The week ahead could be a crucial test for Wall Street. Investors will be looking for clues to see whether the sharp correction in the precious metals is over or the beginning of a multi-correction that will bring back the scary moments of 2008-9.
It all depends on two factors:
Major Precious Metals ETFs Last Week
One-week Performance (%)
SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEARCA:GLD)
iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV)
Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold (NYSE:FCX)
Major Equity Indexes Last Week
One-week Performance (%)
SPDR S&P 500 Trust (NYSEARCA:SPY)
Powershares QQQ Trust (NASDAQ:QQQ)
SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA)
First, a string of macroeconomic indicators that will provide investors an update about the state and the direction of the U.S. economy. Most notably, existing and new home sales, which have been crucial to the ongoing recovery; the Michigan Consumer Sentiment, which provides an indication about the state of the largest sector of the economy; and Q1 GDP, which assesses the overall state of the economy.
Any major surprise in any of these indicators could unravel Wall Street.
March Existing Home Sales
March New Home Sales
March Durable Goods
Q1 GDP ((NYSE:P))
April Michigan Sentiment ((NYSE:F))
Second, the small picture -- earnings reports from popular companies, most notably Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN), and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX). Again, any major negative surprise here would raise doubts as to whether the equities rally can continue on liquidity alone -- though each of these companies has its own company-specific issues. Apple, for instance, has been the subject of negative sentiment, fueled by concerns over the growing competition in the smartphone and tablet markets. Netflix has been racing for the moon again, as analysts have turned extremely bullish on the stock. Texas Instruments is facing intense competition in the semiconductor market from Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), as consumers give up on PCs and laptops in favor of smartphones and tablets.
The bottom line: Keep an eye on the big picture, the housing sector, the consumer, and the overall economy, and the small picture -- the earnings of bellwether companies.
Disclosure: I am long AAPL, QCOM. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
Additional disclosure: Short on NFLX