The Financials Review
For the week of November 21, 2011
By Frank LaMantia
Last week saw stocks finish flat and looking somewhat bored. Europe continued to lose momentum due to a lack of buying. The S&P was somewhat limited due to its resistance of 1225 and did hit a weekly low around 1210. Those that are watching saw the tech sector fall 4%. Volume below 1 billion, expirations of monthly options, and a lack of economic data and corporate news did not help the market break out of its funk. Today, existing home sales for October will be announced at 10:00 eastern time. This is expected to come in at 4.85 million. Tuesday, the second estimate for GDP is forecasted to come in at 2.5%, which would be no change from the first estimate. On Wednesday there will be initial claims, durable orders, the Michigan sentiment, and crude inventories. Initial claims are expected to drop to grow by 3k to 391k from 388k prior. Durable orders are expected to drop by -1.0% for October from its last announcement which was 0.6%. Michigan sentiment is expected to be 64.2. (1)
Recent data shows that the economy is on the mend, however, Europe’s financial crisis may threaten it. The index for leading economic indicators grew by 0.9% in October, its best move since February. This is the 6th straight increase which predicts economic activity and takes into account interest rates, permits for construction, money supply growth, unemployment, hours worked, etc. (2) Spain’s jobless rate has grown to 21 % and the government seems to breaking apart. This is trend that seems to be the norm as Greece and Italy have both replaced governments with technocrats. Bond yields are still moving upwards near levels seen in Greece. (3) In the US, the supposed super committee who said they would have a plan to reduce the nation's deficit announced they have failed to put together a plan to reduce the $1.2 trillion they had promised. This committee has been going over this plan for 3 months and has let politics get in the way. The committee is made up of 6 Republicans and 6 Democrats. (4)
Disclaimer: Past performance is not indicative of future results. Trading futures and options involves substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors. Fundamental factors, seasonal and weather trends, daily news, and other current events may have already been factored into the markets. The use of stop loss or contingent orders may not protect profits and may not limit losses to the amount intended. Certain market conditions make it difficult or impossible to execute such orders.