After powering up over the last two months it seems that the major indexes are ready to take a well-deserved pause. It’s not surprising really, nothing can go up forever.
With market volume continuing to be light and the VIX near a 52-week low it seems that there just isn’t that much interest in stocks at the moment. Oh sure there are some stocks that will continue to really move, take for example Apple, Netflix and Verizon. But the market in general seems about ready to take a rest.
I listened with interest this morning while a TD Ameritrade options panelists reported that 200,000 contracts of bear calls on the VIX were opened yesterday at strike 17/20. The idea being that market volatility, is likely to stay low for some time. These contracts will expire in July.
The agricultural stocks continue to unimpress. With Monsanto reporting earnings this morning before market open, perhaps we’ll see some new life in the agricultural sector. Most of the equities in the agricultural sector are approaching levels of support.
Family Dollar reported stronger-than-expected revenues and earnings per share it looks to be ready to move higher at the open. It will be interesting to see whether Wal-Mart follows on family dollars coattails.
Not a significant amount of economic data to be released today, though we do have consumer credit at three o’clock this afternoon. The expectation is that consumer credit will decrease by approximately $1.6 billion for the month of February. We’ll see. Nokia was upgraded by UBS this morning, while Las Vegas Sands was downgraded.
Well, it looks like it might be a sleepy day on the market. Perhaps I’ll have a cup of tea and go work on the lawn!