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Stock Market No Drive Higher....Nor Lower....Not Yet Anyway...

Stock-Markets / Stock Markets 2012 Dec 11, 2012 - 03:16 AM GMT

By: Jack_Steiman


The market just can't seem to get moving higher with any force. The reason is because fewer and fewer stocks are leading the way up. Many more are just sitting in long-term bases or breaking down some. It's not bad everywhere. Some sectors are trying to break out, such as the transports, although they've yet to do so. Every time it seems the market is ready for something really good, it just can't get the juice behind it. No shock as, let's face it, folks, the uncertainty of the fiscal cliff remains with us on a daily basis with the deadline getting closer and closer. The end of the year will be here before you know it, and for now the boys on opposite sides aren't trying real hard to get things done as their egos are still getting in the way.

The market is hanging in well enough for now. Surprisingly well to be honest as we have also seen some pretty bad economic news lately. That combination would normally destroy a market, but not here, as the market is trying to hold onto hope that the fiscal-cliff situation will be resolved before too long, or at least by the deadline. If the deadline gets real close and it appears things are not getting done with a proper compromise, then this market could take a very big hit. But, for now, it's not bad at all considering the enormity of what is dead ahead. The market is showing some great patience with our leaders, probably more than they deserve. For now the action remains that of a whipsaw environment, which may last for several more weeks unfortunately. Be prepared for what seems to be our destiny short-term.

Mr. Bernanke meets Wednesday to give us an update to what we already know. The usual nonsense of near-zero interest rates into 2016. The usual speech about he'll be doing whatever he can to keep the stock market, I mean the economy, afloat. That he has tricks up his sleeve, if need be, and oh, don't worry as inflation is under control, even though food, energy and health care keep going higher. The act is getting old, and we'll likely hear about QE4. Yes, folks, QE3 was not enough as it, like QE1 and 2 before it, just isn't stimulating. Someone should tell him neither will QE4 and 5 and 6. You can't stimulate when there's nothing to stimulate. Give people a reason to believe they're safe and inflation will indeed go away, and then you have a chance at least to stimulate. For now, it's not going to be happening.

The market will be tuned in as it always is hoping to hear something new or different that sounds truly hopeful for a solution to what seems to be hurting us all. Who knows how the market will react. I surely don't but his bullets are running dry in terms of new insight or solutions. At least he's holding the market up, but you wonder when the market will say enough is enough, since nothing seems to be working. Stay tuned for what should be a very interesting statement from Fed Bernanke on Wednesday.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) is an interesting stock to watch as it has set up a range over the past several days. It appears the 518 area up to 569 will be the new area it trades in, until the market becomes more directional. You can argue down to 505 if you'd like. If 505 goes, it has a reasonable chance to see 460/465. If it takes out 569, it can rock back over 600. All of these levels being on a closing basis and, hopefully, with some force to verify the price action. Watching AAPL's action allows to gain insight as to potential market movement. It is still the leader of leaders.

It was interesting to watch its brother Incorporated (PCLN) get absolutely crushed today on a simple downgrade to sell. In the past PCLN would have shaken that off with no problem. Down a few dollars to start the day and then probably green by days end. Today it was a no mercy day for PCLN. Absolutely crushed and this action makes me a bit nervous about the market. It sold off too easily. Where was the support? Nowhere to be found. A red flag when a PCLN can't hold up on a simple downgrade. It was the harshest reaction to a downgrade I've seen on that stock in quite some time. I'm not totally sure what it all means, but it was a change of character. That always gets my attention since it's a major stock leader in the already lagging Nasdaq. It will have to be watched to see if it can recover in the days ahead or whether today's action was the real deal, and thus, technically damaging for the stock which would hurt the index it lives in.

The back and forth is likely to continue for some time to come folks. There's no way to know how this will all play out other than to say our political leaders will have a to say about the markets outcome here over the next weeks and months. It is clear for the short-term that you should keep things extremely light whether you're thinking about playing the short side or the long side. The whipsaw is likely to continue in an emotional game that will likely shake you out if you get too heavily involved. Less is definitely more for now.



Jack Steiman is author of ( ). Former columnist for, Jack is renowned for calling major shifts in the market, including the market bottom in mid-2002 and the market top in October 2007.

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© 2012

Mr. Steiman's commentaries and index analysis represent his own opinions and should not be relied upon for purposes of effecting securities transactions or other investing strategies, nor should they be construed as an offer or solicitation of an offer to sell or buy any security. You should not interpret Mr. Steiman's opinions as constituting investment advice. Trades mentioned on the site are hypothetical, not actual, positions.

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