THIS BLOG RATES THE S&P 500 BUY/SELL/OR HOLD EACH DAY WITH 2-GOALS FOR LONG TERM INVESTMENTS: (1) PRESERVE CAPITAL (2) BEAT THE S&P 500.
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JOBLESS CLAIMS HIGH; MANUFACTURING SLOWS (Reuters) - The
number of “Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell less than
expected last week, but a lingering backlog of applications in California makes
it difficult to get a good read of labor market conditions…’Underlying labor market conditions probably
are not as bad as the recent claims data suggest,’ said Daniel Silver, an
economist at JPMorgan in New York… In a separate report, financial data firm
Markit said its ‘flash,’ or preliminary, U.S. manufacturing Purchasing Managers
Index fell to 51.1, the lowest since October 2012, from 52.8 in September.”Story at… http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/24/us-jobless-claims-idUSBRE99N0L520131024
OFF-TOPIC: OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM IS DISTORTED BY FEDERAL $
My wife teaches so I am all too familiar with the
declining abilities of students and standards of education.Oddly, a major problem is counter-intuitive.Federal money is distorting education with
disastrous results.Federal funds are
tied to standards of Learning (SOLs), i.e., standardized testing based on the policy
of “no-child-left-behind.”That policy
requires that the ALL students pass SOLs and graduate from high school;
therefore, many states have nearly eliminated vocational learning.So kids that have neither the aptitude nor
the inclination to do well in schools can’t easily go to a trade school. (That’s one reason why local contractors
couldn’t find brick-masons a few years ago and that slowed several construction
projects our organization managed.)
Since kids must pass (otherwise teachers are
punished), many of the school systems in my area have made it official policy
to no longer give zeros for missing work.50% is the minimum grade.This
gives lazy kids a chance to catch up late in the year.Teachers also dumb-down curriculum in other
ways.There is no credit for having
exceptional students – only punishment for failure to keep the SOL passing rates
at minimum levels.
Those that end up in summer school are passed on so the
school system can meet the Federal requirements, too.A good friend of mine taught summer school
last year.He had a Senior repeating
English.The kid came to 1/3 of the sessions
and did no work.My friend was directed
to pass him anyway.If your numbers go
down, you don’t get the Federal dollars.
While schools would be better off being funded without strings attached, in the end, the bigger problem is lack of parenting that
leaves students rudderless.
Thursday, the S&P was up 0.3% to 1752 (rounded) at the close.
VIX fell about 2% to 13.2.
MARKET INTERNALS (NYSE DATA)
The 10-day moving average of stocks advancing has dropped
to 62%. (A number above 50% for the
10-day average is generally good news for the market.)
New-highs outpaced new-lows Thursday, leaving the spread
(new-hi minus new-low) at +200 (it was +135 Wednesday).The 10-day moving average of change in the
spread fell to plus 12.
Market Internals remain Positive on the market for this
short term indicator.
NTSM system is BUY again today, but I still expect a
pullback, though it may not be a big decline.Some issues are: Market Internals are still positive, but they seem to
be rolling over; the Fed meeting may cause a little fear; the market action is
overly bullish (8 of the last 10 days have been up); the S&P 500 is 8.5%
above its 200-dMA and 10% is usually the break point, so a small pull back is
warranted.There are certainly enough
issues that could indicate a larger decline; there just isn’t an obvious
catalyst. (Duhhhh; it’s never obvious.)
MY INVESTED POSITION
I remain about 20% invested in stocks as of 5 March
(S&P 500 -1540).The NTSM system
sold at 1575 on 16 April.(This is just
another reminder that I should follow the NTSM analysis and not act emotionally
– I am under-performing my own system by about 2%!)I have no problems leaving 20% or 30%
invested.If the market is cut in half
(worst case) I’d only lose 10%-15% of my investments.It also hedges the bet if I am wrong since I
will have some invested if the market goes up.No system is perfect.