Thursday, July 5, 2012

Morning Breath July 5

Good morning. Happy Thursday. Hope you enjoyed your day off.

The Asian/Pacific markets closed mixed. China (down 1.2%) was the only 1% mover. Europe is currently mostly up. Only Greece (up 1.2%) has moved more than 1% from its unchanged level. Futures here in the States are up slightly.
The dollar is up. Oil moved down yesterday (electronically) and has regained the loss today. Copper also moved down yesterday and is up today (relative to yesterday’s close) Gold and silver are down.
China cut its 1-year lending rate by 31 basis points and deposit rate by 25 basis points but left its reserve requirement unchanged.
Bank of England did not change its benchmark interest rate but did up the target of its asset purchase program from 325 pounds to 375.
The ECB cut interest rates by 25 basis points to 0.75%. It also cut the deposit rate to 0.
Even though we only had a single day off, it felt like a long weekend. Let’s refresh our memories. Here are the daily index charts. The market rallied huge last Friday and followed through both Monday and Tuesday. The small caps have been on fire and are no longer lagging. All the indexes are at their highest levels since early May.

One by one the market is absorbing major news items. Problems aren’t solved in Europe, but they seem to at least be putting a bandaid on the debt issues. Whether it works in the long run remains to be seen, but near-sighted Americans are pretty content a disaster will not strike in the near term. The big issues in the US for several years have been 1) high unemployment and 2) a depressed housing market. Housing seems to have bottomed. Anecdotally there have been many positive stories nationwide, and the home builders have been leading the market for a couple months. If housing prices tick up, people may breathe a big sigh of relief and feel like they can spend a little money again. Unemployment is another question. If fell very slowly for many months but ticked back up recently. Tomorrow we get the latest data. If the numbers are good, the market could soar. If they aren’t, it’ll be one more piece of bad news the market will have to absorb. At least the indexes have a big cushion to work with. More afte the open.

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