Chicken or Egg?

Payroll processing firm ADP reports that private employers cut jobs by 20,000 in February. That reading is in line with expectations. It also is more evidence that the rate of job losses is slowing, or stabilizing.     

That’s an important first step for getting actual job growth and putting the economy on a clear path to recovery. But there’s a long way to go before fewer job cuts turns into actual net hiring.  

Housing appears to be in “chicken and the egg” territory. Will an improved housing market help employment, or must employment first improve before housing can recover?  

Given that much of the housing supply on the market is foreclosed homes, it would seem that affordability is a big issue. Not that prices aren’t cheap, but if you don’t have a job, you can’t buy a house. The only thing that will speed up the rate at which existing housing inventory is worked off is employment. So maybe the housing recovery is the egg.  

The non-farm payroll report comes out on Friday. There is still concern that the nasty weather on the East Coast in February may have a negative effect.  

At the same time, The ADP is a good predictor of non-farm payrolls, so perhaps the concern is misplaced.   

The rally we’ve enjoyed over the last 3 weeks has been great. For a little more color on what we can expect next, let’s turn to TradeMaster Daily Stock Alerts’ Jason Cimpl 

…SPX was able to make another high and trade above 1120. Additionally, the Russell had a great day and led the market higher. The index cleared January highs and is already up three percent this week. The action in the Russell and tech-heavy NASDAQ bode well for more gains in lagging indices such as industrials and basic materials over the upcoming month.”  

Jason says the next break-out point for the S&P 500 is 1132. That would put us in position to challenge the 52-week highs. And frankly, I think this is likely. With a strong earnings season winding down, some resolution to the situation in Greece and the possibility of a pullback for the U.S. dollar, higher stock prices seem like they are on the way.   

Maguire Properties (NYSE:MPG) has moved off of support at $1.50 and is now trading comfortably in the mid-$1.70s. The stock should now be good for a run to at least $2.00 a share. However, I’d like to see that move soon.   

Maguire postponed its earnings announcement from March 1 to March 22, 2010. The company didn’t say why. Now it could be that the March 1st earnings release wasn’t official. The company didn’t say. But if the earnings report has been postponed, I’m having a hard time seeing how that could be good for the stock. Why would the company postpone a positive earnings report?    

I may be reading too much into this, but I’m watching this stock closely. Not sure holding until earnings is a good idea…    

The $5 Chinese coal stock I mentioned recently in Daily Profit recommended to members is breaking above $8 a share today. The official entry price for this stock in the Energy World Profits portfolio is $7.60. But if you took advantage of the stock at $5, you’ve got some nice gains. I’ve got a $13 target for the stock, so there’s plenty more gains to come.   

In fact, with the strength in oil prices, the entire Energy World Profits portfolio looks very strong. And I’m about to add a driller that could be among the best performing stocks this year. I’m just waiting for the right price. For more about how Energy World Profits will keep you profiting from the most important moves in the energy sector, click HERE 

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