As of 2 p.m. New York time, the Standard & Poor’s 500 is up 2.01% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is ahead 1.53%. The NASDAQ Composite is higher by 2.71% and the NASDAQ 100 has gained 2.64%. The small-cap Russell 2000 index is higher by 2.77%. And all this on a conclusion that the drop in the July headline CPI inflation reading to an 8.5% annual rate from June’s 9.1% rate is enough to make the Federal Reserve decide to raise interest rates by 50 basis points at its September 22 meeting instead of the 75 basis points move so strongly favored yesterday. To understand the size of this shift in sentiment take a look at the odds in the CME FundWatch Tool. Yesterday, the market–this tool uses prices in the Fed Funds Futures market to calculate the odds of a Federal Reserve move–was pricing in a 68% chance of a 75-basis-point increase. This morning, August 10, after the CPI report, the odds of a 75-basis-point increase had dropped to 37.5%.And the odds of the Federal Reserve deciding on just a 50-basis-point increase had jumped today to 62.5% this morning from 32%.That’s quite a shift. And quite frankly I don’t see enough in the data to support this downgrade of the chances of a 75-basis-point interest rate increase on September 22.
I think the next two weeks could bring a test of the bullish argument for stocks to move higher in the near term. I don’t think this is the strongest of arguments but I can see some traders already looking to test it out.
Oatly Group (OTLY) was up 6.92% on Monday. Tuesday the shares gained another 2.67%. It’s a good sign when a beaten down stock doesn’t fall on profit taking the next day. For a day, at least, traders behaved as if they see a longer market recovery in prospect. SolarEdge Technology (SEDG) gained 12.33% on Monday and tacked on 1.35% on Tuesday. Teledoc (TDOC) rose 8.96% on Monday and then climbed 3.15% on Tuesday.
The big question is how much of the huge year over year earnings growth in the first quarter is already priced into stocks. And how much more of a rally can we expect on expectations for even higher year over year earnings growth in the second quarter.
This buy on the dip moment is over–this week’s revision of my Dip-O-Meter argues to me. The discounts to the February highs are, in general, getting smaller. And in many cases the size of the bounce that I’m seeing on up days is decreasing too.
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.
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.