Major averages finished a quiet day yesterday as they closed roughly flat on lower volume. For the most part, the indexes appear to be consolidating their prior upside moves off of the February lows. However, investors should be alert to the nature of any pullback as it could develop into a potential rally failure at any time.
Fed Chair Yellen speaks today at 12:20 p.m. EDT. The upwardly revised GDP and core PCE, the Fed's favorite measure of inflation, which is closing in on 2% may give her room to support the two additional rate hikes planned for this year. That said, keep in mind that these are just two data points in a sea of evidence that still points to an unhealthy economy.
Thus, she can continue to suggest higher rates in the future, but actually pulling the trigger is unlikely until the global economy starts to show definitive signs of recovering. This could be a long way off given the corner into which central banks have painted themselves as negative rates in the few countries that have pushed rates that low have yet to show growth, and more likely, are inviting a whole host of new troubles.
Progress has remained slow among individual leading stocks, with names like MXL and SWHC getting hit with selling pressure that has thrown them out of their previously orderly patterns. Other names remain slightly extended. and we would exercise caution with respect to our entry points on the long side. Investors should seek to use constructive weakness rather than chasing strength.