As of mid-day, it looks like today may be the day. No, not the day that Derek Jeter returns to play shortstop for the Yankees for the first time since breaking his ankle during last year’s playoffs. That is, I’ll admit, pretty significant. But it’s not what I’m thinking about. It looks like today may be the day the Dow Jones Industrial Average breaks its eight-day win streak and ends with a loss. Right now, stocks have been seesawing back and forth between small losses and modest – very modest – gains.
Lots of market seers have been saying they wouldn’t be surprised to see stocks pull back. Indeed, they’re probably due for a correction of some magnitude. The blue chip index is already up 10% for the year so far. The transports are up almost 16%. Sure the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ composite have lagged behind the Dow. But they are still up 9% and 7.4%, respectively. In fact, stocks are on pace for their best first quarter since the late 1990s. In fact, they’ve been moving up almost in a straight line since shortly after election day.
Today’s early Dow losses came after declines in Asian markets overnight, followed by some weak-kneed performances out of Europe. European stocks, and U-S shares for that matter, got back a little courage after this morning’s U.S. retail sales figures surprised to the upside. They showed a 1.1% gain in February. The swamis were looking for a 0.6% rise.
Tonight on NBR, we will look at those retail numbers and try to get a sense of where the consumer is today. Shopping? Or dropping? I think they’re shopping and will continue to do so into the spring, unless some outside shock comes along and causes them to pull back. What could that shock be? Who knows, but Dennis Rodman is going back to North Korea. What a pair. Rodman and Kim Jong Un.
Hope you’ll join us tonight on NBR. Also, watch for our new, refurbished website later this month.