The Prepared Mind 3.14.2010

“Hey, let's be careful out there.”

The March lion continues to roar as equity markets went lower on concern over European sovereign debt and Mideast unrest.  This movement was accompanied by a higher U.S. Dollar and lower commodity prices.  The chaser for the week was the earthquake combined with tsunamis in Japan.

Once again we had consistent intra-day and inter-day price and volatility movement this week. The major indices showed losses for the week.  For the week, the S&P 500 was down 1.28%, the Dow Jones Industrials were down 1.03%, the NDX down 2.57% and the Russell 2000 was down 2.69%.  These percentages do not give us a sense of the real movement in the past week.  The Prepared Mind remains wary.

I have closed all my March option positions.  I have entered into only minimal April and May positions and I am in no hurry to establish significant new positions. Modulating position sizes, and even having no position at times, is a viable and undervalued  strategy.  I am slowly putting on positions for the next month.  The Prepared Mind remains ready for a significant market move in either direction.  Be nimble.  Take profits when they are presented to you.

The dearth of economic reports for the upcoming week will be more than offset by other outside factors.  Keep on eye on the Mideast, European sovereign debt, and Japan.  The effect of the Japanese tragedy upon global markets remains unknown.  I use Yahoo Finance Major World Indices to show what is happening to markets elsewhere.  Be aware of what is happening globally as you make daily trading decisions.   Do not become complacent. .  As Sergeant Phil Esterhaus said on “Hill Street Blues” – “Hey, let’s be careful out there.”

Monday March 14:

Economic: Quiet day

Other:  IMF discusses Greek loans; G8 Foreign Ministers meeting in Paris

Tuesday March 15:

Economic:  ICSC – Goldman Store Sales – 7:45, Empire State Manufacturing Survey – 8:30, Redbook – 8:55, Housing Market Index – 19:00,  FOMC Meeting Announcement – 1:15

Other:  G8 Foreign Ministers meeting in Paris.

Wednesday March 16:

Economic:  Housing Starts – 8:30, Producer Price Index – 8:30,

Thursday March 17:

Economic:  Industrial Production – 8:15, Consumer Price Index – 8.30, Jobless Claims – 8:30, Leading Indicators – 10:00

Other:  Last day of trading for SPX and NDX:;  Saint Patrick’s Day

Friday  March 18:

Other: Quadruple Witching for the U.S. Markets, European Banking Authority announces Stress Test Results.

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