US Stock Indices Daily Recap (14th Jan) – Decline, Don’t get Caught

This market reminds me of the days leading up to Christmas Eve 2018. For those who don’t remember, it was a pretty dark day for those trading in financial markets.

I was in the office, alone, and felt particularly responsible for my clients that day. You see, since October of that year, markets had been in a tailspin lower.

“Fundamentals look good, add some exposure to equities here” I found myself saying, more than once. And just when I thought I would get a break, have a half day in the markets, and take a couple days off – boom. Markets fell 2 to 3 percent on the day .

I still remember the feeling, it was like a gut punch. We were unprepared and had added more equity exposure for most of our clients in the prior few weeks. My boss was furious, as I was responsible for allocating hundreds of millions of dollars and we were having our worst quarter ever. I vowed to never be caught unprepared and foolhardy about markets ever again after that quarter.

It was a great lesson, and one that allowed me to flourish in 2020. While I did not foresee a global pandemic, back in January of 2020, things were looking eerily similar to 2018. Markets were frothy, and it appeared that no downside was possible. And I cut exposure for my family assets significantly.

That allowed me to avoid the worst of the pullback, and in March, with an eye on the long run, I took my family assets and picked up several companies at mouth watering valuations, some we hadn’t seen in years.

So far, so good. My old boss would have been pleased – not that it matters…

And now? Well. We’re falling into the same song and dance lately, aren’t we. I have some tips below for those interested, and if you want to know how my personal portfolios have performed, slip into my DMs.

My goal for these updates is to educate you, give you ideas, and help you manage money like I did when I was pressing the buy and sell buttons for $600+ million in assets. I left that career to pursue one where I could help people who needed help, instead of the ultra high net worth. Hopefully, you’ll find the below enlightening from my perspective, and I welcome your thoughts and questions.

Although stocks closed mildly lower on Thursday (Jan. 14), stocks have overall had a strong start to 2021.

Be that as it may, I am still concerned about overheated valuations for stocks and the return of inflation. The S&P 500 is trading at its highest forward P/E ratio since 2000, and the 10-year treasury is at its highest level since March. The Russell 2000 is also up over 37% from its 200-day moving average for the first time in its history.

Overvalued stocks combined with inflation returning by mid-year is quite concerning for me. I feel that a correction between now and the end of Q1 2020 is likely.

I like how economist Mohammed El-Erian described the market as a “ rational bubble .” But he did caution against four major risks that could cause a downturn.

The first two risks, and the least likely are the Fed pulling back on monetary stimulus and the potential for corporate bankruptcies. As Fed Chair Jay Powell said himself Thursday though, (Jan. 14) “be careful not to exit too early,”

The last two risks could be riskier.

The first is “some sort of market accident” akin to the dot-com bubble popping in 1999. THIS is what concerns me most right now. The IPO market is simply absurd right now. The DoorDash (DASH) and AirBnB (ABNB) IPOs were ridiculous, and other IPOs are looking more and more like a circus. Lender Affirm went public on Wednesday (Jan. 13) and nearly doubled. Shares of Poshmark also surged more than 130% in its debut Thursday (Jan. 14).

The other risk is the bond market and its effect on inflation. According to El-Erian, “If we were to see another 20 basis point move in yields, that would be bad news.”

Despite my concerns, it is clear to me that investors are loving the potential for a $1.9 trillion stimulus package under President-elect Biden.

Although a short-term tug of war between good news and bad news could continue, it seems to me that investors (for now) would just prefer to ride this out for what could be a strong second half of the year. According to CNBC’s Jim Cramer , there appears to be a lack of “people willing to sell”.

Be that as it may, jobless claims surged to their highest levels since August, and the pandemic is still out of control. According to Goldman Sachs’ Chief Economist Jan Hatzius, U.S. stocks and bond markets could possibly “ take more of a breather ” in the near term.

Generally, corrections are healthy, good for markets, and more common than most realize. Only twice in the last 38 years have we had years WITHOUT a correction (1995 and 2017). Because we haven’t seen a correction since March 2020, we could be well overdue.

This is healthy market behavior and could be a very good buying opportunity for what should be a great second half of the year.

The consensus is that 2021 could be a strong year for stocks. According to a CNBC survey which polled more than 100 chief investment officers and portfolio managers, two-thirds of respondents said the Dow Jones will most likely finish 2021 at 35,000, while five percent also said that the index could climb to 40,000.

Therefore, to sum it up:

While there is long-term optimism, there are short-term concerns. A short-term correction between now and Q1 2021 is very possible. I don’t think that a correction above ~20% leading to a bear market will happen.

Hope everyone has a great day. Best of luck, and happy trading!

S&P 500’s Valuation is its Highest in Years

Figure 1- S&P 500 Large Cap Index $SPX

Conventional wisdom would tell you that the S&P had overheated and valuations are crazy. The index’s forward P/E ratio is the highest it’s been in two decades.

But did you just see JP Morgan ’s (JPM) earnings report?

Wow.

The big bank crushed both top and bottom line estimates, and saw a net income growth of 42% from a year ago.

But look deeper into the earnings call, and there are some things to worry about. JP Morgan reported a net benefit of $1.89 billion in credit reserves and is maintaining a reserve topping $30 billion.

Why is this worrying? According to CEO Jamie Dimon, this is because of “significant near term uncertainty” due to the pandemic.

Dimon further added that despite vaccine and stimulus-related optimism, JP Morgan is holding onto these reserves in order to “withstand an economic environment far worse than the current base forecast by most economists.”

That’s a bit troubling.

The S&P 500 has been trading in a streaky matter as of late and reflects the broader tug-of-war between good news and bad. The index seemingly goes on multiple day winning streaks and losing streaks on a weekly basis. After seeing its worst sell-off since October last Monday (Jan. 4), for example, it went on a four-day win streak and broke past 3800.

We are now back below 3800. Although I always cheer stocks going up and hitting records, I want buying opportunities. I would like to see a drop to around 3600 or below before making a BUY call for the long-term.

For now, my near-term outlook is murky. A short-term correction could inevitably occur by the end of Q1 2021, but for now, I am calling the S&P a HOLD. I would like to see a sharp correction before initiating S&P exposure at a discount. There is clear upside for the second half of 2021, but I would just prefer to maximize the upside from a lower level.

For an ETF that attempts to directly correlate with the performance of the S&P, the SPDR S&P ETF (SPY) is a good option.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. I encourage you to sign up for our daily newsletter – it’s absolutely free and if you don’t like it, you can unsubscribe with just 2 clicks. If you sign up today, you’ll also get 7 days of free access to the premium daily Stock Trading Alerts as well as our other Alerts. Sign up for the free newsletter today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Thank you.

Matthew Levy, CFA
Stock Trading Strategist
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

* * * * *

All essays, research, and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Matthew Levy, CFA and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Matthew Levy, CFA, and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Levy is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Matthew Levy, CFA’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading, and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Matthew Levy, CFA, Sunshine Profits’ employees, and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

 

US Stock Indices Daily Recap: Mild Rally Continues

My goal for these updates is to educate you, give you ideas, and help you manage money like I did when I was pressing the buy and sell buttons for $600+ million in assets. I left that career to pursue one where I could help people who needed help, instead of the ultra-high net worth. Hopefully, you’ll find the below enlightening from my perspective, and I welcome your thoughts and questions.

We are now firmly in the second week of 2021. After markets declined to start the week, we saw a muted recovery on Tuesday (Jan. 12).

With Democrats gaining full control of both the legislative and executive branches of the government, the prospect of further stimulus has sent stocks soaring to their highest valuations in years. However, the short-term tug of war between good news and bad news will continue.

I am especially concerned about overstretched valuations for stocks combined with the return of inflation.

The S&P 500 is trading at its highest forward P/E ratio since 2000, and the 10-year treasury is at its highest level since March. Overvalued stocks combined with inflation returning by mid-year is quite concerning for me. I feel that a correction between now and the end of Q1 2020 is likely.

According to Goldman Sachs’ Chief Economist Jan Hatzius, U.S. stocks and bond markets could possibly “ take more of a breather ” in the near term. National Securities’ chief market strategist Art Hogan also believes that we could see a 5%-8% pullback by the end of this month.

Generally, corrections are healthy, good for markets, and more common than most realize. Only twice in the last 38 years have we had years WITHOUT a correction (1995 and 2017). Because we haven’t seen a correction since March 2020, we could be well overdue.

This is healthy market behavior and could be a very good buying opportunity for what should be a great second half of the year.

While there will certainly be short-term bumps in the road, I love the outlook in the mid-term and long-term once the growing pains of rolling out vaccines stabilize.

The consensus is that 2021 could be a strong year for stocks. According to a CNBC survey which polled more than 100 chief investment officers and portfolio managers, two-thirds of respondents said the Dow Jones will most likely finish 2021 at 35,000, while five percent also said that the index could climb to 40,000.

Therefore, to sum it up:

While there is long-term optimism, there are short-term concerns. A short-term correction between now and Q1 2021 is very possible. I don’t think that a correction above ~20% leading to a bear market will happen.

House money is fun to play with, but trust me – you won’t feel as well if you let it ride through a full correction without taking profits.

Best of luck, and happy trading!

The Nasdaq’s RSI is Back Below 70…Where Does it Go from Here?

Figure 1- Nasdaq Composite Index $COMP

I am staying with the theme of using the RSI to judge how to call the Nasdaq. While an overbought RSI does not automatically mean a trend reversal, with the Nasdaq, I always keep a close eye on this .

I initially changed my short-term call on the Nasdaq from a SELL to a HOLD on January 5. I liked the Nasdaq’s declines to start 2021, especially after overheating. The RSI was no longer overbought as well.

After changing the call back to a SELL on January 11th, the Nasdaq declined 1.45%.

Over the last several weeks, this has been a consistent pattern for the Nasdaq. The Nasdaq pulled back on December 9th after it exceeded an RSI of 70, and briefly pulled back again after passing 70 again three weeks ago. We exceeded a 70 RSI again before the new year, and what happened on the first trading day of 2021? A decline of 1.47%.

Tech can rally at any time and witness a plunge at any time. Truly, this sector could move sideways before seeing a correction sooner rather than later.

Although there are also tailwinds for tech, they are specific to subsectors. Do what you can to find tech sub-sectors that are innovating, disrupting, and changing our world.

I am especially bullish on cloud computing, e-commerce, and fintech.

The Nasdaq is no longer overbought, and its RSI is now hovering around 64. I like this level more as a HOLD, but I still feel that it has overheated in the short-term.

I am generally optimistic and bullish for 2021, but I would like a pullback closer to the 50-day moving average before considering buying back in.

I also have some concerns with the Democrats winning Senate control, and its potential consequences for tech. It may not happen in 2021, but a Democrat-controlled Congress could raise taxes and further regulate high growth companies.

Additionally, love him or hate him, the censorship of President Trump across social media platforms raises questions about what constitutes free speech, and if Big Tech has too much power.

Because the RSI is back in HOLD territory, I’m switching my call again from SELL back to HOLD.

If the RSI ticks back up above 70, I’m switching back to SELL. The Nasdaq is trading in a clear pattern.

Do not let anyone tell you “this time is different” if fears of the dot-com bubble are discussed. History repeats itself, especially in markets. I have many concerns about tech valuations and their astoundingly inflated levels. The recent IPOs of DoorDash (DASH) and AirBnB (ABNB) reflect this.

For an ETF that attempts to directly correlate with the performance of the NASDAQ, the Invesco QQQ ETF (QQQ) is a good option.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. I encourage you to sign up for our daily newsletter – it’s absolutely free and if you don’t like it, you can unsubscribe with just 2 clicks. If you sign up today, you’ll also get 7 days of free access to the premium daily Stock Trading Alerts as well as our other Alerts. Sign up for the free newsletter today!

Thank you.

Matthew Levy, CFA
Stock Trading Strategist
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

* * * * *

All essays, research, and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Matthew Levy, CFA and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Matthew Levy, CFA, and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Levy is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Matthew Levy, CFA’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading, and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Matthew Levy, CFA, Sunshine Profits’ employees, and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

 

Stocks Posted Records to Start 2021, Weekly Recap

The indices hit record highs yet again to close off the first week of 2021 and weighed unrest, poor jobs data, and further prospects of economic stimulus.

News Recap

  • Both the Dow and S&P 500 closed the week off with four-day win streaks. The Dow climbed 56.84 points, or 0.2%, at 31,097.97. The S&P 500 rose 0.6% to 3,824.68, and the Nasdaq popped 1% to 13,201.98. The small-cap Russell 2000 declined 0.25%.
  • The Dow and S&P 500 each gained more than 1% on the week, while the Nasdaq gained 2.4%, and the Russell 2000 surged by nearly 6%. These gains to start the year came despite the unprecedented unrest and invasion of the Capitol by Trump supporters on Wednesday (Jan. 6).
  • Despite Democrats winning full control of the Senate, the Dow briefly declined 200 points midday after moderate Democrat Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia told The Washington Post that he would “ absolutely not ” support a round of $2,000 stimulus checks. Manchin mildly walked back those comments later in the day and said he was “undecided,” and not outright opposed to it.
  • The U.S. economy lost 140,000 jobs in December , according to the Labor Department. This is significantly worse than the estimated gain of 50,000 according to economists polled by Dow Jones.
  • The 10-year yield rose to its highest level since March 20, and broke above 1.1%.
  • Coca-Cola (KO) rose 2.2% to lead the Dow higher. The consumer discretionary and real estate sectors each rose more than 1%, lifting the S&P 500. The Nasdaq got a boost from Tesla, which popped 7.8%.

The first week of 2021 largely continued where 2020 left off- with turmoil, tension, and a barrage of news. Another 2020 pattern continued to kick off the new year- a resilient market.

A week that started off with a sharp sell-off concluded with sharp weekly gains, all-time highs, and a four-day winning streak for the Dow and S&P 500. This is despite the first assault on the U.S. Capitol since 1814, despite COVID-19 cases continuing to wreak havoc, and despite a disastrous jobs report.

How could this be?

The results of the Georgia election can first and foremost be credited for the market surge.

Although tech initially plummeted due to fears of higher taxes and stricter regulations, with full Democrat control of the Presidency, Senate, and House, there is finally clarity and expectations of further spending and government stimulus.

Although President-elect Joe Biden had promised to pass a measure for bigger stimulus checks if Democrats secured control of the Senate, comments from West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat, spooked investors for a time on Friday (Jan. 8). Although Manchin briefly walked these comments back, according to Bill Miller, founder of Miller Value Partners , “Nothing is going to get passed if they can’t get the moderates in the Democratic Party, or the Republican Party for that matter, to go along with (further stimulus).”

President-elect Biden said Friday (Jan. 8) that a new aid package would be “ in the trillions of dollars .” This comes after Goldman Sachs stated that it expects another big stimulus package of around $600 billion . Value stocks and small-cap stocks have surged as a result of these prospects.

Despite the prospect of further stimulus that could heat up the economy, the short-term tug of war between good news and bad news will continue. Many of these moves upwards or downwards are based on emotion and sentiment, and there could be some serious volatility in the near-term. Although markets have kicked off the new year with excitement from the “Blue Wave”, consider this.

Stocks have overstretched valuations, the Capitol was invaded, the pandemic is out of control, and the vaccine roll-outs have been clunky at best.

Even though the markets saw a nice weekly gain to kick off 2021 and the 10-year treasury is at its highest level in months, a correction between now and the end of Q1 2020 is likely.

National Securities’ chief market strategist Art Hogan also believes that we could see a 5%-8% pullback as early as this month.

Generally, corrections are healthy, good for markets, and more common than most realize. Only twice in the last 38 years have we had years WITHOUT a correction (1995 and 2017). I believe we are long overdue for one. We haven’t seen a correction since March 2020. This is healthy market behavior and could be a very good buying opportunity for what I believe will be a great second half of the year.

While there will certainly be short-term bumps in the road, I love the outlook in the mid-term and long-term once the growing pains of rolling out vaccines stabilize. The pandemic is awful and the numbers are horrifying. But despite this, and despite the horrendous jobs report, there is one report released this past week that could be a step in the right direction – the ISM manufacturing data.

The consensus is that 2021 could be a strong year for stocks. According to a CNBC survey which polled more than 100 chief investment officers and portfolio managers, two-thirds of respondents said the Dow Jones will most likely finish 2021 at 35,000, while five percent also said that the index could climb to 40,000.

Therefore, to sum it up:

While there is long-term optimism, there are short-term concerns. A short-term correction between now and Q1 2021 is very possible. I don’t think that a correction above ~20% leading to a bear market will happen.

Can Small-caps Own 2021?

Figure 1- iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM)

Small-caps were the comeback kids this week. Although I believed that the Russell 2000’s record-setting run since the start of November was coming to an end, the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) had itself quite a week and rallied 7.35% since January 4th. Small-cap stocks were the most excited from the Democrat sweep in Georgia due to hopes of further economic stimulus on the horizon.

I love small-cap stocks in the long-term, especially as the world reopens. A Democrat-dominated Congress could help these stocks too, but in the short-term, the index, by any measurement, has simply overheated. Before January 4th, the RSI for the IWM Russell 2000 ETF was at an astronomical 74.54. I called a pullback happening in the short-term due to this RSI, and it happened. Well now the RSI is back above 74 again, and I believe that a more significant correction in the near-term could be imminent.

Stocks simply just don’t always go up in a straight line, and that’s what the Russell 2000 has essentially been between November and December. It’s looked eerily similar this week.

What this also comes down to, is that small-caps are more sensitive to the news – good or bad. I think that vaccine gains have possibly been baked in by now. There could be another near-term pop due to further stimulus hopes, but it’s likely that small-caps in the near-term could trade sideways before an eventual larger pullback.

I hope small-caps decline a minimum of 10% before jumping back in for long-term buying opportunities.

SELL and take this week’s profits if you can – but do not fully exit positions .

If there is a pullback, this is a STRONG BUY for the long-term recovery.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. I encourage you to sign up for our daily newsletter – it’s absolutely free and if you don’t like it, you can unsubscribe with just 2 clicks. If you sign up today, you’ll also get 7 days of free access to the premium daily Stock Trading Alerts as well as our other Alerts. Sign up for the free newsletter today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Thank you.

Matthew Levy, CFA
Stock Trading Strategist
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

* * * * *

All essays, research, and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Matthew Levy, CFA and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Matthew Levy, CFA, and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Levy is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Matthew Levy, CFA’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading, and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Matthew Levy, CFA, Sunshine Profits’ employees, and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

 

Markets Surge Despite Unprecedented Violence at U.S. Capitol

In a news-filled day, the Dow Jones hit an all-time high on Wednesday (Jan. 6), despite unprecedented unrest taking place in Washington D.C.

News Recap

  • The Dow climbed 438 points or 1.4% and briefly rose more than 600 points earlier in the day. The S&P 500 also gained 0.6% and hit an intraday record, while the Nasdaq fell 0.6%. The small-cap Russell 2000 surged by nearly 4%.
  • The day began with investors focused on the Georgia U.S. Senate special election runoff . Democrat Raphael Warnock defeated incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler, with other Democrat Jon Ossoff announced as the winner over incumbent Republican Sen. David Perdue later in the day.
  • With a Democrat sweep in Georgia, the party now has control of the Senate. Although it is a 50-50 split (with two independents) in the Senate, both Democrats win, they have full control because Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will serve as the tiebreaker vote.
  • Many believe that because President-elect Biden, a Democrat, has a House and Senate under Democrat control, he could more easily pass higher taxes and progressive policies that may hurt the market. On the other hand, others believe that this Democrat sweep could bring into effect a larger and quicker stimulus relief bill.
  • The real news of the day was what happened at the U.S. Capitol building. After President Trump (and his family) led a “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C. to protest Congress’ certification of Joe Biden as the next president, angry MAGA supporters did the unthinkable and stormed the Capitol.
  • Wednesday (Jan. 6) was the first time since 1814 that the Capitol building was physically breached by hostile actors.
  • The invasion of the Capitol occurred after Vice President Mike Pence rejected President Trump’s calls to block Joe Biden’s election confirmation. Shortly after, the Capitol went into full lockdown.
  • Later that night, the Capitol was secured and Congress reconvened to officially certify Biden as the president. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) moved higher due to the unrest at the Capitol.
  • Caterpillar (CAT) surged 5.5%, while big banks such as JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Bank of America (BAC) gained 4.7% and 6.3%, respectively. Other names and sectors that could be aided by Biden’s agenda rose as well such as the Invesco Solar ETF (TAN) which boomed 8.4%.
  • Tech lagged on the day due to fears of higher taxes and higher stimulus potential. Facebook (FB) and Amazon (AMZN) each fell more than 2%, while Netflix (NFLX) dipped 3.9%.
  • The 10-year Treasury note yield topped 1% for the first time since March.

What a newsworthy day Wednesday (Jan. 6) was. What started as a day focused on Senate runoff elections with the balance of Senate power at stake, ended with President-elect Biden being officially confirmed as the next president. But in between? A mob took over the capitol building! Did you ever think you would read that sentence in your lifetime?

Love him or hate him, President Trump is an eccentric character to put it lightly. Scorned, and still convinced that he won the election, Trump and his bruised ego whipped his supporters into a frenzy during a “Stop the Steal” rally and encouraged them to march towards the Capitol and make their voices heard. Somehow the protest turned into a storming of the Capitol after Vice President Mike Pence refused to overturn the election. Pence was later ushered out of the Senate and the Capitol went into lockdown.

What’s truly shocking here is that the markets still went up! In fact, the Dow hit yet ANOTHER all-time high! Whether you like it or not, this has to give you some sort of faith in the resiliency of capitalism,

The results of the Georgia election can be credited for the market surge.

Although some sectors plummeted due to fears of higher taxes and stricter regulations, with full Democrat control of the Presidency, Senate, and House, there is clarity for one, and expectations of further spending and government stimulus.

Goldman Sachs expects another big stimulus package of around $600 billion . While this could be bad for the national debt and have long-term consequences, in the short-term, it could send the economy heating. Small-cap stocks surged as a result.

I still believe that there will be a short-term tug of war between good news and bad news. Many of these moves upwards or downwards are based on emotion and sentiment, and I believe there could be some serious volatility in the near-term. Although markets on Wednesday (Jan. 6) may have been overly excited from the “Blue Wave” thanks to Georgia, consider this: the Capitol was invaded and the pandemic is still wreaking havoc! Even though the markets gained and the 10-year treasury ticked above 1% for the first time since March, the VIX still rose which means that fear is on the rise.

There was no pullback to end 2020 as I anticipated, but I still believe that markets have overheated in the short-term, and that between now and the end of Q1 2020 a correction could happen.

Carl Icahn seemingly agrees with me, and told CNBC on Monday (Jan. 4) that “in my day I’ve seen a lot of wild rallies with a lot of mispriced stocks, but there is one thing they all have in common. Eventually they hit a wall and go into a major painful correction.”

National Securities’ chief market strategist Art Hogan also believes that we could see a 5%-8% pullback as early as this month.

I believe though that corrections are healthy and could be a good thing. Corrections happen way more often than people realize. Only twice in the last 38 years have we had years WITHOUT a correction (1995 and 2017). I believe we are overdue for one since there has not been one since the lows of March 2020. This is healthy market behavior and could be a very good buying opportunity for what I believe will be a great second half of the year.

While there will certainly be short-term bumps in the road, I love the outlook in the mid-term and long-term once vaccines become more widely available. The pandemic is awful right now, and these new infectious strains out of the U.K. and South Africa are quite concerning. But despite this, I believe the positive manufacturing data released on Tuesday (Jan. 5) is a step in the right direction, especially considering all the restrictions that most countries are living through.

The consensus is that 2021 could be a strong year for stocks. According to a CNBC survey which polled more than 100 chief investment officers and portfolio managers, two-thirds of respondents said the Dow Jones will most likely finish 2021 at 35,000, while five percent also said that the index could climb to 40,000.

Therefore, to sum it up:

While there is long-term optimism, there are short-term concerns. A short-term correction between now and Q1 2021 is very possible. But I do not believe, with conviction, that a correction above ~20% leading to a bear market will happen.

Can Small-caps Own 2021?

Small-caps are the comeback darlings of the week. Although I believed that the Russell 2000’s record-setting run since the start of November was coming to an end, it has rallied over 5% in the last two trading days. Thanks to a Democrat sweep in Georgia and hopes of further economic stimulus, small-cap stocks have climbed back towards record highs.

I love small-cap stocks in the long-term, especially as the world reopens. A Democrat-dominated Congress could help these stocks too. But I believe that in the short-term, the index, by any measurement, has simply overheated. Before Jan. 4, the RSI for the I WM Russell 2000 ETF was at an astronomical 74.54. I called a pullback happening in the short-term due to this RSI, and it happened. Well now the RSI is back above 72, and I believe that a bigger correction in the near-term could be imminent.

Stocks simply just don’t always go up in a straight line, and that’s what the Russell 2000 has essentially been between November and December.

What this also comes down to is that small-caps are more sensitive to the news – good or bad. I believe that vaccine gains have possibly been baked in by now. There could be another near-term pop due to hopes of further stimulus, but I believe that it’s likely possible that small-caps in the near-term could trade sideways before an eventual larger pullback.

I truthfully hope small-caps decline a minimum of 10% before jumping back in for long-term buying opportunities.

SELL and take Wednesday’s (Jan. 6) profits if you can- but do not fully exit positions .

If there is a pullback, this is a STRONG BUY for the long-term recovery.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. I encourage you to sign up for our daily newsletter – it’s absolutely free and if you don’t like it, you can unsubscribe with just 2 clicks. If you sign up today, you’ll also get 7 days of free access to the premium daily Stock Trading Alerts as well as our other Alerts. Sign up for the free newsletter today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Thank you.

Matthew Levy, CFA
Stock Trading Strategist
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

* * * * *

All essays, research, and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Matthew Levy, CFA and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Matthew Levy, CFA, and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Levy is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Matthew Levy, CFA’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading, and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Matthew Levy, CFA, Sunshine Profits’ employees, and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

 

Markets Recover Some Losses, While Eyeing Georgia

Stocks gained on Tuesday (Jan. 5) after the major indices all sold off to start the year on Monday (Jan. 4).

News Recap

  • The Dow Jones closed 167.71 points higher, or 0.6%, at 30,391.60. The S&P 500 advanced 0.7% and the Nasdaq climbed nearly 1%
  • The Georgia Senate run-off elections on Tuesday (Jan. 5) were the main focus of investors. At the time of publication, Democrat candidate Raphael Warnock was declared the winner over the incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler for the first Senate seat up for grabs. The other contested seat between Democrat Jon Ossoff and incumbent Republican David Perdue had yet to be called.
  • The balance of power in the Senate depends on these results and markets could be volatile. Many believe that if the Democrats sweep the Georgia seats and win control, then higher taxes and progressive policies could hurt the market. On the other hand, others believe that a Democrat sweep could bring on larger and quicker stimulus relief.
  • Better-than-expected ISM U.S. manufacturing data came in and helped stocks higher. According to the ISM, manufacturing rose to 60.7 in December from 57.5 in November. The consensus was that the index would slightly decline to 57.
  • Energy stocks led the S&P higher and soared by 4.5% after Saudi Arabia agreed to voluntary production cuts in February and March. Oil giants such as Chevron (CVX) rose 2.7% as a result.
  • Oil futures surged by 4.9% and briefly broke past $50 a barrel for the first time since February.
  • Copper is a precious metal traditionally seen as a leading indicator for the global economy. On Tuesday (Jan. 5), it hit its highest level in nearly eight years and gained more than 2%.
  • Gold also reached an 8-week high due to more declines from the dollar.
  • Boeing (BA) was the best-performing Dow stock and gained 4.4%.
  • U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday (Jan. 4) announced a national lockdown to slow the spread of a new, more contagious, coronavirus strain. Under these restrictions, people are only allowed to leave their homes for essentials, work (if they can’t from home) and exercise. Most schools, including universities, will also move to remote learning.
  • According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University , more than 85 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed globally, including 20.8 million in the U.S. and 2.7 million in the U.K.
  • Meanwhile, over 5 million people in the U.S. have now received a COVID-19 vaccination.

After stocks sharply dropped on Monday (Jan. 4) to kick off 2021, widespread gains on Tuesday (Jan. 5) offset some of these losses. While Monday (Jan. 4) was the first time since 2016 that the Dow Jones started a year off with declines, two major catalysts sent the major averages higher: the oil production agreement reached between OPEC and Russia, and better than expected manufacturing results from December.

This tug of war between good news and bad news can be expected in the early part of this new year. Although Monday (Jan. 4) witnessed a sharp pullback (and in my opinion, a predictable one), Tuesday (Jan. 5) witnessed a reversal. In general, though, I still believe that markets have overheated and that between now and the end of Q1 2020, a correction could likely happen.

Markets have overheated, and I believe that much of the good news ranging from economic stimulus to vaccines has been baked in. Eventually, the reality on the ground will outweigh the positive news in the short-term.

National Securities’ chief market strategist Art Hogan put it best in my opinion, saying that he believes we could see a 5%-8% pullback as early as this month. Hogan said that

“we have a tug of war between virus news and vaccine news the better part of six months, and that’s been balanced off by stimulus…That seems to be behind us, and right now I think the virus news takes over a little bit.”

Additionally, if the Georgia elections on Tuesday (Jan. 5) go as I think they’ll go (Democrat sweep), it could be a short-term catalyst leading to a potential correction. The balance of power in the U.S. Senate is at stake with these elections. Investors are likely to prefer a divided Senate. If the Democrats sweep and wrestle away Senate control from the Republicans, it could leave President Biden’s powers largely unchecked, and enable him to pass more ambitious, progressive, and less market-friendly policies.

At the time of this publication, Democrat candidate Raphael Warnock was declared the winner over the incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler for the first Senate seat up for grabs. The other contested seat between Democrat Jon Ossoff and incumbent Republican David Perdue had yet to be called.

According to John Stoltzfus , chief investment strategist at Oppenheimer Asset Management , the S&P 500 could fall by 10% if the Democratic candidates sweep the Georgia runoffs.

“It is thought by not just a few folks on Main Street as well as on Wall Street that if tomorrow’s run-off results in a sweep for the Democrats — providing them with control of the Senate as well as the House — that it would bode ill for business with the likelihood that corporate tax rates could rise substantially,” Stoltzfus said.

On the other hand, a Democrat sweep could mean potentially larger stimulus packages – and soon.

There is optimistic potential, but the road towards normality will hit inevitable speed bumps and uncertainty. This Senate election and the potential market reactions reflect that.

If and when a correction does happen, I believe it will be healthy and a good thing. Corrections are normal market behaviors and happen more frequently than most realize. Only twice in the last 38 years have we had years WITHOUT a correction (1995 and 2017). Since we have not had one since March 2020, I believe we are long overdue, and the catalysts are there. Most importantly though, a correction could be a great buying opportunity for what I believe will be a strong second half of the year.

While there will certainly be short-term bumps in the road, I love the outlook in the mid-term and long-term once vaccines become more widely available. The pandemic is awful right now, and these new infectious strains are quite concerning. But despite this, I believe the positive manufacturing data released on Tuesday (Jan. 5) is a step in the right direction, especially considering all the restrictions that most countries are living through.

The consensus is that 2021 could be a strong year for stocks. According to a CNBC survey which polled more than 100 chief investment officers and portfolio managers, two-thirds of respondents said the Dow Jones will most likely finish 2021 at 35,000, while five percent also said that the index could climb to 40,000.

Therefore, to sum it up:

While there is long-term optimism, there are short-term concerns. A short-term correction between now and Q1 2021 is very possible. But I do not believe, with conviction, that a correction above ~20% leading to a bear market will happen.

Driving

Small-Caps (IWM)

Figure 1 – iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM)

After seeing a sharp pullback since Christmas week, the Russell 2000 briefly returned to its winning ways on Tuesday (Jan. 5). The IWM Russell 2000 ETF which tracks the small-cap index witnessed a 1.55% gain – its best day in a while.

Although I genuinely love small-cap stocks in the long-term as the world will eventually reopen, I believe that in the short-term the index has overheated. Until the start of this week, the RSI for the IWM Russell 2000 ETF was at an astronomical 74.54. Although the RSI is at a more manageable 62.84, I still believe that the party of seeing vertical gains is over for now.

Small-caps in the short-term will be more sensitive to bad news, and right now there is a lot. Vaccine gains have possibly been baked in by now and stocks just don’t go up vertically the way that the Russell 2000 did between November and late December. It is very possible that small-caps in the near-term could trade sideways before an eventual larger pullback. I truthfully hope small-caps decline a minimum of 10% before jumping back in for long-term buying opportunities.

For now, SELL and take short-term profits if you can – but do not fully exit positions .

If there is a pullback, this is a STRONG BUY for the long-term recovery.

Diving

US Dollar ($USD)

Figure 2 – U.S. Dollar ($USD)

I have zero faith in the U.S. Dollar as a safe asset, even if we may see some short-term volatility and “risk-off” trades. I still am calling out the dollar’s weakness after several weeks despite its low levels. I expect the decline to continue as well thanks to a dovish Fed.

Any time the U.S. Dollar rallies, it is simply “fool’s gold.” Since I started doing these newsletters about a month ago, I have consistently said that any minor rally the dollar would experience would be a mirage. Since the dollar briefly pierced the 91-level on December 9th, it has fallen over 1.8%. Despite the dollar experiencing another mini-rally and nearly piercing the 91-level again on December 22, I remained steadfast in my bearish outlook of the dollar. Since the open on December 23rd, the U.S. Dollar has declined another 1.25%. I believed the dollar would drop back below 90 before the new year, and here we are to start off 2021 with the dollar at 89.41. Since hitting a nearly 3-year high on March 20th, the dollar has plunged nearly 13.8% while emerging markets, foreign currencies, precious metals, and cryptocurrencies continue to strengthen. Gold for example reached an 8-week high on Tuesday (Jan. 5)

On days when COVID-19 fears outweigh any other positive sentiments, dollar exposure might be good to have since it is a safe haven. But in my view, you can do a whole lot better than the U.S. dollar for safety.

I have too many doubts on the effect of interest rates this low for this long, government stimulus, strengthening of emerging markets, and inflation to be remotely bullish on the dollar’s prospects over the next 1-3 years. Meanwhile, the US has $27 trillion of debt, and it’s not going down anytime soon.

Another headwind to consider for the dollar is the Georgia Senate election. If Democrats sweep, there could be more aggressive stimulus in the near term. With Democrats controlling both the House and the Senate, more stimulus could be bearish for the dollar.

Additionally, according to The Sevens Report , if the dollar falls below 89.13, this could potentially raise the prospect of a further 10.5% decline to the next support level of 79.78 reached in April 2014. With the dollar now at 89.41, we are coming dangerously close.

The dollar’s RSI is also nearly oversold once again and is trading significantly below both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages.

For now, where possible, HEDGE OR SELL USD exposure.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. I encourage you to sign up for our daily newsletter – it’s absolutely free and if you don’t like it, you can unsubscribe with just 2 clicks. If you sign up today, you’ll also get 7 days of free access to the premium daily Stock Trading Alerts as well as our other Alerts. Sign up for the free newsletter today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Thank you.

Matthew Levy, CFA
Stock Trading Strategist
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

* * * * *

All essays, research, and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Matthew Levy, CFA and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Matthew Levy, CFA, and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Levy is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Matthew Levy, CFA’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading, and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Matthew Levy, CFA, Sunshine Profits’ employees, and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

 

Major Averages Plummet to Start 2021

Quick Update

In a quick update to kick off 2021, I wanted to summarize my correct calls, and what I profited on since beginning to publish these updates. While nobody can predict the future, the major calls I am most proud of since writing these letters are calling the short-term downturn in small-cap stocks, adding emerging market exposure, and hedging or selling the U.S. dollar.

I switched my call on small-caps, specifically the Russell 2000 from a HOLD to a short-term SELL on December 16th. The iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) surged to unprecedented record gains since November 2020, however, I believed then and still believe that the index has overheated by many measurements. Since December 16th, the IWM ETF is largely flat.

However, since peaking on December 23rd, the IWM has underperformed ETFs tracking the larger indices and has declined by nearly 3%. While I am still bullish on small-caps in the long run and maintain my STRONG BUY call on the Russell for the long-term, it is contingent on a pullback . I believe that pullback may have begun. I am hoping for a minimum 10% decline before jumping back in for the long-term.

Emerging markets have been some of the best performers in 2020, and I have made some bullish calls on specific regional markets for 2021 as well. I have been touting emerging markets since my first report, but when I switched my focus to specific regions, my calls became even more correct. I called Taiwan ( EWT ETF) the best bet for emerging market exposure while avoiding the risks and baked in profits of China on December 3rd. Since then, the EWT ETF which tracks Taiwan has gained over 7% while the MCHI ETF which tracks China has barely gained over 1.4%. The Taiwan ETF has also outperformed the SPY S&P 500 ETF and the IEUR ETF which tracks Europe.

In conjunction with my bullish calls on emerging markets, my bearish calls on the U.S. dollar were also correct. Since I started doing these newsletters about a month ago, I consistently said that the dollar should be hedged or avoided because of the Fed’s policies, effect of interest rates this low for this long, government stimulus, strengthening of emerging markets, and inflation. I also said that any minor rally the dollar would experience would be fool’s good.

Since the dollar briefly pierced the 91-level on December 9th, it has fallen nearly 1.4%. Despite it experiencing another mini-rally and nearly piercing the 91-level again on December 22, I remained steadfast in my bearish outlook of the dollar. Since the open on December 23rd, the U.S. Dollar has declined another 0.77%. I believed it would drop back below 90 before the new year, and here we are to start off 2021, with the dollar at 89.85.

Markets kicked off the first trading day of 2021 with a dud, due to further concerns of COVID-19 cases and the Georgia Senate run-off elections.

News Recap

  • Monday (Jan.4) marked the first negative start to a year for the Dow Jones since 2016. The Dow Jones closed 382.59 points lower, or 1.3%, at 30,223.89. The Dow at one point fell more than 700 points.
  • The S&P 500 also fell 1.5% to 3,700.65, the Nasdaq fell 1.5%, and the small-cap Russell 2000 fell 1.47%.
  • This was the biggest one-day sell-off since Oct. 28 for the Dow and S&P 500, and the Nasdaq’s worst sell-off since Dec. 9.
  • While the sell-off to start the year could be due to natural consolidation, the growing number of COVID-19 cases around the world and its potential impact on the global economic recovery weighed on investors. To start the year off, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a national lockdown to slow the spread of a new, more contagious, coronavirus strain. With this lockdown, people are only allowed to leave their homes for essentials, work if they can’t from home, and exercise. Most schools, including universities, will also move to remote learning.
  • According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University , more than 85 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed globally, including 20.7 million in the U.S. and 2.7 million in the U.K.
  • Pay very close attention to the Georgia Senate run-offs on Tuesday (Jan. 5). The balance of power in the Senate is hanging on the vote and markets could be volatile due to the results. If the Democrats gain a majority, it could impact market performance and leave Biden’s powers largely unchecked. If the Republicans keep just one seat, it could likely check Biden’s more progressive ambitions.
  • Coca-Cola (KO) and Boeing (BA) were the laggards on the Dow, falling 3.8% and 5.3%, respectively. Real estate stocks were the worst performing on the S&P and fell 3.2%. Utilities also declined 2.6%.
  • About 4.6 million people in the U.S. have now gotten a COVID-19 vaccine.

Stocks dropped sharply on Monday (Jan. 4), to kick off 2021. It was the first time since 2016 that the Dow Jones started a year off with declines and was the biggest one-day sell-off since Oct. 28 for the Dow and S&P 500. It was also the Nasdaq’s worst one-day decline since Dec. 9.

Several catalysts can be blamed for the gloomy start to the year: natural consolidation, COVID-19, and the Georgia Senate runoff elections.

First and foremost, a decline like this was bound to happen, and I called this happening in the early part of the year. I still believe that there will be a short-term tug of war between good news and bad news, and that these moves are manic and based on sentiment. There was no pullback to end 2020 as I anticipated, but I still believe that markets have overheated in the short-term. Was Monday (Jan. 4) the start of a correction? Possibly. But either way, I think that between now and the end of Q1 2020, a correction could happen.

Carl Icahn seemingly agrees with me, and told CNBC on Monday (Jan. 4), “in my day I’ve seen a lot of wild rallies with a lot of mispriced stocks, but there is one thing they all have in common. Eventually they hit a wall and go into a major painful correction.”

I believe, though, that corrections are healthy and could be a good thing. Corrections happen way more often than people realize. Only twice in the last 38 years have we had years WITHOUT a correction (1995 and 2017). I believe we are overdue for one since there has not been one since the lows of March 2020. This is healthy market behavior and could be a very good buying opportunity for what I believe will be a great second half of the year.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 continues surging and there are very real fears of new strains discovered in the U.K. and South Africa that could be more contagious. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a national lockdown that could potentially last until mid-February. With this lockdown, people are only allowed to leave their homes for essentials, work if they can’t from home and exercise. Most schools, including universities, will also move to remote learning. This could be an ominous sign for stricter lockdowns to be implemented in other regions across the world.

Outside of COVID-19, political uncertainty has returned to the markets. The balance of power in the U.S. Senate is at stake, with Georgia run-off Senate elections set to occur on Tuesday (Jan. 5). Investors are likely to prefer a divided Senate. If the Democrats win both elections and wrestle away Senate control from the Republicans, it could leave President Biden’s powers largely unchecked, and enable him to pass more of his ambitious and progressive policies. Many investors do not anticipate these to be very market friendly. As results start to come in Tuesday evening, markets could react in a volatile manner.

According to John Stoltzfus , chief investment strategist at Oppenheimer Asset Management, the S&P 500 could fall by 10% if the Democratic candidates win the Georgia runoffs.

“It is thought by not just a few folks on Main Street as well as on Wall Street that if tomorrow’s run-off results in a sweep for the Democrats — providing them with control of the Senate as well as the House — that it would bode ill for business with the likelihood that corporate tax rates could rise substantially,” Stoltzfus said.

This will also be a busy week for economic data with the manufacturing PMI report said to be released Tuesday (Jan. 5) and the non-farm payrolls report set to be announced Friday (Jan. 8).

Monday’s sell-off (Jan. 4) serves as a very painful reminder that markets will still have to weigh the near-term risks against some of the more positive mid-term and long-term hopes on vaccines and re-opening.

The general consensus is that 2021 could be a strong year for stocks, despite short-term headwinds. According to a CNBC survey which polled more than 100 chief investment officers and portfolio managers, two-thirds of respondents said the Dow Jones will most likely finish 2021 at 35,000, while five percent also said that the index could climb to 40,000.

Therefore, to sum it up:

While there is long-term optimism, there are short-term concerns. A short-term correction between now and Q1 2021 is very possible. But I do not believe, with conviction, that a correction above ~20% leading to a bear market will happen.

Does the Dow Approach 31,000 or 29,000 Before Mid-2021?

I have too many short-term questions for the Dow Jones. I believe it’s just as likely for the Dow to touch 29,000 again as it is to touch 31,000 before March.

After trading as low as around 29,650 at one point before the new year (Dec. 21), the Dow has remained firmly above 30,000. However, it has traded largely sideways over the last few weeks, despite opening Jan. 4 with a record high.

Despite some long-term optimism, for now, my short-term questions take precedence. I don’t like how COVID-19 is trending (who does?), I am disappointed in the vaccine roll-out, and I am concerned about the Georgia election. In the short-term, I am not convinced that the Dow will stay above 30,000 for more than a week at a time and I am also not convinced that it will hit more all-time highs before March.

In the short-term, I believe it is just as likely for the Dow to approach 29,000 as it is to approach 31,000 in the early months of 2021.

While I think a 35,000 call to close out 2021 is a bit aggressive, I do believe that the second half of 2021 could show robust gains for the index.

With so much uncertainty and the RSI still firmly in hold territory, the call on the Dow stays a HOLD.

This is a very challenging time to make a call on the Dow with conviction. But one thing I do believe is that if and when there is a drop in the index, it will not be strong and sharply relative to the gains since March 2020. I believe that it is more likely than not that we will be in a sideways holding pattern until vaccines are available to the general public by mid-2021.

For an ETF that attempts to directly correlate with the performance of the Dow, the SPDR Dow Jones ETF (DIA) is a strong option.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. I encourage you to sign up for our daily newsletter – it’s absolutely free and if you don’t like it, you can unsubscribe with just 2 clicks. If you sign up today, you’ll also get 7 days of free access to the premium daily Stock Trading Alerts as well as our other Alerts. Sign up for the free newsletter today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Thank you.

Matthew Levy, CFA
Stock Trading Strategist
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

* * * * *

All essays, research, and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Matthew Levy, CFA and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Matthew Levy, CFA, and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Levy is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Matthew Levy, CFA’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading, and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Matthew Levy, CFA, Sunshine Profits’ employees, and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

 

Major Averages Hit More Record Highs

Quick Update

As a quick update to kick off today’s newsletter, I would like to summarize my correct calls and what I profited on since beginning to publish these updates. While nobody can predict the future, the major calls I am most proud of since producing these letters are 1) adding emerging market exposure and 2) hedging or selling the U.S. Dollar.

Emerging markets have been some of the best performers in 2020, and I have made some bullish calls on specific regional markets for 2021 as well. I have been touting emerging markets since my first report, but when I switched my focus to specific regions, my calls became even more correct. On December 3rd, I called Taiwan ( EWT ETF) the best bet for emerging market exposure while avoiding the risks and baked in profits of China. Since then, the EWT ETF which tracks Taiwan has gained over 4.3% while the MCHI ETF which tracks China has fallen over 3.3%. The Taiwan ETF has also outperformed the SPY S&P 500 ETF and the IEUR ETF which tracks Europe.

My calls on the U.S. dollar were also correct. Since I started doing these newsletters about a month and a half ago, I consistently reiterated that the dollar should be hedged or avoided because of the Fed’s policies, effect of interest rates this low for this long, government stimulus, strengthening of emerging markets, and inflation. I also said that any minor rally the dollar would experience would be fool’s good. In the last month and a half, the dollar has fallen around 2.3%, and since it briefly pierced the 91-level on December 9th , it has fallen another 1%.

Markets kicked off the final week of 2020 with a surge towards record highs after President Trump finally signed off on the stimulus bill.

News Recap

  • All major indices closed at record highs. The Dow Jones rose 204.10 points higher, or 0.7%, to close at 30,403.97. The S&P 500 climbed 0.9% to 3,735.36, and the Nasdaq rose 0.7% to 12,899.42. Meanwhile, the small-cap Russell 2000 underperformed and declined 0.38%.
  • After President Trump called the $900 billion stimulus package an unsuitable “disgrace,” and alluded to possibly vetoing the bill, over the weekend the president signed the bill into law . By signing off, a government shutdown was averted while unemployment benefits were extended to millions of Americans.
  • After President Trump demanded stimulus checks for Americans to be raised from $600 to $2,000 each , the Democrat-led House voted for this measure on Monday (Dec. 28). The ball is now in the GOP-led Senate’s court on the measure. They are not expected to approve the measure.
  • Apple led the Dow higher, and gained 3.6%. Disney also climbed nearly 3%.
  • Communication services, consumer discretionary and tech were the best performing sectors in the S&P 500, with each rising over 1%.
  • Amidst fears of a COVID-19 “surge on top of a surge” after the Christmas holiday, over one million people in the U.S. have now been vaccinated. Meanwhile, the U.S. has averaged at least 184,000 new infections per day.

Markets cheered President Trump’s signing of the stimulus package and are further encouraged by the possibility of larger stimulus checks. After the market traded flat last week, it kicked off the final week of 2020 with a bang. Although it is still very possible that consolidation, profit taking, and rebalancing could happen in this shortened week, the general focus of both investors and analysts has appeared to be the long-term potential of 2021.

As Tom Essaye, founder of The Sevens Report said :

“The five pillars of the rally (Federal stimulus, FOMC stimulus, vaccine rollout, divided government and no double dip recession) remain largely in place, and until that changes, the medium and longer-term outlook for stocks will be positive.”

While I still do believe that there will be a short-term tug of war between good news and bad news, I am now convinced that these moves are manic and based on sentiment. There has not been a pullback to end the year as I anticipated. But I still do believe that markets have overheated, and that between now and the end of Q1 2020 a correction could happen.

There is optimistic potential, but the road towards normalcy will hit inevitable speed bumps.

I do believe though that a correction is healthy and could be a good thing. Corrections happen way more often than people realize. Only twice in the last 38 years have we had years WITHOUT a correction (1995 and 2017). I believe we are overdue for one since there has not been one since the lows of March. This is healthy market behavior and could be a very good buying opportunity for what I believe will be a great second half of the year.

The mid-term and long-term optimism are very real, despite the near-term risks. The passage of the stimulus package only solidifies the robust vaccine-induced tailwinds entering 2021.

The general consensus is that 2021 could be a strong year for stocks, despite short-term headwinds. According to a new CNBC survey which polled more than 100 chief investment officers and portfolio managers, two-thirds of respondents said the Dow Jones will most likely finish 2021 at 35,000 – a roughly 16% gain from Thursday’s close of 30,199.87. Five percent also said that the index could climb to 40,000 by the end of 2021.

Therefore, to sum it up:

While there is long-term optimism, there are short-term concerns. A short-term correction between now and Q1 2021 is very possible. But I do not believe, with conviction, that a correction above ~20% leading to a bear market will happen.

Will the Dow Approach 31,000 or 29,000 Before Mid-2021?

Figure 1 – Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU)

After trading as low as around 29,650 at one point last Monday (Dec. 21), the Dow has been firmly back above 30,000 for the last week. The blue-chip index also closed at yet another record high on Monday (Dec. 28).

I do think that the Dow has some more room to run in the next few days to close off the year. Trump’s signing of the stimulus bill was a belated Christmas gift for investors everywhere. If the Senate approves $2,000 stimulus checks, then another short-term pop can certainly happen.

My short-term questions though still remain as to whether or not the Dow can not only stay above 30,000 for more than a week at a time but also hit more all-time highs before March. The volume has also been very unstable as of late, but that is likely due to shortened trading weeks to close off the year.

In the short-term, I believe it is just as likely for the Dow to approach 29,000 as it is to approach 31,000 in the early months of 2021.

While I think a 35,000 call to close out 2021 is a bit aggressive, I do believe that the second half of 2021 could show robust gains for the index.

With so much uncertainty and the RSI still firmly in hold territory, the call on the Dow stays a HOLD.

This is a very challenging time to make calls with conviction. But one thing I do believe is that if and when there is a drop in the index, it will not be strong and sharp relative to the gains since March, let alone November. I believe that more likely than not we will be in a sideways holding pattern until vaccines are available to the general public by mid-2021.

For an ETF that attempts to directly correlate with the performance of the Dow, the SPDR Dow Jones ETF (DIA) is a strong option.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. I encourage you to sign up for our daily newsletter – it’s absolutely free and if you don’t like it, you can unsubscribe with just 2 clicks. If you sign up today, you’ll also get 7 days of free access to the premium daily Stock Trading Alerts as well as our other Alerts. Sign up for the free newsletter today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Thank you.

Matthew Levy, CFA
Stock Trading Strategist
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

* * * * *

All essays, research, and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Matthew Levy, CFA and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Matthew Levy, CFA, and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Levy is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Matthew Levy, CFA’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading, and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Matthew Levy, CFA, Sunshine Profits’ employees, and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

 

 

Stimulus Hopes Fail to Rally Markets

The S&P 500 closed down for the third consecutive day (Dec. 22), despite Congress’s long-overdue approval of an economic stimulus package.

News Recap

  • The Dow Jones declined 200.94 points, or 0.7%, to 30,015.51. The S&P 500 closed down for a third consecutive day and fell 0.2%. Reflecting a return to the “stay-at-home” tech trade, the Nasdaq gained 0.5% on the day (Dec. 22). The small-cap Russell 2000 index managed to outperform yet again, rising 1.01%.
  • Congress finally voted on and approved a $900 billion stimulus package to aid struggling Americans. Attached to this bill was also a $1.4 trillion measure to fund the government through Sept. 30. President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law within the next few days.
  • A mutant strain of COVID-19 discovered in the UK weighed on markets for a second consecutive day. While the vaccine(s) could still be effective on this strain, the strain appears to be more contagious than others. The discovery of this virus strain has caused stricter lockdown measures and travel restrictions worldwide.
  • Travel stocks were the laggards of the day due to fears of the new strain of COVID-19. American Airlines (AAL) fell 3.9% and United (UAL) dropped 2.5%. Cruise lines all fell as well. Carnival (CCL) fell nearly 6%, Royal Caribbean (RCL) dropped nearly 3%, and Norwegian (NCL) plummeted 6.9%
  • Apple (AAPL) led the Nasdaq higher as it jumped 2.9% due to investor excitement about their EV plans to challenge Tesla (TSLA) by 2024
  • Mixed economic data came in on Tuesday (Dec. 22). The final reading on Q3’s GDP growth found that the US GDP grew 33.4% on an annualized basis, compared to the estimated 33.1%. On the other hand, US consumer confidence fell for the second month in a row and missed expectations – despite vaccine optimism.
  • COVID-19 has now killed over 318,000 Americans (and counting). The CDC announced that this is now the deadliest year in American history as total deaths are expected to top 3 million for the first time. Deaths are also expected to jump 15% from the previous year. This would mark the largest single-year percentage leap since 1918, when WWI and fatalities from the Spanish Flu Pandemic caused deaths to rise an estimated 46%.

Markets have officially stumbled before Christmas and experienced a predictable tug-of-war between good news and bad news. While the general focus of both investors and analysts has appeared to be the long-term potential of 2021, there are some very concerning short-term headwinds.

Although there was some anticipation that a stimulus deal could send stocks higher in the near-term, investors may be simply taking profits before the year’s end and rebalancing for 2021. On the other hand, it is very possible that the stimulus package was “too little too late,” and is being overshadowed by a more contagious strain of COVID-19 discovered over the past weekend in the U.K.

While nobody predicted a renegade mutant virus weighing on market sentiment, short-term battles between optimism and pessimism were quite predictable.

According to a note released on Monday (Dec. 21) from Vital Knowledge’s Adam Crisafulli

“The market has been in a tug-of-war between the very grim near-term COVID backdrop and the increasingly hopeful medium/long-term outlook (driven by vaccines) – the latter set of forces are more powerful in aggregate, but on occasion, the market decides to focus on the former, and stocks suffer as a result.”

Meanwhile, the overwhelming majority of market strategists, including myself, are bullish on equities for 2021. It might just be a bit of a bumpy road getting there. I believe that a correction and some consolidation could be very likely in the short-term, on the way towards another strong rally in the second half of 2021. While it is hard to say with conviction WHEN we could see a correction, I believe that the market’s behavior as of late could be a potential preview of what’s to come between now and the end of Q1 2020. There is optimistic potential, but I believe a potential 5% pullback before the year’s end is possible, as well as a minimum 10% correction before the end of Q1 2020.

According to Jonathan Golub , Credit Suisse’s chief U.S. equity strategist, choppiness in the economy and markets in the coming months could be expected before a surge in consumer spending by mid-2021. Golub said, “I don’t think that there’s a smooth, easy straight-line story on this…I think for the next three or four months, the reopening process is going to be sloppy.”

I believe that the S&P’s three-day losing streak could be an ominous sign of what’s to come in the near-term. I do believe though that this is healthy and could be a good thing.

Before Monday’s (Dec. 21) session, I had warned that the market was flashing signs of over-optimism and euphoria. In its most recent survey, for example, the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) found that 48.1% of investors identified as being bullish – well above the historical average of 38%.

A correction could be just what this market needs. Corrections also happen way more often than people realize. Only twice in the last 38 years have we had years WITHOUT a correction (1995 and 2017). I believe we are overdue for one because there has not been a correction since the lows of March. This is healthy market behavior and could be a very good buying opportunity for what I believe will be a great second half of the year.

The mid-term and long-term optimism are very real, despite the near-term risks. The passage of the stimulus package only solidifies the robust vaccine-induced tailwinds entering 2021, specifically for small-cap value stocks.

In the short-term, there will be some optimistic and pessimistic days. On some days, such as Tuesday (Dec. 22), the “pandemic” market trend will happen – cyclical and COVID-19 recovery stocks lagging, and tech and “stay-at-home” stocks leading. On other days, a broad sell-off based on virus fears may occur as well. Additionally, there will also be days where there will be a broad market rally due to optimism and 2021 related euphoria. And finally, there will be days (and in my opinion, this will be most trading days), that will see markets trading largely mixed, sideways, and reflecting uncertainty.

Therefore, to sum it up:

While there is long-term optimism, there are short-term concerns. A short-term correction between now and Q1 2021 is very possible. But I do not believe, with conviction, that a correction above ~20% leading to a bear market will happen.

The premium analysis this morning will showcase a “Drivers and Divers” section that will break down some sectors that are in and out of favor. As a token of my appreciation for your patronage, I decided to give you a free sample of a “driver” and “diver” sector. Please do me a favor and let me know what you think of this segment! I’m always happy to hear from you.

Driving

Small-Caps (IWM)

The Russell 2000 small-cap index once again beat the larger-cap indices and gained 1.01% on Tuesday (Dec. 22). Despite the profit-taking and negative sentiment during Tuesday’s (Dec. 22) session, small-caps didn’t get the memo.

I do love small-cap stocks in the long-term and this small-cap rally is more encouraging than the “stay-at-home” stock rallies from April/May. This is a bullish sign for long-term economic recovery and shows that investors are optimistic that a vaccine will return life to relative normalcy by mid-2021.

I do have some concerns about overheating in the short-term though. As I mentioned before, I believe that the S&P’s losing streak is only a preview of what could come in the next 1-3 months.

According to the chart above for the Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) , it becomes pretty evident that small-cap stocks have overheated in the short-term. Stocks won’t always go up, but the IWM’s trajectory since November has been essentially vertical. The ETF keeps hitting record highs while the RSI keeps overinflating way past overbought levels as the volume shows instability.

Since November, the Russell index has been on a run nothing short of astounding. Just look how the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) compares to the ETFs tracking the Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq in that time frame. Since November, the IWM has risen nearly 28% and has at least doubled the returns of the ETFs tracking the other major indices.

Although the Russell index is composed mostly of small-cap cyclical stocks dependent on the recovery of the broader economy and may be more adversely affected on “sell-the-news” kind of days, its hot streak since November has seemingly not cooled off as much as other indices and sectors.

But I believe this will eventually happen in the short-term, and I hope it does for a long-term buying opportunity.

In the short-term, small-cap stocks may have overheated and could experience the greatest volatility. SELL and take short-term profits if you can, but do not fully exit positions .

If there is a pullback, BUY for the long-term recovery.

Diving

US Dollar ($USD)

If the dollar rallies at all again soon, do not be fooled.

Ever since I called the dollar’s rally past the 91 level two Wednesdays ago (Dec. 9) a mirage, the dollar has declined by 1.25%.

I believed it to be “fool’s gold” then and I believe any subsequent rally that could come will be “fool’s gold” too.

I still am calling out the dollar’s weakness after several weeks, despite its low levels. I expect the decline to continue as well thanks to a dovish Fed.

The world’s reserve currency is still trading below 90 and has not traded this low since April 2018.

Joe Manimbo , a senior analyst at Western Union Business Solutions, seemingly agrees with me as well and said that “the latest blow to the dollar came from the Fed, which vowed not to touch policy even if the outlook for the U.S. economy brightens as it now expects.”

Since hitting a nearly 3-year high on March 20th, the dollar has plunged nearly 13% while emerging markets and other currencies continue to strengthen.

On days when COVID-19 fears outweigh any other positive sentiments, dollar exposure might be good to have since it is a safe haven. But in my view, you can do a whole lot better than the US dollar for safety.

I have too many doubts on the effect of interest rates this low for this long, government stimulus, strengthening of emerging markets, and inflation to be remotely bullish on the dollar’s prospects over the next 1-3 years. Meanwhile, the US has $27 trillion of debt, and it’s not going down anytime soon.

Additionally, according to The Sevens Report , if the dollar falls below 89.13, this could potentially raise the prospect of a further 10.5% decline to the next support level of 79.78 reached in April 2014

After briefly rising above an oversold RSI of 30 last week, the dollar’s RSI is now at an alarmingly low 27.87. The dollar is also significantly trading below both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages.

While the dollar may have more room to fall, this MAY be a good opportunity to buy the world’s reserve currency at a discount as the RSI is oversold. But I just feel you can do a whole lot better than the USD right now.

I’m not a crypto guy either myself, but Bitcoin’s run compared to the dollar’s disastrous 2020 has to really make you think sometimes….

For now, where possible, HEDGE OR SELL USD exposure.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. I encourage you to sign up for our daily newsletter – it’s absolutely free and if you don’t like it, you can unsubscribe with just 2 clicks. If you sign up today, you’ll also get 7 days of free access to the premium daily Stock Trading Alerts as well as our other Alerts. Sign up for the free newsletter today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Thank you.

Matthew Levy, CFA
Stock Trading Strategist
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

* * * * *

All essays, research, and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Matthew Levy, CFA and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Matthew Levy, CFA, and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Levy is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Matthew Levy, CFA’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading, and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Matthew Levy, CFA, Sunshine Profits’ employees, and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

 

Stocks Fall but Close Week Positive

Quick Update

Dear readers, before we get into today’s news and stock analysis and because I’ve been receiving many questions from you, I’d like to first clarify what I mean by BUY, SELL, or HOLD. Here, I am largely referring to outperforming the S&P 500. When the conditions favor adding risk and buying the U.S. market overall, I will be issuing an “alert.” I am not sure yet whether I will be moving to entry prices or target prices & stop losses.

In the current market environment, when fundamentals have essentially fallen to the wayside, I prefer to invest directionally rather than being married to certain levels in the market. In my view, trading with specific figures in mind can hurt long term returns if you do not let your winners run and cut your losers fast. I do update my calls daily, though, and any changes will be highlighted! Thank you again for being such great readers – I truly value your trust. Stay tuned for updates and let me know if you have any other questions!

Let’s begin Monday by reviewing what happened at the close of last week.

Volatile trading occurred on Friday (Dec. 18), with Congress struggling to close out a stimulus package, causing stocks to slip from record highs.

News Recap

  • The Dow Jones fell 124.32 points, or 0.4%, to 30,179.05. At its session low, the index fell more than 270 points. The S&P 500 also dipped 0.4% and snapped a three-day winning streak. The Nasdaq fell only 0.1%, while the small-cap Russell 2000 fell 0.41%.
  • While Congress claims to be on the brink of a $900 billion stimulus deal , it is working against time. In public, leaders are speaking optimistically that a deal will pass, however, there are last-minute partisan disputes on direct payments, small business loans, and a boost to unemployment insurance
  • There was an unusually large amount of trading volume on Friday (Dec. 18) as Tesla (TSLA) was set to officially join the S&P 500 after the closing bell. Tesla is being added to the index in one fell swoop, marking the largest rebalancing of the S&P 500 in history. After surging 700% in 2020, from day 1, Tesla will be the seventh-largest company in the S&P in terms of market cap.
  • The FDA officially approved Moderna’s vaccine for emergency use. Government officials plan to ship nearly 6 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine in addition to the 2.9 million Pfizer (PFE) doses already in distribution.
  • Despite Friday’s (Dec. 18) losses, the indices closed out the week with mild gains. The Dow closed up 0.4%, the S&P 500 advanced 1.3%, and the NASDAQ closed up 3.1%. The small-cap Russell 2000 continued its strong run as well and gained 2.5% for the week.
  • Meanwhile, the pandemic has reached its darkest days and is hitting unforeseen and unprecedented numbers . The U.S. shattered the previous record of daily deals on Wednesday (Dec. 16), recording over 3,600 deaths. As of Friday (Dec. 18), the country has also now surpassed 17 million confirmed cases, with death totals soaring past 300,000. California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Texas alone reported more than 1,000 deaths in the past week.

While the general focus between both investors and analysts appears to be on the long-term potential in 2021, there are certainly short-term concerns. Inevitably, there will be a short-term tug of war between good news and bad news. For now, though, the main catalyst is the stimulus package. If a stimulus package is passed before Christmas, the markets could benefit. If it doesn’t, markets will drop. Time is running short and we may be at a fork in the road.

According to Luke Tilley , chief economist at Wilmington Trust, another stimulus package was needed to keep the economic recovery from stalling before the mass distribution of a vaccine.

“With the continued rising cases and mass vaccinations still a ways out, we could see some further weakness in jobs and even a flattening where we’re not even adding jobs at all … that’s absolutely a possibility for this next jobs report,” Tilley said. “And if we were to not get another stimulus package, you’re going to have 10 to 11 million people fall off the unemployment rolls right away, and that would hit spending as well.”

However, despite near-term risks, the overwhelming majority of market strategists are bullish on equities for 2021, especially for the second half of the year. While there may be some short-term worries, the consensus between market strategists is to look past the short-term pain and focus on the longer-term gains. Although the economic recovery could stutter in the early half of the year, the general focus is on the second half of the year when we could potentially return to normal. Many analysts expect double-digit gains to continue in 2021, with strategists in a CNBC survey expecting an average 9.5% rise in 2021 for the S&P 500.

Additionally, according to Robert Dye, Comerica Bank Chief Economist :

“I am pretty bullish on the second half of next year, but the trouble is we have to get there…As we all know, we’re facing a lot of near-term risks. But I think when we get into the second half of next year, we get the vaccine behind us, we’ve got a lot of consumer optimism, business optimism coming up and a huge amount of pent-up demand to spend out with very low interest rates.”

In the short-term, there will be some optimistic and pessimistic days. On some days, the broader “pandemic” market trend will happen, with cyclical and recovery stocks lagging, and tech and “stay-at-home” stocks leading. Sometimes a broad sell-off based on fear or overheating may occur as well. On other days, there will be a broad market rally due to optimism and 2021-related euphoria. Additionally, there will be days (and in my opinion this will be most trading days), when markets will trade largely mixed, sideways, and reflect uncertainty. But if we get an early Christmas present and a stimulus package passes, all bets are off. It could mean very good things for short-term market gains.

Despite the optimistic potential, the road towards normalcy will hit inevitable speed bumps. While it is truly hard to say with conviction that a short-term rally or bear market will come, I do believe that some consolidation and a correction could be possible in the short-term on the way towards another strong rally in the second half of 2021.

Outside of economic damages and an out-of-control virus, the market itself is flashing potential signs of over-optimism and euphoria. In its most recent survey, for example, the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) found that 48.1% of investors identified as being bullish – well above the historical average of 38%. With an overabundance of cocky, euphoric, and optimistic investors, the market becomes more vulnerable to selling pressure. Corrections are very common though. Only twice in the last 38 years have we had years WITHOUT a correction (1995 and 2017). Because there has not been one since the lows of March, we could be due for one in the early part of 2021.

Therefore, to sum it up:

While there is long-term optimism, there are short-term concerns. A short-term correction in early 2021 is very possible, but I do not believe, with certainty, that a correction above ~20% leading to a bear market will happen.

Has the Nasdaq Officially Overheated?

Don’t ever let anyone tell you “this time is different” if fears of the dot-com bubble are discussed. History repeats itself, especially in markets. I have many concerns about tech valuations and their astoundingly inflated levels. The recent IPOs of DoorDash (DASH) and AirBnB (ABNB) reflect this. I believe that more pullbacks along the lines of Wednesday, December 9th’s session could inevitably come in the short-term.

Pay close attention to the RSI. While an overbought RSI does not automatically mean a trend reversal, I called keeping a very close eye on this for the Nasdaq. The December 9th Nasdaq pullback, after it exceeded a 70 RSI, reflects that.

The RSI is now above 70. Monitor this . With unstable volume to start the week on the horizon, as Tesla officially joins the S&P 500, I am calling for some short-term volatility. I did not make a conviction call last week but I am not making that mistake again. Because the RSI is officially above 70, and because I foresee unstable volume thanks to Tesla, take profits and SELL some shares, but do not fully exit .

While tech has overheated, there is still some very real long-term optimism based on stimulus hopes and 2021’s potential.

Furthermore, on pessimistic days, having Nasdaq exposure is crucial because of the “stay-at-home” trade.

For an ETF that attempts to directly correlate with the performance of the NASDAQ, the Invesco QQQ ETF (QQQ) is a good option.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. I encourage you to sign up for our daily newsletter – it’s absolutely free and if you don’t like it, you can unsubscribe with just 2 clicks. If you sign up today, you’ll also get 7 days of free access to the premium daily Stock Trading Alerts as well as our other Alerts. Sign up for the free newsletter today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Thank you.

Matthew Levy, CFA
Stock Trading Strategist
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

* * * * *

All essays, research, and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Matthew Levy, CFA and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Matthew Levy, CFA, and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Levy is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Matthew Levy, CFA’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading, and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Matthew Levy, CFA, Sunshine Profits’ employees, and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

 

Stocks Surge to New Records on More Optimism

Major averages hit both all-time intraday and closing highs on Thursday (Dec. 17), riding on vaccine optimism and hopes that a stimulus package could be passed in a matter of days.

News Recap

  • The Dow Jones climbed 148.83 points, or 0.5%, to 30,303.37 for a record close. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit intraday and closing records as well and gained 0.6% and 0.8%, respectively. In typical fashion, the Russell 2000 small-cap index once again beat the other indices and gained 1.30%.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday (Dec. 17) said that a stimulus deal was closing in. Congress appears to be nearing a $900 million stimulus package that would include direct payments to individuals. However, the package would exclude the partisan issues of liability protections for businesses and aid to state and local governments.
  • Despite the optimistic tone of the day, jobless claims disappointed for a second consecutive week. Jobless claims totaled 885,000 last week, hitting their highest levels since early September. This was also significantly worse than the expected 808,000.
  • An FDA panel officially endorsed Moderna’s (MRNA) COVID-19 vaccine. It could officially be cleared for emergency usage as early as Friday (Dec. 18), and be distributed as soon as after the weekend. Upon authorization, government officials plan to ship nearly 6 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine in addition to the 2.9 million Pfizer (PFE) doses already in distribution.
  • Real estate, materials and health care were the best-performing sectors in the S&P 500, each gaining over 1%. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) rose 2.6% to lead the Dow higher.
  • Tesla (TSLA) gained 5.32% and will now officially join the S&P 500.
  • We are in the darkest days of the pandemic. On average, the U.S. is recording at least 215,729 additional COVID-19 cases a day . More than 114,200 Americans are also now hospitalized , and over 3,400 new deaths were recorded. According to the CDC Director, Robert Redfield, US COVID-19 deaths are likely to exceed the 9/11 death toll for the next 60 days.

While sentiment has been positive over the last two trading sessions, there will still be a short-term tug of war between good news and bad news. It’s quite simple really – until a stimulus is passed and the virus is somewhat brought under control, there will be negative pressure on the markets. Even though a stimulus package passing appears to be imminent, time is running short and we may be at a fork in the road.

For now, though, hopes that a deal could pass through are sending stocks higher.

“Stimulus is still the main driver in the market right now until they get something done, and it does appear there is some motivation on that front to get something done,” said Dan Deming, managing director at KKM Financial, further stating that “the market’s benefiting from that (enthusiasm).”

Additionally, Luke Tilley , chief economist at Wilmington Trust, said that another stimulus package was needed to keep the economic recovery from stalling before the mass distribution of a vaccine.

“With the continued rising cases and mass vaccinations still a ways out, we could see some further weakness in jobs and even a flattening where we’re not even adding jobs at all … that’s absolutely a possibility for this next jobs report,” Tilley said. “And if we were to not get another stimulus package, you’re going to have 10 to 11 million people fall off the unemployment rolls right away, and that would hit spending as well.”

The overwhelming majority of market strategists are bullish on equities for 2021 though, despite near-term risks. While there may be some semblance of a “Santa Claus Rally” occurring, the general consensus between market strategists is to look past the short-term pain and focus on the longer-term gains. The mid-term and long-term optimism is very real.

According to Robert Dye, Comerica Bank Chief Economist :

“I am pretty bullish on the second half of next year, but the trouble is we have to get there…As we all know, we’re facing a lot of near-term risks. But I think when we get into the second half of next year, we get the vaccine behind us, we’ve got a lot of consumer optimism, business optimism coming up and a huge amount of pent-up demand to spend out with very low interest rates.”

In the short-term, there will be some optimistic and pessimistic days. On some days, the broader “pandemic” market trend will happen, with cyclical and recovery stocks lagging, and tech and “stay-at-home” stocks leading. Sometimes a broad sell-off based on fear or overheating may occur as well. On other days, there will be a broad market rally due to optimism and 2021-related euphoria. Additionally, there will be days (and in my opinion this will be most trading days), when markets will trade largely mixed, sideways, and reflect uncertainty. But if we get an early Christmas present and a stimulus package passes, all bets are off. It could mean very good things for short-term market gains.

In the mid-term and long-term, there is certainly a light at the end of the tunnel. Once this pandemic is finally brought under control and vaccines are mass deployed, volatility will stabilize, and optimism and relief will permeate the markets. Stocks especially dependent on a rapid recovery and reopening, such as small-caps, should thrive.

Due to this tug of war between sentiments though, it is truly hard to say with any degree of certainty that a correction will happen or more record high rallies will occur.

Therefore, to sum it up:

While there is long-term optimism, there is short-term pessimism. A short-term correction is very possible, but it is hard to say with conviction that a big correction will happen.

The premium analysis this morning will showcase a “Drivers and Divers” section that will break down some sectors that are in and out of favor. As a token of my appreciation for your patronage, I decided to give you a free sample of a “driver” and “diver” sector. Please do me a favor and let me know what you think of this segment! I’m always happy to hear from you.

Driving

Small-Caps (IWM)

In typical fashion, the Russell 2000 small-cap index once again beat the other indices and gained 1.30% on Thursday (Dec. 17). I truly love small-cap stocks in the long-term and this small-cap rally is more encouraging than the “stay-at-home” stock rallies from April/May. This is a bullish sign for a long-term economic recovery and shows that investors are optimistic that a vaccine will return life to relatively normalcy in 2021.

I do have some concerns of overheating in the short-term however, especially with the headwinds that still exist. The Russell keeps outperforming no matter what the market sentiment of the day or week is. For example, although the week ended December 11th was an overall down week, the Russell 2000 STILL managed to outperform the larger indices and eek out another weekly gain of 1.02%. While it is remarkable, I do not see how this is sustainable in the short-term.

The performance of the Russell 2000 index since early November has been nothing short of staggering. Although the Russell index is composed mostly of small-cap value cyclical stocks dependent on the recovery of the broader economy, and may be more adversely affected on “sell-the-news” kind of days, its hot streak since November has not cooled off in the slightest.

Since the start of November, the Russell 2000 has skyrocketed and considerably outperformed the other major indices. The iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM), in comparison to the ETFs tracking the Dow (DIA), S&P (SPY), and Nasdaq (QQQ), has risen 28.62%. This is at least 13% higher than all of the other major indices. Since the start of December, the Russell ETF has also outperformed the other ETFs between 4%-5%.

However, when looking at the chart for the Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) , it becomes pretty evident that small-cap stocks have overheated in the short-term. These are stocks that will experience more short-term volatility. Stocks don’t always go up but the Russell’s trajectory since November has been essentially vertical. The IWM ETF keeps hitting record highs while the RSI keeps overinflating way past overbought levels. I would SELL and trim profits for the short-term but do not fully exit these positions. A stimulus could be imminent and send these stocks soaring more. But if there is a pullback, BUY for the long-term recovery.

Diving

US Dollar ($USD)

The U.S. Dollar’s plunge continues to its lowest levels in years. I called the return to oversold levels this week despite the currency piercing the 91-level last Wednesday (Dec. 9). I knew it was “fool’s gold” and not the sign of any sort of breakout. I have been calling the dollar’s weakness for weeks despite its low levels, and I expect the decline to continue.

For the first time since April 2018, the world’s reserve currency is now trading below 90.

Why did the dollar plunge so much on Thursday (Dec. 17)? You can thank the Fed! After the Federal Reserve’s dovish tone and reassurance on Wednesday (Dec. 16) that it won’t be soon tapering its bond purchases, bearish traders took this as a sign to continue selling the dollar.

“The latest blow to the dollar came from the Fed, which vowed not to touch policy even if the outlook for the U.S. economy brightens as it now expects,” said Joe Manimbo , senior analyst at Western Union Business Solutions.

After hitting a nearly 3-year high in March, the dollar has plunged in excess of 13%.

Meanwhile, other currencies continued strengthening on Thursday (Dec. 17), relative to the dollar:

  • The euro rose 0.6% to $1.2270, hitting its highest level versus the dollar since April 2018. The euro is up more than 9% year to date.
  • The dollar fell to a more-than-three-year low versus the Japanese yen and declined 0.4% to ¥103.07.
  • The British pound was up 0.5% at $1.3575 – its highest since April 2018.
  • Both the Australian dollar and the New Zealand dollar each gained 0.6% versus the US dollar.
  • The US dollar was off 0.1% vs. the Canadian dollar.

After briefly rising above an oversold RSI of 30 last week, the dollar’s RSI is at an alarmingly low 22.96. The dollar is also significantly trading below both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages.

Many believe that the dollar could fall further too.

If the world returns to relative normalcy within the next year, investors may be more “risk-on” and less “risk-off,” meaning that the dollar’s value will decline further.

Additionally, because of all of the economic stimulus and seemingly imminent additional stimulus, the dollar’s value has declined and could have more room to fall. With a dovish Fed and record low-interest rates projected to remain this low for at least another two years, the dollar may not appreciate again for a very long time.

While the dollar may have more room to fall, this MAY be a good opportunity to buy the world’s reserve currency at a discount – at least for a quick short-term trade. The low RSI reflects this.

But I just have too many doubts on the effect of interest rates this low, government stimulus, strengthening of emerging markets, and inflation to be remotely bullish on the dollar’s prospects over the next 1-3 years.

For now, where possible, HEDGE OR SELL USD exposure.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. I encourage you to sign up for our daily newsletter – it’s absolutely free and if you don’t like it, you can unsubscribe with just 2 clicks. If you sign up today, you’ll also get 7 days of free access to the premium daily Stock Trading Alerts as well as our other Alerts. Sign up for the free newsletter today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Thank you.

Matthew Levy, CFA
Stock Trading Strategist
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

* * * * *

All essays, research, and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Matthew Levy, CFA and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Matthew Levy, CFA, and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Levy is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Matthew Levy, CFA’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading, and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Matthew Levy, CFA, Sunshine Profits’ employees, and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

 

Nasdaq Hits Yet Another Record Close

The major indices closed mixed on Wednesday (Dec. 16), as the Nasdaq hit yet another record close amidst stimulus optimism and the Fed’s dovish tone.

News Recap

  • Although the Dow Jones closed lower by 44.77 points, or 0.15%, the S&P 500 gained for the second day in a row and rose by 0.18%. The Nasdaq closed once again at a record high and gained 0.5%.
  • Sentiment for the day started negatively after the Commerce Department reported a steeper-than-expected drop in U.S. retail sales. The department stated that retail sales fell by 1.1% in November compared to estimates of 0.3%.
  • Cautious optimism that some sort of stimulus could be passed before the end of the year encouraged investors.
  • According to Politico , Congress was on the brink of a $900 billion stimulus deal that would include a new round of direct payments to consumers. However, that package would exclude the more contentious areas of liability shields for businesses and state and local aid.
  • We have reached the deadliest weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 300,000 total COVID-19 related deaths have now been confirmed in the U.S., with over 16 million confirmed cases. Additionally, US officials reported 3,400 new COVID-19 deaths – a daily record.
  • After an FDA panel officially endorsed Moderna (MRNA) – following a review which confirmed safety and efficacy earlier in the week – the big day is finally here. On Thursday (Dec. 17), the FDA will officially vote on Moderna’s vaccine. This will strongly complement the mass deployment of Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech’s (BNTX) vaccine.
  • The Federal Reserve ’s announcement on monetary policy was largely as dovish as expected. The Fed vowed to continue its asset purchase program at the current rate, “until substantial further progress has been made toward the committee’s maximum employment and price stability goals.”
  • Microsoft (MSFT) and Salesforce (CRM) led the Dow with gains of 2.4% and 1.6%, respectively, while Walgreens (WBA) was the laggard and declined 2.15%.
  • Moderna (MRNA), despite its big week ahead, dropped 6.9%.

While there is some short-term uncertainty and mixed sentiment, there is some general consensus: While the short-term may see some pain and/or mixed sentiment, it may be worth it for the medium-term and long-term optimism.

The overwhelming majority of market strategists are bullish on equities for 2021- despite near-term risks. Outside of the pandemic raging to out of control levels, another near-term risk that has been largely overlooked is the Senate runoff election in Georgia. Investors have largely already priced in a divided government – however, if Republicans end up losing both seats in Georgia, this could potentially upend everything.

According to Jimmy Lee, CEO of the Wealth Consulting Group ,

“I think that we can get a little bit of consolidation before year-end just due to normal selling at the year-end for rebalancing or tax loss harvesting. Also, depending on where the pulse is for the Senate race in Georgia, investors might want to get ahead of that if they think that capital gains taxes may go up in the future…So that could cause some additional selling before year-end and we could get a little bit of a pullback. But I am very bullish on equities at this point. And I do think we may get a little bit more of a rotation into the economy-opening sectors.”

Meanwhile, progress on the stimulus package appears to be more optimistic than many expected in the near-term.

“The odds of a fiscal deal before year’s end have been improving,” Goldman Sachs economists led by Jan Hatzius wrote in a note Tuesday (Dec. 15). “While we had expected a smaller package to pass now with a larger package waiting until early 2021, it appears increasingly likely that most of this could pass this week.”

While markets for the rest of 2020 (and perhaps early 2021), will wrestle with the negative reality on the ground and optimism for an economic rebound, the general consensus appears to be looking past the short-term painful realities, and focusing more on the longer-term – a world where COVID-19 is expected to be a thing of the past and we are back to normal.

In the short-term, there will be some optimistic and pessimistic days. On other days, such as Wednesday (Dec. 16) (and in my opinion this will be most trading days), markets will trade largely mixed, sideways, and reflect uncertainty. Therefore, it is truly hard to say with conviction what will happen with markets in the next 1-3 months. However, if a stimulus deal passes within the next week, it could mean very good things for short-term market gains.

In the mid-term and long-term, there is certainly a light at the end of the tunnel. Once this pandemic is finally brought under control and vaccines are mass deployed to the general public, volatility will stabilize, and optimism and relief will permeate the markets. Stocks especially dependent on a rapid recovery and reopening such as small-caps should thrive.

Due to this tug of war between sentiments, it is truly hard to say with any degree of certainty whether another crash or bear market will come.

Therefore, to sum it up:

While there is long-term optimism, there is short-term pessimism. A short-term correction is very possible. But it is hard to say with conviction that a big correction will happen.

Nasdaq Hits Another Record Close – Too Good to Be True?

Is the Nasdaq’s performance since its sharp sell-off last Wednesday (Dec. 9) too good to be true? Truthfully, I don’t know. But it’s very possible – especially if shut down measurements become harsher and stricter and investors return to the “stay-at-home” trade that led markets from April through the end of October.

Additionally, I still have many concerns about tech valuations and their astoundingly inflated levels. Last week’s IPOs of DoorDash (DASH) and AirBnB (ABNB) reflect this and invoke traumatic memories of the dotcom bubble era. I believe that more pullbacks along the lines of last Wednesday (Dec. 9) could inevitably come in the short-term. Frankly, it would make me feel far more confident about initiating tech positions as well for the long-term.

Pay close attention to the RSI. While an overbought RSI does not automatically mean a trend reversal, I called keeping a very close eye on this for the Nasdaq. Last Wednesday’s (Dec. 9th) Nasdaq pullback after it exceeded a 70 RSI reflects that.

The Nasdaq has sharply rallied in the week since then. But its RSI is nearly 69. Monitor this . If the index goes on another bull-run and hits more record closes, it could surely exceed an RSI of 70 by the end of market close on Thursday (Dec. 17). I did not make a conviction call last week but I will now- if the RSI exceeds 70 this time, take profits- but don’t fully exit .

One thing I do like is how stable the volume has been this week and since the sharp sell-off last week. Stable volume is a good thing, especially if one is concerned about volatility. Low volume, especially a declining trend, means that there are fewer shares trading. Lower volume also means less liquidity across the index, and an increase in stock price volatility.

On pessimistic days, having NASDAQ exposure is crucial because of all the “stay-at-home” trade. However, positive vaccine-related news always induces the risk of downward pressure on tech names – both on and off the NASDAQ. What concerns me most are sharp sell-offs due to overheating and mania. Don’t ever let anyone tell you “this time is different” if fears of the dot-com bubble are discussed. History repeats itself, especially in markets.

It is very hard to say with conviction to sell your tech shares though. However, as I said before – if the RSI exceeds 70 again – consider selling some shares and taking profits. For now, however, the NASDAQ stays a HOLD .

For an ETF that attempts to directly correlate with the performance of the NASDAQ, the Invesco QQQ ETF (QQQ) is a good option.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. I encourage you to sign up for our daily newsletter – it’s absolutely free and if you don’t like it, you can unsubscribe with just 2 clicks. If you sign up today, you’ll also get 7 days of free access to the premium daily Stock Trading Alerts as well as our other Alerts. Sign up for the free newsletter today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Thank you.

Matthew Levy, CFA
Stock Trading Strategist
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

* * * * *

All essays, research, and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Matthew Levy, CFA and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Matthew Levy, CFA, and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Levy is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Matthew Levy, CFA’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading, and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Matthew Levy, CFA, Sunshine Profits’ employees, and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

 

Stocks Surge on Stimulus Hopes

Stocks rose sharply on Tuesday (Dec. 15) as optimism grew that Congress could pass another economic stimulus package before year’s end.

News Recap

  • The Dow Jones gained 337.76 points, or 1.1%, and closed at 30,199.31. The S&P 500 also gained 1.3% and snapped a four-day losing streak. The tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 1.3% and reached a new record closing high of 12,595.06. However, the Russell 2000 small-cap index once again beat the other indices and gained 2.40%.
  • In the strongest indication yet that we may be coming closer to a stimulus agreement, the top four congressional leaders-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy – all were set to meet after market close on Tuesday (Dec. 15).
  • Democrats and Republicans still remain deeply divided on certain matters, but a two-part bipartisan stimulus plan proposed on Tuesday (Dec. 15) has a chance of passing.
  • The stimulus package would provide around $908 billion in total aid. The first part would be a $748 billion stimulus package that includes an additional $300 per week in federal unemployment benefits and another $300 billion for more PPP loans. This segment would also include money for vaccine distribution, education, and rental assistance. The second segment would be a $160 billion aid package and cover the more partisan issues of business liability protections and financial aid to state and local governments.
  • The first round of shots from the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech were given in the U.S. on Monday (Dec. 14) with further distributions occurring Tuesday (Dec. 15).
  • FDA staff announced that they endorsed emergency usage of Moderna’s vaccine. The FDA’s vaccine advisory panel will meet Thursday (Dec. 16) to decide whether to recommend clearance for emergency use. Upon authorization, government officials plan to ship nearly 6 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine in addition to the 2.9 million Pfizer doses already in distribution.
  • Apple led the Dow higher, jumping 5% after Nikkei reported that the company will increase iPhone production by about 30% in the first half of 2021.
  • All 11 S&P 500 sectors gained on Tuesday (Dec. 15) and were led by energy and utilities.
  • We are approaching the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic yet. 300,000 people across the country have now lost their lives to the disease. However, the worst may not be over yet. According to the CDC Director Robert Redfield, US COVID-19 deaths are likely to exceed the 9/11 death toll for the next 60 days.

The short-term may see some pain and/or mixed sentiment due to two major catalysts – the lack of stimulus and an out-of-control virus.

According to Art Hogan , chief market strategist at National Securities:

“There’s been a tug of war between the vaccine news and the virus news. The only tiebreaker that’s kept the averages on their way higher seems to be the potential for getting stimulus out of gridlock…It certainly feels like one of the proposals that’s on the table … can go through.”

Additionally, Luke Tilley , chief economist at Wilmington Trust, said that another stimulus package was needed to keep the economic recovery from stalling before a mass distribution of a vaccine.

“With the continued rising cases and mass vaccinations still a ways out, we could see some further weakness in jobs and even a flattening where we’re not even adding jobs at all … that’s absolutely a possibility for this next jobs report,” Tilley said. “And if we were to not get another stimulus package, you’re going to have 10 to 11 million people fall off the unemployment rolls right away, and that would hit spending as well.”

On the other hand, the mid-term and long-term optimism is very real. While there may be some semblance of a “Santa Claus Rally” occurring, the general consensus between market strategists is to look past the short-term pain, and focus on the longer-term gains.

According to Robert Dye, Comerica Bank Chief Economist :

“I am pretty bullish on the second half of next year, but the trouble is we have to get there…As we all know, we’re facing a lot of near-term risks. But I think when we get into the second half of next year, we get the vaccine behind us, we’ve got a lot of consumer optimism, business optimism coming up and a huge amount of pent-up demand to spend out with very low interest rates.”

In the short-term, there will be some optimistic and pessimistic days. On some days, like Monday (Dec. 14), the broader “pandemic” market trend will happen – cyclical and recovery stocks lagging, and tech and “stay-at-home” stocks leading. On other days, like Tuesday (Dec. 15), there will be a broad market rally due to optimism and 2021 related euphoria. On other days (and in my opinion this will be most trading days), markets will trade largely mixed, sideways, and reflect uncertainty.

However, if a stimulus deal passes before the end of the year, all bets are off. It could mean very good things for short-term market gains.

In the mid-term and long-term, there is certainly a light at the end of the tunnel. Once this pandemic is finally brought under control and vaccines are mass deployed, volatility will stabilize, and optimism and relief will permeate the markets. Stocks especially dependent on a rapid recovery and reopening such as small-caps should thrive.

Due to this tug of war between sentiments though, it is truly a challenge to predict the future with certainty.

Therefore, to sum it up:

While there is long-term optimism, there is short-term pessimism. A short-term correction is very possible. But it is hard to say with conviction that a big correction will happen.

The premium analysis this morning will showcase a “Drivers and Divers” section that will break down some sectors that are in and out of favor. As a token of my appreciation for your patronage, I decided to give you a free sample of a “driver” and “diver” sector. Do me a favor and let me know what you think of this segment! Always happy to hear from you.

Driving

Energy (XLE)

Energy is a sector largely dependent on sentiment, with several question marks.

On one hand, if you are bullish, all of this vaccine news bodes well for a full economic reopening by the second half of 2021. That means travel, and therefore fuel demand, could surge back to pre-pandemic levels. WTI crude futures on Tuesday (Dec. 15) extended gains to trade around 1% higher at $47.5 a barrel due to cautious optimism on further US stimulus in addition to the vaccine(s).

On the other hand, there are very real short-term concerns. There are fresh concerns over global fuel demand as countries, states, and cities across the world tighten coronavirus restrictions. Germany and the Netherlands will enter a new lockdown, while the UK government imposed tighter Covid-19 measures on London. In New York City, Mayor Bill De Blasio warned that the city is on the path towards a second full shutdown. Governor Andrew Cuomo already banned all indoor dining.

The newly inaugurated Mayor of Baltimore, Brandon Scott, also banned all dining – both indoor and outdoor. OPEC also lowered its projections for global fuel consumption in Q1 2021 by 1 million barrels a day as well. The organization will meet on January 4th to evaluate if they can move on with supply increases. Much anticipated data from the EIA is also due on Wednesday.

This is such an unpredictable sector experiencing great volatility. It is almost as if energy is either the S&P 500’s leader or its laggard. There is never anything in between. These are simply risky and major percentage swings on a day-to-day basis.

It is a very difficult sector to make a bullish call on. There are still simply too many headwinds to be overly euphoric. While energy is still largely undervalued, and the RSI is no longer overbought, the volume is not stable. Most importantly, nobody truly knows what oil’s long-term prospects are, with the increased adoption of renewable energy and ESG investing.

This year we have seen that when energy rallies, it eventually pulls back. Judging from the chart, that inevitable pullback could possibly come again. For the month of December, the ETF is up nearly 8%. But I would be more confident in either calling BUY or HOLD or a pullback – not during such a volatile time.

While there is vaccine optimism now that there wasn’t before, conditions are largely the same on the ground with regard to COVID-19 and travel demand. Therefore, my call is to take profits and SELL.

Diving

Communication Services (XLC)

I really don’t like this sector and I will explain why. Although the Communication Services ETF touched a 52-week high recently, the gains have not been as stable or as robust compared to other sectors. But this is generally par the course for communications stocks. This is a sector that continuously underperforms other sectors both in the short-term and long-term.

While traditionally this is a good sector to find value in, right now I just don’t see it. I see downside risk without the same type of upside potential as exists in other sectors that may benefit more from a successful vaccine roll-out and economic reopening.

Furthermore, the ETF’s volume is already low, and has been in decline. This screams volatility to me.

I just can’t see how you would benefit buying into this sector. It is hard to foresee how this sector will truly benefit from a vaccine and 2021 reopening relative to other sectors. Therefore, I give it a SELL call.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. I encourage you to sign up for our daily newsletter – it’s absolutely free and if you don’t like it, you can unsubscribe with just 2 clicks. If you sign up today, you’ll also get 7 days of free access to the premium daily Stock Trading Alerts as well as our other Alerts. Sign up for the free newsletter today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Thank you.

Matthew Levy, CFA
Stock Trading Strategist
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

* * * * *

All essays, research, and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Matthew Levy, CFA and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Matthew Levy, CFA, and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Levy is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Matthew Levy, CFA’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading, and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Matthew Levy, CFA, Sunshine Profits’ employees, and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

 

Dow, S&P Dip Again on Lockdown Fears

Stocks closed largely down on Monday (Dec. 14) as fears of stricter lockdowns outweighed vaccine optimism.

News Recap

  • The Dow Jones closed lower by 185 points, or 0.5% after earlier rising by as much as 200 points and hitting a record intraday high. The S&P 500 also declined by 0.4%, while the Nasdaq outperformed and gained 0.5%. The small-cap Russell 2000 once again rose, gaining 0.26%.
  • Although the day started with optimism as Pfizer began the rollout of its vaccine, comments from New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio put pressure on the Dow and S&P, and spooked investors about further lockdowns. De Blasio warned earlier in the day that New York could experience a “full shutdown” soon, due to infection levels not seen since May.
  • There is some cautious optimism that some sort of stimulus could be passed before the end of the year, however, congress remains deeply divided on several fronts. Namely, these partisan divides stem from liability protections for businesses, the scope of state and local aid, and weekly unemployment benefits.
  • We have reached the deadliest weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 300,000 total COVID-related deaths have now been confirmed in the U.S., with over 16 million confirmed cases.
  • After the U.S. FDA. officially cleared Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech’s (BNTX) vaccine last Friday (Dec. 11), the roll-out officially began on Monday (Dec. 14). The first doses were administered to healthcare workers and nursing home staffers. Approximately 2.9 million doses were shipped to 636 sites across the country. Pfizer also said it would roll out a second batch of 2.9 million doses shortly after this initial batch. The FDA is also slated to publish its assessment on Moderna’s vaccine this week, before mass deployment.
  • Despite the start of the vaccine roll-out, shares of Pfizer and BioNTech both sharply fell 4.65 and 14.95%, respectively.
  • Companies dependent on an economic reopening lagged the “stay-at-home” and tech winners from early on in the pandemic. United Airlines (UAL) dropped 3.4% and Chevron (CVX) fell 3.26% compared to Netflix (NFLX) which gained over 3.8%, and Amazon (AMZN) which popped more than 1%.
  • Tesla (TSLA) also surged 4.90% as investors anticipate its inclusion into the S&P 500 after this week.

While the short-term may see some pain and/or mixed sentiment, the mid-term and long-term optimism is certainly very real. Overall, the general consensus between market strategists is to look past short-term painful realities and focus more on the longer-term – a world where COVID-19 is expected to be a thing of the past and we are back to normal.

According to Robert Dye, Comerica Bank Chief Economist : “I am pretty bullish on the second half of next year, but the trouble is we have to get there…As we all know, we’re facing a lot of near-term risks. But I think when we get into the second half of next year, we get the vaccine behind us, we’ve got a lot of consumer optimism, business optimism coming up and a huge amount of pent-up demand to spend out with very low interest rates.”

Other Wall Street strategists are bullish about 2021 as well. According to a JPMorgan note to clients released on Wednesday (Dec. 9), a widely available vaccine will lift stocks to new highs in 2021:

“Equities are facing one of the best backdrops for sustained gains next year,” JPMorgan said. “We expect markets to be driven by recovery from the COVID-19 crisis at the back of highly effective vaccines and continued extraordinary monetary and fiscal support.”

JPMorgan’s S&P 500 target for 2021 is 4,400. This implies a nearly 20% gain.

On the other hand, for the rest of 2020, and maybe early on into 2021, markets will wrestle with the negative reality on the ground and optimism for an economic rebound.

Additionally, the rally since election week invokes concerns of overheating with bad fundamentals. Commerce Street Capital CEO Dory Wiley advised caution in this overheated market. He pointed to 90% of stocks on the NYSE trading above their 200-day moving average as an indication that valuations might be stretched:

“Timing the market is not always well-advised and paring back can miss out on some gains the next two months, but after such good returns in clearly a terrible fundamentals year, I think taking some profits and moving to cash, not bonds, makes some sense here,” he said.

In the short-term, there will be some optimistic and pessimistic days. Some days, like Monday (Dec. 14), will reflect what the broader “pandemic” trend has been – cyclical and recovery stocks lagging, and tech and “stay-at-home” stocks leading. On other days (and in my opinion this will be most trading days), markets will trade largely mixed, sideways, and reflect the uncertainty. However, if a stimulus deal passes before the end of the year, it could mean very good things for short-term market gains. It is possible that there could be a minor compromise reached before the end of the year, however, a more large-scale comprehensive package may not be agreed to until 2021.

In the mid-term and long-term, there is certainly a light at the end of the tunnel. Once this pandemic is finally brought under control and vaccines are mass deployed, volatility will stabilize, and optimism and relief will permeate the markets. Stocks especially dependent on a rapid recovery and reopening, such as small-caps, should thrive.

Due to this tug of war between sentiments, it is truly hard to say with conviction whether another crash or bear market will come.

Therefore, to sum it up:

While there is long-term optimism, there is short-term pessimism. A short-term correction is very possible. But it is hard to say with conviction that a big correction will happen.

On Pessimistic Days, Tech is Crucial…But There are Concerns

Tech shares led the markets on Monday (Dec. 14) and reflected a return of the “stay-at-home” trade – possibly due to Mayor De Blasio’s “shut down” comments about New York City. However, I believe these are short-term moves rather than a return of long-term trends. I do not believe there is “market nostalgia” for the way the indices traded largely from April through the end of October.

Although I believe tech exposure is important during pessimistic trading days, I have many concerns about tech valuations and their astoundingly inflated levels. Last week’s IPOs of DoorDash (DASH) and AirBnB (ABNB) reflect this and invoke traumatic memories of the dotcom bubble era. I believe that more pullbacks along the lines of last Wednesday (Dec. 9) are inevitably coming in the short-term and would make me feel far more confident about initiating tech positions at lower valuations for the long-term.

After exceeding an overbought RSI level of 70, the pullback last Wednesday (Dec. 9th) brought it back down to a healthier level. While its current RSI of 63.30 is still pretty high, it is not quite overbought and still a hold. But monitor this . If the index goes on another bull-run and exceeds 70, then you may want to consider selling some. While an overbought RSI does not automatically mean a trend reversal, it does not help the overvaluation of the market and possible correction. The NASDAQ’s pullback last Wednesday (Dec. 9), after it exceeded a 70 RSI, reflects that.

The decline in volume since the start of the month is also quite concerning for volatility purposes. Low volume, especially a declining trend, means that there are fewer shares trading. Lower volume also means less liquidity across the index, and an increase in stock price volatility.

On pessimistic days, like Monday (Dec. 14), having NASDAQ exposure is crucial because of all the “stay-at-home” stocks that trade on the index. However, positive vaccine news always induces the risk of downward pressure on tech names – both on and off the NASDAQ. But what concerns me most are sharp sell-offs due to overheating and mania. Don’t ever let anyone tell you “this time is different” if fears of the dot-com bubble are discussed. History repeats itself – especially in markets.

It is very hard to say with conviction to sell your tech shares though. A further correction would not shock me in the least. But again, there is so much unpredictability right now, and truly anything could happen. The one thing I can confidently say though, is that if the RSI exceeds 70 again, then you should consider selling. For now, however, the NASDAQ stays a HOLD .

For an ETF that attempts to directly correlate with the performance of the NASDAQ, the Invesco QQQ ETF (QQQ) is an excellent option.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. I encourage you to sign up for our daily newsletter – it’s absolutely free and if you don’t like it, you can unsubscribe with just 2 clicks. If you sign up today, you’ll also get 7 days of free access to the premium daily Stock Trading Alerts as well as our other Alerts. Sign up for the free newsletter today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Thank you.

Matthew Levy, CFA
Stock Trading Strategist
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

* * * * *

All essays, research, and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Matthew Levy, CFA and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Matthew Levy, CFA, and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Levy is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Matthew Levy, CFA’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading, and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Matthew Levy, CFA, Sunshine Profits’ employees, and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

 

Markets End Week (Dec. 11) in the Red, Uncertain Short-term Sentiment

What Happened Last Week:

  • Markets throughout the week continued wrestling with short-term pain and long-term optimism.
  • After fresh record highs were reached the week before, the major indices ended the week lower due to a multitude of headwinds. Between Monday December 7th and Friday’s close December 11th, the Dow closed down 0.08%, the S&P closed down 0.77%, and the NASDAQ closed down -1.13%. The small-cap Russell 2000, however, notched another weekly gain, and closed up about 1.00%.
  • Sentiment is mixed, and the rally since election week invokes concerns of overheating, with bad fundamentals. Commerce Street Capital CEO, Dory Wiley , advised caution. He pointed to 90% of stocks on the NYSE trading above their 200-day moving average as an indication that valuations might be stretched. “Timing the market is not always well-advised and paring back can miss out on some gains the next two months, but after such good returns in clearly a terrible fundamentals year, I think taking some profits and moving to cash, not bonds, makes some sense here,” he said.
  • Judging by the jobless claims report which came in on Thursday (Dec. 10), the jobs recovery appears to have stalled. Weekly jobless claims increased by 853,000 last week versus the estimate of 730,000, representing a sharp increase from the 716,000 figure a week ago. This was also the highest number since September 19.
  • Although the Senate unanimously passed a temporary spending bill to avoid a government shutdown and buy more time to negotiate a stimulus package before the end of the year, stimulus negotiations between Republicans and Democrats continue to drag-on and weigh on sentiment.
  • The week before brought some initial signs of stimulus progress, however, Democrats and Republicans still have some critical differences. Much of the division stems from liability protections for businesses, the scope of state and local aid, and weekly unemployment benefits.
  • It is possible that there could be a minor compromise reached before the end of the year, but a larger-scale comprehensive package may not be agreed upon until 2021. The longer these talks continue, the stronger the headwinds will be for stocks, and the more damaging it will be for the U.S. economy.
  • DoorDash (DASH) and AirBnB (ABNB) both made their public debuts last week to much fanfare. Airbnb spiked 115% when it began trading publicly for the first time on Thursday (Dec. 10) while DoorDash closed 86% higher in its Wednesday debut (Dec. 9). However, according to Paul Schatz , president and chief investment officer of Heritage Capital, these debut rallies may indicate that the IPO market is getting ahead of itself, and invoke fears of “euphoria and greed” last seen in the market during the dot-com bubble.
  • The pandemic continues exceeding the previous records. After hitting 3,000 deaths a day for several days last week, Friday’s (Dec. 11) tallies, according to NBC News , showed 2,890 deaths and 226,024 new cases.
  • In the last week the U.S. has averaged 211,324 cases and 2,381 deaths per day, which is quite an increase from 168,493 cases and 1,419 deaths four weeks ago.
  • Not all is bad, though. The vaccine(s) remain a positive tailwind. After the U.K. became the first country in the world to approve the usage of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine the week before, the U.S. F.D.A. ended the week by officially clearing the vaccine for emergency use. Millions of doses are expected to be shipped right away.
  • Since the vaccine was first announced on November 9, a broadening of the market’s rally began, largely led by small-cap stocks, and cyclical value stocks dependent on an economic recovery.
  • Consumer sentiment posted a surprising increase in December due to vaccine optimism. Although the economic recovery may stutter in the near term, a vaccine changes everything for 2021’s outlook. Corporate profits, for example, are forecast to grow more than 20% in 2021 .
  • According to Robert Dye, Comerica Bank Chief Economist , he is: “pretty bullish on the second half of next year, but the trouble is we have to get there…As we all know, we’re facing a lot of near-term risks. But I think when we get into the second half of next year, we get the vaccine behind us, we’ve got a lot of consumer optimism, business optimism coming up and a huge amount of pent-up demand to spend out with very low interest rates.”
  • According to a JPMorgan note to clients released on Wednesday (Dec. 9), a widely available vaccine will lift stocks to new highs in 2021: “Equities are facing one of the best backdrops for sustained gains next year…We expect markets to be driven by recovery from the COVID-19 crisis at the back of highly effective vaccines and continued extraordinary monetary and fiscal support.”
  • JPMorgan’s S&P 500 target for 2021 is 4,400. This implies a nearly 20% gain from where the index closed on Wednesday (Dec. 9).

In the short-term, there will be some optimistic days and pessimistic days. Other days, and in my opinion, which will be most trading days, markets will trade largely mixed, sideways, and reflect the uncertainty. However, if a stimulus deal passes before the end of the year, it could mean very good things for short-term market gains. It is possible that there could be a minor compromise reached before the end of the year, however, a more large-scale comprehensive package may not be agreed to until 2021.

In the mid-term and long-term, there is certainly a light at the end of the tunnel. Once this pandemic is finally brought under control and vaccines are mass deployed, volatility will stabilize, and optimism and relief will permeate the markets. Stocks especially dependent on a rapid recovery and reopening, such as small-caps, should thrive.

Due to this tug of war between sentiments, it is truly hard to say with conviction whether another crash or bear market will come.

Therefore, to sum it up:

While there is long-term optimism, there is short-term pessimism. A short-term correction is very possible. But it is hard to say with conviction that a big correction will happen.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. I encourage you to sign up for our daily newsletter – it’s absolutely free and if you don’t like it, you can unsubscribe with just 2 clicks. If you sign up today, you’ll also get 7 days of free access to the premium daily Stock Trading Alerts as well as our other Alerts. Sign up for the free newsletter today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Thank you.

Matthew Levy, CFA
Stock Trading Strategist
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

* * * * *

All essays, research, and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Matthew Levy, CFA and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Matthew Levy, CFA, and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Levy is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Matthew Levy, CFA’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading, and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Matthew Levy, CFA, Sunshine Profits’ employees, and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

 

Stocks Close Mixed on Poor Job Data, COV-19 Fear, and Stimulus Doubts

Stocks closed mixed on Thursday (Dec. 10) after a new report showed that new jobless claims resurged to their worst level in months, while COVID-19 cases climbed to record numbers, and stimulus gridlock continues.

News Recap

  • The Dow Jones fell 69.55 or .23%, the S&P 500 fell 0.13%, and the Nasdaq rose 0.54%.
  • For the week ended Dec. 5th, 853,000 new jobless claims were reported. This is the worst level since September, the first increase in 4 weeks, and well above the market estimates of 725,000.
  • A U.S. FDA advisory panel voted 17 to 4 to approve Pfizer’s vaccine for emergency use. The full FDA approval could grant emergency use authorization of Pfizer’s vaccine as early as Friday.
  • Stimulus talks continued to slog forward . While lawmakers plan to pass a one-week government funding extension through to Dec. 18, to buy more time to craft a stimulus deal before year’s end, there are still significant hurdles to cross. Democrats and Republicans apparently have found consensus in some areas such as PPP loans, but issues including state and local aid, liability protections, unemployment assistance and stimulus checks are still dividing Congress.
  • After DoorDash (DASH) IPO’d on Tuesday, and surged, AirBnB (ABNB) followed suit and closed nearly 113% higher on Thursday.
  • This has been the most lethal week yet for COVID-19 in the U.S. Thursday saw a record 229,000+ cases and over 3,100 deaths. The worst may not be over yet either. According to the CDC Director Robert Redfield, US COVID-19 deaths are likely to exceed the 9/11 death toll for the next 60 days.

There is simply too much short-term uncertainty right now to predict what the next 1-3 months will be like. In the short-term, there will be optimistic days where investors rotate into cyclicals and value stocks, and pessimistic days where there will be a broad sell-off or rotation into “stay-at-home” names. Thursday’s session, for example, was a reflection of pessimistic sentiment, and a rotation back into tech. Other days, such as Wednesday (Dec. 9), tech may sharply sell-off and lead the declines.

In the mid-term and long-term, however, there is certainly a light at the end of the tunnel. Once this pandemic is finally brought under control and vaccines are mass deployed, volatility will likely stabilize, while optimism and relief will permeate the markets. The FDA advisory committee’s approval of Pfizer’s vaccine for emergency usage is certainly a step in the right direction. We could be just days away from vaccinations finally happening in America. Stocks especially dependent on a rapid recovery and reopening such as small-caps should thrive.

Markets will continue to wrestle with the negative reality on the ground and optimism for a 2021 economic reopening. This is simply the lay of the land nowadays. More positive vaccine news seemingly trickles in by the day despite increasingly horrifying COVID-19 numbers, economic news, and political news.

Because of how much the markets have heated the last 6-7 weeks, a correction could be a welcome sign. While short-term downside pressure could certainly persist based on days where bad news outweighs good news, due to this “tug of war” between sentiments, any subsequent move downwards would likely be modest in comparison to the gains since the bottom in March and since the U.S. election at the start of November. The vaccine is simply the “injection” that the markets need right now. It is truly hard to say with conviction that another crash or bear market will come. If anything, the mixed sentiment could keep markets trading relatively sideways.

Therefore, to sum it up:

While there is long-term optimism, there is short-term pessimism. A short-term correction is very possible. But it is hard to say with conviction that a big correction will happen.

The premium analysis this morning will showcase a “Drivers and Divers” section that will break down some sectors that are in and out of favor. As a token of my appreciation for your patronage, I decided to give you a free sample of one “driver” and one “diver” sector. Do me a favor and let me know what you think of this segment! Always happy to hear from you.

Driving

Materials (XLB)

The materials sector, as represented by the XLB ETF (shown above) , has been one of the largest beneficiaries of the vaccine rally. Vaccine news briefly sent the XLB ETF to its 2020 high in November. However, since then, the ETF has traded relatively sideways, and has slightly declined this week.

Cyclical sectors such as materials are set to be the biggest winners from an economic reopening in 2021. However, ever since peaking at $72.41 a share, the ETF’s volume has plummeted and stayed low. There are not enough strong fundamentals to justify calling this sector a BUY at this time.

I do like this ETF’s modest decline on Thursday (Dec. 10), and generally this week. But for me, it is not a large enough pullback for a convincing buy. I believe that the sector could pull back further or stay in a sideways pattern for the rest of the month. For the materials ETF to come back, exceed its 52-week high, and pierce that $72 resistance level, a stimulus package MUST pass ASAP, and a COVID-19 vaccine must be efficiently rolled out and scalable. If this happens and a near-term economic slowdown can be somewhat averted, then materials could benefit. But for now, my view is muddled.

For the time being, there is too much uncertainty to make a conviction call. Therefore, this is a HOLD for the short-term. However, I am considerably more bullish on materials in the long-term.

Diving

US Dollar ($USD)

Although the U.S. Dollar somewhat recovered earlier in the week and pierced the 91 level, it plunge again on Thursday. I have been calling this dollar weakness for weeks despite the low level and expect the decline to continue.

The world’s reserve currency is still hovering around its 2-year low and has plunged in excess of 12% since March. After briefly rising above an oversold RSI of 30, it has also returned right back towards that level. The dollar is also significantly trading below both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, while emerging market indices and currencies continue to grossly outperform this perceived safe asset.

Further illustrating the dollar’s decline has been its performance relative to emerging markets. Just compare the performance of the iShares MSCI Emerging Market ETF (EEM) relative to the Invesco DB USD IDX Bullish ETF (UUP) since January. The difference continues to widen too.

Many believe that the dollar could fall further as well due to a multitude of headwinds.

If the world returns to relative normalcy within the next year, investors may be more “risk-on” and less “risk-off.” Which means that the dollar’s value will decline further.

Additionally, because of all of the economic stimulus combined with record low-interest rates, the dollar’s value has declined and could have more room to fall. Do not forget that the Fed plans on holding interest rates this low for at least another two years. For the dollar’s value, rates remaining this low for two years is an eternity.

As the world’s reserve currency, this plunge in value is concerning both in the short-term and mid-term for the US economy. A declining dollar means the strengthening of other foreign currencies- and this has already been happening. For example, the Australian dollar has now officially hit its highest level in 2 ½ years against the U.S. dollar . This may not be the end either.

While the dollar may have more room to fall, this MAY be a good opportunity to buy the world’s reserve currency at a discount. The RSI at nearly 30 reflects this. But I just have too many doubts on the effect of interest rates this low, government stimulus, strengthening of emerging markets, and inflation to be remotely bullish on the dollar’s prospects over the next 1-3 years.

For now, where possible, HEDGE OR SELL USD exposure.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. I encourage you to sign up for our daily newsletter – it’s absolutely free and if you don’t like it, you can unsubscribe with just 2 clicks. If you sign up today, you’ll also get 7 days of free access to the premium daily Stock Trading Alerts as well as our other Alerts. Sign up for the free newsletter today!

Thank you.

Matthew Levy, CFA
Stock Trading Strategist
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

* * * * *

All essays, research, and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Matthew Levy, CFA and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Matthew Levy, CFA, and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Levy is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Matthew Levy, CFA’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading, and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Matthew Levy, CFA, Sunshine Profits’ employees, and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

 

Tech Leads Market Declines on a Down Wednesday

After the market rose to intraday highs on Wednesday (Dec 9), the indices pulled back and closed in the red – largely led by the tech sector.

News Recap

  • The Dow closed 105 points lower for a loss of 0.35%, the S&P 500 fell 0.8%, and the Nasdaq dropped 1.9% for its worst day since Oct. 30. The tech-heavy index also snapped a four-day winning streak. The small-cap Russell 2000 also fell by 0.82%.
  • Wednesday was a resumption of the rotation out of tech that we saw in early November. Tech led the declines, and in particular, chip stocks such as Lam Research (LRCX) which fell by nearly 3.5%.
  • Other big 2020 winners fell sharply on Wednesday as well such as Tesla (TSLA) which fell nearly 7% and Netflix (NFLX) which fell 3.72%.
  • Stocks reversed downwards after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Politico that Republicans and Democrats were “still looking for a way forward” on stimulus negotiations.
  • COVID-19 continues to worsen in the U.S, but Tuesday’s rollout of Pfizer’s vaccine in the U.K., has spurred optimism. However, there are some concerns about people with a history of allergic reactions receiving the vaccine.
  • Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may be just days away from approving Pfizer’s vaccine.
  • COVID-19 continues surging to uncontrolled and grim levels. For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the U.S. hit 3,000 deaths in one day.

We may have reached a crossroads in the market between mixed short-term sentiment, and mid-term and long-term optimism. In the short-term, there will be some optimistic days where investors rotate into cyclicals and value stocks, and pessimistic days where investors rotate into tech and “stay-at-home” names. On other days, such as Wednesday, the markets may broadly decline, and be led by specific sectors. On Wednesday, for example, the leading laggard was tech – specifically high flying chip stocks.

In the mid-term and long-term, there is certainly a light at the end of the tunnel. Once this pandemic is finally brought under control and vaccines are mass deployed, volatility will stabilize, and optimism and relief will permeate the markets. Stocks especially dependent on a rapid recovery and reopening, such as small-caps, should thrive.

According to Ed Yardeni, president and chief investment strategist at Yardeni Research, “Renewed lockdown restrictions in response to the third wave of the pandemic are likely to weigh on the economy in coming months, but we don’t expect a double-dip…(but) the economy could be booming next spring if enough of us are inoculated against the virus.”

Other Wall Street strategists are bullish on 2021 as well. According to a JPMorgan note to clients released on Wednesday, a widely available vaccine will lift stocks to new highs in 2021.

“Equities are facing one of the best backdrops for sustained gains next year,” JPMorgan said. “We expect markets to be driven by recovery from the COVID-19 crisis at the back of highly effective vaccines and continued extraordinary monetary and fiscal support.”

JPMorgan’s S&P 500 target for 2021 is 4,400. This implies a nearly 20% gain from Wednesday’s closing price.

On the other hand, for the rest of 2020, and maybe early on into 2021, markets will wrestle with the negative reality on the ground and optimism for an economic rebound.

Additionally, since election week, the rally has invoked concerns of overheating with bad fundamentals. Commerce Street Capital CEO, Dory Wiley, advised caution in this overheated market. He pointed to 90% of stocks on the NYSE trading above their 200-day moving average as an indication that valuations might be stretched.

“Timing the market is not always well-advised and paring back can miss out on some gains the next two months, but after such good returns in clearly a terrible fundamentals year, I think taking some profits and moving to cash, not bonds, makes some sense here,” he said.

Amidst the current fears of a stall in economic recovery with further COVID-19-related shutdowns and no stimulus, it is very possible that short-term downside persists. However, if a stimulus deal passes before the end of the year, it could mean more market gains.

Due to this tug of war between sentiments, it is truly hard to say with conviction that another crash or bear market will come. If anything, the mixed sentiment will keep markets relatively sideways.

Therefore, to sum it up:

While there is long-term optimism, there is short-term pessimism. A short-term correction is very possible. But it is hard to say with conviction that a big correction will happen.

Can the Dow Stay Above 30,000?

Since piercing the 30,000 level for a second time last Friday, and reaching record highs, the Dow Jones has largely traded sideways and hovered around the 30,000 level. There are some questions in the short-term as to whether or not the Dow can maintain this level. Outside of the Russell 2000, the Dow may be the index most vulnerable to news and sentiment.

Volume has also quietly declined this week as well, which poses doubts on how sustainable the 30,000 level is. Low volume, especially a declining trend in volume, means that there are fewer shares trading. Lower volume also means less liquidity across the index, and an increase in stock price volatility.

With so much uncertainty and the RSI still firmly in hold territory, the call on the Dow stays a HOLD.

On pessimistic “sell the news” kinds of days, the Dow may have more downside pressure than other indices. Many cyclical stocks that depend on a strong economic recovery trade on this index, and any change in sentiment can adversely affect their performances.

It is hard to say with certainty that a drop in the index will be strong and sharp relative to the gains since March – let alone November. But for now, as seen in the last week, I believe that we could be in a sideways holding pattern while investors digest all the news being thrown at them on a daily basis. For an ETF that attempts to directly correlate with the performance of the Dow, the SPDR Dow Jones ETF (DIA) is a strong option.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. I encourage you to sign up for our daily newsletter – it’s absolutely free and if you don’t like it, you can unsubscribe with just 2 clicks. If you sign up today, you’ll also get 7 days of free access to the premium daily Stock Trading Alerts as well as our other Alerts. Sign up for the free newsletter today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Thank you.

Matthew Levy, CFA
Stock Trading Strategist
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

* * * * *

All essays, research, and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Matthew Levy, CFA and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Matthew Levy, CFA, and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Levy is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Matthew Levy, CFA’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading, and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Matthew Levy, CFA, Sunshine Profits’ employees, and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

 

Pfizer Begins UK Rollout; Markets Reverse Midday, Hit Record Highs

After opening the day in the red, markets reversed midday and hit fresh record highs as the UK began its vaccine rollout with doses of Pfizer and BioNTech’s offering.

News Recap

  • The Dow Jones gained 104.09 points, or 0.4%, to close at 30,173.88 and hit an intraday record of 30,246.22. The S&P 500 rose 0.3% to 3,702.25 and closed over 3,700 for the first time ever. The Nasdaq also closed at a record and climbed 0.5% to 12,582.77. The Russell once again outperformed all the indices and closed 1.40% higher.
  • Pfizer began to roll out its COVID-19 vaccine in the U.K. and boosted optimism of an economic reopening in 2021. The U.K. ordered enough vaccines for 20 million of its residents to start getting.
  • The U.S. FDA said Pfizer’s vaccine provides some protection after the first dose, also adding that it found no safety concerns. It could be approved by the weekend.
  • Pfizer (PFE) shares rose 3.3% on this news and reached their highest level in about two years. BioNTech (BNTX), which partnered with Pfizer on the vaccine, also rose 1.8%.
  • Investors sharply monitored stimulus negotiations on Tuesday as well. At this point, legal immunity for businesses and aid for state and local governments are holding up the deal. However, Democrats and Republicans apparently have found consensus in some areas such as PPP loans.
  • Republican and Democrat leaders said Monday that Congress is trying to extend government funding for an additional week to try and strike a deal on the new stimulus before the end of the year.
  • More than 14.8 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S.’s seven-day-average daily infection rate is also at an all-time high.
  • Several states and cities have reimposed stricter measures as a result of the spike in cases. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that New York City could lose indoor dining next week among other more severe restrictions if hospitals become overwhelmed.
  • Dow Inc. (DOW), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and 3M (MMM) were among the Dow leaders, rising more than 1% each. Energy led the S&P 500 higher, popping more than 1.5%.

In the short-term, there will be optimistic days where investors rotate into cyclicals and value stocks, and pessimistic days where there will be a broad sell-off or rotation into “stay-at-home” names. During other days like Tuesday’s session, there will be a broad rally due to optimistic catalysts.

In the mid-term and long-term, there is certainly a light at the end of the tunnel. Once this pandemic is finally brought under control and vaccines are mass deployed, volatility will likely stabilize, while optimism and relief will permeate the markets. In fact, CNBC personality Jim Cramer said that beating COVID-19 would feel like “the end of prohibition.” Stocks especially dependent on a rapid recovery and reopening such as small-caps should thrive.

Markets will continue to wrestle with the negative reality on the ground and optimism for a future economic reopening. More positive vaccine news seemingly trickles in by the day despite discouraging COVID-19 news, economic news, and political news. While short-term downside pressure could certainly persist based on days where bad news outweighs good news, due to this “tug of war” between sentiments, any subsequent move downwards would likely be modest in comparison to the gains since the bottom in March and since the U.S. election at the start of November. It is truly hard to say with conviction that another crash or bear market will come. If anything, the mixed sentiment could keep markets trading relatively sideways.

Therefore, to sum it up:

While there is long-term optimism, there is short-term pessimism. A short-term correction is very possible. But it is hard to say with conviction that a big correction will happen.

The analysis of this morning will showcase a “Drivers and Divers” section that will break down some sectors that are in and out of favor. Dear readers, do me a favor and let me know what you think of this segment! It’s always a pleasure to hear from you.

Driving

Materials (XLB)

The materials sector, as represented by the XLB ETF , has been one of the largest beneficiaries of the vaccine rally. Investors have been so bullish on materials and any resulting vaccine prospect, that the XLB ETF briefly touched its 2020 high in November. However, since then, it has traded relatively sideways. Some things in this chart are concerning for me.

Cyclical sectors such as materials are set to be the biggest winners from an economic reopening in 2021. However, ever since peaking at $72.41 a share, the ETF’s volume has plummeted and has stayed very low. There are simply not enough strong fundamentals to justify calling this a BUY. I question the formidability of a short-term rally in materials. If anything, the sector could pull back somewhat, or stay in a sideways pattern. For the materials ETF to come back, exceed its 52-week high, and pierce that $72 resistance level, a COVID-19 vaccine must be proven to be safe and especially scalable. The 2021 economic outlook must also be positive. If this happens and a near-term economic slowdown can be somewhat averted, then materials could benefit.

But for the time being, there is too much uncertainty to make a conviction call. Therefore, this is a HOLD for the short-term. However, I am considerably more bullish on materials in the long-term.

Diving

US Dollar ($USD)

The world’s reserve currency, the US dollar, is still hovering around its two-year low, and has plunged in excess of 12% since March. Since the election alone, the dollar index has also declined approximately 4%. I have been calling this dollar weakness for weeks despite the low level and expect the decline to continue.

Further illustrating the dollar’s decline has been its performance relative to emerging markets. Just compare the performance of the iShares MSCI Emerging Market ETF (EEM) relative to the Invesco DB USD IDX Bullish ETF (UUP) since January.

Many believe that the dollar could fall further as well due to a multitude of headwinds.

If the world returns to relative normalcy within the next year, investors may be more “risk-on” and less “risk-off.” Which means that the dollar’s value will decline further.

Additionally, because of all of the economic stimulus combined with record low-interest rates, the dollar’s value has declined and could have more room to fall. Do not forget that the Fed plans on holding interest rates this low for at least another two years. For the dollar’s value, rates remaining this low for two years is an eternity.

As the world’s reserve currency, this plunge in value is concerning both in the short-term and mid-term for the US economy. A declining dollar means the strengthening of other foreign currencies- and this has already been happening. Since Nov. 2, the New Zealand dollar has surged 7%, the Australian dollar has climbed 5.5%, the Korean won has advanced 4%, and the Chinese yuan has risen 2.5% – and this may not be the end either.

The plunge of the dollar has been so severe that it is currently trading below both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages. Furthermore, its 200-day moving average is considerably higher than its 50-day, further illustrating the sharp decline.

While the dollar may have more room to fall, according to its RSI, it is comfortably in oversold territory. This MAY be a good opportunity to buy the world’s reserve currency at a discount. But I just have too many doubts on the effect of interest rates this low, government stimulus, strengthening of emerging markets, and inflation to be remotely bullish on the dollar’s prospects over the next 1-3 years.

For now, where possible, HEDGE OR SELL USD exposure.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. I encourage you to sign up for our daily newsletter – it’s absolutely free and if you don’t like it, you can unsubscribe with just 2 clicks. If you sign up today, you’ll also get 7 days of free access to the premium daily Stock Trading Alerts as well as our other Alerts. Sign up for the free newsletter today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Thank you.

Matthew Levy, CFA
Stock Trading Strategist
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

* * * * *

All essays, research, and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Matthew Levy, CFA and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Matthew Levy, CFA, and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Levy is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Matthew Levy, CFA’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading, and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Matthew Levy, CFA, Sunshine Profits’ employees, and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

 

NASDAQ Hits Another Record as Dow and S&P Fall on COVID-19 Fears

The Dow Jones and S&P 500 fell on Monday (Dec 7), while the NASDAQ booked another record close.

News Recap

  • The Dow Jones snapped a four-day win streak and closed 148.47 points lower, or 0.5%, at 30,069.79. The S&P 500 also fell 0.2%, while the Nasdaq rose 0.5% to hit another record close of 12,519.95.
  • Scorching hot value stocks lagged growth stocks on Monday amid uncertainty over the near-term economic outlook. The iShares Russell 1000 Value ETF (IWD) dipped 0.6%, and the iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF) gained 0.4%.
  • Intel was the worst-performing Dow stock and fell 3.4%, while energy was the worst-performing S&P 500 sector and slid 2.4%.
  • Big Tech led the markets on Monday with Facebook rising 2.1%, and Apple gaining 1.2%.
  • Tesla also surged 7.1% and hit an all-time high.
  • The U.S. reported a record-high average number of cases over the past seven days of more than 196,200. This is 20% higher than the week-earlier period. The U.S. was also approaching a record-high number of daily Covid-related deaths. These increasing numbers have led some states and cities to re-impose shutdown measures to control the outbreak.
  • Despite the surging COVID-19 numbers, lawmakers are still struggling to push through a stimulus package before the end of the year. However, there is apparent progress in pushing a stimulus bill through.

In the short-term, there will be optimistic days where investors rotate into cyclicals and value stocks, and pessimistic days such as Monday where investors rotate into tech and “stay-at-home” names. On other days, like last Friday, the markets will broadly rise without any one specific catalyst. With this much uncertainty comes market unpredictability.

In the mid-term and long-term, there is certainly a light at the end of the tunnel. Once this pandemic is finally brought under control and vaccines are mass deployed, volatility will stabilize, and optimism and relief will permeate the markets. Stocks especially dependent on a rapid recovery and reopening such as small-caps should thrive.

According to Ed Yardeni, president and chief investment strategist at Yardeni Research, “Renewed lockdown restrictions in response to the third wave of the pandemic are likely to weigh on the economy in coming months, but we don’t expect a double-dip…(but) the economy could be booming next spring if enough of us are inoculated against the virus.”

For at least the rest of 2020, markets will wrestle with the negative reality on the ground and optimism for an economic rebound in 2021. Amidst the current fears of a stall in economic recovery with further COVID-19-related shutdowns and no stimulus, it is very possible that short-term downside persists. However, if a stimulus deal passes before the end of the year, it could mean more market gains.

Due to this tug of war between good news and bad news, any subsequent move downwards will likely be modest in comparison to the gains since the bottom in March and the gains since the start of November. It is truly hard to say with conviction that another crash or bear market will come. If anything, the mixed sentiment will keep markets relatively sideways.

Therefore, to sum it up:

While there is long-term optimism, there is short-term pessimism. A short-term correction is very possible. But it is hard to say with conviction that a big correction will happen.

Tech’s Volume Has Declined and Valuations Have Heated…But the Rally May Not Be Over

Despite initially lagging behind cyclicals and value stocks during the vaccine rallies of early November, the NASDAQ has outperformed both the Dow and S&P for two consecutive weeks. The trend continued to start this week.

As long as people continue to stay-at-home and the pandemic rages, the “new normal” economy dictated by tech companies will continue. On pessimistic days, the market will react this way too with the NASDAQ outperforming the other indices.

However, according to the chart, there are some serious concerns of the index being overbought and the rally being sustainable. Tech valuations have now reached astoundingly inflated levels, and there are questions if it can go on this way.

Despite gaining 2.2% last week and reaching yet another record high on Monday, the NASDAQ’s volume has continued to decline. With valuations this high, it is quite concerning. Low volume, especially a sharp drop in volume like the NASDAQ has seen, means that there are fewer shares trading. Lower volume also means less liquidity across the index, and an increase in stock price volatility. Therefore, the NASDAQ’s trending volume adds another layer of concern on top of already overinflated valuations.

Additionally, the RSI remains above the overbought 70 level. While an RSI in excess of 70 doesn’t automatically mean a trend reversal, it is something to be concerned about.

On pessimistic days, having NASDAQ exposure is certainly a good thing because of all the “stay-at-home” stocks that trade on the index. However, positive vaccine news always induces the risk of downward pressure on tech names- both on and off the NASDAQ.

It is very hard to say with conviction to sell your tech shares. However, all of the signs are pointing to an eventual sell-off and correction sooner rather than later. If anything, just tread lightly. For now, the NASDAQ gets a HOLD call. But if it keeps surging and hitting more record highs with a declining volume and an RSI as high as this, it will simply not be sustainable.

For an ETF that attempts to directly correlate with the performance of the NASDAQ, the Invesco QQQ ETF (QQQ) is a good option.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. I encourage you to sign up for our daily newsletter – it’s absolutely free and if you don’t like it, you can unsubscribe with just 2 clicks. If you sign up today, you’ll also get 7 days of free access to the premium daily Stock Trading Alerts as well as our other Alerts. Sign up for the free newsletter today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Thank you.

Matthew Levy, CFA
Stock Trading Strategist
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

* * * * *

All essays, research, and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Matthew Levy, CFA and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Matthew Levy, CFA, and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Levy is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Matthew Levy, CFA’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading, and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Matthew Levy, CFA, Sunshine Profits’ employees, and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

 

Record High Markets, Despite Poor Jobs Report

The markets closed the week at record highs and booked weekly gains for the fourth time in five weeks. This comes despite a disappointing U.S. jobs report.

News Recap

  • The Dow Jones gained 248 points, or 0.83, the S&P 500 gained 0.9%, and the Nasdaq advanced 0.7%. All three indices posted both intraday and closing record highs. Meanwhile, the small-cap Russell 2000 also closed at a record high and once again led the markets with gains of 2.2%.
  • The November jobs report grossly disappointed and came well short of estimates. The report stated that the U.S. added 245,000 jobs compared to the consensus estimate of 440,000.
  • November’s unemployment rate matched expectations and fell to 6.7% from 6.9%.
  • The US trade deficit widened to $63.1 billion in October from a revised $62.1 billion. Market expectations placed this number at $64.8 billion.
  • New data was encouraging for US factory orders. New orders for US manufactured goods beat expectations and jumped 1% from a month earlier. This marks the 6th consecutive month of rising factory orders.
  • As COVID-19 numbers continue to reach record highs in new infections, single-day deaths, and hospitalizations, a report from Thursday that Pfizer may have issues rolling its vaccine out was quite concerning . Judging by the markets’ performance on Friday, however, investors are not overly concerned.
  • Stimulus talks continued for another day as Republicans and Democrats attempted to break a stalemate and pass a relief package before the end of the year.
  • Chevron and Caterpillar each rose 3.9% and 4.3%, respectively, and led the Dow higher.
  • Energy was the best-performing S&P 500 sector, gaining 5.4%.
  • Friday’s jump led to the major indices booking their fourth weekly gain in five weeks. The Dow rose 1%, the S&P 500 gained 1.7%, and the Nasdaq rallied 2.2%. The Russell 2000 also gained over 2% this week.

In the short-term, there will be optimistic days where investors rotate into cyclicals and value stocks, and pessimistic days where there will be a broad sell-off or rotation into “stay-at-home” names. On other days, like Friday, the markets will broadly rise without any one specific catalyst.

In the mid-term and long-term, there is certainly a light at the end of the tunnel. Once this pandemic is finally brought under control and vaccines are mass deployed, volatility will surely stabilize, and optimism and relief will permeate the markets. In fact, CNBC personality Jim Cramer said that beating COVID-19 would feel like “the end of prohibition.” Stocks especially dependent on a rapid recovery and reopening such as small-caps should thrive.

Markets will continue to wrestle with the negative reality on the ground and optimism for an economic rebound in 2021. While more positive vaccine news continues to trickle in day by day, there is still discouraging COVID-19 news, economic news, and geopolitical news to consider. Amidst the current fears of a double-dip recession with further COVID-19-related shutdowns and no stimulus, it is very possible that short-term downside persists. However, it’s encouraging that Democrats and Republicans are speaking again, and if a stimulus deal passes before the end of the year, it could mean more market gains.

Due to this tug of war between good news and bad, any subsequent move downwards will likely be modest in comparison to the gains since the bottom in March and since the start of November. It is truly hard to say with conviction that another crash or bear market will come. If anything, the constant wrestling match between sentiments will keep markets relatively sideways.

Therefore, to sum it up:

While there is long-term optimism, there is short-term pessimism. A short-term correction is very possible, but it is hard to say with conviction that a big correction will happen.

The S&P, which has seen three record closing highs this week, has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels at a breakneck pace. However, there are a few indicators that show that the S&P could face some near-term volatility after this run, but again, it is hard to say with conviction there will be a major downturn.

The RSI of 67.96 keeps the S&P in a HOLD category. However, it is certainly higher than it was to start the week and continues creeping towards an overbought 70 level.

The volume has stayed relatively stable since Thanksgiving though. While the sharp decline in volume after November 9th was concerning, especially relative to its record closes, the stabilization is encouraging.

Low volume, especially a sharp drop in volume, means that there are fewer shares trading. Lower volume also means less liquidity across the index, and an increase in stock price volatility. Therefore, this stabilization of volume adds some confidence in the volatility of the index.

Because of how far and fast the S&P 500 has risen, a further pullback from these elevated levels would not be a shock… but another surge based on good news would not be a shock either. Because of all of the uncertainty, a HOLD for the S&P is an appropriate call. For an ETF that attempts to directly correlate with the performance of the S&P, the SPDR S&P ETF (SPY) is a good option.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. I encourage you to sign up for our daily newsletter – it’s absolutely free and if you don’t like it, you can unsubscribe with just 2 clicks. If you sign up today, you’ll also get 7 days of free access to the premium daily Stock Trading Alerts as well as our other Alerts. Sign up for the free newsletter today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Thank you.

Matthew Levy, CFA
Stock Trading Strategist
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

* * * * *

All essays, research, and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Matthew Levy, CFA and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Matthew Levy, CFA, and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Levy is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Matthew Levy, CFA’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading, and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Matthew Levy, CFA, Sunshine Profits’ employees, and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.