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Two Ways: Tax Refunds a Shock, Not a Charge

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Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.

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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

Economics

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.

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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