Tricky market today as fast money players are creating volatile conditions for both bonds and stocks. Weekly Unemployment Claims fell this morning, down 23K to 452K. The drop was a touch more than expected. Continuing Claims fell 9K to 4.441 million. Market expectations were for a drop to 4.10 million. Weekly Claims is in a saw tooth pattern, up one week, down the next. Net result is a sideways movement that is not reflecting much of an improvement on the employment front.
Leading Economic Indicators were also released, up .3%. This index has posted positive gains for the last three months yet the six month index is down .8%. Doing better but a long way to go. Last on the data plate was the Philly Fed Index which rose from minus .7 to plus 1.0. Slow growth in manufacturing did the trick.
Stocks have been all over the board but holding a positive bias so far today. The big board is up 102 points, primarily on the heels of solid earnings from Caterpillar and Mickey D’s. Companies with global exposure are the place to be. Bonds, notes, and mortgage backs are seeing some profit taking today. Currently, the 10 year note is off 10/32’s while current coupon mortgage backs are off 7/32’s. Mortgage backs have been trading like a roller coaster, down 10/32’s and then a minute later, down 4/32’s.
Weakness today has formed bearish divergences on the 60 minute chart. ADX has turned bearish as well. These signals hint that a new leg down is forming on the triangle pattern we follow. Odds are starting to increase that the next move could send the 10 year note down another ½ point. Austin mortgage borrowers are advised to be defensive. Stocks will be the key. If they slip, we’ll do better. Overall, QE2 will keep a floor under the market. Just the same, we’ll need to deal with the volatility.