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First Quarter in Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb


Rain or shine, we review the day's biggest stock stories

The story of the day was Meredith Whitney, who said she wouldn't want to short the banks into earnings season. Ms. Whitney has been dead right on the banks, and readers would be wise to pay attention to her reasoning: She argues that, because the banks have sacrificed their future in order to hit a home run this quarter.

But that shouldn't be surprising: Recall that Citigroup (C) said just a few weeks ago that January and February were better than expected, which led to a bank rally. The majors -- Wells Fargo (WFC), JPMorgan (JPM) and Bank of America (BAC) -- had big days.

However, I would focus on the regional banks as the winners in this mess. Some names to consider are: PNC Financial (PNC), Zion (ZION), Comerica (CMA), Suntrust (STI). For those that like ETFs, consider the XRH and the KRE.

Is Turnaround Tuesday getting too easy? Basically, whatever the market does Monday, I take the opposite trade into Tuesday. It seems to work, and every Tuesday night, I write: "Turnaround Tuesday strikes again."

Today was certainty a strong day for the market. Here's a post by Jeff Cooper from today's Buzz and Banter:

"The more bearish scenario for the day would have been a pop-up spike after the open that fizzled out and rolled over. Many stocks did score opening highs but the S&P is holding well above its recaptured 50 DMA.

"Does it mean the pullback is over? I don't read too much into the action on a larger scale as it's quarter end. On a short term basis, the S&P is tracing out higher highs on its 10 minute chart today.

"The first pullback held the ORB or opening range breakout suggesting a possible trend day. If the index can push above short term resistance at 800 and the 805 pivot which is the mid-point for the first quarter, then it should extend to 810/811 today which coincides with Gapfill and a Backtest of the 50 period on the hourly chart."

Cooper walked Buzz readers right through the trade of the day - the rally stopped right at S&P 810, closing at 797. As Cooper points out, the pullback may be over. It could be possible that today was just "window-dressing" in front of quarter's end. Window-dressing is when fund managers bid up their own positions in order to show better performance at the end of the quarter.

The second quarter starts tomorrow, with economic data at 8:30 a.m. (ADP Employment Change and Challenger job cuts) followed by ISM Manufacturing, Pending Homes Sales, ISM Prices Paid, and Construction Spending at 10:00 a.m.

Hope you had a great first quarter, Minyans. See you tomorrow!

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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