MLR - Pre-Market Pulse for Wednesday, Decmeber 5, 2012

Published : December 5 2012 at 8:34 ET

The NASDAQ Composite managed to climb almost back to flat on higher volume while the S&P 500 had a tight trading day on lower volume. Both indexes ran into resistance at their 50-day moving averages on Monday, and the two-day pullback has seen the NASDAQ find support at its 200-day moving average. The short-term uptrend and oversold bounce is still intact.

Apple (AAPL) gapped down yesterday on higher volume. While AAPL correlates highly with the major indices, there is increasing evidence that it may have topped as we have discussed in prior reports, and yesterday's relative underperformance was symptomatic of AAPL's severely diminished leadership role. The stock is set to gap down further this morning based on pre-open trading under the 570 price level as of this writing. We have discussed the stock as a short-sale into this rally up to the confluence of the 10-week and 40-week moving averages per our Pre-Market Pulse of this past Monday, and the stock has continued to move lower after finding resistance at that point. We would continue to use the 10-week moving average at 588 as our guide for an upside stop. less than 4% away from where the stock is currently trading pre-open this morning.

The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) and the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) gapped down again at the open yesterday, allegedly due to short selling in Asia. Both ETFs are now under their 50-day moving averages, with GLD heading toward its 200-day moving average. But the Federal Reserve will likely expand its third round of quantitative easing which could act as a floor for any further selling. The long-term uptrend in gold is still intact as it often goes through long basing formations before breaking out to new highs. Also, analysts at Commerzbank noted that the decline in gold prices was not accompanied by weaker demand in the respective precious metal ETFs as they noted gold ETFs tracked by Bloomberg recorded inflows yesterday for the twelfth consecutive day of trading, so the lower prices are clearly being regarded as an attractive opportunity to buy. We continue to look for a bona fide buy point in the precious metals, although we note that the 1700 area for gold has so far served as meaningful near-term support while silver is finding some support this morning along its 50-day moving average based on where the nearest futures contract is trading.

Drug manufacturer Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) issued a pocket pivot buy point yesterday as we reported (see for a full explanation on pocket pivots), coming up through its 50-day moving average. Adding to the strength of this pocket pivot is the fact that the stock has managed to form a contextually constructive base over the last few weeks even though the general market has been in a downtrend. This constructive price/volume action also came after the stock gapped up in early September. Earnings accelerated in the most recent quarter to 74% from 38%, compared to the same quarter a year ago. Sales also accelerated to 47%. We would still advise taking a slow approach towards the long side, taking measured positions and then making them prove themselves before becoming more aggressive.

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