Thursday, February 4, 2016

Unemployment Claims … Factory Orders … Productivity … Stock Market Analysis

“The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits rose last week as employers continued to adjust staffing levels following the holidays. Jobless claims climbed by 8,000 to 285,000 in the week ended Jan. 30…” Story at…
My cmt: This is the third report in a row that was higher than 280,000.
“Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods tumbled in December, with a key category that tracks business investment plans falling for a second straight month. Durable goods orders dropped 5.1 percent in December following a 0.5 percent decline in November…” Story at…
“Worker productivity slumped in the fourth quarter by the most in almost two years, leading to a pickup in U.S. labor costs that threaten corporate profits. The measure of employee output per hour of work decreased at a 3 percent annualized rate in the final three months of last year, the most since the first quarter 2014.” Story at…

I am too busy today to do a full report, so here’s a quick take on the markets as of about 2:30.
- The Overbought/Oversold Index, AKA the Advance-Decline Ratio (a Wall St. “classic” indicator based on breadth) again signaled “overbought” Thursday.  That’s a headwind, but this can remain overbought for some time.
-The Money Trend indicator is neutral and may turn negative soon. That has been a decent short-term indicator recently.  
-I’ll run the numbers later, but I doubt there will be much change. Market Internals (a short-term trend follower) remains bullish.
-The NTSM Long Term indicator is HOLD, but I have been out of the market since December because of prior sell-signals.
-There is an imbalance with advancing stocks leading decliners and up-volume exceeding down-volume. Whether this will be enough to reverse the slide in S&P 500 today (currently down about 0.2%) remains to be seen.