When I finally got back onto my computer late last night, the S&P 500 closing print from when I left on my trip was 1106.  As I type this it is 1105 (rounded up).  A whole lot of nothin' going on.  Perhaps the indexes shall just be range bound for a while.  If so a strategy of being to have both short and long individual positions might work once more - rather than student body trading we've been subjected to for 2 years now.  The range we are in right now is very narrow - 1109ish is the obvious top side resistance and we have both the 20 and 50 day moving average below (exponential).  Using the major moving averages we have 2 completely different stories based on exponential v simple - quite a dichotomy.  But the simple story shows why there is so much of a roadblock at 1109.  Perhaps it will take our almost mechanical premarket mark up on Magical Mondays to get the index going in the right direction.

Exponential Moving Average Lines

Simple Moving Average Lines

I am unclear what rallied the markets yesterday, when I got on the plane the Dow was down nearly 200, and I see 75% of that was reclaimed by the end of the day, despite breaking both the 20 and 50 day intraday.  Other than Ben Bernanke repeating the same dog and pony show for the Senate that he did for the House, I could not find any specific reason for celebration after a weekly claims figure of nearly 500,000 this *deep* into the recession recovery.  Oh yes - the claims were high due to bad weather ;) That explains every bad data point this winter. Funny how the Canadians somehow are able to buy houses and keep jobs despite cold weather - must be an American thing.  Ahem.

Frankly with census jobs ramping up, the data should be skewing to the upside as 1.3M people suddenly find themselves with work, rather than going the other way.  Hence, while the weekly jobless data is volatile and you can't read too much into any 1 week, the fact it is ramping back to near 500K in any week, even as many of the unemployed now are turning into census workers, says a lot about the recovery.