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MLR - PMP 2/7/14

Major averages bounced but on lower volume. The downtrend still seems intact with higher volume down days and lower volume up days. Unemployment came in at 6.6%, the lowest level since October 2008, but the US economy added 113,000 jobs, well under the 190,000 forecast. Futures initially sold off then bounced back to positive as the market probably thinks this means less tapering as it has become addicted to QE spigot.

On the quantitative easing front, the Bank of England and European Central Bank left key lending rates unchanged. The ECB's Mario Draghi said he isn’t too concerned about the risk of deflation. He said the central bank is ready to take action if needed, but said current monetary policy should help support domestic demand. He also implied the Federal Reserve may need to slow down any tapering depending on economic conditions.

That said, the Institute Supply Management report showed Wednesday that the employment gauge rose 0.8 point to 56.4% in January, marking the highest level in more than three years. But U.S. private payroll provider ADP said the U.S. private sector only added 175,000 jobs in January, the smallest increase since August, raising concerns that the U.S. recovery is losing steam due to the Fed's tapering policy.

While markets may have found a floor, it will be a balancing act on the part of central banks to adjust levels of quantitative easing without derailing the recovery. Stocks will react positively if a soft landing be achieved where economic recovery is strong enough such that QE life support can slowly be tuned down and eventually tuned out. Of course, this is a big IF.

NXPI had a pocket pivot after reporting favorable earnings, and is looking to have another one today. Earnings and sales are accelerating, group rank 33.

LNKD had a pocket pivot. It has attempted to better round out the bottom of its base but keep in mind its consolidation since it peaked in September has been a bit loose. Indeed, like AMZN, it gapped down after a weak earnings report. Earnings roulette is alive and well in this environment thus position sizing appropriately is prudent if one chooses to make an initial buy just before earnings.

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