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MV Weather Report: Three Barometers for Next Quarter


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

Profit-takers hit Wall Street today: Traders were happy to take off risk going into the weekend. The downside catalyst today was the bank, as JPMorgan's (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon said that March had been a tough month for the company.

Other than that, today was uneventful. The market has made a huge move over the past few weeks, so profit-taking should be seen as a good sign. I was actually surprised we weren't down more today. Earlier morning breadth was nasty, and the S&P seemed like it had eyes for its 50-day moving average. The S&P closed trading today at 815.

Here's Professor Quint Tatro's thoughts on this wacky week.

"Mr. Market dished out a nutty week, and I for one am glad it's over. When it's all said and done, the technical picture has improved quite a bit as key sectors such as semiconductors break above and hold multi-month consolidation patterns however after a 20% run in little under a moon, we can't get all giddy rushing in willy nilly to buy stocks. That's a sure fire way to end up like Kentucky, missing out on the big dance completely.

"We now must simply remain patient, stalk prudent entries and set our stops accordingly. It's homework time, in the event this continues and I for one will be spending a good part of my weekend snuggled up with charts, finding some future winners.

"The only inventory I take home are some short educational stocks, ITT Educational (ESI) and Apollo Group (APOL). They're broke, lagging and flashing distribution signals. I'll hold 'em with stops not far above to avoid being sent to the corner wearing a dunce cap."

Quint's right; this nutty week was good for the bulls: The S&P finished off its third straight up week.

With the quarter end on Tuesday, I would like to offer a few things to watch for the month of April:

1. Obviously, earnings season. It will really pick-up around the middle of April. But there are a few questions on my mind. How did the banks do? They really kitchen-sinked last quarter in order to beat estimates this quarter - can they beat expectations?

2. Stress-test results are supposed to be released sometime in April. What will these show?

3. The G20 meets in London. There's sure to be a lot of chatter about currency changes and relationships between China and the US. The market will certinaly move short term off the news, however I am curious to see if any big changes happen. Think long-term.

Alright, Minyans - have a great weekend! I'm off to enjoy college basketball.

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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