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Are US Stocks Trending Up?

Trending up? It's a bit early to call a bottom, so let's just make this observation: for the last several weeks, stocks and commodities have been showing a pattern of higher highs and higher lows.

Since the bottom in early August, the S&P 500 is up 5.8 percent, copper up 5.9 percent, and oil up 11.8 percent.

Yes, volatility and a lack of a defined trend is still killing traders, and yes we are still very dependent for daily trading trends on headlines from Europe. But doesn't it feel like dollars are flowing out of rest of world and into the U.S.? The U.S. dollar has rallied off its recent lows, and gold is definitely looking toppy.

Some are already picking at the carcasses. Deutsche Bank this morning upgraded several U.S. regional banks to a BUY:

KeyCorp ,

Regions Financial ,

SunTrust ,

— while downgrading Comerica , noting that the 24 percent decline in bank stocks since July 21 "is overdone if GDP growth is 1 percent plus."

As for President Obama's speech on Thursday: expectations from Wall Street are low (very low), so there may be some upside from anything positive that comes out of that.

Elsewhere:

1) let's stop using the "risk on" phrase every time we see a rise in the markets. Why not? Because the world has changed since that phrase came into being last year, and the markets are way too choppy now. Recall that originally it referred to the trade of going long commodities/long commodity stocks/short dollar. It was refined right after Bernanke made his QE2 quantitative easing speech in August of last year at Jackson Hole, and it worked very well — until QE2 ended.

2) Okay kids, Jell-O shots for lunch! Tobacco giant Altria is presenting at Barclays Back to School conference (!), along with Anheuser-Busch InBev , Molson Coors Brewing , and Brown Forman, owner of Jack Daniel's.

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  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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