Two points I’d like to hit tonight before the recaps, which you can always just scroll down and click through to.

First, today’s consumer confidence report. It is down, and as the link points out dropped below the lowest analyst expectation, never mind consensus. The cutoff date was July 21, well into our current rally, so the market movement isn’t helping, as it often does.

I won’t bother rehashing the data as fifty trillion other blogs do. I just want to point out that consumer confidence dropping as the market rises is a bit of a bearish divergence. In a nation where the DJIA is reported as part of five-minute news updates–as if it had some relationship to reality on its best days–consumers know what companies are reporting, and how it’s moving the market. And they’re still, erm, concerned. More concerned, I would venture to say, than traders.

Yeah, well. “The tape” may be “ignoring the macro” for the moment, but the consumer isn’t, and if the consumer continues to fail to ignore it, “the tape” will have to listen. See, a lot of people say that the Conference Board isn’t really a good indicator of the state of the economy, because people can change their minds pretty swiftly. Guess what? Same with the market. The number of very good traders I hear table-thumping the new market strength off 12 days–I’m sorry, that’s 78 hours–of trading activity may well be right about where we’re headed next, and are trading it accordingly. Consumers, on the other hand, have an equal claim to being right–it’s all speculation, after all, and I’ll believe in the failure of any and all attempts to presage until they prove to have been closer to resulting facts–and are living it accordingly. In the vast behemoth that is the economy and its “stakeholders”, I prefer to listen to the livers over the traders. That’s just me though.

Second point: a lot of these same very good traders have been supporting their bullishness for months on the claim that the beats are massive, and the price action is massive, and pretty soon money managers are going to start playing catch-up. Problem is, in a 4-month window of opportunity–I’m sorry, that’s 1/3 of 1 year, which is a fair amount of salary-earning, business-creating, and redemption-busting–these managers haven’t. Not based on volume.

While traders have gone on a 78-hour mouth-frothing marathon of momentum the likes of which we haven’t seen since at least, oh, four months ago, but under an opposite vector, I’m not sure the “earnings beats everywhere!” and “we’re goin’ to 1000!” memes have taken hold as much as some very good traders are saying, at least among the community of money managers they think are gonna start chasing this… tomorrow.

Without further ado, your recaps:

Good luck out there.

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