"Altruistica": Seeking a return to full financial disclosure and regulatory oversight. A financial market analysis blog for "entertainment purposes" only by an experienced CFA seeking new hedge fund engagements for investment writing and analysis. The author has experience investing internationally, running a hedge fund, making angel investments, and helping launch five startup companies. Investors should do their own due diligence.

29 December 2006

Economic Indicators Weak, Markets at Records with No Fear

Isn't it interesting that the leading indicators of economic weakness, such as a strong one like trucking tonnage, have ROLLED OVER. Of course, the financial markets are hitting multi-year highs and the risk indicators (i.e. ISEE, VIX & VXN) are at near record complacency levels

Trucking: If November was this bad, its going to be ugly in February@AGED

AG Edwards was surprised to see the amount of weakness in truck tonnage for November, which is historically the second strongest month of the year. With tonnage down -8.74% year-over-year in November, well below the firm's -4.85% bearish expectations, the firm questions what February 2007, a historically weak month, will look like.

ISEE 10-day moving average is 141. ISEE 50-day moving average is 141.

Asian markets mainly closed on "record highs"-Priced for perfection- where's the fear?? All the markets are supposed to get pegged to the appreciating Chinese yuan- the global reserve currency heir to the depreciating dollar.

Most Asian Markets End Year on High Note
Friday December 29, 7:08 AM EST

HONG KONG (AP) — Most Asian markets wrapped up the year higher Friday, as Japanese shares hit a new seven-month high and shares in China, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand set record closes. The Nikkei ended 6.9 percent higher than the last trading day last year. It was the fourth straight year of growth for the index amid encouraging signs of an economic recovery, but that growth was well below a 40 percent advance in 2005. The decision by Japan's central bank to raise interest rates in July for the first time in six years then stunted the market's recovery, analysts said.

In Hong Kong, shares edged down from their record high Friday on profit-taking in Chinese banks, closing the year 34 percent higher than last year. The blue-chip Hang Seng Index fell 31.03 points, or 0.2 percent, to 19,970.88. In 2006, the index has risen 5,094.00 points, after hitting an intraday record high of 20,038.00 on Thursday. The market "is likely go even higher next year ... the China growth story and (possible) yuan appreciation are enough to support the market solidly," said Kitty Chan, a director at CASH Asset Management. Part of the index increase was due to the inclusion of China-registered companies, such as China Construction Bank and Sinopec, in the Hang Seng Index since September.

Traders expect China-related stocks to continue leading the market higher next year, provided that liquidity stays in Hong Kong, China's economy continues its rapid expansion and hopes for a fresh round of yuan appreciation don't die down.

SHANGHAI: China's shares soared to a new record high for a fifth straight day, lifted by sharp rises in bank and airline stocks in the last trading session of 2006. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 4.2 percent to close at 2,675.47, more than double its level at the start of the year.

SINGAPORE: Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index closed the year at a record high, and traders expect it to hit the 3,000 mark in January. The STI rose 22.34 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,985.83 points, its second straight record high.

SYDNEY: Australian stocks hit a record high on the last trading day of the year as brokers squared positions with some month-end buying in blue chip stocks that underperformed the broader market during the year. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 9.4 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,669.9 points.

TAIPEI: Taiwanese shares ended 2006 by rising to a six-year high, boosted by record highs set in Hong Kong's index on Thursday. The Weighted Price Index of the Taiwan Stock Exchange gained 90.79 points, or 1.2 percent, to 7,823.72, its highest closing level since Aug. 28, 2000.

WELLINGTON: New Zealand's stocks hit a record level for the third day running to end a year in which the local bourse recorded a 20 percent rise in value. The benchmark NZX-50 was up 8 points, or 0.2 percent, at 4,055.47.

Markets in South Korea and Indonesia were closed Friday for a holiday.


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