Market Uptrend Intact; Investors Eye Economic Data, Earnings
Options expired Friday, and while major averages closed near session lows and volume rose sharply on the NYSE, little damage was done to the market. Major averages remain in uptrends and leading stocks continue to hold gains nicely.
Even so, a pause for the market wouldn't be surprising at this point. There are a lot of extended stocks out there -- too late to buy after lengthy run-ups.
A pullback of 1.9% would bring the Nasdaq Composite down to its 20-day simple moving average (SMA) at 3,119. A pullback of 4.7% would bring it down to its 50-day SMA at 3,032. If the market succumbs to some near-term profit-taking, the selling might be short-lived as overall market sentiment remains positive.
Investors will have more headlines to digest this week, including a few key earnings reports and some potentially market-moving economic data:
Wednesday: Texas Industries (NYSE: TXI)
Nike reports after the close Thursday. It's really turned into a laggard as Wall Street frets about growth prospects. The footwear and apparel company is expected to earn $1.12 a share, down 18% from a year ago with sales up 5.5% to $6.4 billion. Some will say a lot of bad news has already been priced into Nike, but its chart still looks weak. Its 40-week average ($101.50) could be a significant resistance level at this point. Shares closed Friday at $96.52, down $0.20.
Blackberry maker Research in Motion also reports Thursday after the close. A loss of $0.47 a share is expected with sales down 40% to $2.5 billion. Investors may wish to avoid trying to catch RIMM on sale down here. It appears to be a troubled company whose best days of growth are clearly behind it.
Upcoming Economic Data
Tuesday: Case Schiller 20-city index for July and consumer confidence for September
Wednesday: New-home sales for August
Thursday: Weekly jobless claims, durable orders for August, GDP-third estimate for the second-quarter, pending-home sales for August
Friday: Personal income/spending for August, Chicago PMI for September, Michigan sentiment-final for September
On Tuesday, watch for the latest reading on consumer confidence from the Conference Board. Economists expect an increase to 63. In August, the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index fell to 60.6 from a negatively revised 65.4 in July; the lowest level since November.
On Wednesday, investors will get more housing data with the release of August new-home sales data. Look for an increase to 380,000. In July, new-home sales increased 3.6% to 372,000 units, a little better than expected. Last week, Aug. housing starts disappointed but existing-home sales came in much better than expected at 4.82 million units, up 7.8% from July. Home builders continue to lead the market but after big price runs, many are extended in price.
Finally on Thursday, watch for the final revision to second-quarter gross domestic product. Economists expect growth of 1.7%, unchanged from the second estimate. In the fourth-quarter, the economy grew at a rate of 4.1% but growth slowed to 2% in the first quarter.
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