After one day of rest, stocks were back off to the races Thursday; the NASDAQ has now been up 9 of the past 10 sessions. The S&P 500 gained 0.60% and the NASDAQ 0.70%. In economic news data from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve showed manufacturing activity in the Mid-Atlantic region unexpectedly contracted in February as new orders plunged. However, bulls have come to the conclusion that most of the slowing economic data is weather related and just buy, buy, buy.
We'll look at some commodities today as may have either made a quite nice move of late, or could be in the midst of a bull run. They are notoriously volatile however, compared to stocks. We noted silver and gold last week - both, like oil (which we'll show as well) could be creating a bull flag which is a nice tight range after a big move up. If the bottom of the flag is broken one must re-assess but right now they seem to be holding in.
A reader asked for a look at natural gas. As you can see below after creating a series of higher lows from May to late fall in 2013 - which is bearish - this trend changed late in November and into December. From there we had one nice thrust up, some consolidation, and then another move. Now here in the last week or two we've had more of a parabolic rise as the harsh winter has helped draw down supplies. In fact per news today: "Natural gas inventories were revised upwards but were still at their lowest for February since 2004."
Back to stocks, while the indexes are near their highs, transports have lagged on this leg up - maybe that is because of the higher costs of fuels, but it is a bit concerting.
Groupon (GRPN) reported after the bell and had a ridiculous range in after hours from the low $9s to the $12s area - that is 30%!
...the company forecast a loss of 2 cents to 4 cents a share for the first quarter, while analysts surveyed by FactSet are expecting earnings of 5 cents a share. Groupon shares were the most actively traded issue after hours with more than 20 million shares exchanging hands. Fourth-quarter results initially pushed the stock up as much as 16% at first as earnings and revenue topped expectations.
Via Tradingview.com here is the after hours chart: