The U.S. is actually moving pretty close to having most Covid restrictions lifted across the country on businesses like restaurants, amusement parks, theaters, museums, music venues, etc.
There are social gathering capacity limits in some states and cities still, but those are mostly scheduled to phase out by this summer, assuming no major setbacks in getting and keeping the virus under control.
Data yesterday showed the ISM Manufacturing Index unexpectedly slid in April though the gauge remained in expansion territory for the 11th month in a row. The read of 60.7% is considered very healthy but the slowdown reveals underlying struggles to meet demand.
The supply-demand imbalance pushed the backlog of orders component to a record-high while customer inventories plunged to an all-time low. The Prices component jumped to its highest level since 2008 with all 18 industries reporting they paid higher prices for raw materials for the fourth straight month. This reflects two main competing narratives on Wall Street right now.
Bullish vs bearish expectations
Bulls believe pent-up consumer demand, underpinned by generous fiscal and monetary supports, will usher in an economic boom not experienced in a generation, which will pull corporate profits up along with it.
Bears, on the other hand, believe higher prices will continue building and eventually put a dent in the rosy expectations for growth. Federal Reserve officials continue to make the case that the current inflation trends are transitory and will ease as supply chain kinks get ironed out.
Many Wall street bears argue that higher prices will be more sticky than anticipated, particularly those that are already being passed on to consumers. Today brings both the Trade Balance Report and Factory Orders for March.
First quarter earnings also continue to flow with Pfizer among today’s highlights. Pfizer’s vaccine, developed with BioNTech, is one of the three authorized for use in the U.S. Along with Moderna,
Pfizer stands apart from rival vaccine makers Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca because they are selling their Covid-19 vaccines for profit. Pfizer reports before markets open. Today I am closely watching Zillow, Activision Blizzard, Corteva, CVS, Ferrari, Marathon, and Virgin Galactic.
I have mentioned swing setup in my weekly outlook. So, today I want to focus on intraday levels. SP500 is approaching key Gann level at 4160. If price sustains below, expect to see a sell-off. On the other hand, 4225 is a bullish breakout level. It seems not easy to get there.
Neutral zone 4225 – 41160. Middle-strength level within this area – 4129.5, weak levels – 4209 and 4176.5. In case of bearish breakout, look for 4128, 4096 (middle-strength levels) and 4144, 4112, 4180 (weak levels).