Wednesday, March 30, 2011

3/31 Almanac

On Thursday, March 31: Factory orders, weekly jobless claims, jobs for monsters.

There are 16 days before April options expire, 51 the May and 79 the June.

On the jump, market stats, econ reports, and the trading calendar . . .


Blue chip stocks (SPY) closed the latest regular session up 0.7% from the prior close. During the day SPY traversed 0.6% in a net move up of 0.2%.

The day's extremes: Open $132.55, high $133.16, low $132.36, close $132.77.

SPY closed above the DeMark pivots after trading above their range. The next DeMark pivots are $132.57-$133.37

In total, 2.7 billion shares were traded on the three major U.S. stock exchanges, 12% more than on the prior trading day.

Five-year bond yields imply inflation at 2.69%, three basis points higher than the prior trading day.

Econ reports:

The monthly unemployment report is out Friday, which means today is all about anticpation of jobs, jobs, jobs.

Today, the weekly jobless claims, out at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. This has in recent years been a major market-mover. I'm not sure it deserves that status anymore. I mean, the main layoffs of the Great Recession have happened, long ago. The movement now is on adding jobs.

As in monster jobs, or rather, the Monster(.com) employment index, which tracks online job demand. Since everyone looks for work online anyhow, it seems like a reasonable preview. Out at 6 a.m., proving that monsters are early risers.

Also out, two other potential market movers: Factory orders at 10 a.m., and the Chicago purchasing managers index at 9:45 a.m.

The natural gas report is out at 10:30 a.m., but its no big, generally, except for the energy sector.

The Federal Reserve caps the day at 4:30 p.m. with the money supply report and the balance sheet. Remember the days when money supply ruled management of the dollar's value? How the mighty have fallen.

Fedsters: Speeches by Fed Gov. Daniel Tarullo, Richmond Fed Pres. Jeffrey Lacker and Cleveland Fed Pres. Sandra Pianalto.

Tarullo has a vote in setting monetary policy. He was appointed by President Barack Obama. His resume shows institutional ties to the Clinton administraton and the late Sen. Teddy Kennedy.

Lacker and Pianalto are alternate members of the monetary committee and lack votes on policy.

Lacker took office under President George W. Bush. His resume shows his institutional ties are academic.

Pianalto also took office under Bush. Her resume shows institutional ties early on to the U.S. House Budget Committee. After that, she came up through the Fed system.

The Federal Reserve often posts transcripts of speeches and testimony within a few days of the event.

Trading Calendar:

It's that awkward time for verticals and other strategies that benefit from time decay. The April expiration is too near, and the May expiration, too far.

By my rules, at this point in the cycle I can trade June or later straddles, calls and puts. And of course, shares are good at any time.

Good trading!

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