Stocks End Mixed On Healthy Economic Data


Tuesday, March 30, 2010 
Market commentary:

The major averages traded between positive and negative territory after consumer confidence and home prices topped estimates. Volume totals on the NYSE and on the Nasdaq exchange were reported mixed; higher on the Nasdaq and lower on the NYSE while advancers led decliners by about a 10-to-9 ratio on the NYSE and by about a 15-to-13 ratio on the Nasdaq exchanges. There were 44 high-ranked companies from the Leaders List that made a new 52-week high and appeared on the BreakOuts Page, higher than the 31 issues that appeared on the prior session. New 52-week highs outnumbered new lows on both exchanges yet again.

Housing & Consumer Confidence Top Estimates:

Housing stocks sold off after the S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices was released. The 20-city home-price index unexpectedly rose +0.3% in January. The closely watched index tracks monthly changes of home prices in 20 metropolitan regions across the country and is used as a proxy for the underlying health of the residential real estate market. Elsewhere, the Conference Board released its consumer sentiment index which rose to +52.5 in March, up from +46.4 in February.

Overseas Economic Data Hurts Stocks:

Overseas, Standard & Poor’s cut Iceland’s currency’s credit rating as the small nation continues to make its way out of the worst economic crisis in several generations. In Europe, it was a bit disconcerting to see Greece only sell half the 12-year bonds needed to raise additional funds.

Market Action- Confirmed Rally:

The fact that there have only been three distribution days since the follow-though-day (FTD) bodes well for this nascent rally. It is also a welcome sign to see the market continue to improve as investors digest the latest round of stronger than expected economic and earnings data. Remember that now that a new rally has been confirmed, the window is open to proactively be buying high quality breakouts meeting the investment system guidelines. Trade accordingly.

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