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What's The Canary Saying? By Charles Payne

That last second rally that almost got the Dow above a 300-point gain for the session is a reminder that the market can stave off sell programs from time to time. It also will stave off buyers, while cowering on the sidelines and ready to jump on the train if it's leaving the station. Of course, this market has been more of a roller coaster than a roaring locomotive that had been powering the market rally since it bottomed in March 2009.

However, another juggernaut might be sending a clear message without the crazy volatility of the stock market. The bond market should have seen yields significantly under 2.0% at some point in the last two weeks, but that didn't happen.

Bond yields have been in a virtual freefall since 1981, confounding the experts while making debt investors rich in the process. The big trade coming into each year was the biggest against bonds; it's been a loser, going back to 1940, and it's been impossible to get yields to go and to stay under 2.0% for an extended period. Maybe the non-action in yields is speaking louder than stock market gyrations.

For all the talk of the Fed driving the market higher, the fact of the matter is that the good old-fashioned corporate profits are the primary driver of stocks. It's a reason why markets have been shaky of late, because while earnings per share have been higher -in part to massive corporate buybacks- revenue and profits have been disappointing. However, keep this chart (below) in mind and understand that in the long run, it's about profits.

That said, all eyes are squarely on the Fed going into Friday's jobs report; we will be waiting on how they'll react and how the market will react to what the Fed says.

I think the market can handle the Fed hiking rates by 25 basis points if there's overwhelming evidence the economy is going to make it without the punch bowl. With that being said, we'd need a huge jobs report and significantly higher wages on Friday morning. In the meantime, the myth over irrational exuberance has never materialized with this market, which has been marked largely by individual indifferences.

In April, neutral levels were at its highest since April 1989. Now, investors are picking sides and most are bearish. If this is still a great contrarian indicator, then this market is ready to soar.

Investor Sentiment
August 26, 2015

Change

Current Level

Bullish

+5.7%

32.5%

Neutral

-10.6%

29.2%

Bearish

+4.9%

38.3%

Today's Session

Initial jobless claims were higher, again, although still in longer term down trend. That news didn't move the needle, but it's interesting to know ahead of tomorrow's jobs report. In fact, coupled with this morning's report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas (OTC:CGC) on announced layoffs it's worrisome.

CGC counted 41,186 job layoff announcements, down 60% from August, but up year over year. In fact, seven of the nine months this year have seen higher job cuts announced and we are on pace for the worst year since 2009. It's not the stuff of recoveries.

Speaking of which, Mario Draghi spoke this morning and moved markets. Sadly and predictably, his comments portrayed an abysmal economic picture and outlook for Europe. Some traders were happy to hear a more aggressive implementation of their QE resulting in knee jerk reactions:

I'm not chasing the early move higher, but spying a lot of bargains- price isn't an issue these days, but the backdrop that is more about emotions. Also, there are legitimate concerns as government intervention continues to come up short - around the world.