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Gary Smith’s Market Take

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Here’s my take on the markets today, November 14th, 2012. If you’d like to read more of my articles, click here.

Credit gauges are mixed today. The 3M EUR/USD Cross-Currency Basis Swap is rising +1.9% to -27.47 bps. The TED Spread is falling -6.7% to 20.85 bps. The 2Y Swap Spread is falling -2.58% to 11.69 bps. The Germany sovereign cds is falling -5.3% to 31.25 bps. The Spain sovereign cds is down -3.5% to 344.32 bps. The Italy sovereign cds is down -4.3% to 305.25 bps. However, the 3M Euribor-OIS Spread is rising +1.3% to 12.1 bps. The Western Europe Sovereign CDS Index is jumping +3.5% to 120.96 bps(+8.8% in 5 days). The Portugal sovereign cds is gaining +1.8% to 632.43 bps(+16.4% in 5 days). The Ireland sovereign cds is up +2.8% to 201.75 bps. The Spain 10Y Yld is rising +1.0% to 5.91%. The Israel sovereign cds is up +3.1% to 152.53 bps.

Major Asian indices were mostly higher overnight, led higher by a +1.2% gain in Hong Kong(-3.0% in 5 days). Major European indices are lower today, led down by a -.9% decline in the UK. The Bloomberg European Bank/Financial Services Index is falling -1.1% today. Brazil is down -2.0%(-3.7% in 5 days).

 The euro is bouncing +.38% today, but is still below its 50/200 day moving averages. Oil is bouncing +1.2% today, but still trades poorly given the rapidly unraveling situation in the Mid-east and investor perceptions that China’s economy is rebounding. As well, copper(-.5%) still trades poorly. Lumber is gaining +.85% today and is consolidating recent gains in a healthy fashion. China’s benchmark Iron-Ore Spot Index is rising +.08%. Gold(+.38%) is consolidating recent gains just below its upward sloping 50-day moving average. The UBS-Bloomberg Ag Spot Index is gaining +.5%. The 10Y Yld is flat at 1.6%. 

The weekly MBA Home Purchase Apps Index jumped +11.0% this week, but remains stuck in the same range it has been in since May 2010. Retail sales were decelerating meaningfully before Hurricane Sandy hit and will likely not show significant improvement over the coming months given the rhetoric surrounding US fiscal cliff negotiations, a weak/stagnant labor market, a likely decline in consumer sentiment gauges and expectations for higher taxes. I continue to believe some sort of US can-kicking is the most likely outcome for the fiscal cliff negotiations, which will leave a significant level of uncertainty for investors/businesses/consumers over the intermediate-term. Eurozone economies continue to weaken and show few signs of stabilizing, which continues to raise the odds for more sovereign downgrades.

Stocks are reversing early morning gains again as the S&P 500 breaks convincingly below its 200-day. Homebuilding, Steel, Gaming, Alt Energy, Gold/Silver, I-Banking and Road&Rail shares are under meaningful pressure. The Homebuilding Index, which had been a market leader, is now down -10.2% since 11/6. Retail and Networking stocks are relatively strong today. I have not traded and I am still positioned 25% net long.

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Gary D. Smith

Gary D. Smith

Gary Douglas Smith actively trades his portfolio as well as the portfolios of family members. In addition, Mr. Smith maintains Between the Hedges, an investment-oriented blog. Previously, he was founder and managing member of Olympus Capital Management, an alternative investment firm. Olympus consisted of a long/short diversified hedge fund and a long/short technology sector hedge fund. Prior to the formation of Olympus, he spent five years as Vice-President of Research and Portfolio Manager for an independent money management firm. Mr. Smith has been engaged for the past 23 years in the analysis and selection of equity and other investments. His expertise is in long/short U.S. equity investing across all market sectors with an emphasis on technology stocks. He uses a top-down investment approach, investing in securities at a reasonable price relative to their growth prospects. As well, technical analysis plays a role in the timing of his investment decisions. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee and subsequently received an MBA, with a concentration in finance, from Vanderbilt University’s Owen School.
Gary D. Smith

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