Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Market & Equity Sectors Update $SPY

         Market Update – very quiet trading again in the US; attendance/liquidity continue to dry up as the holidays kick-off (Passover started last night and equities are closed for Good Friday).  Tape a bit more defensive than we have seen, w/most just trying to preserve returns into the end of the Q instead of making large moves in either direction.  Asia traded well overnight, w/commodities leading the way (on the BHP news), but this strength not really translating into gains for Europe or the US.  The US eco #s today were both positive (housing, confidence), but didn't really give more than a transitory boost to stocks (the only number people really care about this week is Fri's BLS #).  We saw selling pressure at 11amET this morning led by the financials as people lightened up on the group ahead of a Volcker speech @ 12:30pmET (some concern, not surprisingly, that he will advocate for his "Volcker Rules").  Also weighing: in Europe the Greek 7yr issue from yesterday isn't trading too well in the secondary market, raising some worries.  However, selling not all that aggressive and buyers continue to come in on weakness (outside of financials, we are essentially flat).  Technically, ~1177 a level (the peak so far today), then 1180, and beyond that, 1197.  On the downside, people watching for a close under 1160. 
         Equity Sectors – tech eking out small gains and outperforming (some select buying in the semis, inc. WFR and MU, leading the group higher).  People watching AMAT's analyst meeting @ 1pmET in tech and then MU/RIMM earnings Wed night.  Financials fall 0.7% and really accounting for the bulk of the market's decline today (some financials selling ahead of a Volcker speech @ 12:30pmET).  Also – we may be seeing some q-end positioning, selling the winners (i.e. financials) and nibbling at the laggards (tech); given that liquidity is only going to get worse over the course of the week, people may be starting some of their Q-end movement now.  Industrials, staples, and telecoms are flattish (industrials act OK on back of the DHR preannouncement).  Energy and materials are both mild laggards (the stronger dollar may be hurting; also – keep in mind both these groups had strong sessions on Mon). 

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