The major market averages traded flat to mixed on lower volume ahead of the President's Day weekend. With the markets having bounced hard, some consolidation may be in the cards. That said, bullish sentiment has leveled off somewhat which, from a contrarian viewpoint, is bullish. Most of the strongest leading stocks are extended as well.
Interestingly, it was reported over the weekend that George Soros had doubled his options bet on a decline in the S&P 500 but he has done this before and been wrong, as the market continues its QE-driven uptrend, defying most of the pundits, trend following wizards, and tried-and-true indicators. In our view, it is not worthwhile to pay attention to such news and allow it to influence one's decision-making as the price/volume action of the market and leading stocks are always your best guide.
The February Empire Manufacturing Index came in weaker than expected, maintaining a string of poor economic numbers which keep the Fed locked into its QE regimen. Despite the current tapering, the Fed is still purchasing $65 billion worth of bonds each month, and the effects of this money-printing are confirmed by the recent rally in commodities, including oil and precious metals. Gold has cleared its 200-day moving average and is now moving towards the next level of potential resistance at the 1350 level.
Futures are flat this morning as the market lacks any clear direction following the sharp rally off the lows.