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Jeff Bailey : 1/4/2008 1:50:46 AM

Nikkei-225 ($NIKK) Link ...

Jeff Bailey : 1/4/2008 1:49:34 AM

Japan Stocks Fall To 1 1/2 Year Low ... Reuters Story Link

Jeff Bailey : 1/4/2008 1:32:27 AM

Joe Biden Abandons Bid For Democratic Pres Nomination

Keene Little : 1/3/2008 11:54:58 PM

Have you got any home projects that need lumber? Lumber prices are way down this year, thanks to the slowdown in the construction industry, especially housing. Prices are nearing the bottom of a parallel down-channel so price could see a bounce soon (preparation for the spring construction season?) so if you've got a big project coming up you may want to lock in the low prices now (maybe wait a few weeks for the lower prices to trickle through to the end products). Link

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 10:17:37 PM

Iowa Democratic Caucus Results With 70% Of Results In

Barack Obama 35%, John Edwards 31%, Hillary Clinton 31%, Bill Richardson 2%.

Too close to call.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 10:15:42 PM

Iowa GOP Caucus Results With 41% of Results In ... Mike Huckabee 31% declared winner. Mitt Romney 23%, Fred Thompson 13%, John McCain 12%, Rudy Giuliani 11%, Ron Paul 10%.

Keene Little : 1/3/2008 10:13:23 PM

Friday's pivot tables: Link and Link

The weaker index is the RUT and the others are in somewhat similar patterns so we'll see if one gives us an early signal on Friday as to what's next. Repeating posts from the end of the day Thursday:

If SPX is hammering out a little sideways triangle before proceeding lower then one more bounce up to a lower high below today's should finish the consolidation. Then a drop to support near 1425 should be next. But if a bottom is being put in then tomorrow should see a break of the downtrend line from Dec 26th, currently near today's high just under 1457, and a continuation higher from there. Link

The weaker sector today was the RUT but it's starting to show some bullish divergences (as are the others). It's still in its down-channel but a break of it should be good for a good trade to the long side. I consider the downside risky at this point even though I see the possibility for a little lower before finding a bottom. Link

OI Technical Staff : 1/3/2008 9:59:59 PM

The Market Monitor has been archived. You may view it and any previous days here: Link

Disclaimer: Stocks discussed in the Market Monitor are for educational purposes only and any analysis is not meant to imply a recommendation for or against that stock. The analysts in this forum as on any other website are prohibited by the SEC from giving any specific advice to ANY individual trader. All information posted is for ALL readers and is not meant to be directed to any individual. Our analysts cannot answer any email questions regarding any specific stock. Please do not ask and please do not take offense if requests are denied.

Results posted in the Market Monitor are hypothetical and OIN does not claim that any reader achieved these exact results. Due to the lag time between research, writing, posting, uploading, reading and execution there will be differences between the actual signal given and the fill achieved by the reader. Fills may be better or worse but in most cases they will be different. The writers will make every effort to give advance notice of intended signals and indicate potential price targets. Your individual results may vary depending on your activity level and aggressiveness. This forum is intended as an education service only. Trading involves risk and should not be attempted by anyone not ready to accept this risk. By acting on any signal in this forum you agree and personally accept this risk.

Tab Gilles : 1/3/2008 8:18:46 PM

$100 OIL Weekly EIA Report Link

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 5:21:21 PM

Current OPEN MM Profiles that I've made at this Link

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 5:10:59 PM

Closing U.S. Market Watch found at this Link

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 4:51:39 PM

Closing Internals found at this Link

Keene Little : 1/3/2008 4:47:44 PM

The weaker sector today was the RUT but it's starting to show some bullish divergences (as are the others). It's still in its down-channel but a break of it should be good for a good trade to the long side. I consider the downside risky at this point even though I see the possibility for a little lower before finding a bottom. Link

Keene Little : 1/3/2008 4:23:46 PM

If gold starts lower what can we expect the equities to do? Is there a correlation?

Good question. Normally the commodity stocks lead the commodity. That's what had me leaning bearish gold for a bit before it looked more plausible that a bullish triangle pattern was forming. But gold stocks (HUI.X) haven't kept up with gold and that is so far bearish non-confirmation. Considering gold is nearing the upside target I have for it we could see the gold stocks make a double top.
Gold daily: Link
Gold bugs daily: Link

If your question is about the broader market in relation to gold I think there's been fairly close correlation between the way gold has traded and the way the broader stock market has traded (they've been more in synch than out of synch). So I continue to watch these for clues about each other.

Keene Little : 1/3/2008 4:08:37 PM

If SPX is hammering out a little sideways triangle before proceeding lower then one more bounce up to a lower high below today's should finish the consolidation. Then a drop to support near 1425 should be next. But if a bottom is being put in then tomorrow should see a break of the downtrend line from Dec 26th, currently near today's high just under 1457, and a continuation higher from there. Link

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 4:04:19 PM

CNOOC (CEO) $169.84 +1.44% ...

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 4:03:46 PM

Swing trade call lower target alert! ... for the one (1) PetroChina PTR Jan $195 Call (PTR-AV) to $195 in the underlying.

PTR $170.64 -1.73% ...

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 3:58:34 PM

At 4417.02 as I type, the TRAN is only about 71 points off its November low. That's not even a hard day's work for the TRAN. In fact, the current daily average true range for the TRAN is 89.77.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 3:57:49 PM

Economic reports out tomorrow include:

8:30a.m. Dec Nonfarm Payrolls. Expected: +50K. Previous: +94K.

8:30a.m. Dec Unemployment Rate. Expected: 4.8%. Previous: +4.7%.

10:00a.m. Dec ISM Non-Manufacturing Business Index. Expected: 53.5. Previous: 54.1.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 3:53:46 PM

Chrysler Dec Sales Up 1% On Strength Of Retail

DJ- Chrysler LLC December sales rose 1% to 191,423 vehicles, up from 190,415 a year ago, which the company attributed to strength of retail.

The Auburn Hills, Mich., automobile manufacturer of Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands said car sales fell 3.4% to 47,995 units from 49,698 a year earlier, while truck sales increased 2% to 143,428 vehicles from 140,717.

Chrysler brand sales declined 13%, while the Dodge brand rose 11%, the company said.

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 3:43:06 PM

Another new low on the TRAN. Those 15-minute candles are small and have chopped their way down all day. Under normal circumstances, that kind of pattern looks less bearish than an impulsive kind of decline, and we might see a burst up through resistance. It hasn't happened today, though. Being that other signs from other indicators were initially more bullish, I kept watching it to see if the TRAN would reverse, but it didn't. The candles just keep chopping their way lower.

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 3:40:52 PM

The USDJPY is at 109.18, just a hair beneath that 109.20 support zone. Nothing definitive here.

Keene Little : 1/3/2008 3:34:54 PM

The market has started to waterfall lower and the DOW, SPX and NDX are now near yesterday's lows (the RUT has broken lower). It's possible we'll see one more bounce back up before breaking down across the board.

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 3:31:37 PM

I guess we see where people feel comfortable positioning their portfolios ahead of the jobs number tomorrow. The SPX may break through potential Keltner support at 1445.90 on this 15-minute close, with next Keltner support at 1440.62, below yesterday's low. Don't count on anything too much in a late-day push like this because it's all going to be about scrambling into or out of positions ahead of that jobs number.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 3:31:19 PM

As anyone noticed that I cannot spell surprised. I always spell that word with a "z."

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 3:30:36 PM

This move down should not surprise you, I am only surprised it was not faster. Sideways consolidations build up steam and that steam has to be released.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 3:18:38 PM

Hit profit - too funny and on a day like today.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 3:11:08 PM

Did I mention that this trade would take a long time. Oh that's right I did.

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 3:08:48 PM

I haven't been saying much because nothing much is changing. I hesitate to make comments that eager traders might take as confirmation of the direction they want to take. In truth, the mixture of signals still offers confusing setups and next direction remains a toss up. Unless this last hour produces some positioning before the jobs number tomorrow, we may not get a next direction until after that jobs number. Unfortunately, a pre-market reaction might not allow you to participate, but that's just the way it happens sometimes. There will ALWAYS be another good trade to come along if you miss one. Don't force a trade out of fear you might miss one.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 3:07:09 PM

03:00 Internals found at this Link

Keene Little : 1/3/2008 3:06:48 PM

SPX had trouble at its broken uptrend line from November and gave it a little peck on the cheek at this morning's high. The drop away from there looks bearish. If the current consolidation (which could continue for the rest of the day) leads to another drop lower then I'll be looking for 1425 (possibly as low as 1412 where the drop from Dec 11th would have two equal legs down).

At that point it would be decision time for the market since a continuation lower below 1400, and especially below the August low near 1370, would spell long term trouble for the market. But the light green wave count calls the current decline as the end of a 4th wave triangle that's been playing out since July. That interpretation calls for a strong rally out of this and would very likely mean new all-time highs into the first quarter of 2008. Link

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 3:01:48 PM

I am lowering the stop on my YM short to 13156 so I now have 13 ticks at risk.

Keene Little : 1/3/2008 2:20:30 PM

I had mentioned earlier that the rally was looking less than bullish and that we could retrace the bounce off this morning's low. Now the decline is looking less than bearish and could retrace the latest drop. Price action looks corrective in both directions and that points to the possibility that we'll stay trapped a little longer between yesterday's low and today's high (for the DOW and SPX since the techs and small caps look weaker and could chop lower).

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 2:05:46 PM

Did I mention (or better yet - need I mention) this trade will probably take a lonnnggggg time.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 2:05:28 PM

GM U.S. December Vehicle Sales Down 5.2% ... Reuters Story Link

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 2:03:02 PM

DOE: Jan-Jul'08 SPR Crude Deliveries To Total 13M Bbl

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 1:59:40 PM

I am now short YM at 13143.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 1:58:40 PM

DOE: January SPR Crude Deliveries To Total 1.9M Bbls

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 1:57:02 PM

North American Palladium (AMEX:PAL) $4.25 +11.84% Link ...

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 1:56:58 PM

Stillwater Mining (SWC) $9.99 +2.46% Link ...

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 1:55:08 PM

Toyota Motor (TM) $106.89 +0.40% Link

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 1:54:44 PM

I am going to put a YM short out there at 13143. My stop will be 13176 and target 13110.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 1:54:08 PM

Toyota US Dec. Sales Down 1.7%; 2007 Sales Up 3.1%

DJ- Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) posted a 1.7% drop in U.S. sales of cars and light trucks for December, closing out a year in which it became the nation's No. 2 auto maker and battled General Motors Corp. (GM) to be the world's largest by sales.

The Japanese auto maker said it sold 224,399 vehicles in December, compared with 228,322 a year earlier, once again beating Ford Motor Co. (F), whose sales fell 9% to 210,855. For the year, Toyota's sales rose 3.1% to 2,620,825 while Ford's declined 12% to 2,558,403. That gave Toyota a sales bulge over Ford of 62,422 vehicles for 2007. Toyota pulled ahead of Ford in total 2007 sales in September.

Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. said the full-year results were its best ever.

There were 26 selling days in December, the same as a year earlier.

Toyota's passenger-car sales for the latest month fell 1.7% to 121,581 while light-truck sales fell 1.8% to 102,818. Toyota division sales for December fell 0.7% to 189,844.

Lexus division sales fell 7.2% to 34,555.

Last week, Toyota said it expected global sales of 9.36 million vehicles for 2007, up 6% from the year before. GM will report sales figures later Thursday. Toyota grabbed the world's No. 1 spot in the first six months of the year, and then GM took the lead for the nine months that ended in September.

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 1:52:45 PM

The USDJPY pulls back a little. It's at 109.33, but there's support near 109.20, so this isn't much of a pullback yet.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 1:48:09 PM

YM Short cancel order alert! ... Please cancel the order to short the YM at 13,148 (from 01:30:04 PM).

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 1:37:03 PM

A subscriber wrote questioning my reference to the 3-day 120-ema in an earlier post. In my charting service, I have the ability to chart three-day charts, the same way one would a daily, weekly or monthly chart. For some reason, the SPX sometimes adheres to the support/resistance levels on the three-day chart fairly strongly. The 120-ema (exponential moving average) is the basis line for the largest of the Keltner channels I watch. In the linked chart, I've eliminated all Keltner channel lines except that basis line. At the far left side, you see where it climbed above this ema in the summer of 2003, and has maintained its support on three-day closes (except for a minor violation in the middle of 04) on multiple tests since then. Hence my statement earlier that equity bulls don't want to see the SPX close much below that -ema today, the last day of the current three-day period. That would be a change in tenor, although it would have to be confirmed by further weakness. Link

It's just one benchmark of many and not an end-all and be-all, but it should forewarn you that something serious might be happening and let you prepare. Obviously, the SPX could bounce from this as it has so many times before. About a week ago, I pointed out an important test going on with the VIX (200-sma test), something that looked like it looked October 9-11, and said to watch out for a repeat of that pattern, if it occurred. These just let us watch using some benchmark, but they don't tell us whether the benchmark will hold or not.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 1:30:15 PM

YM 13,159 ...

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 1:30:04 PM

YM short setup alert! ... Look to short the YM on a trade at 13,148. Stop goes 13,170. Target 13,060.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 1:29:24 PM

This sideways movement today could result in a huge move later on but the trick is to know which way. VIX is hovering at daily lows so it is bullish and I put a lot of weight to the VIX. AD line is neutral at +514 but it is above 0 however AD volume is below 0 as is the AD ratio. USDJPY made a brief new daily low.

Just not a lot to work with here.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 1:24:20 PM

Long Natural Gas at 7.005. Link

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 1:23:17 PM

I have found the 120 and 60 mintue jtHMA charts of Crude not too useful so am now only using the daily/weekly/monthly. These charts would have gotten you long Crude at 92.25. Link

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 1:20:12 PM

Another new low of the day on the TRAN.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 1:19:57 PM

Here is where you would have gone short the NDX using the jtHMA charts. Link

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 1:16:59 PM

The SPX is sort of clinging to the 15-minute 9-ema on 15-minute closes. It may close this 15-minute period just a little below that average at about 1453. We're into the lunchtime lull period, so it wouldn't be surprising to see the SPX crop to the bottom of its smallest channel, with that now at 1450.56, but equity bulls don't want to see it breaking below 1448.33 on 15-minute closes.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 1:16:24 PM

It has been a while since I have talked about the jtHMA charts. So let's do a review today. Here is the SPX jtHMA chart, which is telling me that I need to be on the sidelines in my IRA because the monthly and weekly charts do not match but if you wanted to take a shorter term trade it would have to be short because of the weekly. I have marked where you would have gone short using the daily/120minute/60 minute charts. Link

Keene Little : 1/3/2008 1:12:31 PM

Gold is getting close to its price projection out of the sideways triangle pattern at 876. Today's high is so far 872.50. The short term pattern of the rally from this morning's low would look better with at least one more new high so I think there's a good chance gold should be able to tag the 876 level, maybe even a little higher. Link

But this is where it will become potentially risky for the gold bulls since the bearish wave count calls the rally leg from mid December as the last one, to be followed by a reversal of the up trend. The bullish wave count calls for a pullback but then a resumption of the rally. The key level to the downside is the 789 mid-December low.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 1:10:08 PM

01:00 Internals found at this Link

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 12:58:45 PM

US Commercial Paper Outstanding Up $13.2B On Week

DJ- The U.S. asset-backed commercial paper market was up by $26.3 billion on the week, the first such increase since last summer's credit crunch, according to data from the Federal Reserve, released Thursday.

The asset-backed commercial paper market had been contracting every week since mid-August, when investors were staying away from short-term securities amid fears of contagion from risky subprime mortgages.

Analysts say the positive move this week may be the result of year-end activity, when borrowers were scrambling to get short-term financing done. The increase this week has not convinced them that this is the reversal of a trend.

"We need to make sure this is not a blip," said Sean Simko, head of fixed income management for SEI in Oaks, Pa. "The question is if this is just offsetting the contraction or is this the beginning of a new trend?"

Last week, asset-backed commercial paper was down by $15.9 billion, following a $27.5 billion decrease in the week prior.

The increase this week could be "short-lived," said one trader at a primary dealer, because investors and issuers make a concerted effort to get their financing in order by the end of the year.

It is "typical for multisellers to want to get stuff off their balance sheets" at the end of the year, he said.

Next week's data could provide more direction in confirming if ABCP is "actually recovering," Simko said.

Lending rates on asset-backed CP have been coming down steadily, too, the trader said. "The good names have tightened dramatically," he said, adding that rates for 30-day ABCP are in the 4.5%-5% range, down from the 6.25%-7% range seen just a few weeks ago.

The commercial paper market was up by $13.2 billion on the week, after an increase of $1.2 billion last week.

In the week before that, it had shrunk $54.7 billion on the week, the largest weekly decline since the end of August, according to Fed data.

As of this Wednesday, total outstanding commercial paper stands at $1.799 trillion on a seasonally adjusted basis, versus $1.785 trillion in the prior week.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 12:54:47 PM

This certainly looks like the US$ has found support and "should" put a stop to the Gold rally. Link

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 12:53:21 PM

I have to QUIT looking at this chart!!! Link

Keene Little : 1/3/2008 12:52:54 PM

CME has dropped hard today and by breaking its uptrend line from September it suggests the leg up from there is finished. Unfortunately the price pattern for this one is as ugly as the ones for the broader averages and that makes figuring out the next move that much more difficult. The decline from the December high was very choppy, and indicating higher, until today's strong decline which is signaling an important high may have been put in:

As labeled in dark red for the bearish count, CME should get a consolidation of today's decline (could go lower first) and then another leg down to complete a 5-wave move. That would be bearish confirmation that CME has topped out. But another leg up, even if to a lower high, could indicate just a larger correction before heading higher again (shown in green). Link

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 12:52:39 PM

This is certainly not telling me if the bulls or the bears have control today. the fact that the VIX is falling is bullish but it is always nice to have the other internals confirm that bullishness and so far they are not. Link

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 12:47:25 PM

The SPX is falling back sharply from the Keltner resistance test (see my 11:52:19 and 12:28:35 posts), so now we see if it maintains the support of its 15-minute 9-ema on a 15-minute close. That's now risen to about 1453.25. Lots of chopping around today; lots of mixed signals. As I type, the TRAN is drifting back toward its day's low again, but has so far resisted dropping to another new low. So far.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 12:42:20 PM

Ford US Dec Sales Down 9%; 2007 Sales Down 12%

DJ- Ford Motor Co. (F) posted a 9% drop in U.S. sales of cars and light trucks for December, closing out a weak year for the company and the auto industry.

The auto maker said fleet sales fell 1%. Retail sales fell 13%. Improving retail sales is central to Ford's restructuring plan as the company cuts fleet sales to focus on higher-margin sales to dealerships.

Ford, which has slipped to the No. 3 U.S. auto maker by sales, behind Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. (TM), said it sold 210,855 light vehicles in December compared with 231,582 a year earlier.

There were 26 selling days in December, the same number as a year earlier.

For all of 2007, Ford said, U.S. light-vehicle sales fell 12% to 2.6 million vehicles. More than two-thirds of the decline reflected discontinued products, Ford said.

For the year, Ford said, retail sales fell 10% and fleet sales 18%, including a 32% reduction in daily rental sales.

In December, passenger-car sales fell 8.4% to 64,651. Sales of trucks and sport-utility vehicles - the Dearborn, Mich., company's most profitable business - were down 9.5% to 147,443. Overall, sales of SUVs and pickup trucks have slumped because of high gas prices.

Ford has been cutting production to avoid having to offer steep discounts to sell vehicles.

Ford said it expects the economic environment to "remain challenging" in 2008. Ford has said it expects the U.S. auto sales rate to be in the range of 15.5 million to 16 million in the first half, with light vehicle sales in the range of 15.2 million to 15.7 million.

Ford marketing and communications chief Jim Farley said: "We are restructuring our business to be profitable at lower demand and changed mix, and accelerating the development of new products people want to buy." Farley added: "We have more work to do to reach our ultimate goal - profitable growth for all. But we have made progress in a short amount of time in several key areas."

Generally, auto sales for December were expected to fall 3% to 4% from a year earlier, putting the industry on track to post 2007 sales of 16.1 million to 16.2 million. That would be the lowest total since the 15.6 million vehicles sold in 1998.

Amid fears of a U.S. recession - exacerbated by low consumer confidence, a credit crunch, gas prices above $3 a gallon, and housing starts at a 16-year low - auto sales in 2008 are expected to keep dropping. Estimates have ranged from 15.5 million to 16 million.

Jesse Toprak, executive director of industry analysis at car-shopping Web site Edmunds.com, says: "Given the current economic challenges and the uncertainty associated with the upcoming presidential election, we do not anticipate that 2008 will be any more robust for the car business." There is, however, "promise of a turnaround in 2009 when some macroeconomic factors may be very different," he said.

Toyota, General Motors Corp. (GM) and Chrysler will report sales results later Thursday.

Keene Little : 1/3/2008 12:36:43 PM

The market is grinding higher but it's not exactly a picture of bullishness in the way that it looks although techs look a little more impulsive to the upside. You can't argue with price and the buying is clearly outgunning the selling but something about the rally in the DOW and SPX strikes me as weak and a sudden drop is a possibility.

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 12:28:58 PM

The SPX is testing the Keltner resistance mentioned in my 11:52:19 post. So far, it's holding on 15-minute closes, but I'm not certain if that's going to continue. So far, closes have remained above the rising 15-minute 9-ema, now at 1453.05, so you can use that as a sort of benchmark of short-term strength. Any pullbacks that stop there on 15-minute closes and then start higher again are just pullbacks to support and nothing major.

Keene Little : 1/3/2008 12:17:17 PM

The choppy bounce in AAPL since yesterday's low makes it look like it will drop a little lower again. If it does then the uptrend line from Nov 12th, currently near 190, could provide support. It takes a break below the Dec 18th low at 178.60 to negate any further bullish potential. In the meantime I'm hoping AAPL can rally up to a Fib projection at 207.60 and the trend line along recent highs in order to set up the next opportunity for a short play. Interestingly that Fib projection and trend line cross on Jan 9th, right inside the Jan 10th turn window. 120-min chart: Link

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 12:05:25 PM

Stillwater Mining (SWC) $10.07 +3.28% ...

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 12:04:58 PM

Ford Motor Sees Challenging Economic Environment In '08

Keene Little : 1/3/2008 11:57:54 AM

INTC had a strong drop yesterday but managed to close on its uptrend line from March 2007. Today it has broken lower and the next support level could be its November low at 24.32 which will coincide with a test of its 200-dma: Link

Keene Little : 1/3/2008 11:55:04 AM

Interesting--Jan 10th is a potentially strong turn date. Could Bernanke be the catalyst for some kind of market reversal? We'll have to wait and see how the market is setting up as we head into that date.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 11:54:43 AM

Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Climbed 40% In '07

DJ- Consumer bankruptcy filings climbed 40% in 2007, as the ongoing turmoil in the housing market and growing debt levels held by consumers led more individuals to seek protection from creditors.

The American Bankruptcy Institute, using data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center, said that total consumer filings were 801,840 for 2007. That's a 40% increase from the 573,203 consumer bankruptcy filings filed in 2006.

ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano said the situation is likely to get worse in 2008.

"The roughly 40 percent spike in consumer bankruptcies during 2007 presages even higher filings this year, as the heavy consumer debt load is made worse by the home mortgage crisis," Gerdano said in a statement.

The large annual increase came despite a decline in consumers filing for bankruptcy protection between December and November. There were 66,389 consumer filings in the last month of the year, compared to 71,799 filings in November.

The large increase in consumer filings for 2007 still does not approach the 2,039,214 filings made in 2005. That was the year a large number of consumers filed for bankruptcy protection before stringent new bankruptcy rules enacted by Congress went into effect.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 11:52:38 AM

Fed's Bernanke To Give Jan 10 Speech To Banking Groups

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 11:52:19 AM

Next SPX Keltner short-term resistance is now at about 1456.30 on 15-minute closes.

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 11:50:56 AM

This picture is off, skewed somehow: The TRAN hits another new low of the day while the USDJPY climbs up toward another test of its resistance zone. Which indication of likely strength or weakness is right? So far, the strong (but consolidating) advdec line, dropping (but testing support) VIX and gaining (but still underneath important resistance) USDJPY are all leaning toward the bullish side, but the TRAN sure isn't. Be cautious in your assessment until you know that the VIX isn't going to bounce from this support, the USDJPY is going to push up through that resistance and not drop from it, and the advdec line is going to remain strong.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 11:32:19 AM

Apple (AAPL) $195.31 +0.24% ... initiated "buy" at Needham.

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 11:32:08 AM

The USDJPY is at 109.48, hovering below that 109.80-109.90 zone that should be resistance. Now support is firming up near 109.25, too. A bad thought occurs: could this keep up until tomorrow morning, suggesting that the choppy equity price action could, too? The VIX is testing what equity bears hope is strong support near 22.50. The advdec line consolidates above a descending trendline off the 12/28 and 1/2 highs. The TRAN has just slipped to another new low of the day.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 11:30:15 AM

Apex Silver Mines (AMEX:SIL) $15.86 +1.73% ... finds a bidder.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 11:29:29 AM

Yamana Gold (AUY) $14.61 +5.33% ... Salman upgrades to "top pick" from "buy"

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 11:07:38 AM

11:00 Internals at this Link

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 11:00:28 AM

Equity bulls do not want to see the SPX close the day today much below about 1436.30. That's the location of the three-day 120-ema. I know: what's that funky time period all about anyway? While I don't know why this particular moving average has been important, it's just another measure of how the SPX has performed since the rally started in the spring of 2003. Since June 2003, the SPX has closed all three-day periods at or above this moving average with the exception of a minor violation in August 2004. Not only that, but after the SPX steadied on top of this average for several months in 2003 and then began climbing again, many of the sharp downturns have come down to test this moving average: August 2004, April 2005, October 2005, June and July 2006, and August and November 2007.

I've seen a lot of signs in a lot of different indices that we're at a crossroads here, and this is just one of many. I don't pretend to know which way markets will go, but this is something to watch as one benchmark.

Keene Little : 1/3/2008 10:48:43 AM

The market is doing its best to spike out both sides before settling on a direction. So far it's a choppy morning so no real surprises yet.

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 10:41:17 AM

I'm back for a few minutes. The TRAN has dropped to a daily low below yesterday's. It's currently rising just above that 4453.90 low, at 4461.13 as I type. The USDJPY is currently giving an somewhat opposite outlook, however. It's still testing that important resistance, up to about 109.85 now on 15-minute closes. The USDJPY is at 109.60 as I type. While it hasn't been able to break through that resistance, and while RSI at 71.81 is indicating that a lot of effort is being exerted to attempt to break it through--unsuccessfully so far--currency traders haven't given up the effort yet and dropped it sharply lower. The advdec line indicates something similar for our equities. It keeps zigzagging between strongest resistance, currently at about 1050 on 15-minute closes, and the support of a descending trendline, currently at about 330. So, my conclusion? That it's still impossible to suggest next direction for U.S. equities. Some efforts are being made to push them higher, but the outcome isn't clear yet. Just be on your toes because if resistance levels are finally pushed through, a relief rally could be sharp, but if equities roll over again, so could the decline.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 10:33:24 AM

PetroChina (PTR) $171.65 -1.15% ... 150-day SMA right here.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 10:32:47 AM

US Oil Fund (USO) $78.55 +0.10% ...

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 10:32:23 AM

EIA: Crude Oil Stockpiles Down 4 Million Barrels

Keene Little : 1/3/2008 10:25:34 AM

So far I'd say price action supports the idea that we're going to see another leg down for the decline from last week's high. It would then set up at least a larger bounce but for now it appears we're consolidating before another drop.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 10:05:37 AM

DOW is making it very clear the neckline of the head and shoulders is the slanted trendline from the left shoulder to the next swing low. Link

Keene Little : 1/3/2008 10:03:24 AM

Nice little buy program to spike the market back up. I'm not sure yet if we'll see any follow through. Watch yesterday afternoon's highs.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 10:01:54 AM

Nov factory orders due out at 10ET.

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 10:00:36 AM

Oh, and to add to my last post: if you're an SPX bull, you want to see the SPX break above about 1457 and stay there on 15-minute closes. If you're a bear, you want a sharp pullback if that level is tested.

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 9:59:17 AM

I have to step away for a few minutes. You know what you're watching: if you're an SPX equity bull, you don't want to see the advdec line break below zero and you'd prefer it stay above about +150 or even +340. You want the USDJPY to break through 109.80 and sustain levels above that. You want to see the TRAN go positive and stay there. If you're a bear, you want the opposite.

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 9:53:58 AM

The advdec line is now at 381, sliding down along the descending trendline (off 12/28 and 1/2 highs) potential support. There's Keltner support now at 147.85 on 15-minute closes, too. Equity bulls want one of these support levels to hold.

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 9:52:37 AM

First Keltner resistance held on the SPX's first 15-minute close. That resistance was at 1448.42-1449.60 early this morning. As my 9:35:37 post pointed out, the SPX was then above that resistance, but we hadn't seen the first 15-minute close yet. The USDJPY is now at 109.37, still in striking distance of its next important Keltner resistance at 109.80, so unless and until it begins pulling back sharply, we can't say yet what's going to be the ultimate outcome of all this testing. The TRAN is now slightly negative, however. Just be aware that some important tests are occurring. I wanted you to be warned early that things were set up for an early pop but not yet set up to show that all was happy in the trading world.

Keene Little : 1/3/2008 9:51:51 AM

Techs are the weaker sector this morning with NQ the first to break the overnight low and closest to yesterday's low. NDX is also now getting close to yesterday's low.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 9:47:28 AM

The NDX futures (NQ) are now testing their overnight low.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 9:46:59 AM

Markets are still within their overnight ranges. Since the internals are bullish I suspect the ON lows will be support Link

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 9:46:35 AM

A Keltner look at the advdec line: The advdec line slammed into the outer Keltner channel line (currently at about 934.79) on the 15-minute chart first thing this morning. RSI hit 80, and it hasn't been trending long at this level lately on the 15-minute chart. Now the advdec line is dropping back sharply. There's potential support (trendline) at about 400, and then Keltner support near +133 down to zero. Equity bulls want one of those support levels to hold. They want to see a different pattern than that established Friday when the advdec line hit that same Keltner channel line early and then declined all day. The advdec line is now at 443, just above that trendline potential support.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 9:42:50 AM

Both the German DAX and the YEN/US$ currency pair are making new daily highs as well.

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 9:41:48 AM

The TRAN is gaining this morning, but its gain is tepid. On a Keltner basis, comparing Keltner channels being tested, it remains weaker than the SPX. The USDJPY still climbs up toward next and presumed strong Keltner resistance, though, and as long as it's climbing and the TRAN is, too, however tepidly, we might expect the SPX to at least go on testing resistance, even if we can't count on it yet to break through. Please do not bank everything just yet on it breaking through. Could do it, but there's nothing yet to promise that and about as much suggestion that a rollover could happen at that to-be-tested resistance.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 9:41:34 AM

VIX supports the bullishness and is making new daily lows.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 9:41:11 AM

AD line is a bullish +904.

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 9:35:37 AM

The SPX currently tests first resistance at 1448.42-1449.60 on 15-minute closes. It's above that, but the first 15-minute period hasn't closed yet. Next Keltner resistance is near 1454.77 and then through 1457.56 on 15-minute closes. That looks relatively firm, but we need to see what the USDJPY is doing at the time it's tested, if it is, to see if the currency pair is giving us any kind of heads up. The SPX is currently at 1451.46.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 9:29:53 AM

There is a good chance Crude will fall back to the $95.00/bl level before it resumes this upward trend. Of course as you all know technical analysis can only take you so far with this market because there are so many outside forces affecting the price of Crude. With that said though, TA has worked well and the old adage, "Everything anyone knows about a market is in the charts" seems to be alive and well with Crude. Link

Linda Piazza : 1/3/2008 9:28:55 AM

SPX futures are above fair value, but you'll want to keep your eye on the USDJPY this morning. Overnight, it slipped down to 108.23, continuing its series of lower lows. As I type, it's bounced hard off that overnight low, up to 109.30, but it's approaching resistance that has held since about 10:00 yesterday morning, at about 109.80 on 15-minute closes. RSI is above 70. Although RSI can and of course sometimes does trend above 70, this often signals a soon-to-be reached short-term high in the USDJPY, perhaps produced after an equal RSI high with a higher USDJPY high.

What is all this saying? If you want a sustained short-term rally this morning, you want to see the USDJPY break above that resistance and to have only minor pullbacks to retest that former resistance after breaking through. If you're bearish, you want a rollover from that resistance, if tested, and you want a sharp rollover. It's set up now to show the potential for an early pop and then we see.

Keene Little : 1/3/2008 9:27:00 AM

After selling off during the overnight hours and making their lows at 6:00 AM, equity futures got a strong bounce back up but it was a choppy move. Manipulated again? It's hard to tell of course and it looks like we'll open near the flat line. As I had mentioned last night we could see a bit of consolidation for at least the morning so watch out for the chop.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 9:26:20 AM

FORD FOCUSES ON TATA MOTORS FOR LAND ROVER, JAGUAR

DJ- Ford says it is in detailed talks with Tata Motors for the sale of its Land Rover and Jaguar units. Tata, is India's largest automaker and has been widely seen as the favorite to buy the two brands. It is backed by the U.K. trade union Unite.

F $6.60 ... ticks $6.65 pre-market.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 9:24:41 AM

STATE STREET TO TAKE $279M CHARGE; UNIT CEO LEAVES

DJ- Financial-services firm will take an after-tax charge of 71c a share as it sets aside $618 million to cover costs tied to its fixed-income strategies. James Phalen will fill in for Global Advisors CEO William W. Hunt.

STT $78.88 ... trading higher at $82.15 pre-market.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 9:23:49 AM

Yesterday Gold made a new multiyear high. My data only goes back to 2001 or otherwise I would show you a monthly chart and just significant yesterday's high really was. Link

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 9:23:18 AM

SAUDI ARAMCO'S KHURSANIYAH OIL FIELD BEHIND SCHEDULE

DJ- Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world's largest oil company, says it is in the process of bringing on stream its 500,000-barrel-a-day Khursaniyah oil field development, originally due for completion in late 2007.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 9:22:35 AM

ECB SAYS READY TO RAISE RATES IF NEED BE

DJ- The European Central Bank stands ready to raise interest rates if need be, Athanasios Orphanides, one of the two new members of the ECB's Governing Council, says in an interview with Handelsblatt.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 9:21:25 AM

MBA's Weekly Application Survey at this Link

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 9:20:21 AM

US MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS DROP 11.6%

DJ- Applications for mortgages slides 11.6% in the final week of 2007 versus the prior week, as interest rates nudge lower in a shortened holiday week. Volume is down 20% on the year. Refinancing applications drop 15.4% on the week.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 9:19:30 AM

IEA SAYS $100 OIL REMINDER FOR EFFICIENCIES

DJ- The International Energy Agency says that $100-a-barrel oil provides a big reminder for consuming nations to improve efficient use of energy resources and to step up investments in new oil supplies and alternative energy resources.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 9:18:28 AM

LAYOFF PLANS FALL 8.5% IN 2007

DJ- Big corporations take a breather from cutting jobs in December, with announced layoff plans falling 39% to 44,416, the lowest level of the year, according to outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 9:17:46 AM

MERRILL MAY WRITE DOWN $10B MORE

DJ- Financial-services firm may take an additional write-down of as much as $10 billion, CNBC's Charlie Gasparino says, citing unnamed middle management sources who also say they have been told to start cutting 1,600 jobs today.

MER $52.76 ... ticks $52.98 pre-market.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 9:17:12 AM

Here are your overnight charts. As you can see their patterns are almost identical and tell us nothing. I can find nothing in these charts that hint as to who had the ball overnight, the bulls or the bears. Link

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 9:15:56 AM

MONSANTO 1Q NET UP SHARPLY, BOOSTS VIEW

DJ- Genetically modified seed and chemical giant posts net income of $256 million, or 46c a share, compared with $90 million a year earlier. Revenue climbs 36% to $2.1 billion. Wall Street expected EPS of 35c on revenue of $1.87 billion.

MON $111.47 Link ... trading higher at $115.70 pre-market.

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 9:12:09 AM

US JOBLESS CLAIMS DROP BY 21K IN WEEK

DJ- Initial unemployment claims slide by 21,000 to 336,000 in the week to Dec. 29, but ongoing claims spike again, suggesting some weakening in labor markets. Economists had expected only a 4,000 drop in claims.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 9:11:59 AM

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- The average rate on fixed-rate 30-year mortgages fell to 6.14% this week from 6.31% last week, reported Bankrate Inc., which operates personal-finance Web site Bankrate.com, on Thursday. The average 15-year fixed mortgage also declined to 5.76% from 5.97%. The average rate on 30-year jumbo loans -- above $417,000 -- slipped to 7.20%. Falling new-home sales and weaker economic data points contributed to investor concerns, according to Bankrate.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 9:11:34 AM

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- Applications filed for mortgages fell a seasonally adjusted 11.6% in the final week of 2007 compared to the prior week as interest rates nudged lower, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Thursday. Last week's volume was down an unadjusted 20% compared with the final week of 2006.

The latest data on mortgage applications came during a week shortened by the Christmas holiday, the Washington-based MBA noted.

Applications to refinance existing mortgages loan decreased a seasonally adjusted 15.4% on a week-to-week basis, while applications for loans to buy homes were down 8.5%, according to the MBA survey.

The four-week moving average for all loans was down 9.0%.

Jane Fox : 1/3/2008 9:10:49 AM

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- First-time jobless claims fell 21,000 in the latest weekly data, sanding off recent increases that have worried some economists, while continuing claims kept on rising, reaching the highest level in more than two years, the government reported Thursday.

Seasonally adjusted initial claims fell by 21,000 to 336,000 for the week ended Dec. 29, according to the Labor Department. The previous week's level of initial jobless claims was revised to 357,000 -- the highest level since October 2005 -- from an earlier estimate of 349,000.

The four-week moving average for initial jobless claims fell 750 to 343,750. The four-week average is a better indicator of the health of the labor market because it smoothes out one-time events such as holidays or strikes, analysts say

Jeff Bailey : 1/3/2008 9:09:58 AM

iShares MSCI Taiwan Index (EWT) ... seeing a block of 4.957 million at $14.50 pre-market.

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