The Best Newsletters

After the Fireworks Friday Was Pretty Tame

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MARKET SUMMARY
- After the fireworks, kind of an anticlimactic expiration, but stocks still post gains.
- Not much news to drive stocks, but they didn’t need it.
- Modest gains but not the pullback yet for some new entries.

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Is Everything Fixed Now?

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C’est la vie. Another dip in the stock market has been followed by another violent “V” bottom. One minute the S&P 500 is down 5 percent on fears of, well, just about anything and everything, and the next, the market is back to flirting with all-time highs. That’s just the way the game has been played in 2014 as anyone looking to reduce their exposure during a potential crisis has been made to look pretty silly within a couple days.
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Funds Play Catch Up Again

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Stocks continue their surge, times two.
- No Fed buyer’s remorse, Swiss bank goes negative, oil tries to bounce.
- Funds play catch up again, perhaps unleashed too much in the short term.
- Looking to take gain if it is there, will have to be patient, like the Fed, in terms of new buys.
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‘Considerable Time’ ?

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Stocks move higher into FOMC decision, double gains afterward
- ‘Considerable time’ still in the statement, but being dropped by a ‘patient’ Fed.
- Still looks like six months when you do the math.
- Oil at support, ready to bounce and should take stocks with them.
- Stock investors seem to like the Fed non-move, and if they want to rally, we will go with them.

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Is It All About Russia Now?

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Worries abound in the stock market these days as traders fret about the price of oil, deflation, high yield bonds, the global banking system, the economies of Europe, China, and Japan, what the Fed will do next (and when), and Russia. It’s that last one that seems to be attracting the most attention at this stage. As such, it is a good idea to understand why Russian stocks and the country’s currency has any bearing whatsoever on the stock and/or bond markets here in the good ‘ol USofA.
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Panicked Market? Check Out the Leaders.

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MARKET SUMMARY
- Stocks open soft, rally, then punt the gains.
- Russia, oil, the Fed, and everyone else all seem to have investors jumpy.
- Panic selling?  Seen a lot of panics, this isn’t one, at least yet.
- Indices close lower but positions are mostly green.
- FOMC is the next immovable object ahead for stocks.
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Monday Misdirection

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Stocks start higher, blow the gains and more as oil reverses back to negative.
- UAE says OPEC won’t cut production just to raise prices.  How gallant.
- US Production, Capacity sport impressive levels.
- NY manufacturing continues to lag, even contracts.
- World economies built on oil boom now struggling.
- Dow, SP500 and even NASDAQ testing next support but not yet much indication of a new bounce.
- Leadership hanging in but ranks thinning.

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Oil Remains Focal Point of the Market

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Oil continued to collapse on Friday, taking the stock market down with it. And while there were other stories that attracted some attention at the end of last week, including London’s airspace being closed and a downgrade of France’s sovereign debt rating, there can be little argument that oil remains the focal point of the market.
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Year-End Rally is Off the Rails

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MARKET SUMMARY
- Stocks and oil fall together.  Weaker world economy?  Increased supply?  Does it matter?
- Yearend rally is off the rails, but leaders continue holding the line, holding out the chance for a little Christmas magic.
- IEA cuts its oil forecast as well.
- Michigan Sentiment surges as citizens accept lower growth, lower standards of living as the new normal.
- Looking for indications of a new bounce attempt.  Some indicators gelling, but still has to show it.

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Continued Volatility Wears Out Momentum Bids

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MARKET SUMMARY
- Self-inflicted wounds: market surges upside then gives up a good chunk of gains worrying about a government shutdown.
- Afternoon fade neutralizes a good session as some indices still solid, others problematic.
- Retail sales rally as autos lead the way, aided of course by some historically high  seasonal adjustments.
- PBOC tightens in some areas then Thursday loosens in others.
- Norway pulls a surprise rate cut.  So much for the rock of western Europe.
- Yearend rally had its shot to renew on Thursday and kind of blew it.  Still can continue the move, but continued volatility wears out momentum bids.
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Why Stocks and Oil Are Joined at the Hip

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If your response to yesterday’s trash job in the stock market was something along the lines of, “Wait, what?” you are likely not alone. Tuesday the stock market dove 220 points in the early going and then recovered almost all of it into the close. Thus, it looked like the dip buyers appeared to be back with a vengeance. But then the very next day, the Dow dove -268 points and the dip buyers were nowhere to be found. So, what gives?
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Leaders Are Holding The Line

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Stocks struggle early, unable to keep Tuesday reversal momentum, sell off hard on ECB leak, OPEC cutting 2014 demand.
- SP500, RUTX holding the line, SOX looks fine overall, but looks as if more selling is coming to at least some of the major indices.
- Volatility killing the yearend rally, but leaders are holding the line.

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China Back In The News

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MARKET SUMMARY

- International issues hit stocks again, but they show intestinal fortitude, post a credible recovery.
- China stimulus not.  China tightens liquidity trying to forestall a bubble.
- Good enough recovery for the yearend rally.
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More Worries in the Oil Patch

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For a while on Monday morning, it began to feel like the Holidays had started early. While stocks had opened down on some new weak data in Europe, the indices recovered relatively quickly. No, make that almost instantaneously, as the opening down draft lasted a total of two minutes. And after the requisite rebound, things got fairly quiet for a couple of hours.
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Second Consecutive Monday Decline

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Another Monday decline following Thanksgiving.
- International news clouds the US picture, stocks stumble on the new week.
- Not a major decline but the indices are in the position they need to hold and bounce.

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What’s Your Plan for 2015?

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Having attended two industry conferences in as many months, it is safe to say that this remains one of the most hated bull markets in history. About the only good thing anyone has to say about the current joyride to the upside is that prices are at all-time highs. And once that admission is made, the complaining usually begins.
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‘Tis The Season . . . For Seasonal Workers

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MARKET SUMMARY
- Jobs report wows, but a nation starved for good economics is easily pleased.
- Stocks indecisive whether jobs news was good or bad, but closed higher for good measure.
- Irony’s sense of humor: Administration claims jobs victory on the day it is announced China is now the world’s largest economy.
- ‘Tis the season . . . for seasonal workers.
- Gaining ground?  Participation rate holds steady.
- Factory Orders down for third month.
- First BAC said card sales were down and consumer credit shows a huge drop in credit card use.
- Some turning a bit more bearish at year end just because.  But little tax loss or profit taking selling this year as funds still play catch up.

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Thursday Was Session Non Grata

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MARKET SUMMARY

- ECB impotence impairs the US market for the day.
- Retail sales, today, look good.
- Still looking for the textbook pat rally to continue.
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The ‘Right’ Stocks Continue to Move

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Session called ‘slow,’ but not for SOX or the small caps, or the midcaps . . .
- Productivity bounces higher as labor costs in the form of wages decline.
- Retail spending war: BAC says card purchases lower, ARO, GES and PVH guide lower, while citizens save $630M/day in gasoline costs.
- Mortgage index falls again, rigs applications fall again.
- The economy is great and other new normal myths.
- The ‘right’ stocks continue to move and that supports a continued year end run.

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The Bears Are Making Their List

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Stocks rallied back on Tuesday as the S&P 500 erased the majority of Monday’s decline. The venerable Dow Jones Industrial Average went one better and managed to close at a fresh new all-time high. However, the rest of the major indices did not follow suit, which suggests that there still may be at least some degree of worry in this market.
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Upside Across The Board

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Cyber Monday in the books and once again the reporting companies show mixed results.
- Are things that great economically or are the mixed results simply manifesting the real problems with the economy, i.e. the decline of the US middle class?
- Some good breaks higher by the indices and leading stocks.
- Not an all clear by the indices, but with good leaders breaking higher, we are playing the move.

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Worry Has Returned to the Market

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You knew it was coming. After a record-breaking run, where the S&P 500 managed to close above its 5-day moving average for a jaw-dropping 29 consecutive days and gained +11.3% along the way, some worry has suddenly returned to the stock market.
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Key Stocks Ignore Monday Weakness

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MARKET SUMMARY
- Friday’s suggestion of selling turns into some real selling for small and midcaps.
- Large cap indices hold up fine, SOX solid.
- Retail worries: it’s the NRF saying consumers are not spending versus Comscore that says they are.
- Moody’s tries to get ahead of the curve, downgrades Japan.
- World PMI’s no surprise, disappointing investors.  US managed an expectations beat of course.
- Fed’s Dudley: rate hikes dependent upon market reactions, not just economics.  Tell us something we don’t already know.
- Shale permits drop 15% in November.
- Key stocks basically ignore the Monday weakness.

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Oil: Good, Bad and Ugly

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Although the Dow Jones Industrial Average eeked out another new all-time high close on Friday and the NASDAQ 100 stepped lively into the Promised Land, the S&P 500, the Midcap 400 and the Russell 2000 all went the other direction, losing -0.25%, -0.80% and -1.49% respectively.
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This Week Can Be a Holiday Holdout

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MARKET SUMMARY
- After the solid Thursday growth advance, all stocks go nowhere.
- Q3 GDP written higher, stocks move up, then just cannot hold any gains.
- This week can be a holiday holdout, showing some weakness and not enough holiday cheer.  If it happens we want to use it.
- Still some very good setups we are interested in.
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Solid Gains in the Growth Indices

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MARKET SUMMARY
- Stocks overcome Friday high to low move with growth indices leading upside.
- SOX continues leading the new move with NASDAQ and RUTX putting in solid supporting roles.
- More M&A and a defense of the buyback market.
- OPEC production meeting has its most significance in years.
- Dallas Fed PMI holds steady, and that is not bad.
- Good patterns still in play as money not leaving the market.

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It’s The US Versus Everyone Else

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MARKET SUMMARY
- China rate cuts!  ECB asset buys!  Market jumps then says ‘so what?’
- It’s the US versus everyone else.
- Stocks surge then don’t.  Seasonal pattern is still there and should hold.
- Why you don’t over think the patterns.  Listen to them for sure, but don’t over think them.
- Thanksgiving week often not great, but often doesn’t change the trend.

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China’s Surprise Move

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Any analysis of the stock market action or the macroeconomic picture done prior to Friday morning is likely to be tossed out the window this morning. The bottom line is the action taken by the People’s Bank of China and the most recent comments made by the ECB’s Mario Draghi now trump everything.
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Seasonal Trend Remains in Place

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MARKET SUMMARY
- Pre-Market looks bad on weak foreign data, but Philly helps turn the tide in the US.
- Small caps post an excellent recovery, still sport some excellent stocks with excellent patterns.
- Expiration likely to show some volume, but the seasonal trend remains in place.
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FOMC Strikes the Hawkish Pose

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MARKET SUMMARY
- Stocks struggle all session, try to rally on the FOMC minutes but cannot hold the move.
- Breakout sputters, but could just be pre-expiration gyrations.
- FOMC strikes the hawkish pose with some very interesting commentary.
- Yellen ponders Greenspan conundrum: why don’t long bond rates rise?
- Fed not worried about non-domestic economies.  Good thing given China just suffered the largest steel bankruptcy yet.
- Some serious breakdowns are cropping up as small caps test further but do manage to hold some near support.
- We will see if this was just an expiration thing.
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Market Has Bears Baffled

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The major indices stepped lively to a fresh set of new highs yesterday with the Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ 100 all finishing at their highest levels ever. However, as has been the case for much of the year, the smallcaps, midcaps, and microcaps failed to confirm. And while this situation could be rectified should stocks continue to run in the near-term, the divergence between the generals and the troops remains an issue.
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Small Caps Still Lagging

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MARKET SUMMARY
- Slow lateral move yields a breakout.
- Small caps still lagging.
- A lot more news items: Japan, earnings, buybacks, PPI core jumps but inflation expectations low, stocks at highs and so are homeless kids.
- Making the new break upside with the large caps again in the lead.
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Bears Came Up Empty Handed Again

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Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day Monday wasn’t the fact that Japan suddenly finds itself back in a recession. Nor the fact that the Bank of England’s Mark Carney began to publicly fret about deflation. Or that Super Mario started talking about QE again. Or even that David Cameron said that “red warning lights are flashing” in the global economy again.
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Japan Economy Triple Dips

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MARKET SUMMARY
- It was more of the same with a twist: indices flat line but the small caps break near support, many patterns that were great Friday hit with selling.
- Perhaps just rotation from small cap groups, but they are an important group for the rally and they were getting hit.
- Japan economy triple dips, but let’s face it, its depression continues.
- M&A keep the ‘new normal’ capital investment alive and well.
- New York PMI rises but misses, positive outlook, terrible hours worked.
- Industrial production and capacity fade after good showings.
- China cutting taxes to increase economic activity.  Communists acting more American than the US.

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A NEW Diversification Approach

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A self-proclaimed investing “newbie” expressed appreciation for Friday’s missive and the introduction of some long-term indicators that can indeed help just about anyone “time” the market successfully. This particular reader decided to start following the “golden cross” in an effort to be better prepared the next time the bears come out of hibernation.
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Russia is a Real Potential Market Problem

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MARKET SUMMARY
- More of the same with large cap NYSE testing while NASDAQ gains and SOX bounces.
- Excellent leadership action continues.
- Seasonal pattern is holding pat, but there Russia is a real potential market problem.

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One of the Greatest Myths in Investing

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A colleague who writes for a national financial website recently sent me a note asking for a couple words on one of “the greatest myths in investing.” So, I felt like I needed to respond. Never mind that I had been traveling all week and was nearly brain dead when I saw the email. I grabbed a Diet Coke, slammed it down and put on my thinking cap.
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RUTX Needs To Hold And Bounce

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MARKET SUMMARY

- RUTX disappoints, giving back the Wednesday move.  SP500, DJ30 continue slowing.
- Lots of crazy stories, but the Russian story is one of the more worrisome coming back into the headlines.
- If the rotation theory is going to hold, RUTX needs to hold and bounce.
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Year End Run Working

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MARKET SUMMARY

- SP500, DJ30 stall for the day while RUTX, NASDAQ post decent upside.
- BOE, EU inflation comments, data slow US action.
- Big indices slowing to test, growth making its move upside, all pretty much as expected.
- Year end run working, but it won’t be all upside.

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Stocks Add to Gains, Barely

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Further move higher but not a lot of strength on any index.
- Still good strong breaks higher on volume despite the indices.
- Not much news, but what is out there is amusing.

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Stocks Picked Up Where They Left Off Last Week

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Stocks continue their climb, extending the four week run.
- Small caps step up nicely, break higher from the consolidation, try their hand at leading again.
- Lower gasoline prices provide more disposable income. Heaven knows wages are not.
- Low volume moves but solid breaks form smaller caps moving upside.

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Jobs Report Misses, Viewed as Still Solid

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MARKET SUMMARY
- Cognitive dissonance continues with the October jobs report.
- Stocks jump on the jobs report, then don’t.
- Younger age worker demographic throws in the towel, joins seniors in taking low-pay jobs.
- Just as likely to meet a waiter as a manufacturing worker.
- SP500, DJ30 appear a bit extended as NASDAQ, RUTX set up to move up as the large caps rest.

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Reasons To Stay Bullish

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A month ago, the sky was falling. The technical divergences seen in the market were coming home to roost. Growth was slowing. Indicators were falling. Moving averages were snapping. There was fear in the air. And for the first time in a very long time, it looked like the bears might actually be awakening from an extra-long hibernation.
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Stocks Moved Higher Away

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MARKET SUMMARY

- A Dukakis day, kind of boring, kind of bland.  Stocks moved higher anyway.
- Jobs Friday, but not to worry, the fix is in.
- Still have to look upside when the individual stocks show their moves.
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Market Showing Odd Behavior

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Although the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average indices enjoyed pretty good gains Wednesday and finished at fresh all-time highs, the rest of the major indices failed to join the party. And the NASDAQ, NASDAQ 100, and Microcap indexes actually finished lower.
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Commodities Having Issues

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Stocks surge on election results, not all indices hold the move, but all are still in good shape.
- Biotechs struggle as money prepares to move elsewhere.
- Commodities having issues.
- ‘Pat’ scenario holds as indices continue to hold, set up.

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Uncertainty Could Be Creeping In

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It’s been quite a roller coaster ride on Wall Street lately. Since the dog days of July (7/24/14 to be exact) the S&P 500 has been on a wild ride. In a period of just a little more than three months, the venerable stock market index has experienced a pullback of -4.35 percent, a rally of +5.74 percent, a scary decline of -9.84 percent, and a stampede to the upside which totaled +11.2 percent (so far) from the intraday low of October 15.
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Likely More Testing To Come

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Indices test and rest, recover from deeper losses.
- Leaders start moving up already but likely more overall testing needed.
- European Commission downgrades EU economic forecast for 2014 and 2015.
- Ford sales drop, Maserati sales surge
- Oil continues its decline.
- Likely more testing to come but many leaders still look solid and are already starting to move.
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Can the Upside Move Continue?

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With the S&P 500 having blasted up +10.9 percent in just 12 days, it is safe to say that the bulls have displayed a little “oomph” in their latest joyride to the upside. And to students of the game, it is the “oomph” behind the move that is really the key.
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Stocks Were Mixed But Hardly Lower Overall

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Stocks winded after end of month run, no new money comes in to help.
- Economic data is very good and very bad.
- Dallas Fed chief critical of QE3
- M&A continues as capital investment
- First-time home buyers hit 27 year low.
- Despite all, stocks still rising, and after some new money and a test, the year end run scenario is still in play.

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