Pressing Pause Until Friday

by: Steve Reitmeister

The market bounced a little on Wednesday in the face of some pretty horrific economic news (Durable Goods and New Home Sales). And at the open on Thursday it extended the run after a mildly positive weekly Jobless Claims report. Yes, 473,000 new jobs lost is better than 495,000 expected, but it’s still above the average for the year and the trend is headed in the wrong direction.

With all that said, the market is now see-sawing around the breakeven market. That is because tomorrow brings a triple header of important economic news that could move the market in either direction.

GDP Revision: The initial read of Q2 GDP was +2.4%. Most are expecting a negative revision.

Consumer Sentiment: The last read was an improvement over the past. Is that trend still in place?

Bernanke Speaks: The recent Fed minutes were meant to calm the market. Bernanke & Co wanted to give everyone the impression that if things get worse, that they are ready. But all investors read into that is “OMG…things are getting worse!” Now he has a chance to get the message right…will he?

Even if Friday provides a little bounce I suspect the risk is to the downside given the heavy pessimism in the air. So traders should look to shore up shorts on any bounces. Take your pick of ETFs like QID, SDS or TZA to make that happen.

Long term investors should consider putting some more insurance in their portfolios with these ETFs, then look for places to get long again under 10,000. Your portfolio should have a healthy combo of conservative dividend plays and aggressive growth picks with upside potential. Some current favorites include Joy Global (JOYG) and ReneSola (NYSE:SOL).

Friday’s reports will have a lot of sway on the next move for the market. Get ready.

Disclosure: Usually if I recommend a position... then I own it too.