Major averages closed about breakeven on mixed volume. Apple (AAPL) gapped 3% lower after reporting earnings taking NASDAQ futures down with it. “Guidance was disappointing as better revenues were not enough to offset gross margin pressure,” Peter Misek of Jefferies & Co. wrote in a note to clients. “We think gross margin pressure is short-term/one-time in nature and would use stock price weakness as a buying opportunity.” AAPL has since moved higher and at the time of this writing an hour before the open is trading back above yesterday's closing price.
The U.S. dollar is nearing its support level near 2-year lows, and is currently roughly 10% above its all-time low. Precious metals, meanwhile, have been moving higher. With quantitative easing firing on full blast, it would not be surprising to see the dollar break below support levels. This could provide a boost to precious metals which can move in the opposite direction of the dollar, though keep in mind there are many other cross currents which can blur this relationship such as when the Federal Reserve artificially props up the dollar at the same time the Chinese are buying gold to reduce their exposure to U.S. Treasurys. Nevertheless, the last time the dollar was in a prolonged downtrend back in in 2011, gold and silver both rallied sharply. Gold seems to have found its low in late June 2013 when it began to rally roughly at the same time that the dollar peaked and began a downside trend that has taken it to new lows in 2013. With both the SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) trading along their 50-day moving averages currently, investors should remain alert to potential pocket pivot buy points developing over the coming days as tomorrow's Fed policy announcement is expected to confirm the continuation of QE.
Meanwhile, few actionable buy points have been showing up in leading stocks, and in fact a number of leading stocks have come under some pressure recently, such as Facebook (FB), Netflix (NFLX), and Tesla Motors (TSLA) which is holding up about 2% above its recent 160.15 low. A break below this level would constitute a 50-day moving average violation for the stock, the first since it began its tremendous upside run back in May of this year. LinkedIn (LNKD), which has also shown some selling volume in recent weeks, is expected to report earnings today after the close.