Four positive signs for stocks:
1) Stocks remain in an uptrend, with small, multi-month breakouts in energy, materials, and techs.
2) More bullish strategists. Several strategists — including Pequot's Byron Wien and BlackRock's Bob Doll — have said stocks will be higher this year, though most others remain bearish.
- CNBC Pros Say: Buck Up — And Buy Upgraded Stocks!
3) Corporate bond issuance picks up: GE Capital (a unit of General Electric , as is CNBC) successfully priced $10 billion in FDIC-guaranteed debt last night, the largest offering of government-guaranteed debt since the program began in November, and other companies including Devon Energy are looking to price soon;
4) Time to start a "trough list?" Tony Crescenzi at Miller Tabak has spoken of the need to look for signs of troughing in key industries as an early warning sign that the economy is beginning to turn:
1) steel production increased last week for the first time in 20 weeks, according to new data from the American Iron and Steel Institute.
2) auto production is likely to increase in January as a result of government support, which could help create a trough in industrial production.
Right now, the list is pretty thin, but look for it to grow in the coming months.
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