A 257 point gain--but is the market convinced?

07/15/2009 5:22 pm EST

Focus: STOCKS

Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor, JubakPicks.com

An impressive rally and you don’t have to look far for the cause. On July 15, the Dow Industrials climbed 3.1%, the S&P 500 3%, and the NASDAQ Composite 3.5%. Technology stocks, up 4.2%, led the advance, buoyed by earnings from Intel (INTC) and financials, up 4.1%, were only slightly behind on news that credit card default rates seemed to be trending lower.

Still I would have thought that the third up day of the week would have generated more enthusiasm. Volume on the New York Stock Exchange did climb to 1.4 billion shares, a big improvement from the less than a billion shares traded on Tuesday. But volume fell slightly below the 200-day-moving-average of 1.5 billion. That’s a sign, I think, that investors still aren’t convinced that they need to get into this market. Economic news remains of the better than expected sort: Technology watchers IDC and Garner Group announced that PC shipments in the second quarter were down 3.1% and 5%, respectively. Bad news? Well, not compared to expectations for a deeper decline. I think what we’re seeing is a market deeply uncertain about how much “less bad” news is worth.

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