Recap 3-20-12

Main Items:

  • BHP Billiton said it is seeing signs of “flattening” iron ore demand from China.
  • China Quietly Relaxes Controls on Foreign Capital – NYT
  • US Building Permits improved to 717k in Feb vs 686k exp and 676k prev. Housing starts were basically unchanged.
  • RBA Minutes: Inflation in underlying terms was around the midpoint of the target range and was expected to remain within the target range over the forecast horizon. Members observed that this forecast was reliant on some improvement in productivity growth to hold down domestic cost pressures.”

Overseas:

  • UK CPI declined 3.4% YoY in Feb vs 3.3% exp and 3.6 prev. Core CPI declined to 2.4% YoY vs 2.3% exp and 2.6% prev.

Upcoming Data:

  • Wed: Japan Merchandise Trade Balance, BoE Minutes
  • Thurs: EU Flash PMI’s, US Jobless Claims
  • Fri: Canada CPI, SNB quarterly bulletin

Commentary:

Note that 1433 is an S&P resistance level going back to 2007. Something to keep in mind as valuations continues to richen.

Also note that S&P volume hit a local high on Friday, an occurrence which has signaled turning points over the past year:

Given this risk/reward outlook, I am turning neutral on stocks here.

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