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January 8, 2009

Blame the Game

It's not like I need an excuse for posting late since it's generally my habit, but tonight's alibi is the BCS championship game. You see, I don't own one of those popular devices called a television set, so on the rare occasions that actually compel me to stare at a screen that doesn't contain a stock chart or trading platform, I meander out to either a bar or a friend's house. Tonight's venture found me at the Bat & Ball, a cozy little number with a half dozen flat screens, cute waitresses, and, most importantly, an acceptable selection of whiskey. Being in my nature to get agitated with TV after the first commercial break, I now find myself back home typing with six minutes left in a close game.

Speaking of close games (that's the best transition I could manufacture after three bourbons), equities finished the day with yet another miniscule change, and once again the 65DMA held the SPX in check.

stock index chart

I have to admit that I have no solid feel for what tomorrow will bring, but some intraday charts look bullish:

stock index chart

stock index chart

Friday morning commences with a jobs report. As the old saying goes, it's not the news that's important, but rather how the market reacts to news. My spin on the old adage is that the market simply uses news as an excuse to do what it wants to do. It would take a pretty extreme number to push the market against its will, so unless the jobs number is way out of whack, then tomorrow's reaction should probably be followed. Not the initial reaction, mind you... those are often head fakes... but the end result will be a big indication of near-term market direction. At the moment, though, I see no reason to sway from the game plan outlined yesterday.

I'm going to keep it short tonight, but I'll end with an update on my rare individual stock short:

stock chart

I just don't see how any retail shares make it through 2009 without scuffs, abrasions, and rug burn. Speaking of which, has anyone noticed that many chains are being stubborn with regard to post-holiday sales? In fact, some items I've been stalking are priced higher now than during the holiday season. Store traffic, however, is at a standstill. Something has got to give.


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