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Leadership Improving

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MARKET SUMMARY

- This market is very easy to please, and that is good for the upside.
- Stocks bounce early, slow at resistance.  Solid enough but somewhat skeptical.
- Leadership improving, and that trumps gut feelings.
- CPI: what is noise to the Fed Chairman is killing a lot of Americans.
- June Existing Home Sales show third monthly advance.
- Real Wages falling under the Administration’s policies while Chinese premier sounds more free market friendly than the President.
- Follow the leaders, but keep an eye on the indices at the recent highs.

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Bears Are Getting Frustrated

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As a card-carrying member of the glass-is-at-least-half-full stock market club , I will have to admit that my bias is to lean bullish when evaluating the market/economic landscape. I learned in the mid-1990′s that it was a dumb idea to stay negative on the U.S. economy and/or stock market for long. Sure, it can pay to get negative for a while, but overstaying your welcome as a “Negative Nancy” can prove problematic in this business.
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Global Events Weigh on the Market

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Global events weigh on the market, and though they don’t get back to positive, they do recover nicely off the lows.
- Indexes hold same support, still in position.
- Leaders try to step out with some good moves.
- Revenue beats running slightly above 50%.
- Brazil 2014 GDP expectations dropped below 1%.  That BRIC has cracks in it.
- No relative change in the indices, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

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Do Technical Levels Matter Right Now?

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After the relatively wild action seen late last week, the question of the day is if the swings we saw on Thursday and Friday are meaningful – or – simply the work of the trend-following bots doing their thing.
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Volatility Remains the Rule

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MARKET SUMMARY
- Figuring the news couldn’t get worse, stocks rebound from the Thursday selling.
- News Friday isn’t great, just not nearly as bad.
- Friday solid advance mark the end of the selling?  Doubt it as volatility remains the rule, but there are some good upside plays to consider if things stabilize.

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Headache-Inducing Headlines

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Most investors know that today’s stock market can move quickly when headlines hit the wires. And most investors are aware that the reason for the oftentimes sudden and swift movements are the headline-reading algorithms that are pre-programmed to respond to certain words within those headlines as well as the accompanying stories.
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Market Volatility Remained Even Without News

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MARKET SUMMARY
- Market volatility remained even without further news, but when the news hit things got worse.
- Malaysia Air, Israel Gaza incursion, White house lockdown.
- Unadjusted jobless claims rise to 6 month highs.  So adjust them to cycle lows!
- Housing Starts in May plummet . . . again.
- MSFT lays off 3x more workers than expected.  Rally time.
- Philly Fed swamps expectations, new orders zoom, but why no capital investment?
- Even SP500 and SOX were boxed around Thursday.
- Weekend, geopolitical intrigue, volatile and downside market.  It will take a great pattern, and some brass cajones, to move in.

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Growth Fades as NYSE Large Caps Climb

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MARKET SUMMARY
- More of the same: stocks start higher, then growth fades as NYSE large caps climb.
- PPI hotter, BRICS form their own Fed, but M&A heats up and earnings are pleasing.
- Some intraday volatility appears on top of the day to day volatility.
- Indices remain split as the March-like action continues.
- Leaders all over the map, but mostly holding some kind of support.
- Earnings taking stocks both directions after hours.

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Is the Fed More Important Than Earnings and Data?

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The big event of Tuesday was Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s semi-annual testimony on monetary policy before the Senate Banking Committee. No one really expected Ms. Yellen to break any new ground with her prepared testimony. So the key for traders was to listen to the tone of the Fed Chair’s testimony and more importantly, how she responded to the Senator’s questions.
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Yellen Has Spoken

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Stocks start positive ahead of Yellen, then Yellen undermines the move.
- Some areas recover, others try, others fail.
- Yellen keeps the same schedule, lobs stones at social media, biotech sectors.
- Retail sales miss, New York PMI beats big.
- Bank earnings push that sector higher.
- Same action as March: NYSE large caps steady, growth struggling.

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Yellen Keeps the Same Schedule

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MARKET SUMMARY
- Stocks start positive ahead of Yellen, then Yellen undermines the move.
- Some areas recover, others try, others fail.
- Yellen keeps the same schedule, lobs stones at social media, biotech sectors.
- Retail sales miss, New York PMI beats big.
- Bank earnings push that sector higher.
- Same action as March: NYSE large caps steady, growth struggling.

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Stocks Gap Upside

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Futures spark higher for the new week, stocks gap upside.  That’s it.
- M&A, anticipation of the Chairman’s testimony said to drive stocks higher.
- Has the look of an oversold bounce, but index trends are still holding.
- Leadership definitely a mixed back as some rebound, many don’t.

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Retailers Worried About Slowing Traffic

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MARKET SUMMARY
- Friday stocks pull the high to low early, but again recover.
- Recovery, but not convincing for small caps.  Much of the rest of the market looks fine, but it did that in March to May as well.
- Some nervous big names, e.g. Icahn, but this time they are nervous AFTER the market rallied to new highs.
- Retailers worried about slowing traffic.
- Stocks may try to bounce after the selling, and unless shown otherwise, we view that as only a relief move for RUTX and perhaps NASDAQ.
- Looking at some rebound plays into earnings.
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Has The European Debt Crisis Returned?

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Anyone coming into Thursday morning looking for a sleepy summer session was in for a rude awakening as S&P futures were down hard three hours before the opening bell. For example, as my 6 screens flickered on at 5:15 am Thursday, I began perusing my news feeds. Then I saw the futures and did a double take. Wait. -15? What?
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In Position To Rebound

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Bad news overseas starts US stocks sharply lower, but they stage a rebound.
- Leaders still mixed and the jury is still out on their recoveries from this selling.
- China, Japan, Portugal deliver some sad news.
- Earnings warnings in critical consumer stocks do not look good
- Wholesale inventories weak, sales weak.
- In position to rebound, and the strength will tell the tale.

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Indices Bounced Off Support

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Stocks bounce early, get a boost for some reason from the FOMC minutes.
- Lower volume, narrow breadth, leaders sluggish, defensive stocks gain.
- Fed to end QE in October, start on rates at some point.
- Indices bounced off support but hard to trust the move.

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Has The Momentum Meltdown Resumed?

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To be honest, the plan was to present an in-depth review of the outlook for inflation today. To be sure, nothing can kill a bull market faster than an uptick in inflation. And with the May data showing that there just might be some inflation percolating at the present time, it seemed a good time to broach the subject.
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Almost Everything Took Sharp Hits

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MARKET SUMMARY
- Leaders no longer split as most dive lower.
- Despite heavy selling in RUTX and recent market leaders, SP500, DJ30, NASDAQ, SOX, SP400 hold near support.
- JOLTS jolts investors with the headlines showing economy continuing to improve.  If you ignore the real data.
- Just pre-earnings nervous selling?  Perhaps, but it will have to prove it is not a March situation.

Stocks Sitting on a Good Run

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Market gives back the jobs gains, small caps show a hard fall.
- Leaders split in the session with some fading nicely, others dropping harder.
- Stocks sitting on a good run, analysts nervous, earnings ahead, some air being let out.

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Jobs Report Headlines Improve

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MARKET SUMMARY
- Jobs report headlines improve, good-news starved analysts gush, stocks like it.
- Bonds sold on the news, but rebounded after digesting the details beyond the headlines.
- Same issues underlay the jobs top line numbers, and they still indicate, unfortunately, a so-so economy.
- A bit extended on this leg but the uptrend is strongly entrenched overall.

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Jobs Creates Something of a Wildcard

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MARKET SUMMARY
- New quarter money dries up for the day.
- Nervous investors had some reasons to be nervous.
- Yellen talks with the IMF, appears uncomfortable talking about the US monetary policy future.
- ADP looks fine, Factory orders drop.
- Indices show indications of a near term fade, leaders as well.
- Jobs creates something of a wildcard ahead of the Independence Day holiday weekend.

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New Month, New Quarter, New Highs

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MARKET SUMMARY
- New month, quarter, money, and stocks rally sharply.
- Afternoon sag a bit disappointing, but stronger overall as SP500 joins the move, SOX continues to lead on a rebound.
- Leadership still solid, new stocks trying to make their mark as well.
- ISM misses but still moving higher.
- Auto sales love sub-prime financing.
- Construction spending fades but still positive.
- Economic Headlines are good but others are also questioning the numbers behind the headlines.
- Looking for a run toward the jobs report but also wary of that late session fade.

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Oil and Gas Boom Continues

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MARKET SUMMARY
- NASDAQ, RUTX, SP400 continue higher, SP500 continues consolidating, SOX bounces from its nice test.
- Chicago PMI beats as oil and gas boom continues to pull manufacturing with it.
- Pending home sales post strong monthly gain, trying to reverse a continuing year/year downtrend.
- GM recalls another 7.6M vehicles.
- Aspen ideas conference?  Some of the ideas are kind of stupid, and of course all are biased to improving the wealth of those at the conference.
- Leaders a bit quieter, but others pick up the slack.
- Jobs Report on Thursday will keep traders and managers from too early an exit, but exit they will.  Can the market hold the gains ahead of a long weekend?

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Immigration Not Helping With Jobs

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MARKET SUMMARY
- Friday starts indecisive like the week, rallies late, but it was Russell rebalance day.
- Sitting on top of a 5 week run in the rally about nothing, with NASDAQ and RUTX still needing to bury resistance.
- DD helps dampen Q2 expectations further as more firms cut guidance.
- Japan economy caving in.
- CEO sentiment falls in Bloomberg survey
- Immigration not helping with jobs.
- Surprise!  US industrial production without oil and gas activity in contraction.
- Leaders still moving, SOX still looks great, other leader wannabes are ready.

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Will the Fed Bully the Market?

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While the vast majority of investors probably don’t have the time nor the interest in watching the stock market on a minute-by-minute basis, one can learn an awful lot about what is actually driving prices by doing so.
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Bullard Tries to Pop the Market Balloon

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MARKET SUMMARY
- Bullard tries to pop the market balloon, but after a test of near support stocks recover.
- Jobless claims more of the same.
- Incomes rise as expected, spending half of what hoped for.
- PCE getting close to the Fed limit.  So change it.
- The winter of 2014 compared to the winter of 1985.
- NASDAQ, RUTX still have to clear resistance with authority, but a good test and leadership still solid.

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High to Low Dump with a Decent Rally

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Stocks answer Tuesday high to low dump with a decent rally.
- When the economic data gets this bad everyone figures it can only get better.
- GDP posts the 17th worst showing in US history.
- Durable Goods Orders show wear and tear.
- Indices show a decent but not completely conclusive bounce while some leaders truly shine.
- Good response to the Tuesday selling, leaders still look good, move trying to hang in and continue.

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Has the Correction Begun?

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While the situation in Iraq continues to intensify on both the political and military fronts, yesterday’s out-of-the-blue decline in the stock market took many investors by surprise. The retreat in prices ended a string of relatively weak advances and has a lot of folks once again calling for the start of the meaningful correction that just about everyone on the planet has been looking for.
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Soft Start Turned Upside

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Stocks bounce off a lower start, look solid, blow up.
- Stocks reverse on volume, NASDAQ swings 50 points high to close.
- As usual, economic good news, economic bad news.
- Housing starts surge, Michigan Confidence runs, Gallup poll confidence in the dumps.
- Fed members talking tough, but there is the Yellen factor.
- Lots of movement but still hanging onto a test, large cap indices more so than the smaller caps.
- Some serious reversals, but most leaders holding up for now.  Have to prove they can.

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Up and Down In a Narrow Range

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 MARKET SUMMARY

- Pausing on low volume to test last leg.
- NASDAQ, RUTX still working on resistance.
- Existing home sales rise to end Q2 but of course there is bad with the good.
- China PMI beats, EU misses.  Again, a mix of bad with the good.
- M&A continues its run.
- Leaders, up and comers still well positioned but market may want to take more rest time.

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Is Sentiment Flashing A Warning Sign?

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To be sure, correctly analyzing investor sentiment and then acting accordingly in one’s portfolio can be challenging over the long-term. Everybody knows to be wary of the crowd when everyone sees the same thing and/or everyone is expecting the same thing to happen in a given market. Yet at the same time, everyone can’t be a contrarian, right?
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Stocks Mull FOMC Further

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MARKET SUMMARY
- Stocks mull FOMC further, close with modest expiration gains.
- Indices hold gains for the week.
- Leaders test some, rally some, still look solid.
- Plenty of stocks still in position to follow the market leaders that started the move.
- NASDAQ, RUTX still have to bury resistance.

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Leaders Have to Hold and Continue to Move

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Market marks time post-FOMC and after a good resumption of the upside.
- Looks a lot like a pause in the middle of a run, but of course leaders have to hold and continue the move.
- Bonds dive, gold surges.  They are starting to move post-FOMC, reading inflation where the Fed, and perhaps stocks, are not?
- Improving data continues, deteriorating data continues.

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Macro Crowd Got It Wrong

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So, are we having fun yet in this year’s stock market? If you followed the crowd’s “consensus” view on what was supposed to happen this year, the answer is probably a resounding “No!”
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Indices Popping New Highs Again

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MARKET SUMMARY
- No Fed surprise as Yellen holds the course.
- Rise in inflation slow and on track?  Yellen blames ‘noise’ on price rises that are quite startling.
- Across the board gains, but Wednesday NYSE large caps and more industrial sectors lead.
- Indices popping new highs again, Fed is staying the course.  I guess now we hear about complacency again.

Growth Indices Again In Lead

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Another slow start, better finish, better volume.
- Growth indices again in the lead, still solid leadership performance.
- Housing starts and permits struggle
- Core CPI hits 2.0% year/year.  At one time that was the Fed’s stop limit.
- Real wages fall 0.1% year/year, post fourth straight decline.
- Fed looms.  Faster taper?  Market doesn’t seem to be planning on that.

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What History Teaches Us About Markets and Middle East Crises

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The turmoil and violence in Iraq continued unabated on Monday as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) militants continued on their quest to acquire additional strongholds in northern Iraq.
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Key Moves In Growth Area

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 MARKET SUMMARY

- Sluggish start gives way to a modestly higher finish.
- Growth indices look good, leaders start to take off.
- Economic data shows some solid inroads but then the internals mitigate, once more, the headlines.
- Leaders starting to lead and we see if the market follows as before.

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Iraq is Back. Time To Panic?

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In case you’ve been out on the golf course, vacationing with the kids, or simply otherwise occupied, the situation in Iraq has become the primary focal point of the markets over the last few days. Thus, the question of the day is if geopolitics in Iraq will become the next “crisis” the stock market will have to deal with.
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Retail Sales Disappoint. Thank Goodness for Revisions

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MARKET SUMMARY
- The test continues with some howls starting though the pullback is nothing horrid at the present.
- Weak into the open, tries to recover, then flops in the afternoon.
- Holding near support, leadership as well.
- Retail sales disappoint.  Thank goodness for revisions.
- Iraq situation devolves, oil spikes, gasoline to follow to $4/gallon.  Another wildcard is identified.
- Likely not decisions on Friday given the weekend.

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The Test Continues

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MARKET SUMMARY

- The test continues with some howls starting though the pullback is nothing horrid at the present.
- Weak into the open, tries to recover, then flops in the afternoon.
- Holding near support, leadership as well.
- Retail sales disappoint.  Thank goodness for revisions.
- Iraq situation devolves, oil spikes, gasoline to follow to $4/gallon.  Another wildcard is identified.
- Likely not decisions on Friday given the weekend.

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An Up and Down Session

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MARKET SUMMARY

- After flat sessions the test takes hold.
- World Bank growth downgrades, shocking Fed talk, plenty of reasons to make the test.
- Leaders testing, holding, and some breaking upside in strong moves.
- Perhaps more testing as retail sales are out pre-market.

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Did the VIX Issue an Important Sell Signal?

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Back in March, we spent some time exploring how investors could use the VIX in order to help them determine safe entry points in the market after corrections. We looked at a couple of different buy signals that were tied to the VIX. As we discussed a really simple approach to identify turning points in the market after a correction is to wait for the VIX to first spike and then reverse lower.
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Key Leaders Still Moving Higher

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Flat session as indices rest after a strong break higher, but no high volume, no churn, no sellers thus far.
- Suddenly 2000 is an SP500 possibility.
- Modest losses, mostly testing, and still key leaders moving higher, breaking out.
- Some good economic stories, some bad economic stories.  Just about the size of it.
- More testing likely, but SP500 2000 suddenly becomes likely, all things the same.

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The Way the Market Declines Will Tell A Lot

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Even the most ardent bulls will have to admit that the current joyride to the upside might be getting a little out of hand. For example, the S&P 500 has finished higher 13 of the last 16 days and 11 of the last 13. And since David Tepper made his comments about not being “too frickin long” here, the S&P 500 has gained +4.2 percent and broken out to new all-time highs on 9 separate occasions.
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Small Cap Recovery Leading Upside

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MARKET SUMMARY

- M&A spices up an otherwise news-less session.
- Rally continues from last week with the small cap recovery leading the upside again.
- Some areas extended, others look to be just getting started as market is finding emerging leadership.

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Current Market Environment Is Confusing

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Much to the chagrin of those residing in the glass-is-half-empty camp (who, by the way, felt that May was definitely going to be their time), stocks have embarked on a new leg higher. The breakout to the upside, and then more importantly, the follow-through and confirmation by multiple indices, was a surprise to just about everyone in the game (well, to those that are honest about their prognostications anyway).
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Jobs, As Beauty, is in the Beholder’s Eyes

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MARKET SUMMARY
- Jobs decent (read mediocre), but some saying ‘strong’, ‘great.’  Jobs, as beauty, is in the beholder’s eyes.
- How strong jobs? Earnings?  Companies?
- Still plenty of leaders, some new and some recycled, in the market, providing upside impetus.

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Wall of Worry May Be Crumbling

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With the stock major averages improving almost daily, the mood of the market is definitely on the mend. But think back… How long ago was it exactly that just about everyone on the planet was absolutely, positively sure that the stock market was going to take a dive? Remember all the talk about stocks being in the “sell in May and go away” period? And lest we forget, the second year of the Presidential cycle has been a big loser. And don’t forget about the “mo-mo meltdown” that was supposed to drag the market into the tank. Oh, and then Russia was on the brink of starting WWIII, right?
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Market Gets Nod & Stocks Surge

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MARKET SUMMARY

- Stocks blast higher, growth leading the way.
- ECB prepping for QE fails to excite stocks, but Tepper’s ‘what, me worry?’ comment ruled the day.
- Jobless claims rebound though below the average.
- Challenger Jobs Cuts surge.  Are there really more people left to fire?
- Showing no fear ahead of jobs.

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