3:30 pm ET: The S&P (SPX) and the Dow Industrials (DJIA) are bouncing off their lows after a comment by Harry Reid citing the lack of Congressional progress surrounding the fiscal cliff. Um, is this really something that was unexpected? Never mind the case, what this is telling us is that the major threat to a Santa Claus rally developing this year is definitely going to be headline risk involving the fiscal cliff and the continuing Euro debt crisis. However, the fact that the Dow Transports (DTX) managed to stay above water during today's late-day sell-off is a ray of sunshine for a rally continuation. Let's keep our fingers crossed the DTX will be able to keep Santa's sleigh on track.
Two industry groups have been on a roll recently. One is building products where Lennox Int'l (NYSE:LII), Apogee (NASDAQ:APOG), and NCI Building (NYSE:NCS) all broke out to new highs today. (Quanex (NYSE:NX)and Masco (NYSE:MAS) broke out several days ago.) The other is food products. Riding on the coattails of the announced takeover of Ralcorp (RAH) by ConAgra (NYSE:CAG) were Ingredion (NYSE:INGR), a maker of the notorious high fructose corn syrup, and Unilever (NYSE:UL). Both stocks moved to new highs on the news with Ingredion jumping nearly 3%.
Well, it appears as if the clouds have broken and the sun is again shining on solar stocks. (Insert groan here.) After nine consecutive losing months, the solar etfs TAN and KWT are showing signs of life. Whether their recent uptrend is the start of a rally or merely a speed bump in a continuing decline remains to be seen. A move above $16 in TAN and $45 in KWT would be a strong indication that the move has shifted into rally mode.
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