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They used to call Ronald Reagan the "Teflon" President because nothing stuck to him... Well, looking more and more like a "Teflon" market, as neither poor economic data, ongoing anthrax scare, nor generally anemic corporate earnings sticking to stocks... Each instance in which the market presses higher in the face of bad news forces short sellers into covering their positions... Also convinces more buyers off the sidelines.
But before declaring the bear market dead, it's important to note that the indices have yet to clear major resistance levels... There have been several occasions in recent months in which we've seen decent recovery rallies fizzle out amid renewed anxiety over the state of the economy and corporate profits... Won't take many more reports like last week's Durable Goods, Initial Claims and Existing Home Sales to spook traders back to the sidelines.
And there will be plenty of opportunities to test the market's teflon-coating in the week ahead, as Consumer Confidence, GDP (advance), NAPM and October Jobs reports all due to be released... Recent data suggest little reason for optimism.
Earnings picture next week could also turn a little uglier, as more and more retail companies report results... Guidance expected to be bad, possibly shockingly so.
In the week just concluded, oil, aluminum and money center banks paced the winners while telecom, natural gas, chemical and leisure stocks led the losers