Thursday, March 31, 2011

4/1 Almanac

On Friday, April 1: Unemployment, manufacuring index.

There are 15 days before April options expire, 50 the May and 78 the June.

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


Blue chip stocks (SPY) closed the latest regular session down 0.1% from the prior close. During the day SPY traversed 0.4% in a net move down of 0.01%.

The day's extremes: Open $132.60, high $132.96, low $132.45, close $132.59.

SPY closed within the DeMark pivots after trading below their range. The next DeMark pivots are $132.27-$132.78

In total, 3 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 2.72%, three basis points higher than the prior trading day.

Econ reports:

A quartet of economic reports that nicely illustrate how the system works.

Unemployment and detailed employment figures will be released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. The high unemployment rate is one reason why construction spending, out at 10 a.m., will be something less than a firecracker, the Institute of Supply Management's manufacturing index, also out at 10 a.m., may not be taking off like a rocket, and auto sales, announced throughout the day, might be soft, even if they are up.

If you don't have a job, or if you do but your neighbor doesn't, but if you both do but you're reading on the web about a scary-high unemployment figure, then you're not likely to be buying new digs or wheels or manufactured stuff.

It's all a single, great big capitalist system, and the people who can make or break it are you and I, who, the business execs hope and pray, will step up and buy.

Fedsters: Speeches by New York Fed Pres. William Dudley, Dallas Fed Pres. Richard Fisher and Philadelphia Fed Pres. Charles Plosser. All three have votes in setting monetary policy.

Dudley took office under President Barack Obama. His resume shows institutional ties to Goldman Sachs and the Congressional Budget Office under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Fisher took office under President George W. Bush. His resume shows institutional ties to former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s strategic advisory firm, the private bank Brown Brothers Harriman Inc., and his own money management firm.

And Plosser also took office under President George W. Bush. His resume shows institutional ties to Chase Manhattan Bank, Eastman Kodak Co., Wyatt Co., ViaHealth Inc., RGS Energy Group Inc. and Chase Manhattan Bank, all in consulting or advisory capacities. He also co-chaired the Shadow Open Market Committee, which second-guessed the Fed’s monetary policy.

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

Trading Calendar:

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

Good trading!

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