Monday, August 21, 2006

Stocks Lower into Final Hour on Low Volume Profit-taking

BOTTOM LINE: The Portfolio is lower into the final hour on looses in my Retail longs, Semi longs and Commodity shorts. I have not traded today, thus leaving the Portfolio 100% net long. The tone of the market is negative as the advance/decline line is lower, most sectors are falling and volume is very light. The Chicago Fed recently released its third-quarter edition of the bank's Economic Perspectives. In this edition, there is an interesting study entitled "The great turn-of-the-century housing boom" by Jonas D. M. Fisher and Saad Quayyum. They say the boom has to do with gains in Americans' wealth and the introduction of innovative mortgages. They say record-high home ownership rates will last due to an aging population. Finally, they say that due to the fact that home sales gains had sound underpinnings, the economy won't suffer as much pain from the current slowdown as it has in prior corrections. Overall, this report is arguing for a "soft-landing" in housing as home sales stabilize at relatively high levels by historic standards. I expect US stocks to trade modestly higher into the close from current levels on short-covering, lower long-term rates and bargain-hunting.

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