frenzy. 
Is J.P. Morgan too big? "The huge trading loss by the nation's No. 1 bank highlights whether banks should be allowed to be so big that they imperil the whole financial system, and thus 'too big to fail,' and perhaps 'too big to manage?'"
Loss from soured trades balloons to $5.8 billion 
Size of bank's to save CEO 
How 2012's top money ideas have fared so far "Midyear checkup of 10 investment themes reveals some hits and misses."
Don't give up on stocks. 
The week in charts: Chicken or egg? 
Howard Gold: Enjoy the rallies while they last 
Michael Gayed addresses: Mini-correction sequel and the bear paradox.
Brett Arends points out Romney's 'unforgivable' planning mistake (video). 
Mark Hulbert says: Intelligent bet remains on gold. 
Treasurys fall for first day in seven 

State of the Markets articles include: 
Fed's Lockhart Says A Decision Looms "Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart, who is a voting member of the FOMC this year, says that another policy decision by the Federal Reserve is in the wings ... Read More »"
China's GDP Growth Rate Continues to Slow "The world's second biggest and arguably the most important economy at the present time continued to slow down in the second quarter of 2012. The gov't reported that GDP growth ... Read More »"
It's a Dirty Bird That Fouls Its Own Nest - Part II "PI was joking with Dave M. last week that he had to post my piece on the most recent scandals in the financial industry within the hour or a new one might pop up and the story would be out of date. Well, that did not happen that