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Once again the markets churns higher, as the the Dow Jones & Transports mark new intraday highs. The leaders this past week were the Biotech Index +5.55%, Crude Oil +3.62% & the Transports +3.13%. The catalysts were the BLS Non-Farm Payrolls Report, the Federal Reserve & the energy market. The Non-Farm Payrolls showed a gain of +216,000 jobs in March. Just slightly more than the 185K to 200K estimates and the unemployment rate declined to 8.8% and the lowest since early 2008. Read BLS Report
The report was a positive one, however we need job gains of 150Kper month to absorb new workers graduating into the work force plus newly immigrated workers. Treading just over 200K heading in the right direction, but we need to see job gains in the +350K range to really see an improvement in unemployment.
The Federal Reserve weighed in on the Jobs Report, now leaning towards the opinion of ending the 'loose' monetary policy. Dudley said the +216,000 jobs number was a "notable" improvement and evidence the $600 billion QE2 program was successful. While, Philly Fed President Plosser was cautioning on leaving rates low too long and suggested the FOMC could hike rates in 2011. Richmond Fed President Lacker also said he would not be surprised if the Fed hiked rates before year-end. He also said the QE2 program should be reviewed with an idea on how to end it early. He said at some point the Fed will need to pull back from asset purchases and begin asset sales and that could happen this year. The Fed's next meeting is April 27th.
The dollar spike just after the Jobs Report, but managed to retreat back to it's lows by the close, maybe an early sign of what may come?
Now to the big bull in the china shop...black gold...oil! If a lower dollar, rise in employment, Fed speak and geopolitical tensions weren't enough, oil moved even higher, ever so close to the pivotal $110 mark. The conflict between Gaddafi and rebel forces is becoming more and more prolonged and make now last months as the U.S. military involvement backs off and NATO takes over. Both WTI & Brent crude oil broke out of 'Ascending Trangle' daily chart formations. ITZ had noted this earlier in the week and exited Proshares SCO @ $41. On Wednesday, Prersident Obama tried to address the rise in energy prices, but it sounded like a broken record of previous president's attacking our country's dependence on oil. >> read more
Dan Dicker, who has spent nearly three decades in the oil market, has a profoundly disturbing explanation of why the price of oil, and the gasoline that comes from the crude product, has risen so dramatically in recent months. >>link
So. as we ended the first quarter and started the second on April Fool's day one needs to ask...what's next? The window dressing is done and now we look forward to earnings season, the major indexes are testing recent highs. The Dow Jones/ Dow Transports are confirming a rally under the Dow Theory. The Russell 2000 came very close to a new historic high at 855.77 missing it by only five points. The S&P nearly touched 1338 but declined to close on 1332. ITZ continues to hold to its 1,400 target for 2011. The technicals look good, now we're facing the fundamentals coming up...earnings. Yes the one problem remains high oil prices, not so much that they are high, but HOW long will they remain high?
ITZ STOCK CHARTZ
ITZ PIX VIDEOS For The Week
An outlook on the oil market as the unrest in the Middle East shows no signs of calming down, with John Hofmeister, former Shell Oil president/CEO, U.S. Operations.
An update on where oil is headed and the impact of the current unrest in Libya, with John Kilduff, Again Capital.
Discussing whether skyrocketing oil and gas prices are slowing down the economic recovery and the Republicans' alternative to President Obama's energy plan, with David Vitter, (R-LA); Joy Reid, The Reid Report; John Hofmeister, former Shell Oil president/CEO Of U.S. operations and John Kilduff, Again Capital.
Drill Baby Drill! FBN’s Eric Bolling sounds off on the administration's energy policy.
CNBC's Bertha Coombs has the silver play in this uncertain market. Silver could close above $40 in a month or so.
Jeffrey Christian, CPM Group managing director tells investors whether silver will shine or tarnish their portfolios this spring.
A look at why investors should buy silver over gold, with Peter Schiff, Euro Pacific Capital chief global strategist.