From the Trading Desk

GDP Prints above 3% as Stocks Trade in Tight Daily Range

In a surprise event 3rd quarter GDP printed above 3% above expectations. Unfortunately, the surprise to the upside failed to induce a strong response from the stock market. Initial jobless claims rose to 361,000 for the week a bit higher than expected. But, dominating the headlines was John Boehner’s plan B for the Fiscal Cliff. Volume ran lower throughout the day suggesting institutions were taking a break. Leading stocks help up relatively well while ISRG and HLF continued their declines. Financials and in particular BAC continued to march higher with Small Caps continuing their run. At the close, stocks closed near the highs of the day finishing much better than Wednesday session. Our uptrend remains intact and we’ll see how stocks react to tomorrow’s quadruple witching.

News hit John Boehner pulled the vote on his Plan B sent futures MUCH lower. The Emini-S&P 500 futures dropped more than 2% in 2 seconds. The only way this occurs is with computers fighting one another. The low print was 1391 nearly a 50 point decline in the S&P 500. We aren’t about to react to the moves in after-hours session and we’ll see how we open/finish tomorrow. If we move lower and hit our exits we’ll gladly do so. For now, we’ll remain with our positions and react as our rules say we should react.

There are positives in this market with small cap stocks leading the market higher. Barring a disaster tomorrow this uptrend should continue to move higher. We do have plenty of bulls in the market with the AAII Survey showing more than 46% of its respondents say they are bullish. Only 24% responded as being bearish over the next 6 months. While the percentage of bulls is not at highs it is nearing frothy levels. Remember, sentiment is far from a perfect indicator for the market. However, for the fourth straight week we have the number of bulls above 40%.

Tomorrow will be fun with options in four different markets expire. Volume should soar tomorrow skewing our volume data. Price action will be pivotal given the reaction to the cancelling of the Plan B vote. There is no need to have guess work here. Stick to your plan and execute with precision. Have a great weekend and despite what many are predicting for 12/21/2012 we’ll see you next week.

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