Don't Fight the Trend

 | Jan 18, 2012 | 4:38 PM EST  | Comments
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Stock quotes in this article:

lltc

,

ASML. SMH

,

ffiv

,

axp

,

goog

,

ibm

,

intc

,

isrg

,

msft

One of the complaints about this market recently is that we have not seen good sustained momentum intraday. That changed as today was a solid trend day. The dip-buyers jumped in on some very minor weakness and then pushed us higher all day long. Breadth was solid at almost 3-to-1 positive.

Oil, banks, retail and biotechnology all performed well but the star of the show was semiconductors. Good reports from Linear Technology (LLTC) and ASML Holding (ASML) caught a lot of folks by surprise and set the sector on fire.

While it good to see some leadership in technology names, the pessimists were mumbling about how strength in chips so often marks a market top. We have seen it happen quite often where a big move in the Market Vectors Semiconductor (SMH) comes shortly before a market turn. I'm not buying the argument, but it is worth noting as earnings roll out.

We have some earnings hitting tonight, most notably F5 Networks (FFIV), but tomorrow afternoon is when the major fireworks start. After the close tomorrow, we have American Express (AXP), Google (GOOG), IBM (IBM), Intel (INTC), Intuitive Surgical (ISRG)and Microsoft (MSFTAXP). That will be the most important night of earnings this quarter, so look for a lot of jostling around tomorrow as market players move into position.

Technically, the market is a bit extended right now, but that has frequently been a buy signal -- especially when volume is diminishing. I expect the shorts to stay out of the way tomorrow as they look for some "sell the news" action on Friday.

The trend is our friend and it is up, so there is no reason to fight it. The fear of being left behind is overcoming the fear of buying extended charts.

Have a good evening. I'll see you tomorrow.

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