A Day of Four Markets

Wednesday’s stock market was a complete roller coaster.

Disappointing earnings from Morgan Stanley lead to a gap down open, which was bought heavily sending the SPX up by almost 20 points in the first hour. News about GM not planning to make the payments on $1B in debt maturing soon send the market down to the 848 level during lunch. After the news, which should not have been unexpected, was digested, stocks rallied again into the afternoon making a new intra-day high on all major indexes.

The Nasdaq100 (NQ) made a new multi-month high at 1362.

The Russell 2000 (TF) came within a point (480.7) of the high reached last Friday (481.6). However the market sold off hard in the last half an hour; the highs on on the indexes perhaps the trigger.

The price action today was a strong indicator of the treacherousness of the market. The market seems to be driven by program trading computers trading against each other; there seems to be a lack of any strong buy-side bid or buy-side selling for that matter.

However, by making or getting close to making new highs, the market showed that the bullish sentiment is far from gone, Monday’s sell-off not withstanding.

Bears were trapped again at the open today; very much like Mastercard trapped bears yesterday.

After hours two tech giant Apple and EBay handsomely beat expectations; NQ futures are up almost a percent since the close. This is likely going to put greater emphasis on tomorrow’s new jobless claim numbers.

Unlike unemployment which is a lagging indicator, jobless claims

is a concurrent indicator.

The economy will not improve as long as companies continue to issue pink slips. Last week, the number was better than expected.

If this trend continues and we get another better than expected number, we may be setting up for a big rally.

I do not know how the day will end though.

I am primarily in cash with some hedged longs and shorts.

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