Monday, November 27, 2006

Stocks Sharply Lower into Final Hour on Profit-taking and Higher Energy Prices

BOTTOM LINE: The Portfolio is lower into the final hour on losses in my Semi longs, Internet longs and Computer longs. I have not traded today, thus leaving the Portfolio 100% net long. The tone of the market is very negative as the advance/decline line is substantially lower, almost every sector is falling and volume is below average. Copper is giving back some of this morning's gains after the Beijing-based Customs General Administration said that copper-concentrate imports plunged 46% in October from a year earlier and copper purchases fell 0.9%. Moreover, the OECD said it lowered U.S. growth estimates for next year to 2.4% from 3.1%, and for Japan from 2.2% to 2.1%. They boosted European growth estimates to 2.3% from 2.1%. The Case-Schiller US Housing futures are now projecting a 4.6% decline in the average home price over the next six months. This is up from a 5.2% decline projected a couple of months ago. I suspect the OECD should have left its forecast at 3.1% for US growth. An end to auto production cutbacks, lower inflation and a stabilizing housing market will result in average U.S. growth of around 3% next year, in my opinion. Considering today's headline losses, volume is only around average, and very few stocks are down meaningfully on above-average volume. I expect US stocks to trade higher into the close from current levels on short-covering, lower long-term rates and bargain-hunting.

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