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Two Ways: Tax Refunds a Shock, Not a Charge


Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.


Tax Refunds Fade

Tax refunds have jumped this year giving a boost to consumer spending. But that could wear off within a few weeks says the Wall Street Journal. Data from the Internal Revenue Service through April 3 shows that individual refunds are up by about 15%, from $183 billion last year to $210 billion in 2009. But the bulk of refunds are typically remitted in February, so much of that money is already working its way through the economy, leading some to believe the next few months will prove challenging for retailers.

For more on the economy, see Professor Eugene Linden's Why the Crisis Isn't Over.

From the Bull Pen: In retail, bulls can still look to the consumer staples like AutoZone (AZO). One can set an initial position here with a sell stop below $155.

From the Bear Cave
: Bears can consider Radioshack (RSH). One option is to fade this stock into gapfill (near $10.50). A buy stop can be set above that level.

Quick Check Around the World

Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng 4.55%, Nikkei -0.92%, India 1.51%, Shanghai 0.54% and Taiwan 0.60%.

Glancing towards Europe, we see the CAC 0.99%, DAX 1.46%, FTSE 0.83%,

As of 8:10 AM EST, S&P Futures are trading +1 to 854.00, and Nasdaq futures are +7 to 1337.00.

A Look at Commodities

Over in commodities, crude oil is trading +0.56 to 50.61 while gold is +0.40 to 896.20 this morning. Silver is -0.103 to 12.665 and copper -2.80 to 209.75.

The dollar index is +0.190 to 85.1200.

On the Radar


08:30 Core PPI 0.1%
08:30 PPI 0.0%
08:30 Retail Sales 0.3%
08:30 Retail Sales ex Auto 0.0%
10:00 Business Inventories -1.1%

Click here for the full trading radar.

Good luck today, Minyans!

In memory of our fallen friend and trusted colleague, Bennet Sedacca, 100% of the donations made to the RP Foundation through April will be channeled to philanthropic endeavors consistent with the RP mission, working closely with the Sedacca clan in the distribution of those funds. We thank you kindly for your support as we strive to effect positive change in the lives of children.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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