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Two Ways: Bear Market? What Bear Market?

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Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.

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S&P On a Tear

The S&P 500 is headed for its best monthly gain since 2000 as companies that beat consensus earnings forecasts outpace those that missed on a 10-to-1 basis. Bloomberg reports companies like Wells Fargo (WFC) and American Express (AXP) beat expectations by over 70%. These stocks helped boost the financial sector, sending the benchmark S&P 500 to a record monthly gain of 23%. The index fell to 666 in March, a 12-year low, but has since rebounded by 29%. It must gain another 3.3% to fully wipe out its 2009 loss.

See Professor Kevin Depew's Is the Market's Juice Worth the Squeeze?

From the Bull Pen: The odds are increasing that stocks are headed for a correction. But it would be bullish if the Retail Holders ETF (RTH) could successfully test its 200 DMA ($77.77). One can enter a position if and when the stock falls near that level with a tight sell stop below.

From the Bear Cave: One belief is that retail stocks have been on a tear because of record amounts of tax refunds. If so, this catalyst will soon end. Bears can consider Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF); one option is to fade (read: sell) into its 200 DMA (29.50). A buy stop can be set above that level.

Quick Check Around the World

Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng 3.77%, Nikkei 3.94%, Shanghai 0.38% and Taiwan 6.74%.

Glancing towards Europe, we see the CAC 1.53%, DAX 2.69%, FTSE 2.21%

As of 8:20 AM EST, S&P Futures are trading +13 to 882.16, and Nasdaq futures are +13 to 1399.00.

A Look at Commodities

Over in commodities, crude oil is trading +0.73 to 51.70 while gold is -8.9 at 891.60 this morning. Silver is -0.890 to 12.665 and copper +6.10 to 207.10.

The dollar index is -0.0300 to 84.6250.

On the Radar

Economics

08:30 Initial Jobless Claims came in at 631k vs 640k cons
08:30 Personal Income was -0.3% vs -0.2% cons
08:30 Personal Spending was -0.2% vs -0.1% cons and prior revised to +0.4% from +0.2%
08:30 Q1 Employment Cost Index was +0.3% vs 0.5% cons
09:45 Chicago PMI 34.0 cons

Click here to see the full trading radar.

Good luck today!

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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