There Goes a Wheel…

Swing and a miss. Nope, I’m not talking bout the World Series, given that my beloved Yanks are sitting at home after a dispiriting butt-kickin delivered by da Tigas.

No, that would be the sound of earnings disappointments that have come down the pike so far—none bigger than yesterday’s little fiasco sponsored by Apple. Now I’m not here to boo hoo or beat on AAPL or to tell ya Armageddon is finally upon us.

Truth is what we are seeing is nothing more than the inevitable—bad numbers reflective of a bad global economy. Not exactly breaking news that Wall Street and public companies have been playing hide-the-ball for quite some time now, providing an illusion that things are well and improving on the corporate front.

Not that anyone bought into the quarterly cycle of dumbed-down expectations that companies would invariably beat, enabling the collective mass to preen. Corporate America has been slashing its way to profitability throughout this entire meltdown episode. Nothing wrong with that…that is what you do during bad times.

But at some point ya have to have real spending and real growth in economic activity or the wheels fall off. Which is where we find ourselves now—companies are failing to meet or beat even the taken-down numbers served up by Wall Street.

The good news though is this isn’t really a bad thing or a signal that the wheels are indeed falling off. Corporations are sitting on hoards of cash and operating in lean/mean fashion, ready to really ramp it up when the economy does start to chug into higher gear again.

Yeah, slow growth is here to stay for a while, evidenced by the 2 percent number released this morning, but the fact is we are holding our own… and with each passing day, week and month we are closer to the end of this mess than the beginning. This notion has been and remains reflected in the main broad indices here. Despite the recent swoon that has seen retracement action across the market, neither the INDU nor the SPX has experienced any real damage or violated key levels that would give cause for concern.

Both indices remain poised mid-channel in their respective channels formed off the ’09 lows. Both sit just above pretty critical support levels. And both have sold off a good clip in the past couple weeks, so they are probably due for a bounce. This is a likely turning point and were both indices to hold and turn up, they’d be right back into upside tests of levels previously detailed. Were that to occur, the focus would again turn to the fact the broad markets here are on the verge of their all-time record highs…voila, everything hunky dory.

Then again, violation of these key support levels and we are probably set up for a trip to the lower half of the respective channels, which could easily see the INDU back to a test of 12K (actually below) and the SPX defending 1,200 or thereabouts.

For now, we remained firmly entrenched in long-standing channels and not much has changed. The coiling action continues to build energy and we remain set-up for what looks more-and-more like some sort of a decisive resolution near-term.

One last point to ponder is the fact we have now come to the end of what are normally dicey months for the market and are set to enter what are typically market-friendly months. Take that for what you will, but when combined with the fact that we are now well into a horrible earnings season—yet we remain within relatively easy distance of record levels…. Who knows what any of that means…

K, I’ll toss out one quick thought—maybe the wheels aren’t gonna fall off…we may just need a couple cans of fix-a-flat to make things right at this point…

I’m not guessing either way…simply gonna hold tight, let the story unfold and react accordingly…just as planned…

Should be interesting!


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