Thursday, August 2, 2007

Dow Up 101 & Paul Kasriel

Here's my CNBC options report..

1490 area remains an area of great interest. It was the late April launch pad and double bottom support during the June lows.

Now, some folks are getting down right exhuberant that the market has been up two days in a row by triple digits and reason that a weekly bounce is pretty much a sure thing after last week's slide. So they've fully loaded themselves with long positions. They may be right. If fact, if you look back at past weekly bearish engulfments during this bull market phase many were followed by rebound weeks, or at least a pause in the selling. But then again, you can get ugly situations like this 1998 chart.

If we can bust above 1490, almost tested and failed on Monday, those longs practically wetting themselves over the two days of gains will indeed be right.

Tomorrow's big event will the 8:30 employment report.

Some folks harshly take me to task for in their view "dropping names", but these are the people who I've made contacts with in over 25 years in broadcasting.

Today I had a quick chat with Northern Trust chief economist Paul Kasriel. He wisely avoided making predictions on where the numbers will end up tomorrow morning, saying he just as well "should forecast tomorrow's lottery numbers" and noted that "consensus guess misses are usually big" with this data series.

There were a couple of things he noted that were of interest:

He clearly recognizes that "it's still the biggest market mover, I never thought it should have been, since there are so many assumptions built into it that are later revised." He says "at best the employment data is a late coincident indicator and doesn't tell you where the economy is going."

He also made this interesting observation, "Had employment been weaker the Fed would have already started to cut rates, or would be taking about it. The Fed has indicated its been a little confused by the divergence from the employment data and behavior in the rest of the economy."

Kasriel also talked about the "participation rate" data in the employment report and the "add factor of the birth/death rate". But I'm going to save those especially interest comments for my pro column tomorrow morning.

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