Back to top

Ahead of Wall Street

March 27, 2013

(This is Mark Vickery substituting for Sheraz Mian this morning and all this week.)

Compared to yesterday's smorgasbord of econ data, we'll be dieting today. Pending Home Sales come out after the bell, and the only notable earnings reports (Q1 season hits full throttle in the next 2-3 weeks) are after today's close.

European markets were down Wednesday when it was reported not only that Italy has failed to formulate a coalition government, but that a top politico in the country said, "Only an insane person would want to govern Italy right now…" I'm sure it sounded much nicer in Italian.

Otherwise, there's little to do but review what we know from yesterday -- and after which the market again began to flirt with all-time highs, this time on the S&P 500: Durable Goods up (good, however ex-transportation was down), Fed New Home Sales way down (not good, though everyone knew this number was going to fall from January's number), March Consumer Confidence down (bad -- this number keeps falling, and this past month was by nearly 10%), and the Case-Shiller Home Price Index up (good, although this reflects the ancient history that was January 2013).

Higher taxes from the fiscal cliff and the sequester no doubt have had some impact on the negative numbers here. From one angle, we might even breathe a sigh of relief that the impact wasn't worse; consumers may be feeling some bruises right now, but it doesn't seem like anyone fears breaking his or her neck.

So back to Case Shiller, it is another piece of evidence that illustrates our economic recovery is the result of traction in the housing industry. Pending Home Sales will help shed some light on this momentum going forward -- and again, sequestration issues may be somewhat of a wet blanket here -- but ultimately, our Zacks experts who have long predicted a housing market-led recovery should rest easy these days.

As far as the S&P 500 touching new highs, this looks like it may be a struggle to maintain in the near-term, especially without any expected new catalysts. It's like when Chuck Yeager tried to fly that plane into outer space: as soon as he started to see the stars, the engine began to sputter. Does our current market have "The Right Stuff?

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

Please login to Zacks.com or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research

Close

Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to Zacks.com?

Top Zacks Features

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Zacks.com. Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
ERBA DIAGNO… ERB 3.00 +3.09%
SANCHEZ ENE… SN 34.18 +2.67%
THE PANTRY… PTRY 21.01 +2.04%
CLAYTON WIL… CWEI 117.57 +2.01%
INTEL CP INTC 35.14 +1.86%