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Economic reports allow stocks to advance

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Thursday morning was full of economic reports. Not that they have been driving the stock market, but European news and earnings reports have been a bit lighter after Tuesdays big move.

The weekly initial claims for unemployment, GDP, the Universityof Michigan Consumer Sentiment, the Leading Indicators, and FHFA Housing Price Index reports all came out.

First out before the markets opening, initial claims were better than expected while the GDP revision was worse than expected. For the week ending December 17, initial claims declined by 4,000 to 364,000. That’s the lowest level of initial claims since April 2008.

Continuing claims for the week ending December 10 fell by 79,000 to 3.546 mln. So if you ever wondered just how many people were on unemployment, this it is.

The GDP dropped to 1.8% from 2.0% for the third quarter. .2% may not seem like much but it is a disappointment from the standpoint that .2% is a lot of trade or exchange, and it is in the wrong direction if hiring is going to continue to pick up. Several economists seem to agree that in order for hiring to be impacted positively GDP must be maintained over 2% .

The Conference Board's Leading Economic Indicators Index increased 0.5% in November after increasing 0.9% in October.

The Universityof Michigan Consumer Sentiment Indexwas revised up from 67.7 in the December preliminary reading to 69.9 in the final reading.

Friday the Durable Goods report is out before the market opens and later at 10AM ETNew Home sales are out.

Tuesday’s nice advance and Wednesdays reversal back up to that days highs was welcome price action. Today was also good, but traders must be aware that the market is in a band of resistance now. Price action from the last 3 days is eating away at this resistance. It will certainly help if our old friend Europe will support overcoming this resistance with some good developments.

Trade with a plan.

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