A JPMorgan Chase measure of cross-asset complacency that includes valuations, portfolio positioning, and price momentum is nearing its higher level since the dot-com bubble burst in 2000. Global investors are the least fearful they’ve been in two decades
Stocks climbed for a sixth straight day–the longest string of gains for the Standard & Poor’s 500 since August and with the Dow Jones Industrial Average turning in its best start for a February since 1931. The S&P 500 finished the day ahead 0.34% and the Dow gained 0.76% on the session. The NASDAQ Composite was up 0.95% and the NASDAQ 100 added 0.67%. The biggest winner for the day was the small cap Russell 2000, which gained 2.53% on strength in bank stocks and hope for more growth in the general economy. Oh, and the hope for $1,400 checks to individual Americans, hundreds of billions of dollars in state and local aid and enhanced federal unemployment benefits. And continued progress on the Covid-19 vaccination program. All this means, in my opinion, that the currently stretched valuations in this stock market are likely to get even more stretched in the coming days and weeks.
Trick or trend; American and Delta both forecast weaker traffic, faster cash burn–when will the market care?
On Friday American Airlines (AAL) said it it seeing a slowdown in demand because of surging coronavirus cases. (Again.) And that the company now has a weaker outlook on airline bookings heading into the year-end holidays. The news from American Airlines echoes a similar warning the day before from Delta Air Lines (DAL)
Expect a week for positioning for the big news scheduled for next week and the week thereafter. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s vaccines advisory committee meets on December 8-10. Pfizer’s application for an emergency use authorization for its coronavirus vaccine is on the agenda. Since none of us has seen the data submitted to the FDA, we don’t know for sure, but Wall Street believes that the advisory committee will recommend approval of the vaccine. That could put the FDA on track to approving the vaccine within any where from a couple of days to a week or two. Various sources in the White House and at Pfizer have said that the vaccine could be on its way to American arms as soon as two days after approval. You can bet that a “Yes” from the advisory committee will move stocks–every bit of positive vaccine news has pushed stocks significantly higher over the last two weeks and there’s no reason to think that any positive FDA news would be any different. The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee meets on December 16
It was a short session today, the Friday after Thanksgiving, on Wall Street but that didn’t stop the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the NASDAQ Composite from setting new all-time records. The S&P 500 closed up 0.24%. The NASDAQ Composite finished ahead by 0.92%. Volume, as you might expect, was relatively light–just 60% of the average daily volume this year. That didn’t prevent some really big moves today. But, by and large, these moves didn’t take place where you might have expected.
Is this as good as it gets? That’s an important question today as the Dow Jones Industrial Average closes up 1.54% to 30,045.84, the first close above 30,000 ever. Other indexes were just as strong. The Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 1.62% by the close. The NASDAQ Composite was up 1.31% and the NASDAQ 100 was ahead 1.46% at the end of the session. The Russell 2000 small cap index ended the day ahead 1.78%. It’s not hard to see why stocks and investors are so ebullient: There’s just so much good news.