So let’s see how the market takes this tomorrow.
Today stocks staged an impressive upside more. The Standard & Poor’s 500 closed up 1.89% and the NASDAQ Composite ended the day 1.78% higher. The small cap Russell 2000 was the day’s best performer with a win of 2.67% Tomorrow? Well, the October jobs report released at 8:30 will certainly help set the tone for the day with a weak report likely to reinforce the belief that the Federal Reserve is done aiding interest rates. But given how much of the recent bounce has been fueled by a return of optimism about technology stocks, it’s likely that Apple’s disappointing results, announced after the close of trading today, Thursday, November 2, will determine the direction of the trend.
How Long Can a Dangerously Narrow Market Run? Certainly not forever. But longer than you might imagine. The Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 have increasingly diverged. The week before last, the NASDAQ 100 (which includes the largest technology companies), was up 3.15% and the S&P was up only .28%. Over the last three months, the NASDAQ 100 was up 18.88% and the S&P was up 6.14%. For 2023 to date through May 29, the NASDAQ was up 31%, and the S&P was up 10%. NASDAQ tech stocks, like Nvidia (NVDA), are driving the index up and that is pulling the rest of the market with it. The remainder of the market, however, is weighed down by warnings of a tough retail economy, companies reporting negative growth, and inflation problems. At the moment, investors are betting on technology’s big growth to avoid problems from a slowing economy, prolonged high inflation, and the Fed’s rate hikes. The result is a very narrow market, with a small number of specific stocks propping it up. History says, that eventually, the market rally will either expand, with more stocks participating, or it will fail because you can’t sustain an upward trend with fewer and fewer stocks. Narrow markets can run for longer than you might think. But it’s not too early to locate the exits.
Well, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (RSMC) ought to know. The world’s largest chip foundry makes semiconductors for just about everyone. And last week the company said that it expects revenue to fall in the first half of 2023 as semiconductor companies cut orders and reduce inventory. But, the company says, it expects demand to return to “normal” in the second half o 2023.
Granted these are all reports from outside news sources but there are a number of them. Where there’s smoke there might well be fire. U.K. broadcaster Sky News has reported that Microsoft plans to cut about 5% of its workforce or about 11,000 roles.
Today I’m selling ASML Holding (ASML) out of my long-term 50 Stocks Portfolio. My take on Asmel hasn’t changed: this is one of the key chip equipment companies in the drive to produce smaller and denser chips. What has changed in the market and the global economy. I think that technology, and especially chip stocks, are in a downtrend that has a lot longer to run. And that recent U.S. restrictions on advanced chip technology exports to China will set off a trade war that will come down heavily on companies such as ASML.
Apple (AAPL), which once urged suppliers to increase production of its new iPhone, is now telling them “Never mind,” according to Bloomberg. The anticipated surge in demand has failed to materialize. the company had told suppliers to increase production in the second half of the year ahead of a projected increase in iPhone sales in the second half of 2022. Now Apple is aiming to produce 90 million iPhones in the period. That’s roughly the same level as in the second half of 2021 and in line with Apple’s original forecast this summer.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 was on track for a decent day–the index was up 0.79% at 12:43 p.m. New York time–and then Bloomberg broke a story, picked up everywhere, reporting that Apple (AAPL) intended to slow hiring and reduce spending growth next year. The S&P 500 finished the day down 0.84% and Apple shares closed down 2.06%.
Here’s what caught my eye yesterday, April 18. For a big change from recent losses, the chip group of stocks was all in the green. And not just by a pinch either. Yesterday Nvidia (NVDA) was up 2.47%: NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) was up 1.91%; Synaptics (SYNA) was up 4.49%; and Qualcomm (QCOM) was up 1.76%. Is something going on in the sector?
My one-hundredth-and-twenty-second YouTube video “Trend of the Week: A Summer Rally for Two Underdog Tech Stocks” went up today. This week’s video looks at the implications of the coming “summer rally” for 2 tech stocks that have been pounded this year: Qualcomm (QCOM) and SentinelOne (S).
Today, March 17, the stocks, and especially the technology stocks, that have been pummeled in 2022 continued their three-day bounce. For another day, at least, buy on the dip proved to be a very profitable adventure. Lithium recycling startup LiCycle (LICY), for example, gained 10.18% after climbed 6.74% on Wednesday, March 16. Electronic payments platform Block (SQ), formerly known as Prince (no, I mean formerly known as Square) rose 10.26% after picking up 12.57% on Wednesday, March 16. Cybersecurity newcomer SentinelOne (S) climbed 7.48% after a gain of 13.47% on March 16. Stocks like these (and many more) were just too cheap traders decided. But there were signs of, possibly (and we’ve been down this road before so let’s just say “possibly”), of a new caution. A sell on the bounce caution.
The Nasdaq Composite Index closed down 1.15% on Wednesday, January 19. That marked the first close for the index in correction territory since March. (The common definition of a correction is a drop of 10% or more.) The technology-heavy index is down 8.3% so far in 2022 closing t 14,340.25 on Wednesday. That’s 10.69% below the November 19 record high.
The saying is that stocks don’t have memories. They don’t know where they once traded and they don’t have any desire to rise or fall to where they once traded. On the other hand, investors do–have memories that is. They do think that stocks will trade back to former levels–when opportunity offers–and it takes a lot of break that conviction. Which is why trading patterns, the ones captured in technical analysis, persist for such long period. And if you needed evidence, just look at how stocks traded after the Federal Reserve’s interest rate pivot yesterday.