US Stock Indexes

Why is “Bad News” is “Good News” for SP500?

Investors start this week still digesting the April Employment Report which delivered a big miss on Friday, showing a gain of just +266,000 jobs versus expectations for close to +1 million. The unemployment rate ticked up slightly to +6.1% while average wages and workweek saw unexpected increases.

Again, this was a moment on Wall Street when “bad news” was digested as “good news” as it keeps the Fed from raising rates.

Fundamental analysis

There is a lot of debate as to why the April jobs data was so sluggish with many blaming enhanced unemployment benefits. The report also showed leisure and hospitality added some +331,000 jobs while manufacturing payrolls actually fell, led by a decline in autoworkers. Economists believe those declines are probably related to the global chip shortage. ISM data last week indicated that some losses in April are related to other various supply chain constraints that are curbing manufacturing output and has forced companies to cut both hours and workers.

Employers also continue pointing to a skills mismatch, a problem many faced well before the pandemic. Bottom line, there are about -8 million fewer Americans in the workforce now versus February 2020. There seem to be a lot fewer women coming back and a lot fewer over the age of 55. Over the last five months total employment is only up by +1.5 million workers. So the Fed seems somewhat correct in their statement and forecast that it’s going to take time to get the U.S. workforce back to pre-pandemic levels and a big reason they are not going to rush to raise rates.

Despite the weaker than expected employment numbers, bears still believe inflationary price pressures are a mounting threat to the recovery, and signs of rising wages, particularly for low-skilled jobs, continue to fan the flames on inflation worries.

That will put a spotlight on inflation gauges due this week, with the Consumer Price Index on Wednesday followed by the Producer Price Index on Thursday. There is no major economic data today.

The height of earnings season is behind us with 88% and 86% topping estimates by an average of more than +22%.

The leading sectors have been Consumer Discretionary, Financials, Materials, and Communication Services, while Utilities and Industrials are the only two sectors reporting year-over-year declines.

Earnings this week include Tyson (TYSN) Roblox (RBLX), Palantir (PLTR), Electronic Arts (EA), Disney (DIS), Airbnb (ABNB). Other earnings results today are due from Affirm, Duke Energy, Marriott International, Novavax, Occidental Petroleum, Simon Properties, and Virgin Galactic. Other big names this week will include Compass, Sonos, Tencent, and Wendy’s on Wednesday; Alibaba, Applied Materials, Coinbase, DoorDash, Luminar, and Yeti on Thursday; and Siemens on Friday. Another area of increasing interest this week will be in the crypto space… Bitcoin, Ethereum, Doge, and Maker are all in my daily mix of things I track and trade. What a crazy ride!

Technical analysis

SP500 is close to weekly resistance at 4250. We talked about this number for a few weeks. On an intraday basis, the neutral zone is 4200 – 4265. Middle-strength level within this range – 4232.50, weak levels – 4248.75 and 4216.25.

Break up above 4265, will bring the price to 4281, 4298. If price sustains below 4200, look for 4184 and 4168. Note, mentioned levels should offer support/resistance before you consider entering the trade.

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