House Vote on Debt Ceiling Today - Countdown Begins

George Brooks |

US CongressThe House will vote today, whether or not to extend the debt limit to May 19 contingent on Congress passing a budget resolution by April 15 for the next fiscal year. Reportedly, if either the House or Senate fails to pass a budget by then, pay for the members of that chamber will be withheld in an escrow account until one is passed Instead, they will use a January 23 vote to try to force Senate Democrats to adopt a budget to spell out their spending plan.

Worth noting: This only delays a potential fight over an increase in the debt ceiling.

Bull markets normally aren’t over until enough speculative frenzy develops to pull most of the individual investors in off the sidelines. That may be in the early stages of happening.. According to EPFR Global, individuals invested $3.1 billion in U.S. stock mutual funds in the first week of 2013; over the last 4 years, they withdrew $250 billion. While these are not “normal” times, this pattern will almost surely occur again. I suspect interest rates will start to notch up later this year, long-term bond fund values slide, forcing investors out of bonds and into stocks as the market begins its last leg up.

TODAY: Near-term support is DJIA 13,625 (S&P 500: 1,483). Breaking that, look for DJIA 13,530 (S&P 500: 1,472).
DJIA: 13,712.21
S&P 500: 1,492.56
Nasdaq Comp.: 3,143.17
Russell 2000: 899.24
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 (9:10 a.m.)

BIG WEEK EARNINGS:

Q4 reports for the S&P 500 are now expected to come in on average at plus 3.8%, up from recent projections for a gain of 2.5%. Of the 84 S&P 500 companies reporting so far, 75% have “beat” Street estimates, but realistically, I suspect a lot of those were low-balled in the first place.
Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Disney (DIS), UPS (UPS), 3M (MMM), and 80 other companies report this week

BOND MARKET:
I was premature in my earlier forecast that the long-term bond bubble would burst, but now feel it has already begun with a top traced out between July and December. U.S. Governments were in demand as a refuge from international chaos. As the tensions from European sovereign debt woes abate, money will flow out of safe havens and into stocks where a better return is hoped for. The short-term bonds are obviously not the problem, but long-term bonds are vulnerable.
APPLE (AAPL: $504.77) - BIG week for APPLE !!
AAPL’s Q4 earnings are scheduled for release today after the close. This is a defining moment for AAPL. It has had persistent sellers since mid-September. If its Q4 report disappoints, a drop to the mid-400s is possible.
But, I have read a lot of positive and negative conclusions about AAPL’s outlook. The key is, have the negatives been discounted by its 30%, four-month plunge ? If not, how much further does it have to fall to fully discount the negatives ?
We had high volume rebounds in November, December and earlier this month only to be reversed by sellers. There was buying in the final hour of trading Friday, but that may have been related to option/futures expires.

CONCLUSION – APPLE:
I sense a buying opportunity. It could come immediately or following a momentary sell off below $490, kinda a shake-rattle, then roll. When it comes, I see the turn good for 35 points in one day, possibly an intraday swing of 85 to 120 points if it takes a hit first. Odds slightly favor a sell off first before a turn up.
I do not own, nor am I short Apple’s stock.

FACEBOOK (FB - $30.72): Bulls in control again, with some help from the overall market. Support is $30.51. A break above $30.90 counts to $33 - $33. FB was hit recently by an announcement that it had lost 1.4 million active users and by news of its introduction of Graph Search, which facilitates users’ search through connections for various items of interest.
FB has some 167 million users in the U.S., and 1 billion worldwide.
I don’t own, nor have I ever owned FB. Generally, I don’t recommend or comment on individual stocks. I started covering FB technically after its IPO because on May 21. I felt at $34 it was very vulnerable in face of all the misunderstanding and hype. I warned of a drop to $24-26, which it did shortly thereafter. Following a rally back into the 30s, FB dropped into the low 20s where on August 2, I forecast a low of $16.88. On September 4, it hit $17.55, its low since its IPO at $38. I’ll continue technical coverage for a while to accommodate readers.
As for Apple, well it is a big-name stock that got shellacked in a short period of time, I wanted to help out targeting a bottom as with FB.
ECONOMY:
Note: The Fed’s Beige Book, a business summary from all Federal Reserve district banks, sees modest or moderate growth in all 12 districts. I am going to list the economic reports below but will not include the numbers from the last report, since those numbers are often revised significantly and therefore potentially misleading.
I suggest you access the website: www.mam.econoday for details reports on this week’s calendar and an excellent recap (plus graphs) of last week’s reports.
TUESDAY:
Chicago Fed National Activity Ix. (8:30)
Existing Home Sales (10:00)
Richmond Fed Mfg. Ix. (10:00)
Wednesday:
FHFA House Price Ix.(9:00)
THURSDAY:
Jobless Claims (8:30)
PMI Mfg. Ix.(8:58)
Leading Indicsators (10:00)
Kansas City Fed Mfg. Ix.(11:00)
FRIDAY:
New Home Sales(10:00)
Consumer Sentiment (9:55)
George Brooks
“Investor’s first read – an edge before the open”
sensiblesleuth@gmail.com

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The writer of Investor’s first read, George Brooks, is not registered as an investment advisor. Ideas expressed herein are the opinions of the writer, are for informational purposes, and are not to serve as the sole basis for any investment decision. Readers are expected to assume full responsibility for conducting their own research pursuant to investment decisions in keeping with their tolerance for risk.

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Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
DAKT Daktronics Inc. 10.69 0.29 2.79 274,882

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