Stocks looking lower early after closing with a thud last week. Lotta chatter about Greece and the ECB and China going on this morning but it'll all be forgotten by the opening bell. Here are the three things that really matter to traders heading into this week.
1. The Breakout that wasn't
Bulls pulled in their horns Friday afternoon as the S&P 500 (^GSPC) once again tried, and failed, to break over that increasingly thick purple line right around 2060. These fake Breakouts are akin to not showering before work. You can probably get away with it without anyone noticing once. Maybe twice. By day three it's just a matter of which one of your friends likes you enough to ask if you're trying to become a hobo.
Friday was our third run at getting over resistance and we failed. Right now traders are side-eyeing this S&P chart like Pharrel watching Taylor dance in her seat at the Grammy's last night. He's not ready to say anything outloud, yet. But he doesn't really have to.
2. Crude ripping
Last week was crude's (CLH15.NYM) best since 2011. Yes, the sharpest bull rallies come in bear markets and oil was due to bounce. Regardless, Mr. Market loves irony. WTI bottomed on January 29th, one day before Chevron (CVX) cut its buyback for the full year. The United States Oil ETF (USO) fell 56% from June to its January lows. That compares rather neatly to the 55% drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) that ended in March of 2009. Watch Crude and watch the related names that have been rising on the tailwind. Airlines, I'm looking at you.
Related: Market roller coaster: Don't lose track of your financial goals
3. Finally, here come the consumer names
Most of the S&P 500 has already reported but we still haven't heard from the bulk of the retailers. We take a baby step in that direction this week. Hasbro (HAS) was out this morning. Coke (KO) and Pepsi (PEP) are later this week. But what I'm really interested in is Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) on Wednesday. This economy should be great for CAKE. Look at the 7% pop Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) got on Friday after a frankly not all that great quarter. Can the Cheescake Factory match? They sell indulgence food to gluttonous Americans with a little extra cash in their pocket. Let's just say if they can't beat, they've got some issues.
Big week here. Get out your pencils, your calculators and golashes. The next 10% direction for the big market could be determined over the next five days.