Thursday, July 22, 2010

Back to Top of Recent S&P 500 Range

As I wrote the past 3-4 weeks I expected U.S. multinationals aka the master of the universe to do very well, and they are doing so.  People truly underestimate how their top cost (labor) is ever decreasing as U.S. states and indeed nations desperate to employ their people are throwing ever better tax incentives to keep or attract these large corporations; these truly have been the biggest beneficiaries of globalization.  While reading through the Harley Davidson report I saw how the company is baiting their labor in one state (Wisconsin) versus the threat of moving the work to another - I've read hundreds upon hundreds of these stories the past 10+ years... and those are simply the companies who bother to keep U.S. employees rather than just go offshore.  Most of our states are running huge deficits now but still offering tax incentives to attract or keep corporations in house - that says it all.  If you are a large employer, the world is your oyster.  On the revenue side, most of these companies have relatively stagnant (or cyclical, not secular, growth) in Europe and the U.S. but Asian sales are screaming.

The first 3 weeks of earnings season are chock full of S&P 500 multinational corporations and overall it's been a good run, especially many of the names reporting this week.  As we get deeper into earnings season (about 2 weeks from now) we move to smaller companies which are more dependent on the U.S. consumer rather than Asian so the picture gets less positive.  Keep that in mind.

As for the market, we're back at the top end of the S&P 1040 to 1100 range.  Aggressive traders can place shorts here assuming S&P 1100 holds.  I will pass since the market is acting as if it is on crack cocaine right now.  Further, when markets are up so strongly in 1 direction we have seen reversals very rarely so it will be interesting to see if the juice is there to tack on more points to finish out the session.  More problematic is does anyone have any confidence this will carry to tomorrow?  The way this market now works we could be up 2% tomorrow or down just as much.  Because today can be forgotten by 7 AM tomorrow.

What we can adjust now is that S&P 1070 as a pivot has been changed to 1060 the past 2 weeks... so the big range is still 1040 to 1100, but 1060 is the new mid level support.   It remains very important to the bull case to clear S&P 1100 (first) and then 1130 to create a new higher high.  Over 1130 I'll be more interested in intermediate long positions.

One positive is copper might finally be waking up. I'd like to see it clear $3.20... if so "doctor copper" would tell me China is back from slumber and ready to continue to party.  With almost the entire globe's growth a 2nd derivative play on China, any retrenchment from recent moves to slow down their economy due to inflation fears would be a net positive.  Too soon to tell but yesterday's action was incrementally positive.  (chart below reflects yesterday's closing price)

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