Wednesday, January 4, 2012 9:08 am ET
DJIA: 12,397.38 S&P 500: 1277.06
That was a good start ! But, it was also the first day of a new year when institutions started to pick up stocks they didn’t want to show in their year-end reports. I am sure some profit taking took place in order to put gains into 2012, rather than 2011. That too will continue.
But a lot of buying is in response to an improving U.S. economy. If you are a Republican, that may upset you for the obvious reason, President Obama will be even harder to beat if the economy is heating up next October. Try hard to put the politics aside. This is about making money and preserving capital.
Get ready for talk about the January Barometer (JB).*
There are two focuses on market action in January, both tend to give an accurate portrayal of the tone and direction of the market throughout the year. The JB failed to accurately forecast the S&P 500’s direction on only 6 occasions in 60 years and those occasions are excusable by way of extraordinary events. While the S&P 500 was unchanged last year after a 2.26% gain in the S&P 500 in January, the year sported two strong surges in prices (January to May and October to December.
The first 5 days of January (January Early Warning Indicator) provide an early indication of what can be expected for January as a whole. Its accuracy for forecasting for the month of January exceeds 86%.
What does this mean ?
We are talking about a strong tendency for January’s action to forecast the tone of the market and ultimate direction for the year. This is a seasonal pattern that tends to repeat itself, ergo – take it seriously along with acknowledgement that it can be wrong.
If the S&P 500 closes above 1258.48 on Monday, Jan. 9, odds favor it will close out January for a gain with a message that 2012 will be generally favorable for stocks.
CONCLUSION: Institutions cannot sit on the sidelines for long with Treasuries, CDs and money markets yielding next to nothing. If they see the economy gaining traction this year and next, they will become aggressive buyers regardless of who is in the White House next year. They cannot buy “in-size” without showing their hand, and moving targeted stocks up. For individuals also sitting on the sidelines, that is a cruel situation to be in. Under these conditions, investors tend to pine if only the stocks they wanted to buy would come back down so they could buy-in at a lower price. It is also a good way to miss the market.
TODAY: Look for a pullback to the DJIA 12,310 – 12,326 (S&P 500:1270 – 1272) area where buying should come in.
Key economic reports scheduled for release this week may demonstrate how much traction the U.S. economy is gaining.
ISM Manufacturing Index (10 a.m.) A survey of 300 manufacturers encompassing production, new orders, backlogs, inventories, employment, supplier deliveries, exports, imports, prices. November was up 1.2 points to 52.7 (greater than 50 = growth). December was reported at 53.9, comfortably above economist projections of 53.3.
US Construction Spending (10 a.m.) New construction residential, non-residential, public prospects.
Was up 0.8 in Oct., led by a 3.5% gain in private residential. Construction spending rose for the third time in four months, rising 1.2%, well above projections of a gain of 0.5%
Motor Vehicle Sales reported by Autodata Corp., are now running at an impressive 13.6 million annual rate.
Motor Vehicle Sales: ( a.m.) Includes domestic and foreign. Rose 2.8% in Nov. following 1.2% Oct.
US Factory Orders: (10 a.m.) New orders durable and non durables. Fell 0.4% in Oct.
ADP Employment (8:15 a.m.) Includes private payrolls only (no government) through the 12th of each month. Usually, but not always, an early indication for Friday’s Employment Situation report.
Jobless Claims (8:30 a.m.) reported weekly, it includes new claims for unemployment insurance for the first time. Claims rebounded 15,000 in the week ended Dec 24, but was not alarming since the four-week average is declining.
ISM Non-Manufacturing report (10 a.m.)Surveys 375 firms in cross section of U.S. including: agriculture, mining, construction, transportation, communications, wholesale and retail trade. Slipped 0.9% to 52 in November. Readings above 50 suggest growth.
Employment Situation (8:30 a.m.) Includes the “unemployment” report, average workweek, and average hours worked. Jumped 120,000 in November and is projected to jump by 150,000 in Friday’s report according to 62 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
Conclusion: A strong market today suggests the possibility of a strong market in January, leading to a January Barometer signal for a good overall performance for the market this year.*
The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 sovereign member states with origins going back to 1958, but which was officially established by the Maastricht Treaty in 1993. Its goals are a free movement of goods, services, capital and people differing in life style, language, economies, geography, religion, politics and history.
Its 27 Members include: Austria, Belgium Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The EU comprises a population exceeding 500 million people a GDP exceeding 16.2 billion USD, some 20% of the world’s GDP.
Important components of the EU include: European Parliament, European Commission, Council of European Union, European Council Court of Justice and European Union, and the European Central Bank.
The euro area (eurozone) is an economic and monetary union [EMU] of 17 member nations that use the “euro” as their common currency and sole legal tender. Its members include: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.
While the goal of single currency originated with the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1969, it was not until 1993 that members were legally bound to start the monetary union no later than January 1, 1999. At that point, the euro was launched after which it was an “accounting” currency until January 1, 2002 when euro notes and coins were issued and national currencies phased out in the eurozone.
The European Central Bank (ECB) is the central bank for the eurozone. Governed by its president, Mario Draghi, and a board of the heads of national central banks, the ECB’s primary responsibility is to maintain the euro’s purchasing power and price stability within the eurozone.
The Eurosystem is the monetary authority of the eurozone comprised of the ECB and the central banks of its member states, which are charged with applying the ECB’s policy.
The European Commission, comprised of one commissioner from each of the 27 member states, represents the interests of the EU, drafts proposals for laws, and manages the day-to-day business and disbursement of funds.
European Banking Authority (EBA): Established on Jan. 1, 2011 as a regularity agency to conduct stress tests of banks in order to detect weaknesses in capital structure. It has the power to overrule national regulators if necessary to prevent unfair competitive advantages between jurisdictions. It issues a report, Common Reporting Framework (COREP) covering capital requirements regarding credit risk, market risk, operational risk, fund and capital adequacy ratios.
The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF): created by eurozone members to safeguard financial stability in Europe. Authority includes loans to countries in need, intervention in primary and secondary markets pursuant to ECB analysis, finance recapitalizations of financial institutions. It is backed by guarantee from the eurozone members for a total of 780 billion euros and has a lending capacity of 440 billion euros. (not considered adequate)
One euro = 1.3035 U.S. dollar (12/21)
Prominent names: European Union President: Herman van Rompuy, European Central Bank President: Mario Draghi, European Commission President: Jose Manuel Barroso, German Chancellor: Angela Merkel, French President: Nicolas Sarkozy, Italy Prime Minister: Mario Monti, EFSF President: Klaus Regling
Super Committee: While the committee failed, I am keeping this up FYI, since it will continue to get press coverage prior to the “trigger” in January.
Jan. 15, 2012: Date that the “trigger” leading to $1.2 trillion of future spending cuts goes into effect if the committee’s legislation has not been enacted.
Feb. 2012: Approximate time when first $900 bn of debt ceiling runs out.
Feb./Mar.2012: Deadline for Congress to consider a resolution of disapproval for the second tranche ($1.2 – $1.5 trillion) of debt limit increase.
Fall/Winter 2012: When additional $2.1 - $2.4 trillion of borrowing authority from this law runs out.
Jan.2, 2013: OMB orders sequestrations for defense and non-defense categories of spending necessary to meet spending cuts required by the “trigger.”
Recent blog headlines:
Dec. 6, DJIA: 12,097, “Mounting Uncertainties Call for a Pullback of 200 – 300 Dow Points”
Dec. 7, DJIA: 12,150, “Easy Does It ! No Room For Disappointment at Euro Summit
Dec. 8, DJIA: 12,196, “Getting Close to Tectonic Shift- Pessimism to Optimism.”
Dec. 9, DJIA: 12,184, “Good Summit – Uncertainties Linger”
Dec.12, DJIA: 12,184, “Summit’s Success Questioned – Market Seeks Comfort Level”
Dec.13 DJIA: 12,021, “Money Managers Pondering Risk/Reward”
Dec.15, DJIA: 11,954 “More Consolidation Needed”
Dec. 16, DJIA: 11, 568 “ Market Probing for a Level that Discounts Euro-Uncertainties”:
Dec. 19, DJIA: 11,866 “BIG Week: Economic Reports – Watch Housing”
Dec. 20, DJIA: 11,766 “ The U.S. Economy – Last Man Standing ?”
Dec. 21, DJIA: 12,103 “ Housing Turnaround = Wealth Effect Rebound = Economic Expansion”
Dec. 22, DJIA 12,107, “Trading Range Intact
Dec. 23, DJIA 12,169 “Don’t Take the Day Off”
Dec. 27, DJIA: 12,254 “Selective Opportunities”
Dec. 28, DJIA: 12,291 “Market Attempting to Break Out of Trading Range”
Dec. 29, DJIA 12,151 “Opportunities, Even in this Muddle”
Dec.30, DJIA 12,287 “ Strong Stocks Today = Winners Next Year
Jan. 3, DJIA: 12,224 “Good Start, but Follow-Through Key”
*Stock Trader’s Almanac: The January Barometer was developed by Yale Hirsch in 1972 four years after he began publishing the Almanac in 1968. He and son Jeffrey publish it today. (Must buy – loaded with info that will help make money and preserve capital. – www.stocktradersalmanac.com
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