There is not much to say about stocks today. They behaved more or less as expected, creeping higher and holding key support levels... a typical consolidation day and all very good news for the bulls. The NDX managed to close at the very top of an important trading range, so a higher close tomorrow would infer that the bears have even more tense agony in their futures.
The dollar added to yesterday's half-percent loss by slipping another quarter percent. We will find out in the next few trading days whether we are witnessing the beginning of the next leg down in the dollar's collapse or simply corrective action before a move higher. If Bernanke's comments about mitigated inflation are to be interpreted as a step toward rate cuts, it would be hard to imagine the dollar gaining any upward momentum at this point.
Precious metals responded to today's slippage by recovering from large morning losses to close marginally higher. Gold and silver are holding up pretty well against the backdrop of oil's decline and are still threatening a major breakout. Newmont Mining is approaching the upper end of a 5-month trading range where it last met resistance in December.
A break to the north would be quite encouraging for metals bulls and could instigate a larger rally in the shares.
Barring dramatic action, I will not be posting tomorrow. Options expiration days have tended to be quite tame and meaningless of late, and I intend to take advantage of the downtime to enjoy an extended President's Day weekend.
Disclosure: Long NEM Calls