theStreet.com: Back to Business: Coming Week
Wall Street on Tuesday will return from a long weekend to a market that has sleepily ticked upward for two months -- leaving investors to question whether bulls or bears are charging back from the Hamptons. Tickers discussed in this article include: C , AIG, FNM, WFC, WMT, TGT.
Via theStreet.com --Traders seem to have maintained the mentality that it's not about how bad things are, but whether they're as bad as expected. The jobs report on Friday showed that more payroll cutbacks sent the unemployment rate to 9.7%, the highest level in 26 years. Still, it got merely a shrug in the market.
"The consensus was 9.6%, so it wasn't really that much of a disappointment," says John Wilson, chief technical strategist at Morgan Keegan. He noted that stocks "briefly went flat" after the jobs data were released, only to rebound shortly after.
That attitude has sent the market about 15% higher since hitting a quarterly low two months ago on July 10. Volume has been seasonally low, but still 6% higher than the corresponding period a year ago, based largely on heavy trading in financial stocks like Citigroup (C), because of its preferred stock exchange; "zombie stocks" like American International Group (AIG), Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE); and other big banks like Bank of America (BAC) and Wells Fargo (WFC), because of news surrounding the payback of their bailout funds.
Traders and observers have been predicting a reversal for several weeks, saying that the market has run up further than fundamental improvements would warrant. But the consensus forecast has shifted from expecting a sharp correction to seeing only a minor pullback -- and, so far, even that hasn't really taken shape.