Futures are down sharply this morning as tensions in Ukraine rise. Friday's action, however, provided a prelude to the selling as the market sold off towards the end of the day but managed to claw back so that the S&P 500 ended the day back in the green while the NASDAQ was off a quarter of a percent on heavy volume as it logged a distribution day.
Many strongly-performing leading stocks were hit hard on Friday even though the selloff in the major averages was small. Following a sharp rally off the early February lows, the market is in a position for some profit-taking and a pullback, and the news coming out of Ukraine gives it just the excuse to do so. Leading stocks, however, were giving you an early warning Friday morning, before the indexes began to reverse later in the day. QE is always at the ready to keep the general uptrend intact, but the market is still capable of correcting at any time. Economic reports have generally come in weak, and a downward revision of Q4 GDP last week further bolstered the case for a continuation of QE at current levels. In the meantime the market is looking to open up weak and investors should keep a close eye on their stocks and their stops. The flip side is that a news-related pullback could create a buying opportunity as previously extended leading stocks pull into logical areas of support, so this is something investors should be on the lookout for.
Solar stock Jinko Solar Holdings (JKS) had a pocket pivot on Friday. The solar group is still ranked #1. JKS announced earnings this morning and looks to have a mini gap up despite the weak action in the futures.