(By Rich Bieglmeier) Wednesday was yet another day like every day this week with the indexes moving slightly higher on forgetful volume. It appears that the stock market is taking a summer vacation prior to Labor Day, but it feels more like the movie version of Groundhog Day.
The lack of enthusiasm might change Thursday morning when Jobless Claims and Personal Income & Outlays are reported prior to the opening bell. Economists believe that 370,000 unfortunate folks filled out initial claims. The trend looks like it might have bottomed and is reversing higher. iStock wouldn't be surprised to see a number closer to 375,000; however, a small miss shouldn't shake up stocks too badly.
We also expect to see both personal income and spending tick up in the Personal Income & Outlays. The street anticipates that disposal incomes will be up 0.3% and spending higher by 0.4% for July. Earlier in the month, Retail Sales were up 0.8 % in July; so, we expect a little upside in for spending in today's report. Additionally, the trend for personal income is up, and we believe Thursday's report will maintain momentum.
Today will serve as a warm up act for Ben Bernanke and his Jackson Hole speech on Friday morning. Yesterday's Beige Book could tie the Chairman's hands somewhat as the central bank's report showed minor improvement overall despite a stalling manufacturing sector. We will have more on our Beige Book thoughts later today.
Finally, yesterday we warned that the NASDAQ could make it three-for-three indexes posting bearish MACD cross-unders. Well, the NASDAQ's MACD line did move to a sell signal; albeit, slightly.
Like the market this week, today's opening report is light on volume. Unfortunately, there just isn't much more to add. Tomorrow, iStock will at least have iEstimates to share with you. We'll see you then.
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