Thursday, June 24, 2010

Stocks Weaken With the Economy

The 'Helicopter Economics Investing Guide' is meant to help educate people on how to make profitable investing choices in the current economic environment. We have coined this term to describe the current monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. government, which involve unprecedented money printing. This is the official blog of the New York Investing meetup.

U.S. stocks are in sell off mode this morning with all major indices trading below their 200-day moving averages. If current trends continue, the Dow and S&P 500 will give a bear market trading signal next week.

Problems in Europe continue to be a drag on the markets. The prices of Greek debt credit default swaps (CDSs), a type of bond insurance, are rising rapidly again. Experts say they are now indicating a 57% chance of default. Meanwhile, strikes are planned throughout France because the government is trying to raise the retirement age to 62. Investors should assume that EU attempts to reduce the socialist gravy train will be fought tooth and nail by the populace everywhere on the continent. Good news came out of Australia however. Prime minister Kevin Rudd was forced out because of his unpopular 40% super-tax on the mining industry (a key part of the Australian economy).  Australia doesn't have the debt problems that exist in the U.S. and Europe.

In the U.S., the economic numbers continue to be less than impressive. After the disastrous New Homes Sales report yesterday indicated a 33% drop in sales in just one month, the Durable Goods report showed a 1.1% decline in May. Weekly claims fell to 457,000, still well within recession levels, and this got some positive commentary from the cheerleading section of the press. The stock market didn't seem impressed however. While weekly claims have been much better this year than the depression levels they were at early in 2009, they have yet to indicate that the U.S. has recovered from the recession that began in December 2007.

The technical picture for stocks turned south again this Wednesday with the Dow and S&P 500 falling and closing below their 200-day moving averages. The tech heavy Nasdaq dropped below its 200-day yesterday, but managed to close just above it. It looks like it will close below it today. The small cap Russell 2000 is trading below its 200-day today for the first time since earlier this month. The 50-day moving averages for all the indices are still above their respective 200-days in a typical bull market pattern. The 50-days are all falling however and in the case of the Dow and S&P 500, it looks they will be crossing below their 200-days next week. This is a classic bear market signal.  Investors should be watching this carefully.

Disclosure: None

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer, New York Investing meetup

This posting is editorial opinion. Like all other postings for this blog, there is no intention to endorse the purchase or sale of any security.

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