Major averages rose yesterday on mixed volume as the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite remains below its 200-day moving average. A large cluster of distribution days along with lagging tech-sector performance together with decelerating earnings overall for S&P 500 companies all serve as headwinds for the market.
When it comes to stock market direction, it has been QE vs the global economy, and today, the global economy delivered a body blow of some significance as weak Chinese manufacturing data and a rate cut in Australia fueled concerns.
In Australia, the surprise cut stoked fears of an ailing economy and over in China, a private gauge of nationwide factory activity fell to 49.4 in April, indicating a faster pace of contraction which missed analyst forecasts.
In the pro-QE camp, the euro jumped against the dollar as the market bets the US Federal Reserve will not be able to hike rates this year given the global situation. This bodes well for QE and could put a shallow floor under any correction as central banks continue their struggle to jump start the global economy via QE. That said, the market has had two major corrections over the last several months so remaining fluid is key.
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