Todd Harrison: Looking Ahead to Janet Yellen and Quarter-End

By Todd Harrison  MAR 19, 2014 10:41 AM

Performance anxiety enters an already crowded equation.

 


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Quarter-end is creeping closer with each passing day, and that isn't lost on the animal spirits in the marketplace. With the Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) and S&P 500 (INDEXSP:INX) up +3.75% and +1.36% year-to-date respectively, fund managers can do the math (18.6% and 6.5% annualized).

Fear and greed, greed and fear, rinse and repeat; in periods of performance anxiety, the buyers are higher and the sellers are lower.

Top-down, not much has changed between last night and this morning. Our primary technical levels (S&P 1850, NDX (INDEXNASDAQ:NDX) 3640, RUT (INDEXRUSSELL:RUT) 1182) are below (which is bullish) while tertiary confirmation (BKX (INDEXSP:BKX) 71.50, TRAN (INDEXDJX:DJT) 7600) resides above. All the while, numerous headlines compete for our collective attention as we digest the fallout from Russia and structural uncertainties in China.

We hosted an excellent Fireside Chat with Mark Dow last night, and I was particularly interested in his take as he's been steadfastly bullish off the 2009 low, in large part due to his grasp of policy. I don't want to spoil the recast (airing this afternoon), but I can share that while Mark wouldn't be shocked to see a correction at any time, he believes we've got room to run through a secular lens. Interestingly, in terms of potential risks, he ranks Europe ahead of China and Russia (in that order).

The focus today is on Janet Yellen as she chairs her first Fed meeting. Traders will be listening for any hints for the future (the text will cross the wires at 2 p.m.). I don't foresee her intentionally rocking the boat, but you never know in our "ready-fire-aim" environment. And I encourage you to view the Mark Dow interview when it hits as he also touches on the Fed's exit strategy, which will help shape the central bank dynamic.

Closer to home, you've got until tomorrow morning to get your brackets in for Minyan March Madness.  The winner will receive a lifetime subscription to the Minyanville subscription product of his or her choice and a snazzy gift bag, while "non-winners" will have the right (but not the obligation) to make a donation of their choice to The Ruby Peck Foundation for Children's Education. This is the best sporting event of the year; there's nothing wrong with adding a little spice to the mix!

Random Thoughts:
 

R.P.

Twitter: @todd_harrison

No positions in stocks mentioned.

Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at todd@minyanville.com.

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