Week Ahead for Stocks, March 30 – April 3, 2009

Weekly Recap (March 16 – 20, 2009): Stocks made some historic progress …. gained for three weeks in a row, the largest move since 1938.  It was a huge 3-week rally.  However, markets stuttered a little bit on Friday heading into the weekend mostly from profit taking.

On Friday, the Dow fell by 148 points or 1.9% to end at 7776.  The S&P 500 fell 16 points or 2% to end at 815, while the Nasdaq lost 41 points or 2.6% to end at 1,545.

Index

Started Week

Ended Week

Change

% Change

YTD %

DJIA

7278.38

7776.18

497.80

6.8

-11.4

Nasdaq

1457.27

1545.20

87.93

6.0

-2.0

S&P 500

768.54

815.94

47.40

6.2

-9.7

For the week, the Dow rallied 6.8%, the S&P 500 gained 6.2% and the Nasdaq rose 6%.  For the month so far, the Dow is up 10.1%, the S&P is up 11% and the Nasdaq added 12.2%.  The S&P 500 is now up 22.4% from its March 6 low of 666.8 points.

The bulk of the gains however were made on Monday with the major indices gaining over around 6% on the news of Treasury Dept releasing details on its plan to remove troubled assets from the balance sheets of banks.The gains continued, albeit modestly through rest of the week, building on some better than expected data from the housing sector, February durable goods, and final 4th quarter GDP.

Believe it or nor, the treasury auctions usually a non-market event, turned out to be a major market mover this week due to some saber rattling by China by its negative comments on US debt.

Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke appeared before Congress during the week.  Geithner also appeared on Sunday morning media circuit touting administration’s ideas and plans to jump start the economy.  Geithner is looking more and more confident, and markets are slowly warming up to the new Treasury secretary.

In the end, all ten sectors posted solid gains for the week.  Financials advanced 12.2% , industrials gained 10.5% and consumer discretionary advanced 8.8%.

TaurusTrader had a phenomenal week.  Seven positions in the swing portfolio achieved profit targets, ranging from 8.6 to 47.4%.  The positions that hit profit target, hence closed were – TCK, MELI, BMC, RY, CPRT, BX, and WSM.  Also, the April 12.50 call option in WDC (WDCDV) was also closed netting 100% profit. Please refer to my earlier posts for details.  None were stopped out.  TaurusTrader also had several successful day trade opportunities for 2 to 5% profit per trade in several recommended equities – FAS, MS, WFC, TNA, and BAC.

At the end of the week, TaurusTrader was long in – WNR, AGU, AMR, MBT, FCN, MDR, HNT, RIO, HON and BAC.

Week Ahead, March 30 – April 03, 2009: Markers are in oversold condition. Some pull back is possible, especially at the opening on Monday.  Like in previous weeks, markets will mostly be driven by news coming out of DC on auto industry bailout and banking regulations.   The G-20 meeting of finance ministers on April 2 is another media event that could have some impact on currencies.  We may need to keep an eye on how the bond and treasury auctions go. There will  be a hearing on mark to market accounting which could impact the markets.  Fed Chair, Ben Bernanke and Vice Chair Don Kohn are scheduled to speak on Friday in separate events.  On the earnings front, 52 companies are scheduled to report this week – the last week before the “official” start of 1st quarter earnings.  Some important reports that I would be watching are:

  • Monday:  CALM, LAYN, SNP, CHT
  • Tuesday: APOL, BGP, GIGM, LEN, SAH
  • Wednesday: WOR
  • Thursday: AYI, MDRX, LNN, MU, MON, RIMM
  • Friday:  AZZ

For details on earnings calendar, please visit: http://www.zacks.com/commentary/10445/Earnings+Preview+for+Mar+30+-+Apr+3

Economic Calendar: Following economic news might have impact on the markets –

For details, please refer to:   http://online.barrons.com/public/page/barrons_econoday.html

  • Monday: None
  • Tuesday: 1) 9:00 am, Mar. Consumer confidence (27.0 up from 25.0);  2)  9:00 am, Jan. S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, (unchanged -18.5%);   3) 9:45 am,  Mar. Chicago PMI (34.7, up from 34.2);
  • Wednesday: 1) 8:15 am, ADP employment change; 2) 10:00 am, Feb. Construction Spending (-1.6% up from -3.3%);  3) 10:00 am, Mar. ISM index (36.5 up from 35.8)   4) 10:00 a.m. Feb.  pending Home sales (-2.0% vs -7.7%);   5) 10:30 am, US Energy Dept Oil Inventories For Mar 27;  6) 2:00 pm. Mar. Auto sales.
  • Thursday: 1) 8:30 a.m. Initial Jobless Claims For Mar 28 Week;  2) 10:00 am, Feb. factory Orders (-0.3% vs -1.9%;
  • Friday: 1) 8:30 am, Mar. Av. work week (33.3 unch.); 2) 8:30 am. Mar. Hourly earning (0.2% unch.);  3) 8:30 am, Non-farm payroll (650 K); 4) 8:30 am, Mar. Unemployment rate (8.5% vs 8.1%); and 4) 10:00 am, Mar. ISM services index (42 vs 41.6).

Picks for Monday, March 30: The big question on every ones mind on Monday would be “whether the rally of the past 3-weeks is real, can I jump in or wait on the side lines”.  No major economic data or earnings releases are slated for Monday.  So, it would be somewhat challenging to predict how the markets would react.  I thought  Geithner did OK with his media appearances over the weekend.  But, it may not be enough to move the markets.  I’m going to wait it out.  I’ll not have any picks for Monday for our swing portfolio.  I’ll watch my positions with tight stops.

I will keep the following stocks on my radar through out the week for possible inclusion in swing portfolio or for day trading opportunities:

ORLY, NFLX, DRYS, DSX, IPI, MOS, MON, RIMM, AXP, BWLD, AMZN, WDC, MELI, FAS, WFC, BAC, MTH, IYT, COV, HUM, DE, ARO, FOSL, and GME.  Also, Gold (GLD, DZZ or DGP) and Gold mining stocks (XME, GOLD, AUY).  I expect some accelerated “directional” movement to occur with Gold and Gold related stocks in the next few days.

As in past few weeks, I expect considerable volatility associated with financial stocks.  So, I’ll be looking at the following for day trade opportunities:  FAS, WFC, BAC, and MS.

If there are questions or comments, please do post …..

Have a great week and happy trading.

TaurusTrader

http://www.taurustrader.wordpress.com

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