On Monday Nvidia (NVDA) hit an all-time high. For 2023 through November 17, Nvidia and the other 6 stocks in the Magnificent Seven–Apple (AAPL), Alphabet (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon (AMZN), Meta (META), and Tesla (TSLA)–have gained more than 70%. The other 493 stocks in the Standard & Poor’ 500 are up 6% for that same period.
Nvidia (NVDA) beat Wall Street expectations again. After the market close today, November 21, the company reported adjusted earnings per share of $4.02 on revenue of $18.12 billion. Analysts had projected adjusted earnings per share of $3.36 and revenue of $16.1 billion.
Federal Reserve officials at their November 1 meeting were agreed on a strategy to “proceed carefully” on future interest-rate moves and base any further tightening on progress toward their inflation goal. “All participants agreed that the committee was in a position to proceed carefully and that policy decisions at every meeting would continue to be based on the totality of incoming information,” according to minutes of the November 1 Federal Open Market Committee meeting released today, Tuesday, November 21. At the meeting the Fed held its benchmark lending rate in a range of 5.25% to 5.5% for the second straight meeting.
I’m trying to decide if we’re watching a legitimate rally or a classic bear trap. If this rally is real, and likely to run for a while, investors should be putting cash to work even at market highs. If it’s a bear trap-you know one of those upward moves designed to pull in cash from the sidelines just before green turns to red in the market, then you ought to be using this moment as a selling opportunity, taking profits, and building cash for better barging down the road. A new survey by Goldman Sachs shows concentration in big tech stocks is at a record high. What does that mean?
Nvidia’ earnings report after the close on Tuesday, November 21, will be the big event of the short Thanksgiving week.
Until this week, the consensus was that the Federal Reserve would begin to cut interest rates in July (or maybe June.) As of Friday, November 17, however, the CME FedWatch Tool, which calculates the odds of a Fed move from prices in the FedFunds Futures market, put chances of a interest rate cut at the central bank’s May 1 meeting at better than 50%.
More real world dissent to Wall Street’s view that everything looks great for 2024. On Thursday Cisco Systems (CSCO) shares closed down 9.83% after the networking giant offered up significantly weaker-than-expected guidance for 2024. Wall Street analysts called the guidance “disappointing.” And the same day cybersecurity favorite Palo Alto Networks (PANW) dropped 5.42% after the company lowered its billings forecast for the fiscal 2024 year.
More news this morning pointing to a slowing economy. Initial claims for unemployment for the past week rose 13,000 to 231,000, the Labor Department Reported this morning. That’s the highest weekly figure in three months. And is yet another sign that the economy is cooling. Which would encourage the Federal Reserve to call an end to it interest rate increases and, maybe even, start to cut rates relatively soon. At least that’s how the bond market read the numbers.
Today stocks and bonds both paused to think about yesterday’s huge rally.
Well, you could knock me over with a feather! The House of Representatives passed a clean Continuing Resolution to continue funding the federal government after Friday at midnight. Don’t get all dewy-eyed and start talking about a return of functional government. The House bill, which is expected to pass and Senate in the next day or two and be signed by the White House with well over 10 hours to spare before the government shut down, only extends funding until January 19 (for 20% of the government) and February 2 (for the other 80%.)
One day fluke? The next step in an end of year Santa Claus rally? Huge bear market trap? The beginning of the next big Bull market?Tough questions to answer but important for figuring out an investment strategy for NOW. So here are three things that I’ll be watching in the next few days.