From the Trading Desk

Dow Jones Industrial Average Ends Higher for the Fifth Straight Session; AAPL Slide Continues

Big headlines of the day were better than expected retail sales and the slide in AAPL. Going unnoticed was the outside reversal the Russell 2000 index staged. Not going unnoticed was the heavy volume selling in AAPL for the second straight day. The stock continues to see sellers and has now closed under $500 mark for the first time since February 2012. DELL gained for the second straight day taking the sting out of the slide in AAPL as rumors about a possible takeout swirl. Not a bad day for the markets, but outside the Russell 2000 we do not see the major averages pushing to new highs. Whether we are consolidating or not remains to be seen, but the fact we can’t move higher immediately does give us pause. Until we get real sell signals this uptrend still has a chance to push higher.

Another big headline of the day was FB news of their new search tool. Lacking the big “wow” factor the stock ended lower on the day. FB has had quite the run and sellers took advantage of the news and sold the stock lower. Does it mean it continues? No one knows and we have yet to see a true sell signal in the stock. We would welcome the stock to pause setup a base and breakout. For now, we’ll see how it progresses over the next few trading sessions. If you are long, make sure you have a game plan on where your exits are.

Tomorrow morning we’ll get earnings releases from JPM at 7am and GS at 7:30am. Both stocks have moved out of bases and are higher at the moment. Either stock would not be buyable if they were to gap to the upside. Let’s not forget banks were a big driver for growth in the S&P 500 earnings last year and will be important for the trend to continue for banks. One could think they should have great earnings with the Federal Reserve Bank buying up their mortgage portfolios, but we really do not have a clue. Both stocks will drive the action tomorrow along with volume. How they end up will be key to how the S&P 500 acts.

A perfect example of how a breakout should work is XXIA. While the pattern is far from perfect as we can find many flaws the last two days is how we expect stocks to act after running. It is not unwise to take some gains off the table after the monster run. It too has triggered the holding rule of running more than 20% in less than 3 weeks. A strong stock with earnings set to be released on 2/6/13.

This uptrend just doesn’t want to die just yet. Look for prices to continue to move higher until we get solid sell signals.

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