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Gary Townsend - Since 2007, a founding partner, CEO and Portfolio Manager of Hill-Townsend Capital LLC, a long/short equity financial sector fund based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Mr. Townsend has 30 years banking, regulatory, and investment experience. He started his business career in 1978, as... More
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  • U.S. Futures Rise Ahead Of FOMC Minutes; Japans Sells Off On Kuroda's Hawkish Tone; Europe Equities Follow Wall Street Higher 0 comments
    Apr 9, 2014 9:13 AM | about stocks: AA, JPM

    This morning. Today, U.S. equity futures suggest moderate gains. In Asia, equity markets closed mixed, with weakness again in Japan, but strength in China. In Europe, indexes are moderately higher. The dollar is mixed. Commodities are mostly higher. Thursday's Nikkei 225 June 2014 (NKM4) equity futures are up +0.139%.

    U.S. economic reporting focuses on the latest week's mortgage applications (lower), and at 10:00, February wholesale inventories and sales. At 2:00, the latest FOMC minutes will be released and will probably be the session's most important news. Otherwise, commentary focuses on Ukrainian developments, and interest rate, currency, and commodity price movements.

    On April 4th, the U.S. equity markets distributed, and the market outlook worsened to "in correction", ending a brief "confirmed uptrend" that began on April 1st. The SPX opens -2.06% below the April 2nd record 1890.90 close.

    Yesterday, major equity indexes rose moderately, but reversed higher from moderate mid-morning losses. The S&P 500 (SPX), DJ Industrials (Private:DJI), Nasdaq, and NYSE composite closed up +0.38%, +0.06%, +0.81%, and +0.43%, respectively. The DJ Transports (TRAN) rose +0.01%.

    U.S. equity markets opened modestly higher, but weakened in early trading to mid-morning intraday lows, when the SPX traded briefly below the bottom of its recent 1840-1880 range. Indexes rapidly recovered and rose to mid-session highs, then traded narrowly to the close. NYSE volume fell -10.4% to 0.98x its 20-day moving average. The SPX and NYSE composite are higher in 2014.

    Other notable indexes closed mixed. The Russell 2000 (RTY) and Nasdaq Internet (QNET) rose +0.74% and +2.63%, respectively, while the Nasdaq Biotech (NBI) fell -0.40%. The QNET and NBI are in correction, down -13.9% and -17.4%, respectively, from recent highs.

    The 1Q2014 earnings reports began on March 15th, though only 20 of 500 SPX companies have now reported. Alcoa (NYSE:AA) reported a mixed report overnight with better than expected earnings, but disappointing sales. JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) initiates financial companies' 1Q2014 earnings season with its report this Friday.

    Trading desks report mixed equity markets overnight, but continued fragile sentiment as range-bound index expectations remain. Focus is on earnings and today's FOMC minutes.

    Price earnings multiples remain elevated. With SPX equities trading at a 16.8x 2013 earnings multiple, attention focuses on 2014 earnings and valuations (16.8x times survey $117.23 2014 SPX operating earnings suggests a 1,971.02 SPX level next year, a +6.43% rise).

    Technicals improved marginally. The Nasdaq closed below its 5-, 10-, 20-, 50-, and 100-day moving averages. Most SPX market segments closed higher. Market breadth was positive, and up volume led down volume. Volatility fell moderately. Notably, Treasury bond markets strengthened. The U.S. Treasury 10-year bond yield fell -1.90 bps to 2.6808%, compared to 2.6998% at the prior close.

    This morning, 10-year U.S. Treasury yields are up +2.72 bps at 2.7080%, compared to the prior close. Spanish and Italian 10-year debt yields are near their lowest levels since 2005, at 3.20% and 3.19%, respectively, compared to 3.21% and 3.22% the prior day. The U.S. dollar is modestly stronger compared to the euro and Japanese yen.

    U.S. options markets are neutral to bullish, compared to bearish to bullish the prior day. The CBOE SKEW rose +0.34% to 124.34, compared to 123.92 the prior day, above a neutral range (115-120), but below 130, a level that correlates well with short-term market tops.

    In pre-market futures trading, June SPX equity futures (SPM4) price near the top of a 1844-1852 trading range. After a fair value adjustment of -0.46 points, the SPM4 future prices at 1850.00, up +4.54 points. The SPX opens -0.61% below its 20-day moving average, but +0.62%, +1.38, and +5.37% above its respective 20-, 50-, 100-, and 200-day moving averages. Initial resistance is 1858.78. Initial support is 1841.32, then 1830.67.

    In Asia, equity markets closed with marked weakness in Japan, but some strength in China. On the day, the Nikkei 225 (NYSEARCA:NKY) fell -2.05%, closing near the intraday low and with the weakness attributed to the mildly strengthening yen. The NKY is in correction. The Hang Sang index (HSI) rose +1.09%. The Shanghai SE composite (SHCOMP) index rose +0.33%. Today's volumes are unavailable.

    In Japan, commentary focused on BOJ president Koroda's "hawkish" remarks. Other commentary focused on currency and commodity price developments. This week, the NKY is down -5.07%, while the HSI and SHCOMP are up +1.48% and +2.25%, respectively. Last week, the NKY, HSI, and SHCOMP closed up +2.50%, +2.01%, and +0.84%, respectively. In April, the NKY is down -3.56%, while the HSI and SHCOMP are up +3.12% and +3.54%, respectively, compared to March, when the NKY, HSI, and SHCOMP lost -0.09%, -3.00%, and -1.12%, respectively.

    In 2014, the NKY, HSI, and SHCOMP are down -12.2%, -1.99%, and -0.51%, respectively. In 2013, the NKY rose +56.7%. The HSI closed up +2.87%. The SHCOMP closed down -6.75%.

    In China, short-term interbank lending rates remained quite volatile and rose +8 bps to 3.67%, compared to 3.59% on Tuesday, up from a 2.26% low on March 11th, but down from the February 7th 5.41% recent high.

    Regional relative strength indexes (RSI) show Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, in neutral ranges. The NKY RSI fell to 39.76, compared to 46.05 the prior day, up from an oversold 27.92 on February 4th. The HSI RSI rose to 64.02, compared to 59.79 the prior day. The SHCOMP's RSI rose to 62.28, compared to 61.05 the prior session. On June 27, 2013, the index's RSI fell to a low of 15.27, which was also last year's low index close.

    In Japan, the NKY closed at 14,299.69, compared to 14,606.88 the prior day, -12.2% below its recent year-end 16,291.31 high and -63.3% below its late-1989 38,915.87 high close. The index gapped lower to open at 14,450, and a brief attempted rally brought the index to an early 14,502.02 intraday high. The index weakened through the morning session's remainder, falling to 14,300 in early afternoon, then traded narrowly to the close with a late afternoon 14,279.34 intraday low. The index closed -2.52%, -2.88%, -5.40%, and -1.99% below its respective 20-, 50-, 100-, and 200-day moving averages. All market segments closed at least -0.45% lower. Leaders were oil and gas, utilities, and telecommunications. Laggards were industrials, consumer services, and financials, which fell at least -2.27%.

    In China, the HSI closed at 22,843.17, compared to 22,596.97 at the prior close. At the open, the index gapped higher to open at 22,700 and rallied to a mid-morning 22,933.33 intraday high. The index then eased until late afternoon, falling to 22,750 before rallying through the final hour. All market segments closed at least +0.26% higher. Leaders were consumer services, technology, and consumer goods, which rose at least +2.18%. Laggards were basic materials, financials and industrials. The index closed -4.46% below its recent December 3rd 23,910.47 high, but +25.6% above its 18,185.59 June 4, 2012 low.

    In Shanghai, the SHCOMP closed at 2,105.24, compared to 2,098.28 at the prior close, +7.96% above the 1,950.01 June 27th close, last year's low. The index opened modestly higher and rallied to a mid-morning 2,108.64 intraday high, but eased and briefly reversed lower in mid-afternoon to the 2,095.65 intraday low. Most market segments closed higher. Leaders were technology, oil and gas, and consumer services, which rose at least +0.84%. Laggards were telecommunications and utilities, which rose at least +0.14%, and financials, which fell -0.31%.

    In Europe, major equity indexes are moderately higher, but off the session's late morning highs. The Euro Stoxx50, FTSE 100, CAC 40, and DAX up +0.36%, +0.74%, +0.50%, and +0.25%, respectively. The Spanish IBEX 35 is up +0.47%, and the Italian FTSE MIB up +0.91%. Commentary focuses on the Ukrainian tensions and commodity and currency pricing developments.

    Economic reporting is light. Commentary focuses on the reduced perceptions that the ECB will engage in greater quantitative easing.

    European bourses have recently outperformed U.S. equity indexes. Intraday Euro Stoxx50 relative strength (RSI) is 59.02, compared to 57.37 at the prior close, in a neutral (30-70) range, but better than its recent February 5th 33.57 low, which coincided with its 2014 low. The indexes lowest recent RSI level was 25.77 on June 24th, which marked the 2013 2,494.54 closing low.

    Today, the Euro Stoxx50 trades at 3,189.57, -1.26% below its 3,230.33 April 4th post-2008 high close, and -39.2% below its 5,249.55 March 31, 2000, all-time closing high. From its prior day close, the index rallied from the open to a mid-morning 3,194.24 intraday high, then eased back below 3,185 in early afternoon. Most market segments are higher. Leaders are oil and gas, consumer goods, and technology, which are up at least +0.79%. Laggards are utilities, financials and basic materials, which are down at least -0.02%.

    This week, the Euro Stoxx50, FTSE 100, CAC 40, and DAX are down -1.26%, -0.83%, -0.81%, and -1.84%, respectively. Last week, the Euro Stoxx50, FTSE 100, CAC 40, and DAX closed up +1.83%, +1.21%, +1.66%, and +1.13%, respectively. In April, the Euro Stoxx50, FTSE 100, and CAC 40 are up +0.89%, +0.63%, +1.29%, respectively, while the DAX is down -0.41%. In March, Euro Stoxx50 closed up +0.39%, while the FTSE 100, CAC 40, and DAX closed down -3.10%, -0.38%, and -1.40%, respectively.

    In 2014, the indexes are mixed. The Euro Stoxx50, CAC 40, and DAX are up +2.60% and +3.54%, respectively. The FTSE 100 and DAX are down -1.62% and -0.37%, respectively. In 2013, the indexes closed up +18.0%, +14.4%, +18.0%, and +25.5%, respectively.

    1Q2014 SPX Earnings. Of 21 (of 500) reporting companies, 12 or 57.1% surprised positively on earnings, with an average +1.05% surprise average. Of reporting companies, 10 or 47.6% reported sales or revenues above estimates. The average sales/revenue surprise is -0.32%. Consumer discretionary leads with respective +11.3% and +0.86% earnings and revenue surprises. Industrials lag with respective -13.4% and -1.08% revenues surprises.

    Valuation. The SPX trades at 16.8x estimated 2013 earnings ($110.15), 15.8x estimated 2014 earnings ($117.23), 14.2x estimated 2015 earnings ($130.64), and 12.8x estimated 2016 earnings ($144.98). The 10-year average median price/earnings multiple is 15.9x. Analysts expect 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 earnings to grow +6.52%, +6.43%, +11.4%, and 11.0%, respectively.

    The KBW Bank Index (BKX) trades at 13.7x 2013 adjusted EPS ($5.16), 12.9x estimated 2014 earnings ($5.48), 11.6x estimated 2015 earnings ($6.09), and 10.3x 2016 earnings ($6.84). Analysts expect 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 EPS will grow +19.4%, +6.25%, +11.1%, and +12.3%, respectively.

    Composite, index, and equity options. Options markets improved to neutral to bullish, compared to bearish to bullish the prior session. Composite options are neutral, index options are bullish, and equity options are neutral. The composite put/call ratio is 0.91, compared to 0.98 the prior day, and worse than 5- and 10-period moving averages of 0.87 and 0.92, respectively. The index put/call ratio is 0.99 compared to 0.90 the prior day, and worse than its 5- and 10-period moving averages of 0.87 and 1.02, respectively. The equity put/call ratio closed the day at 0.88, compared to 1.01 the prior day, and worse than its 5- and 10-period moving averages of 0.88 and 0.87, respectively.

    NYSE Volume, Breadth Indicators. Volume fell -10.4% to 749.09 million shares, compared to 835.93 million shares the prior day, 0.98x the 763.8 million share 20-day moving average. Market breadth was positive, and up volume led down volume. Advancing stocks led by +1,116 (compared to -1,407 the prior day), or 2.16:1. Up volume was 2.21:1 down volume.

    Market Outlook and Distribution Day Count. On April 4th, the U.S. equity markets distributed and the market outlook worsened to "in correction", ending a brief "confirmed uptrend" that began on April 1st. The SPX opened April 4th at a record 1888.77, up +0.88% from the April 1st 1872.34 open. Today, the SPX opens -1.95% below the April 3rd record close.

    Libor, LOIS, Currencies, Treasuries, Commodities:

    · USD LIBOR is 0.08860%, compared to 0.08850% the prior day. USD 3-month LIBOR is 0.22755%, up from 0.22730% the prior day, and compares to the January 4, 2013, recent peak of 0.58250%.

    · The US Libor-OIS (LOIS) spread is 14.455 bps, compared to 14.230 bps the prior day, and compares to the recent June 12, 2012, 46.785 bps high. Euribor-OIS is 14.170 bps, up from 13.800 bps the prior day, and down from the December 27, 2011, high of 98.800 bps. Moves in the LOIS indicate changes in intra-bank lending risk premiums.

    · The 3-month Euro basis swap is -1.711 bps, compared to -2.021 bps the prior day, up from a trough of -147.00 bps on December 14, 2011, but far better than a normal -10 bps and -40 bps range.

    · German 10-year debt yields are 1.57%, compared to 1.56% the prior day. Japanese 10-year debt yields are 0.62%, compared to 0.62% the prior day.

    · Spanish and Italian 10-year debt yields are at their best levels since 2005. Spanish 10-year debt yields are 3.21%, compared to 3.21% the prior day. Italian 10-year debt yields are at 3.20%, compared to 3.22% the prior day.

    · U.S. Treasury yields are slightly lower, with 2- and 10-year maturities yielding 0.403% and 2.697%, respectively, compared to 0.395% and 2.681% Tuesday. The yield curve widened +0.830 bps, with the 2- to 10-year spread at +2.294%, compared to 2.286% the prior day. In the past year, the 2- and 10-year spread varied from a low of +1.429% on May 1, 2013, to a high of +2.648% on December 31, 2013.

    · The U.S. dollar is mixed, strong compared to the Japanese yen and British pound, but weaker compared to the euro. The dollar trades at US$79.806, compared to a US$79.875 intraday high and US$79.752 the prior day, and worse compared to its $80.188 50-day, US$80.377 100-day, and US$80.799 200-day averages. The euro trades at US$1.3798, compared to a US$1.3809 intraday high and US$1.3797 the prior day. The euro trades mixed compared to its US$1.3742 50-day and US$1.3697 100-day averages, and compares to a multi-year low of US$1.1877 on June 7, 2010. In Japan, the dollar trades at ¥102.03, compared to ¥101.81 the prior day. The yen trades better than its 50-day moving average ¥102.37, and better than its January 1st 105.31 closing low, its weakest prior multi-year closing low.

    · Citigroup Economic Surprise Index improved to -45.20, compared to -45.90 the prior day, at its worst level since May 2012 and continuing its string of consecutive negative readings since February 18th. The index is worse compared to its respective -41.90 5-day and -36.80 10-day moving averages. Last June 10th, the index fell to a then 52-week low of -33.26. The index improved and turned positive on July 30th and rose to 53.30 on October 1st, but subsequently fell on dollar weakness to -2.10 on October 31st. It subsequently strengthened to a +72.70 high on January 15th, but then subsequently trended lower and turned negative on February 19th and fell to a -43.80 124-week low on April 7th . After a lag, the CESIUSD correlates with EPS revisions.

    · Commodities prices are mostly higher, with higher energy, lower precious metals, mixed aluminum and copper, and mostly higher agriculture prices.

    Volatility, Skew:

    · The CBOE SPX Volatility Index (VIX) fell -4.37% to 14.89, compared to 15.57 at the prior close. The VIX is +1.21% above the 14.71 20-day moving average. Its 30-day high is 18.22. Its 30-day low is 12.60. The index's all-time closing low is 9.31 on December 22, 1993. The long-term average is 20.14.

    · The Euro Stoxx 50 volatility index (V2X) is 16.96, down -3.65% compared to 17.60 at the prior day's close. The V2X index trades -8.50% below its 18.54 20-day moving average, -30.3% below the 24.35 30-day high, and +9.41% above the 15.50 30-day low.

    · The Hang Seng volatility index (VHSI) closed at 14.41, down -0.55% compared to 14.49 at the prior close. The VHSI index trades -14.1% below its 16.77 20-day moving average. Its lowest historical close was 11.72, on June 30, 2005.

    · CBOE SKEW (SKEW) rose +0.34% to 124.34, compared to 123.92 the prior session, above a neutral reading (115-120), but below 130, a level that correlates well with short-term market tops. The recent record high was 143.20 on December 20th. Its recent low was 112.47 on May 25, 2013. Spikes in excess of 130 correlate well with short-term market tops, though not in October or November. The index rarely falls below 110, last on July 31, 2009. The index correlates with market tail risks, the cost of buying out-of-the-money, long-dated options, i.e., options not affected by expirations. A rise suggests that investors are buying more puts than calls, a bearish signal.

    U.S. Economic Reporting and News:
     

    • The latest week's MBA mortgage applications fell -1.6%, compared to -1.2% prior.
    • At 10:00, February wholesale inventories, with +0.5% survey and +0.7% revised prior.
    • February wholes trade sales, with +1.0% survey and -1.8% revised prior.


    Overseas Economic Reporting and News:
     

    • Australia - April Westpac consumer confidence was 99.7, compared to 99.5 prior.
    • China - March YoY M2 money supply rose +13.0%, compared to +13.3% prior.
    • Germany - February trade balance was +16.3 billion, compared to +17.5 billion survey and +15.0 billion prior.
    • United Kingdom - February trade balance was -2.058 million, compared to -2.100 million survey and -2.203 million prior.


    Company Ratings/News:
     

    • None.


    Tuesday's Trade. On lower and below average NYSE volume, U.S. equity indexes rebounded modestly. On the day, the SPX, DJI, Nasdaq, and NYSE composite rose +0.38%, +0.06%, +0.81%, and +0.43%, respectively. All remain lower on the week and in April. In 2014, the SPX and NYSE composite are higher.

    Other notable indexes closed mixed. The Russell 2000 (RTY) rose +0.74% and is -5.33% below its March 4th record close. The Nasdaq Internet Index (QNET) rallied +2.63%, but remains in correction at -13.9% below its March 6th closing high. The Nasdaq Biotech Index (NBI) fell -0.40%, in correction and down -17.4% from its recent February 25th record high.

    On April 4th, the U.S. equity markets distributed and the market outlook worsened to "in correction", ending a brief "confirmed uptrend" that began on April 1st. The SPX opened -1.95% below the April 4th record 1888.77 close.

    Market breadth was positive, with gainers 2.16x losing stocks. Most SPX market segments higher. Leaders were utilities, technology, and oil and gas, which rose at least +0.91%. Financials rose +0.11%. Laggards were industrials, which rose +0.02%, and telecommunications and health care, which fell at least -0.10%.

    NYSE volume fell -10.4% to 749.09 million shares, compared to 835.93 million shares the prior day, 0.98x the 763.83 million share 20-day moving average volume. On the day, bond markets strengthened. The U.S. 10-year yield opened at 2.7062%, and moved narrowly higher to a mid-afternoon 2.7189% intraday high before moving lower to a late session 2.6718% intraday low. The yield closed at 2.6808%, down -1.90 bps compared to the 2.6998% prior close.

    From its prior day 1845.04 SPX close, June 2014 SPX futures (SPM4) a modestly higher open. The SPX index initial moved higher, but sold off to a mid-morning 1837.49 intraday low. Below the recent 1840 trading range low, investors bought and sellers stepped back, and the index improved rapidly to 1850 by late morning and 1854.95 by mid-afternoon. The SPX ended at 1851.96, -1.95% below its 1888.77 April 2nd record close. The index closed +72.3% above the 1074.77 October 4, 2011, intraday low, the bottom of the most recent correction.

    The DJ Transportation index (TRAN) rose +0.01%, compared to DJI's +0.06% gain. From its prior 7,467.99 close, the TRAN traded narrowly higher through the first hour higher to the 7,491.67 intraday high, but reversed sharply lower to the mid-morning 7,418.52 intraday low. The index improved to breakeven by mid-afternoon, then traded narrowly to the close. Volume fell -1.42% to 12.336 million shares, compared to 12.514 million shares the prior session, and 0.90x the 15-day moving average volume. The TRAN closed -0.90% below its 20-day moving average, but +0.98%, +1.86%, and +7.47% above its respective 50-, 100-, and 200-day moving averages.

    Market volatility fell -4.37%, as the CBOE SPX volatility index (VIX) closed at 14.89, compared to 15.57 at the prior close. The VIX traded narrowly at the open, but rose to the 16.20 intraday high as equity indexes weakened at mid-morning. The VIX fell below 15.0 by late morning to the 14.81 mid-afternoon intraday low. The VIX's all-time closing low was 9.31, on December 22, 1993. Its record high was 89.53 in December 2008. Its lifetime average is 20.01.

    The market's technical factors improved slightly. The NYSE composite recaptured its 20-day moving average. All other major indexes closed below their respective 5-, 10-, and 20-day moving averages. The Nasdaq also closed again below its 50- and 100-day moving averages. SPX relative strength (RSI) rose to 47.13, compared to 44.52 the prior day, in a neutral range, and better than an oversold 31.24 on February 3rd. The RSI is also down from an overbought 71.26 on December 31st, when the SPX closed an earlier record high, but above earlier oversold levels of 35.14 on August 27th and 39.19 on October 9th. The CBOE put/call SKEW rose +0.34% to 124.34, compared to 123.92 the prior session, above a neutral 115-120 range, but below 130, a level that correlates well with short-term market tops.

    This week, the SPX, DJI, Nasdaq, and NYSE composite are down -0.30%, -0.41%, -1.03%, and -1.19%, respectively. Last week, the SPX, DJI, and NYSE composite closed up +0.40%, +0.55%, and +0.79%, respectively, while the Nasdaq closed down -0.67%. In April, the SPX, DJI, Nasdaq, and NYSE composite are down -1.09%, -1.22%, -2.05%, and -0.72%, respectively. In March, the DJI and NYSE composite are up +0.01% and +0.09%, respectively, while the SPX and Nasdaq are down -0.10% and -3.54%, respectively.

    In 2014, the SPX and NYSE composite are up +0.19% and +0.50%, respectively, while the DJI and Nasdaq are down -1.93% and -1.52%. In 2013, the SPX, DJI, Nasdaq, and NYSE composite closed up +29.6%, +26.5%, +38.2%, +23.2%, respectively. All closed at least +5.91% higher in 2012.

    KBW Bank Index (BKX). On lower and below average volume, the BKX rose +0.03% to 70.59, compared to 70.57 at the prior day's close, its 17th consecutive close above 70.00, but -3.18% below its 72.91 March 20th post-2008 closing high. The index traded narrowly through the session with an early 70.86 intraday high, which was immediately followed by a mid-morning 70.01 intraday low. The index improved to breakeven by late morning and did little more through the close. Volume fell -25.5% to 44.586 million shares, compared to 59.837 million shares the prior day, and 0.77x the 57.896 million share 15-day moving average.

    Large cap banks outperformed the regional banks, as the KBW regional banking index (KRX) fell -0.33%.

    This week, the BKX is down -1.19%. Last week, the BKX closed up +0.35%, compared to a decline of -1.73% the prior week. In April, the BKX is down -2.35%, compared to March, when the BKX closed up +4.94%. In 2014, the BKX is up +1.92%, compared to the SPX's +0.19% gain. In 2013, the BKX rose +35.1%, better than the SPX's +29.6% rise.

    The BKX is now +19.3% better than the June 24th 59.19 close, its worst since May 13, 2013. The index crossed above 50 on December 17, 2012, 60 on May 15, 2013, and 70 on January 8, 2014, but then dropped back below 70 on January 24th, which persisted until March 6th. The BKX closed +116.8% above the 32.56 intraday low on October 4, 2011, the bottom of that year's correction. Large-cap bank stocks have outperformed the broader market's rebound, with the SPX up +72.3% in the same period.

    The BKX index closed -41.7% below its February 20, 2007, record 121.06 high. The BKX is up +279.1% from its 18.62 March 6, 2009, closing low.

    Technical indicators were little changed. The index closed -1.35% below its 20-day moving average, but +1.29%, +2.26%, and +6.07% above its respective 50-, 100-, and 200-day moving averages. The 20-day moving average was unchanged at 71.55. The 69.69 50-day moving average rose +5 bps. Its 100-day moving average rose +5 bps to 69.03, and the 200-day moving average rose +5 bps to 66.55. The 20-day closed (by +1.86 points) above the 50-day, but the gap narrowed -5 bps. The 50-day moving average closed (by +3.14 points) above the 200-day moving average, and the gap was unchanged. The 100-day moving average closed (by +2.48 points) above the 200-day moving average, and the gap was unchanged.

    The directional movement indicator worsened to -6.946, compared to -4.935 the prior day, its 2nd consecutive negative reading. Relative strength rose to 46.19, compared to 46.03 the prior day, in a neutral range, up from the recent 32.95 low on February 3rd, but down from an overbought 75.56 and 71.88 on January 9th and 10th, respectively. The recent low RSI level 31.08 on November 14, 2012, which is also the date of the BKX's 2012 closing low. Next resistance is 70.96; next support is 70.11.

    Stocks: AA, JPM
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