30 April 2013

SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts - NYSE Margin Debt Levels Back to Post-Crisis Highs

The SP made a new record high today as April draws to a close.  Sixth month in a row that the stock markets have turned in a gain.

Sell in May and go away.

The FOMC will make a decision about rates tomorrow at 2:15.

Chicago PMI came out with a contraction today. Most economic indicators are now showing a contraction except for stocks and 'confidence' which is led by the equity market.

Complacency rules. And it is dangerous.

And this in a thinly traded market. Seems like an almost certain recipe for disaster if the easy momentum trade turns lower on even some seemingly trivial event.

NYSE Member Firm Debit Balances In Margin Accounts (MARGDEBT).
John Mendelson

MARGDEBT, at the end of March 2013 (latest figures released) rose to $380 billion up 4% over February and just a hair below the all-time high of $381 billion as of July 31, 2007….a period some may recall.

I am often told in meetings that there is no speculation or notable leverage in the current market. I believe the March figure speaks for itself.

A chart of Margin Debt back to the end of 2006 is included.