Overnight markets were essentially a nonevent, as they saw little movement. The Spooz, too, were on the quiet side, ditto the early going, though the action was to the upside, if ever so slightly.
There is no macro news slated for this week and there won’t be much corporate news either, as we are in the lull before the storm, a.k.a. corporate earnings season. It is probably worth noting that there have been very few preannouncements, so there won’t be many surprises on the earnings front, though there could be when it comes to guidance. Even so, guidance in general may be “noisier” than usual, due to the consequences of the Japanese earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disasters (but that will be next week’s business, at the earliest).
Talk the Hawk, Dove the Walk
Other than geopolitical bombshells, what appears to pass for news are the incessant speeches from various Fed officials, as they try to convince the markets that they are tough, responsible, and ready to slay inflation at the drop of a hat. The exception, of course, are the three most potent Fed heads: Bernanke, Yellen, and Dudley (the man who eats iPods), who have been pretty consistently dovish.
It amazes me that people pay so much attention to what they say, when all that matters is what they do. We all know where their biases lie, and the fact that markets flinch every time one of them talks tough is almost comical. Recall it was a little over a year ago that so many were worried about ending QE1 and the withdrawal of liquidity, when what we got instead was QE2. In any case, it is what it is, and people will focus on what they will.
Turning back to the (non)action, the market just drifted sideways-to-slightly-lower all session and closed flattish. Lately, the market “action” has made dull seem lively.
Away from stocks, the dollar was mixed, fixed income was higher, oil was flattish, and the metals gained ground, led by silver. It gained 2% to gold’s 0.3%.