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Buzz Bits: Dow, Nasdaq Close Higher

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Your Daily Buzz Highlights...

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Editor's Note: This is a small sample of the content available on the Buzz and Banter.

Everything Old is New Again - Jeff Macke - 3:00 PM

As we battle with post-Holiday Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) it's comforting to note that this isn't the first year for Gift Cards and the post-holiday sales smear they create for retailers. In fact, I was writing about GC's way back in ought-four.

For what it's worth, I'm still thinking that the fourth quarter for retailers (which runs through January) will work out to be "fine but uninspiring". Boo can chew on the idea that sales growth looks slightly lower than last year while the Big Bovine will tell you that many of the specialty names are already down big from their highs of November.

I think the best pure trades are on the short side (it's easier to disappoint than crush estimates this time of year) but I'll be looking to buy the dips.

Mini-Random Thoughts - Kevin Depew - 12:33 PM

  • Market internals are fully-tilted toward Hoofy for both the NYSE and NASDAQ. But in PnF terms, new sell signals are leading new buy signals 6 to 5.
  • The South Korean government is offering a cash prize of 1 million won ($1,077) for the companies whose employees pledge not to visit brothels this holiday season. Meanwhile, South Korean brothels are gearing up for a heavy post-holiday season, post-cash prize rush.
  • See the table here for the Richmond Fed survey, courtesy of Bloomberg LP. The headline number of Business Activity was -6. Well below expectations. That isn't even the worst part. EVERY component of 'Business Activity' declined from November. See the chart of the index here. Bennet Sedacca on today's Buzz.
  • Traces of cocaine can be found on 94 percent of Euro banknotes in Spain, according to a study published over the weekend. By comparison, only 80% of U.S. dollars show traces of cocaine. The study has prompted nightclub partygoers worldwide to demand the Euro replace the dollar as the world's reserve currency, while asking if anyone has change for an eight ball.
  • Why doesn't the market seem to care about the weak Richmond Fed's Manufacturing Survey? Perhaps it's because manufacturing no longer tells as much of an economic story as it used to.
  • Then why are manufacturing reports and surveys still so closely-watched and reported? Habit. And the fact that it's simply easier to calculate the output of manufactured goods as opposed to services.
  • Minyan Barry Ritholtz surveys the reporting errors related to Retail Sales among major media outlets... and the results are not pretty.
  • How about a primer on the High-Yield Bond Market with a little history thrown in?
  • Rest in peace, Godfather.

Seasonal bullishness and a Red Ryder BB gun. What did Santa forget to bring you? - Rod David- 9:36 AM

Volume is as important to defining a pattern as is price action. If not for Friday's low volume, a steep drop Tuesday morning would be likely. Hey, a steeper drop Friday afternoon would have been likely, too.

But at some point, volume price action needs to invalidate its recent pattern, or else volume will be trumped by momentum. And momentum points down.

Since S&Ps had continued dropping after Friday's cash session close, and ended the day under the cash session's lows, it's interesting that the extra loss hasn't really been rejected. S&Ps have firmed back to being flat with Friday's cash session's close, struggling to recover above Friday's lows.

Seasonal bullishness was neither seasonal nor bullish last week. It had better appear soon and introduce a premium to the futures' spread - or at least recover through the first hour from an opening retest of Friday's post-close low - or else the momentum of last week's decline will rule by default, and last week's decline will simply pick up where it left off.

What you need to know... - Jon Doctor J Najarian - 8:20 AM

Research in Motion (RIMM) Earnings Blowout! Revenue surged nearly 27% and earnings were up by 49% as 875,000 of the ubiquitous Blackberry devices were sold in the quarter, bringing the total of the faithful to 7 million.

Red Hat (RHT) Not Dead Yet! Oracle (ORCL) tried to put a fork in the open source software provider, but subscriber numbers were up 48% and earnings bested Street estimates by 2 cents. Shares are higher in the pre by 12%.

Late Shopping Surge To Lift Retailers? A CNBC survey found that consumers have raised their budgets substantially, by some $200 in the past two weeks. The surge should benefit big consumer electronics retailers like Best Buy (BBY) & Circuit City (CC).

Refi Demand Drops –
And what a drop! Mortgage applications for the week ended Dec. 15 decreased 10.2% to 647.6 from the previous week's 721.2. Before you read too much into this, that 721.2 was the highest level for apps in more than a year.

Positions in XOM, BBY and APKT

No positions in stocks mentioned.

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