Sunday, March 09, 2008

Market update

I'm not going to comment on the jobs number other than mentioning for the umpteenth time that employment is a lagging indicator as very convincingly shown in Ahead of the Curve (see my book review).

The S&P closed the week at 1293. The volume was 4.3 and 4.6 billion shares on Thursday and Friday, versus 6.0 and 6.5 billion shares on Jan 18/22. Clearly there was still no capitulation, thus the refrain that there was a lack of buyers rather than a surplus of sellers. We're two weeks away from the Mar 22 low of the Armstrong cycle, and all indications are that we would break the Jan low of 1270. I still believe that the coming low will be fairly durable, given a host of negative sentiment readings. An example of such a sentiment indicator is the CBOE equity put/call ratio, which hit a multi year high of 1.12 on Thursday.

My current EW count of the S&P has it in wave iii of a final 5th wave down. So I'm not calling for a final, precipitous drop right away that may be desirable to those who just want to get it over with. If anything, the unusual action in Ambak and Thornburg in the last minutes of Friday's trading session may be foretelling a nice bounce on Monday.

If we do have an early bounce next week for whatever reason, I expect precious metals to tag along for the ride. Overall, gold and silver held up well last week. Silver especially was able to doggedly stay above $20/ounce. According to the latest commitment of traders report, the commercials have been covering their shorts in a rising market. Whispers of a short squeeze have been making the rounds. This is definitely not something I mind: as of Friday my PM trading account is completely reloaded.