Stock rally, rate-cut forecasts face test from Powell testimony and jobs report

A four-month-long U.S. stock market rally, partly fueled by investors’ expectations for interest rate cuts in 2024 by the Federal Reserve, faces a test posed by pair of big events in the week ahead.

The first is Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s semiannual testimony to Congress on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by Friday’s official jobs report for February.

Of the two, the nonfarm payrolls data has the potential to move markets more, given what it could signal about the risk that inflation may keep running hot if job gains come in above the 190,000 consensus expectation, according to analysts and investors.

“Inflation has bottomed out, but is still above the Fed’s objective and it seems like more labor-market weakness is going to be needed,” said John Luke Tyner, a portfolio manager at Alabama-based Aptus Capital Advisors, which manages $5.5 billion in assets. “The headlines we’ve been seeing on technology-related layoffs are missing the mark because there’s a resurgence of employment and wage growth in Middle America.”

January’s data proves the point. The month of February began with the release of January nonfarm payrolls, which showed 353,000 jobs created and a sharp 0.6% rise in average hourly earnings for all employees, despite the highest interest rates in more than two decades.

Then came a round of inflation data. Consumer- and producer-price readings were both above expectations for January, followed by last Thursday’s release of the Fed’s preferred inflation measure, known as the PCE, which showed the monthly pace of underlying price gains rising at the fastest pace in almost a year. Meanwhile, personal income grew at a monthly rate of 1% in January.

Fed-funds futures traders have since pared back their expectations for as many as six or seven quarter-percentage point rate cuts by December, and moved closer in line with the three reductions that the Fed signaled would likely be appropriate. However, this has still been enough to hand the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA
and S&P 500
SPX
their best start to a year since 2019, and fueled a four-month rally in all three major indexes. For the week, the S&P 500 rose 1% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.7%, but the Dow Jones slipped 0.1%, based on FactSet data.

Broadly speaking, Powell is expected to stick to his script by emphasizing the need for greater confidence that inflation is falling toward the Fed’s 2% objective, before policymakers can cut the fed-funds rate target from its current range of 5.25% to 5.5%, analysts said. He’s seen as loath to say anything just yet that could move markets or rate expectations.

“Powell needs to avoid doing what he did in November and December, which was to juice the market with a very bullish message suggesting that policymakers might be done with hiking rates and that the next moves would be rate cuts,” Tyner said via phone. “The Fed needs to remain unified about the need to be patient, with no rush to cut rates, and about being data dependent, with the current data pointing toward not cutting until later this year.”

Read: No Fed rate cuts in 2024, Wall Street economist warns investors

Aptus Capital’s strategies rely on the use of options overlays to improve results, and the firm is “well-positioned” to capture both upside and downside moves in the market because of a “disciplined approach on hedges in both directions,” the portfolio manager said.

Others see some possibility that Powell’s testimony to the House Financial Services Committee and Senate Banking Committee produces one of two non-base-case results: He could either push back on expectations around the timing or extent of Fed rate cuts this year, or, on the flip side, hint at the need for maintenance rate cuts because of prospects for softer inflation and economic readings going forward.

The rates market is the mechanism by which financial markets would likely react one way or another to Powell’s testimony and Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report — specifically with trading in fed-funds futures and Secured Overnight Financing Rate futures. Any reaction in the futures market would simultaneously impact longer-term Treasurys and risk assets, according to Mike Sanders, head of fixed income at Wisconsin-based Madison Investments, which manages $23 billion in assets.

Fed officials are not likely to have enough confidence that they’ve won the battle against inflation by June, raising the question of whether markets are overestimating policymakers’ ability to start cutting rates by that month, Sanders said via phone.

“Fed officials are more or less committed to cutting rates when appropriate, but are concerned that if they cut too soon they’ll have sticky inflation,” he said.

“The services side continues to be higher than the Fed wants, with much of the disinflation coming from the goods side,” Sanders said. Inflation dynamics are “still not in balance from the Fed’s perspective, and the services side has to be concerning to policymakers, especially in the face of the personal-income growth we’ve seen. It’s going to be status quo until the Fed knows whether the higher inflation prints seen in January were a one-off or if this continues.’’

Analysts said they are particularly worried about supercore inflation, a measure of core services that excludes housing, which is still running at levels which suggest that the services side of the U.S. economy is firing on all cylinders.

No major U.S. data is scheduled for release on Monday. Tuesday brings January factory orders and ISM service sector activity figures for February.

On Wednesday, data releases include ADP’s private-sector employment report, January readings on wholesale inventories and job openings, and the Fed’s Beige Book report. San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly is also set to speak that day.

Thursday’s data batch includes weekly initial jobless benefit claims, a revision on fourth-quarter productivity, the U.S. trade balance, and consumer-credit figures. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester is also scheduled to make an appearance. Friday brings an appearance by New York Fed President John Williams and final consumer-sentiment data for February.

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#Stock #rally #ratecut #forecasts #face #test #Powell #testimony #jobs #report

Stock-market rally faces Fed, tech earnings and jobs data in make-or-break week

Stock-market investors may take their cues from a series of important events in the week ahead, including the Federal Reserve’s monetary-policy meeting, a closely-watched December employment report and an onslaught of earnings from megacap technology names, which all promise insight into the state of the economy and interest-rate outlook. 

The benchmark S&P 500 index
SPX
Thursday closed at a record high for five straight trading days, the longest streak of its kind since November 2021. The index finished slightly lower on Friday, but clinched weekly gains of 1.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite
COMP
advanced 1% and the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA
gained 0.7% for the week, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

“What we’re seeing is the market participants are still playing catch-up from 2023, putting money on the sidelines to work,” said Robert Schein, chief investment officer at Blanke Schein Wealth Management.

“Wall Street is still back at it trying to eke out gains as quickly as possible, so it’s very short-term oriented until we get big market-moving events,” he said, adding that one of the events could well be “a disappointing Fed speech.”

Fed’s Powell has good reasons to push back on rate cuts

Expectations that the Fed would begin easing monetary policy as early as March after its fastest tightening cycle in four decades have helped fuel a rally in U.S. stock- and bond-markets. Investors now mostly expect five or six quarter-point rate cuts by December, bringing the fed-funds rate down to around 4-4.25% from the current range of 5.25-5.5%, according to the CME FedWatch Tool. 

See: Economic growth underlined by fourth-quarter GDP reinforces Fed’s cautious approach to rate cuts

While no interest-rate change is expected for the central bank’s first policy meeting this year, some market analysts think comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell during his news conference on Wednesday are likely to shift the market’s expectations and push back against forecasts of a March cut. 

Thierry Wizman, global FX and interest rates strategist at Macquarie, said a stock-market rally, “too-dovish” signals from the Fed’s December meeting, a still-resilient labor market and escalating Middle East conflicts may indicate that Powell has to keep the “[monetary] tightening bias” next week. 

The rally in the stock market could “conceivably backfire” by virtue of a loosening of financial conditions, while the labor market has not weakened to the extent that the Fed officials would have hoped, Wizman told MarketWatch in a phone interview on Friday.

Further complicating things, fears that inflation could spike again in light of the conflict in the Middle East and Red Sea could reinforce Fed’s cautious approach to rate cuts, he said. 

See: Oil traders aren’t panicking over Middle East shipping attacks. Here’s why.

Meanwhile, a shift to “neutral bias” doesn’t automatically mean that the Fed will cut the policy rate soon since the Fed still needs to go to “easing bias” before actually trimming rates, Wizman said. “I think the market gets too dovish and does not realize the Fed has very, very good reasons to push this [the first rate cut] out to June.” 

Markets are ‘laser-focused’ on January employment report

Labor-market data could also sway U.S. financial markets in the week ahead, serving as the “big swing factor” for the economy, said Patrick Ryan, head of multi-asset solutions at Madison Investments. 

Investors have been looking for clear signs of a slowing labor market that could prompt the central bank to start cutting rates as early as March. That bet may be tested as soon as Friday with the release of nonfarm payroll data for January.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal estimate that U.S. employers added 180,000 jobs in January, down from a surprisingly strong 216,000 in the final month of 2023. The unemployment rate is expected to tick up to 3.8% from 3.7% in the prior month, keeping it near a half century low. Wage gains are forecast to cool a bit to 0.3% in January after a solid 0.4% gain in December. 

“That’s going to have everyone laser-focused,” Ryan told MarketWatch via phone on Thursday. “Anything that shows you real weakness in the labor market is going to question if the equity market is willing to trade at 20 plus times (earnings) this year.” The S&P 500 is trading at 20.2 times earnings as of Friday afternoon, according to FactSet data. 

Six of ‘Magnificent 7’ may continue to drive S&P 500 earnings higher

This coming week is also packed with earnings from some of the big tech names that have fueled the stock-market rally since last year. 

Five of the so-called Magnificent 7 technology companies will provide earnings starting from next Tuesday when Alphabet Inc.
GOOG,
+0.10%

and Microsoft Corp.
MSFT,
-0.23%

take center stage, followed by results from Apple Inc.
AAPL,
-0.90%
,
Amazon.com
AMZN,
+0.87%

and Meta Platforms
META,
+0.24%

on Thursday. 

Of the remaining two members of the “Magnificent 7,” Tesla Inc.
TSLA,
+0.34%

has reported earlier this week with its results “massively disappointing” Wall Street, while Nvidia Corp.’s
NVDA,
-0.95%

results will be coming out at the end of February.

See: Here’s why Nvidia, Microsoft and other ‘Magnificent Seven’ stocks are back on top in 2024

A number of the companies in the “Magnificent 7” have seen their stock prices hit record-high levels in recent weeks, which could help to drive the value of the S&P 500 higher, said John Butters, senior earnings analyst at FactSet Research. He also said these stocks are projected to drive earnings higher for the benchmark index in the fourth quarter of 2023.

In One Chart: Tech leads stock market’s January rally by wide margin. Watch out for February.

In aggregate, Nvidia, Alphabet, Amazon.com, Apple, Meta Platforms, and Microsoft are expected to report year-over-year earnings growth of 53.7% for the fourth quarter of last year, while excluding these six companies, the blended earnings decline for the remaining 494 companies in the S&P 500 would be 10.5%, Butters wrote in a Friday client note.

“Overall, the blended earnings decline for the entire S&P 500 for Q4 2023 is 1.4%,” he said. 

Check out! On Watch by MarketWatch, a weekly podcast about the financial news we’re all watching — and how that’s affecting the economy and your wallet. MarketWatch’s Jeremy Owens trains his eye on what’s driving markets and offers insights that will help you make more informed money decisions. Subscribe on Spotify and Apple.  

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#Stockmarket #rally #faces #Fed #tech #earnings #jobs #data #makeorbreak #week

The Magnificent 7 dominated 2023. Will the rest of the stock market soar in 2024?

2023 will go down in history for the start of a new bull market, albeit a strange one.

Despite some year-end catch-up by the rest of the S&P 500 index, megacap technology stocks, characterized by the so-called Magnificent Seven, have dominated gains for the large-cap benchmark
SPX,
which is up 23.8% for the year through Friday’s close.

That’s the result of “extreme speculation,” according to Richard Bernstein, CEO and chief investment officer of eponymously named Richard Bernstein Advisors. And it sets the stage for investors to take advantage of “once-in-a-generation” investment opportunities, he argued, in a phone interview with MarketWatch.

MarketWatch’s Philip van Doorn last week noted that, weighting the Magnificent Seven — Apple Inc.
AAPL,
-0.55%

 , Microsoft Corp.
MSFT,
+0.28%
,
 Amazon.com Inc.
AMZN,
-0.27%
,
 Nvidia Corp.
NVDA,
-0.33%
,
 Alphabet Inc.
GOOG,
+0.65%

GOOGL,
+0.76%
,
 Tesla Inc.
TSLA,
-0.77%
,
 and Meta Platforms Inc. 
META,
-0.20%

— by their market capitalizations at the end of last year, the group had contributed 58% of this year’s roughly 26% total return for the S&P 500, and that’s down from a breathtaking 67% at the end of November.

The chart below shows that the percentage of stocks in the S&P 500 that have outperformed the index in the year to date remains well below the median of 49% stretching back to 1990:


Richard Bernstein Advisors

Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite
COMP
has soared more than 40% this year, while the more cyclically weighted Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
which hit a string of records this month, is up 12.8%.

The narrowness of the rally gave some technical analysts pause over the course of the year. They warned that that it was uncharacteristic of early bull markets, which typically see broader leadership amid growing confidence in the economic outlook.

Bernstein, previously chief investment strategist at Merrill Lynch, sees parallels with the late-1990s tech bubble, which holds lessons for investors now.

The market performance indicates investors have convinced themselves there are only “seven growth stories,” he said. It’s the sort of myopia that’s characteristic of bubbles.

The consequences can be dire. In the 1990s, investors focused on the economy-changing potential of the Internet. And while those technological advances were indeed economy-changing, an investor who bought the tech-heavy Nasdaq at the peak of the bubble had to wait 14 years to get back to break-even, Bernstein noted.

Today, investors are focused on the economy-changing potential of artificial intelligence, while looking past other important developments, including reshoring of supply chains.

“I don’t think anyone is arguing AI won’t be an economy-changing technology,” he said, “ the question is, what’s the investing opportunity.”

For his part, Bernstein argues that small-cap stocks; cyclicals, or equities more sensitive to the economic cycle; industrials; and non-U.S. stocks are all among assets poised to play catch-up.

“I don’t think one has to be overly sexy on this one…it may not make a huge difference as to how you decide to execute and invest” in those areas, he said. “There’s a bazillion different ways to play this.”

Those areas are showing signs of life in December. The Russell 2000
RUT,
the small-cap benchmark, has surged more than 12% in December versus a 4.1% advance for the S&P 500. The Russell still lags behind by a wide margin year to date, up 15.5%, or more than 8 percentage points behind the S&P 500.

Meanwhile, an equal-weighted version of the S&P 500
XX:SP500EW,
which incorporates the performance of each member stock equally instead of granting a heavier weight to more valuable companies, has also played catchup, rising 6.2% in December. It’s now up 11% in 2023, still lagging behind the cap-weighted S&P 500 by more than 8 percentage points.

Bernstein sees early signs of broadening out, but expects it to be an “iterative process.” What investors should be aiming for, he said, is “maximum diversification,” in direct contrast to 2023’s historically narrow market, which reflects investors rejecting the benefits of diversification and taking more concentrated positions in fewer stocks.

To be sure, while the Magnificent Seven-dominated stock-market rally has attracted plenty of attention, it doesn’t mean those individual stocks have been the sole winners in 2023.

“I will say, ‘magnificent’ is in the eye of the beholder,” said Kevin Gordon, senior investment strategist at Charles Schwab, in a phone interview.

The seven stocks that account for such a large share of the S&P 500’s gains do so mostly due to their extremely “mega” market caps rather than outsize price gains. And that’s just, by definition, how market-cap-weighted indexes work, analysts note.

That doesn’t mean the megacap stocks are necessarily the best performers over 2023. While Nvidia, up 243%, and Meta, up 194%, top the list of year-to-date price gainers in the S&P 500, Apple Inc.
AAPL,
-0.55%

is only the 59th best performing stock, with a 49% gain. Combine that with a $3 trillion market cap, however, and Apple proves one of the biggest movers of the overall index.

What was bizarre about the 2023 rally wasn’t so much the megacap tech performance, Gordon said, but the fact that the rest of the market languished to such a degree until recently.

Clarity around the economic outlook and interest rates help clear the way for the rest of the market to play catch-up, he said. Fears of a hard economic landing have faded, while the Federal Reserve has signaled its likely finished raising rates and is on track to deliver rate cuts in 2024.

For stock pickers that didn’t latch on to the few winners, 2023 was brutal. Passive investors who just bought S&P 500-tracking ETFs should feel good.

So why not just chase the index? Bernstein argues that could spell trouble if the megacap names are due to falter. That could make for a mirror image of this year where gains for a wider array of individual stocks is offset by sluggish megacap performance.

Gordon, however, played down the prospect of “binary outcomes” in which investors sell megacaps and buy the rest of the market.

If troubled segments of the economy, such as the housing sector, recover in 2024, investors “could definitely see a scenario where the rest of the market catches up but it doesn’t have to be at the expense of highfliers,” he said.

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#Magnificent #dominated #rest #stock #market #soar

The Top Five Charts of 2023

KEY

TAKEAWAYS

  • 2023 was dominated by mega cap growth stocks, but the fourth quarter saw a potential change as other sectors experienced renewed vigor.
  • Three breadth indicators provided great clarity to the up and down cycles over the course of the year, as extreme readings tended to coincide with major turning points.
  • Interest rates remain top of mind as a pullback in the Ten Year Treasury Yield certainly seemed to provide support to the recent rally for stocks.

The end of the year provides a natural opportunity to look back and reflect on what we learned over the last 12 months as investors. I very much enjoyed thinking about how to tell the story of this market in just five charts, and to be completely honest, the videos below include way more than that!

But as much we love to make things more complicated for ourselves, mindful investors know that simple is often the best approach. So, by boiling down this year into five major themes and using these charts as a starting point to a deeper analysis of each, I found it to be a rewarding and at times eye-opening experience.

You can access the full playlist of the Top Five Charts on our YouTube channel, and you are welcome to ChartList I used during the videos, which you can find right HERE!

Without further ado, here are the five charts I selected, along with descriptions and video links. I hope you can use these as inspiration for your own year-end process and performance review!

Chart #1: S&P 500

As Ralph Acampora told me years ago, “Always start with a simple chart of the S&P 500.” And it’s been a fascinating year to do so, with each quarter providing a unique experience for investors, including plenty of ups and downs.

Looking back, I’m struck by what a sideways market we experienced really through the end of May. The S&P started with a strong January, but subsequent months basically brought retests of previous highs and previous lows, and no real indication of bullishness or bearishness on the larger timeframe.

June’s breakout provided a perfect example of the bearish momentum divergence, as negative momentum into the July high indicated an exhaustion of buyers. I also find myself focusing in on the October low, which caused me to be quite bearish at the time. That was definitely one of my key lessons learned in 2023, especially the importance of recognizing a clear change of character in November.

Chart #2: Ten Year Treasury Yield

Back in January 2023, I was asked during an interview to identify the most important chart to watch in 2023. I answered this chart, the Ten Year Treasury Yield ($TNX), along with the value vs. growth ratio. My thesis was that many investors had not experienced a rising rate environment (including me!), so this could mean some painful lessons as value outperformed growth as interest rates pushed higher.

As the chart clearly shows, the Ten Year Yield going from around 4% to 5%, completing a long journey from almost zero rates not long ago, did not provide the tailwind for value stocks that I expected. What a beautiful testament to the benefits of including macroeconomic analysis as part of a holistic investment approach, but also the importance of focusing on the evidence of price itself. If the charts say growth is outperforming, I’m going to want to stick with growth until proven otherwise.

Chart #3: Market Breadth

Breadth analysis is an essential component to my analytical process, as it addresses the issues related to our growth-oriented benchmarks being dominated by a small number of mega-cap stocks.

This chart includes three different breadth indicators: the S&P 500 Bullish Percent Index, the Percent of Stocks Above the 50-day Moving Average, and the McClellan Oscillator. With the first two indicators at 80% and 90%, respectively, this suggests a potential exhaustion point to the current upswing, similar to what we observed in July 2023, November 2022, and August 2022.

Chart #4: Leadership Themes

I have been thinking of 2023 as the year of mega-cap growth, but this fourth chart that it actually wasn’t about growth over value, but rather large over small. Reviewing the nine Morningstar style boxes, it’s clear that, while growth did indeed outperform value, it was overall more of large vs. small story.

Large-cap growth has outperformed large-cap value by almost 900 basis points (nine percent), but has outperformed mid-cap and small-cap style boxes by around 1300 basis points. Our benchmarks have been powering higher, propelled by the strength of large-cap growth, and one of the most important questions for 2024 will be whether this stretch of domination will continue.

Chart #5: Bitcoin

Higher highs and higher lows make an uptrend. And while Bitcoin ($BTCUSD) did not show that general pattern in the middle of 2023, it started the year strong and certainly ended the year in a position of strength.

Bitcoin has nearly tripled in value since December 2022, starting with a significant rally into an April high. But from March through October, Bitcoin basically was rangebound between 25,000 and 31,000. I remember laying out a game plan, which involved following the price momentum fueling any exit from that range. Sure enough, in October, we witnessed an upside breakout inspired by renewed optimism for a potential announcement confirming new spot Bitcoin ETFs. While that news has not yet arrived, the bullish uptrend shows that investors remain eager for this huge potential catalyst.

During my years in the Fidelity Chart Room, I was often reminded that charts can tell the best stories about market history. And as each new year concludes, the charts can provide a fantastic report card for your performance, a history textbook filled with practical lessons for years to come, and a reminder of the value of technical analysis in helping us identify opportunities and manage risk.

I hope these discussions inspire you to have a thorough review session as we wrap 2023, and an honest assessment of how you can improve your investing toolkit in 2024.

Happy holidays, thank you for making StockCharts a part of your process, and I’ll look forward to more great charts and conversations in the new year!

RR#6,

Dave

P.S. Ready to upgrade your investment process? Check out my free behavioral investing course!


David Keller, CMT

Chief Market Strategist

StockCharts.com


Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as financial advice. The ideas and strategies should never be used without first assessing your own personal and financial situation, or without consulting a financial professional.

The author does not have a position in mentioned securities at the time of publication. Any opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views or opinions of any other person or entity.

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#Top #Charts

Why the Santa Rally Stumbled; QQQ Sets Up for Big Move, Be Careful

Next week could make or break the Santa rally.

The Fed meets on 12/12 and 13, and CPI and PPI are due out simultaneously. As a result, it wouldn’t a bad idea to review portfolios carefully, to consider taking some profits and to game out some potential ways to hedge. Still, the Nasdaq 100 Index (NDX) is forecasting a large, and potentially bullish move soon. Given the bullish seasonal trends, further upside is not out of the question.

This is especially notable given the recent liquidity scare and serendipitous recovery in the financial system, which I describe directly below. Let’s start by looking at the price chart for the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ).

Cutting to the chase, the Bollinger Bands are tightening around QQQ’s prices. That’s a sign, as I detailed here, that a big move is coming. Moreover, money flows, as indicated by Accumulation/Distribution (ADI) and On Balance Volume (OBV) are perking up. A move in QQQ above $394 would likely trigger a whole lot of algo trading programs queued up to trade breakouts.

Why the Santa Rally Stumbled Last Week

Stock traders who have profited from the October 2023 bottom should be thanking the bond market for their good fortune, which means that any major reversal in bond yields will likely be followed by what could be a major selloff in stocks. On the other hand, as can only happen in the strange world known as Wall Street, the recent rally in bonds nearly pulled the plug on the entire financial system on December 1.

In fact, the recent hiccup in the Santa Claus rally, from which the market has largely recovered, may have resulted from a reduction in the financial system’s liquidity brought about by, wait for it, the rally in bonds. According to reports, the speed with which the bond rally developed put a squeeze on Wall Street’s money lending machine (the repo market), whose money powder keg was squeezed by the Fed’s QT maneuvers, which led to the huge backup in bond yields.

The whole thing is so bizarre that it took me several reviews of multiple sources to put it together. But here is the simplified version. The Fed’s “higher for longer” mantra and its QT (removal of liquidity from the system), via the sale of treasury bonds, drained Wall Street’s piggy bank for borrowed money, leaving it with less funds than would normally be required further finance the rally in stocks and bonds.

Translation: we had a mini liquidity crisis as Wall Street ran out of money to lend for a couple of days. Stay with me, please. You just can’t make this stuff up.

When the U.S. Treasury Note yield (TNX) was rising to 5% (May to October 2023), spurred by the Fed’s QT and the panicked sellers who joined them in selling bonds, it squeezed the liquidity in the financial system. Thus, even though there was plenty of interest in buying stocks and bonds when sentiment turned, there wasn’t enough reserve money available in Wall Street’s loan machine to lend to hungry traders – the proverbial air pocket.

The visual evidence for the hiccup was the December 1, 2023 bump in the Secured Overnight Trading Rate (SOFR), which is best seen in the Zoom thumbnail to the right of the price chart.

As a result, those who got caught off guard and who ended up playing catchup after they missed the rally in stocks and bonds, which I predicted here way back in October, suddenly found themselves with limited supplies of money to borrow in order to trade the reversal. SOFR is back in sync with the Fed Funds rate now. But yeah, that was an interesting development for sure.

Bond Yields Pause, Mortgages Continue Bullish Decline

So where are we now? SOFR seems to be back in sync with the Fed Funds rate, which is why the stock market has resumed its rally. On the other hand, the U.S. Ten Year Note yield (TNX) has come a long way in a short period of time, which means we can expect it to back up some in the short term.

Indeed, a pause in TNX’s decline could last for the next couple of weeks as the CPI and PPI numbers are released and the Fed meets on December 12-13. Keep an eye on the 4.25-4.4% yield range, as any move above that key zone could trip some algo-selling in stocks and bonds.

Mortgage rates have dropped. A breach below 7% on the average mortgage could well take mortgages to 6.8%, where they will test the 50-day moving average for this series.

Consequently, homebuilder stocks, as in the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB), have broken out to new highs, spurred by the bullish beat of earnings expectations and outlook from Toll Brothers (TOL), which I own and recommended in October, 30% below the 12/2/23 closing price.

The long-term fundamentals of supply and demand remain in favor of the homebuilders and related sectors. For the next move in the homebuilders and other important market sectors, join the smart money at Joe Duarte in the Money Options.com FREE with a two-week trial subscription.

For more on homebuilder stocks and real estate stock analysis, click here.   

Interesting Emerging Sectors

Lately, I’ve focused on value investing, as I did in my recent Your Daily Five video, which you can catch here. As it happens, the trend seems to be expanding into sectors which are well off the radar for many investors. Comparing the action in the S&P 500 Citigroup Pure Growth Index (SPXPG) to the trend in the S&P 500 Citigroup Pure Growth Index (SPXPV) index, you can see the dynamic playing out.

One of the most unlikely areas of the market which has benefited from the value trend is the transport sector, where the difficulties being faced by trucking companies are gathering the headlines, but other subsectors are reaping the rewards.

You can see this in the action for the SPDR S&P Transportation ETF (XTN), which has quietly crossed above its 200-day moving average and which looks poised to make a run at its old highs near the high 80s, barring negative developments.

Market Breadth Recovers Post-Liquidity Squeeze

The NYSE Advance Decline line (NYAD) remains in bullish territory, trading above its 50- and 200-day moving averages. This may be slowed in the short-term, as the RSI indicator is nearing an overbought level. But even with a slower rate of climb than NYAD’s, the market’s breadth is holding up.

The Nasdaq 100 Index (NDX) is inching above 16,000. And with the Bollinger Bands starting to squeeze around prices, it looks as if a big move is just around the corner. Both ADI and OBV are flattening out as profit-taking increases.

The S&P 500 (SPX) remained above 4500 and looks poised to move above 4600. This is not surprising, as many value stocks continue to push SPX higher.

VIX Remains Below 20

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) remained below 20. This is bullish.

A rising VIX means traders are buying large volumes of put options. Rising put option volume from leads market makers to sell stock index futures, hedging their risk. A fall in VIX is bullish, as it means less put option buying, and it eventually leads to call buying. This causes market makers to hedge by buying stock index futures, raising the odds of higher stock prices.


To get the latest information on options trading, check out Options Trading for Dummies, now in its 4th Edition—Get Your Copy Now! Now also available in Audible audiobook format!

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Good news! I’ve made my NYAD-Complexity – Chaos chart (featured on my YD5 videos) and a few other favorites public. You can find them here.

Joe Duarte

In The Money Options


Joe Duarte is a former money manager, an active trader, and a widely recognized independent stock market analyst since 1987. He is author of eight investment books, including the best-selling Trading Options for Dummies, rated a TOP Options Book for 2018 by Benzinga.com and now in its third edition, plus The Everything Investing in Your 20s and 30s Book and six other trading books.

The Everything Investing in Your 20s and 30s Book is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It has also been recommended as a Washington Post Color of Money Book of the Month.

To receive Joe’s exclusive stock, option and ETF recommendations, in your mailbox every week visit https://joeduarteinthemoneyoptions.com/secure/order_email.asp.

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#Santa #Rally #Stumbled #QQQ #Sets #Big #Move #Careful

With the Fed on Hold, Santa Just Revved Up the Sled; Think Value

The Santa Claus rally has left the station and is barreling down the tracks, as the Federal Reserve is on hold. 

Before I took a week off from writing this column for the Thanksgiving holiday, I wrote: “Regular readers of this column were not surprised by the rally, given the multiple alerts I posted noting the likelihood of a meaningful market bottom emerging due to the extraordinary technical picture which had developed in the bond market, and the ensuing gloom and doom in stocks as early as September 2023. And although there are no guarantees, the ongoing rally in both stocks and bonds has a great chance of continuing, due to the bullish seasonality which kicks into high gear with the traditional Thanksgiving rally.”

Here’s why we’re rallying. At least three voting members of the FOMC, including Chairman Powell, have made the following clear:

  • No easing in in the cards for now;
  • The Fed is prepared to tighten further if needed; but
  • Unless inflation data worsens, the interest rate hiking cycle is likely over.

All of which adds up to stocks moving higher in the short term, unless something bad happens that derails the bullish sentiment; think CPI, PPI, and the FOMC meeting, which are all approaching. Moreover, there is some evidence that overbought sectors of the market, such as technology, are starting to struggle, which means that some sort of sector rotation is well overdue.

So far, so good; but what’s next?

Bond Yields and Mortgages Continue Bullish Decline

The first part of the answer to the above question lies in the bond market, where rates continue to fall and seem headed lower at a rapid clip. The U.S. Ten Year Note yield (TNX) is now well below 4.5% and its 50-day moving average. Moreover, it just broke below the 4.3%-4.4% support area, and looks headed for 4%.

Even more impressive is the move down in mortgage rates (MORTGAGE), which looks set to test the 7% area and may move as low as 6.8%, the 50-day moving average for this series.

As expected, amongst the major beneficiaries of the lower interest rates have been the homebuilders, as reflected in the recent price action for the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB), which broke out to a new high on the latest decline in TNX.

In addition, the long-term fundamentals of supply and demand in the housing market remain in favor of the homebuilders and related sectors. These include real estate investment trusts (REITs), which specialize in home rentals and related businesses.

You can see the bullish influence of lower interest rates on Nuveen Short Term REIT ETF (NURE) which is now testing its 200-day moving average. This ETF specializes in rental properties. A move above $30 in REZ is likely to deliver higher prices.

Sector Rotation is Likely

The REIT sector is certainly a place where value investors can find excellent ways to put money to work. But it’s not the only area that has been overlooked by the market lately, and which should benefit from a sector rotation.

Over the last few weeks in this space, I’ve been focusing on value investing, a topic in which I recently expanded in my latest Your Daily Five video, which you can catch here. That’s because growth stocks have become overbought and are due for a pause, while there are still plenty of investors and money managers who missed the October bottom and are being forced to play catchup before the year ends.

You can see this dynamic playing out by comparing the action in the S&P 500 Citigroup Pure Growth Index (SPXPG) to the trend in the S&P 500 Citigroup Pure Growth Index (SPXPV) index.

The growth index has been trading ahead of the value index for the past several weeks, but is now struggling near the 15800 chart point. Meanwhile, the value index has extended its move with greater momentum. You can appreciate the differences in the strengths of the move via the Pure Price Momentum indicators (PMO) for both where the PMO for SPXPV is much stronger.

All of this suggests that the next leg up in the market, barring something bad happening, will likely be led by value stocks.

For more on homebuilder stocks, click here.

The Unloved Energy Sector

After the amazing summer rally in the oil markets, things have cooled off dramatically. At the center of the decline in crude and the fossil fuel sector has been an oversupply of product. On the one hand, higher well efficiency in the U.S. shale sector has increased supply. On the other hand, as usual, OPEC + has not fully stuck to its highly publicized production cuts.

Yet the recent collapse in the clean energy stocks puts a different emphasis on the traditional energy sector, which is why it’s worth looking at the action in the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE), where big oil and gas companies are aggregated.

What stands out the most is that even as crude oil prices (WTIC) have come well off their recent top, XLE’s decline has been a lot gentler. In fact, XLE is still trading above its 200-day moving average, which puts it technically in a bullish trend. In addition, the ETF is starting to show signs of moving away (to the upside) from a large VBP bar near $85. Above, there is more resistance from the 50-day moving average and a cluster of VBP bars all the way to $89.

Nevertheless, with components such as BP Plc (BP) trading at seven times earnings while yielding 4.81%, you have to wonder how long before value investors come a-knocking at the door of this sector.

Aside from recommending multiple big winners in the homebuilder and technology sectors, I recently recommended an energy stock which likely to move decidedly higher regardless of what the price of oil does. Join the smart money at Joe Duarte in the Money Options.com, where you can have access to this ETF and a wide variety of bullish stock picks FREE with a two week trial subscription

Market Breadth is Now Bullish

The NYSE Advance Decline line (NYAD) is back in bullish territory, coursing above its 50- and 200-day moving averages. So, while there is improvement, we don’t have a definitively bullish long-term signal for the market’s trend, yet. If there is a downside, it’s that the RSI indicator is nearing an overbought situation. However, at this stage of the rally, NYAD’s rate of climb may slow, but does not look as if it will fully reverse in the short term.

The Nasdaq 100 Index (NDX) looks a bit tired and needs a rest. The index has struggled to move above 16,000. Both ADI and OBV are flattening out as profit-taking increases.

The S&P 500 (SPX) remained above 4500 and could well move above 4600. This is not surprising, as many value stocks are now pushing SPX higher.

VIX is Back Below 20

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) continues to fall, closing below 15 last week. This is bullish.

A rising VIX means traders are buying large volumes of put options. Rising put option volume from leads market makers to sell stock index futures, hedging their risk. A fall in VIX is bullish, as it means less put option buying, and it eventually leads to call buying. This causes market makers to hedge by buying stock index futures, raising the odds of higher stock prices.


To get the latest information on options trading, check out Options Trading for Dummies, now in its 4th Edition—Get Your Copy Now! Now also available in Audible audiobook format!

#1 New Release on Options Trading!

Good news! I’ve made my NYAD-Complexity – Chaos chart (featured on my YD5 videos) and a few other favorites public. You can find them here.

Joe Duarte

In The Money Options


Joe Duarte is a former money manager, an active trader, and a widely recognized independent stock market analyst since 1987. He is author of eight investment books, including the best-selling Trading Options for Dummies, rated a TOP Options Book for 2018 by Benzinga.com and now in its third edition, plus The Everything Investing in Your 20s and 30s Book and six other trading books.

The Everything Investing in Your 20s and 30s Book is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It has also been recommended as a Washington Post Color of Money Book of the Month.

To receive Joe’s exclusive stock, option and ETF recommendations, in your mailbox every week visit https://joeduarteinthemoneyoptions.com/secure/order_email.asp.

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#Fed #Hold #Santa #Revved #Sled

In Bullish Trends, Seek Value and Momentum; Three Sectors to Watch as Year-End Rally Progresses

The combination of a pause in the Fed’s rate hikes and strong year-end seasonal tendencies have created an opportunity for investors to end the year on a positive note. The fly in the ointment, in the short term, could be a bad set of readings on the upcoming Consumer (CPI) and Producer (PPI) price gauges. Aside from that, the negative sentiment on Wall Street is still thick enough to push prices higher.

As I noted last week, “The stock market seems to have bottomed, as short sellers panicked and recently frightened buyers rushed back into the markets. It’s about time, as the signs of a pending reversal have been in place for the past two months, namely a slowing economy and fears about the Fed’s rate hike cycle, which have been mounting as investor’s pessimism rose to a fever pitch.”

On the other hand, Fed Chairman Powell proved once again that a few words can kill any rally, when he noted the central bank was “not confident” that inflation was fully vanquished on 11/9/23 and stocks sank. Whether that was just tough talk or a sign that he knows what the CPI and PPI numbers will show is anyone’s guess. Thankfully, the market recovered, although, as I discuss below, breadth remains weaker than one would hope for.

That said, there is no substitute for being prepared for any eventuality. For now, the trend is bullish, so here are three groups that should move higher, barring any unpleasant surprises.

It’s What’s Inside That Matters; Three Sectors Worth Watching as the Year End Rally Develops

Most investors focus on areas of the market which are exhibiting strength. That’s because, in bull markets, strength usually leads to further strength. This, of course, is the essence of momentum investing.

At the same time, it’s also useful to review the action in weak sectors, as underperformers are often future areas of value. Moreover, it’s important to know what you’re buying. Here is what I mean.

The software sector encompasses a wide swath of companies ranging from security companies to app developers, along with those in the increasingly popular AI sector. With so many companies, it’s often more practical to buy into a diversified portfolio, such as an ETF.

One such ETF is the Invesco Dynamic Software ETF (IGPT), recently renamed Invesco AI and Next Gen Software ETF, which is closing in on what could be a major breakout. But don’t let the title fool you; this ETF holds the usual large-cap tech stocks that typically rally when the tech sector moves into a rising trend, such as what is currently developing and is evident in the price chart for the Invesco QQQ Trust ETF (QQQ). QQQ holds many of the same companies, but currently trades at ten times the price of IGPT.

So, you can pay ten times more for QQQ, or get the same general market exposure via IGPT for a fraction of the price. Consider that IGPT is currently trading below $40 per share, which means you can own shares in Meta (META), Alphabet (GOOGL), Adobe (ADBE), and even NVDIA (NVDA) for a fraction of the price of each of these blue chips.

And here’s what the price chart is telling us regarding IGPT:

  • The ETF is back in bullish territory, as it just crossed above its 200-day moving average;
  • Accumulation/Distribution (ADI) is moving higher after a recent consolidation as short sellers leave the scene;
  • On Balance Volume (OBV) is in an established uptrend, as buyers come in; and
  • A move above $36 will likely take this ETF higher, as long as the bullish trend in the technology sector remains in place.

Another bullish sector which remains undervalued is the uranium mining sector, as in the Global X Uranium ETF (URA), in which I own shares and which is a core holding at Joe Duarte in the Money Options.com. Nuclear power is slowly becoming an option for areas of the world which are trying to find a compromise between clean fuels and reliable power generation.

URA’s appeal has been boosted by the demise of the renewable power sector over the last few months, due to the expense burden and supply chain challenges required to build wind turbines. Note the difference in the performance of URA versus the First Trust ISE Global Wind Energy ETF (FAN).

For one, URA is in a bullish consolidation pattern after its recent breakout. Note the excellent support at $26, where the 50-day moving average and a large Volume-by-Price (VBP) bar continue to attract buyers. Moreover, note the bullish uptrend in OBV as buyers sneak into the shares.

Certainly, FAN is in a consolidation pattern of its own after its recent collapse. Note, however, that neither ADI or OBV have turned up yet, which means that there is currently little interest in these shares from bullish investors. On the other hand, from a contrarian standpoint, it’s not a bad idea to keep an eye on this ETF as the cycle works itself out. All it would take for this sector to bottom out would be something like a large infusion of government cash, such as what may be materializing in Europe, according to reports.

I recently recommended an ETF which is now breaking out in a big way. Join the smart money at Joe Duarte in the Money Options.com, where you can have access to this ETF and a wide variety of bullish stock picks FREE with a two-week trial subscription.

Bonds Retain Bullish Tone Ahead of Inflation Numbers

As I noted last week, bond yields have made at least a short-term top. In fact, just three weeks ago, the U.S. Ten Year note yield (TNX) hit the 5% point, an event that unhinged both stock and bond traders.

Since then, things have quieted down and TNX has settled into a trading range, with 4.5% and the 50-day moving average as the floor.

If the inflation numbers are bullish, and TNX breaks below 4.5%, expect a big move up in stocks.

Keep an eye on the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB), specially the $78-$80 area. If CPI and PPI are bullish and bond yields fall, XHB should rise as short sellers get squeezed. Note the improvement in ADI, as the shorts cover their bets, while OBV is still holding steady, as buyers remain patient.

I’ve recently posted several detailed articles on mortgage rates, bonds, and homebuilders at my Buy Me a Coffee page. You can access them here. For the perfect price chart set up, check out my latest Your Daily Five video here.

Market Breadth Lags Rally as Indexes Outperform

The NYSE Advance Decline line (NYAD) has bottomed out, but has yet to cross above its 50- or 200-day moving averages. So, for now, NYAD is neutral to slightly positive. If it doesn’t show a bit more pop in the next few weeks, it may signal that the rally will have short legs.

In contrast, the Nasdaq 100 Index (NDX) is nearing a breakout after rallying above its 50-day moving average. Both ADI and OBV turned higher as short sellers cover (ADI) and buyers move in (OBV). A move above 15,800-16,000 would likely extend the rally further.

The S&P 500 (SPX) is also lagging NDX, but has delivered a minor breakout above 4400. SPX is well above its 200-day moving average, returning to bullish territory after its recent dip below 4150. Moreover, it has now survived a test of the 4350 support area.

VIX is Back Below 20

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is well below 20. This is bullish.

A rising VIX means traders are buying large volumes of put options. Rising put option volume from leads market makers to sell stock index futures, hedging their risk. A fall in VIX is bullish, as it means less put option buying, and it eventually leads to call buying. This causes market makers to hedge by buying stock index futures, raising the odds of higher stock prices.


To get the latest information on options trading, check out Options Trading for Dummies, now in its 4th Edition—Get Your Copy Now! Now also available in Audible audiobook format!

#1 New Release on Options Trading!

Good news! I’ve made my NYAD-Complexity – Chaos chart (featured on my YD5 videos) and a few other favorites public. You can find them here.

Joe Duarte

In The Money Options


Joe Duarte is a former money manager, an active trader, and a widely recognized independent stock market analyst since 1987. He is author of eight investment books, including the best-selling Trading Options for Dummies, rated a TOP Options Book for 2018 by Benzinga.com and now in its third edition, plus The Everything Investing in Your 20s and 30s Book and six other trading books.

The Everything Investing in Your 20s and 30s Book is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It has also been recommended as a Washington Post Color of Money Book of the Month.

To receive Joe’s exclusive stock, option and ETF recommendations, in your mailbox every week visit https://joeduarteinthemoneyoptions.com/secure/order_email.asp.

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#Bullish #Trends #Seek #Momentum #Sectors #Watch #YearEnd #Rally #Progresses

Stock-market rally faces make-or-break moment. How to play U.S. October inflation data.

It has been a while since a hot inflation report sparked wild gyrations in U.S. stocks, like it frequently did in 2022, but that doesn’t mean Tuesday’s consumer price index for October is destined to be a snooze-fest for markets.

To the contrary, some Wall Street analysts believe it is possible, even likely, that the October CPI report could emerge as a critical catalyst for stocks, with the potential to propel the market higher on a softer-than-expected number.

At least one prominent economist expects the data to show that consumer prices were largely unchanged last month, or even fell.

“I would not be surprised to see a negative CPI inflation print for October,” said Neil Dutta, head of economics at Renaissance Macro Research, in commentary emailed to MarketWatch.

“After all, retail gasoline and heating oil prices declined a little over 10% over the month and we know that energy, while representing a small share of total CPI, roughly 7%, can account for a large chunk of the month-to-month swings in CPI.”

Markets at a crossroads

The October CPI report arrives at a critical juncture for markets. Investors are trying to anticipate whether the Federal Reserve will follow through with one more interest rate increase, as it indicated in its latest batch of projections, released in September.

Speaking on Thursday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell left the door open to another move, but qualified this — as the Fed almost always has — by insisting that whatever the Fed decides, it will ultimately depend on the data.

These comments added even more emphasis to next week’s data, said Thierry Wizman, Macquarie’s global FX and interest rate strategist, in commentary emailed to MarketWatch on Friday.

“Our own view — expressed over the past few days — is that the Fed — and by extension the fixed-income markets — won’t be anticipatory. Rather, the Fed will be highly reactive to the data,” he said. “The next milestone is…CPI. It is likely to have a calming effect on markets, as traders weigh the prospect that a very low headline CPI result will further cool the prospect of excessive wage demands in the labor market.”

Asymmetric risks

While assessing the potential impact of a soft inflation report next week, at least one market analyst expects the market’s reaction to the June CPI report, released on July 12, might serve as a helpful template.

Stocks touched their highest levels of the year within that month, as many interpreted the slower-than-expected increase in prices as an important turning point in the Fed’s battle against inflation. The S&P 500 logged its 2023 closing high on July 31, according to FactSet data,

Tom Lee, who anticipated both the outcome of the June CPI report and the market’s reaction, told MarketWatch that, at this point, inflation would need to meaningfully reaccelerate to have an adverse impact on the stock market.

The upshot of this is that the risks for investors heading into Tuesday’s report are likely skewed to the upside. Even a slightly hotter-than-expected number likely wouldn’t be enough to derail the market’s November rebound rally. While a soft reading could reinforce expectations that the Fed is done hiking rates, likely precipitating a rally in both stocks and bonds.

“I’d say the setup looks pretty favorable,” Lee said.

Even a modestly hotter-than-expected number likely wouldn’t be enough to derail the market’s November rebound.

“I think the reaction function is changing for the stock market,” Lee said.

“Because the Federal Reserve and public market kind of viewed the September CPI as a pretty decent number, and Powell even referred to it as such. Earlier in 2023, I think people would have viewed it as a miss.”

U.S. inflation has eased substantially since peaking above 9% on a year-over-year basis last summer, the highest rate in four decades. The data released last month showed consumer prices climbed 0.4% in September, softer than the 0.6% from the prior month, but still slightly above expectations.

However, the more closely watched “core” reading reflected only a 0.3% increase, which was in-line with expectations.

How long will the ‘last mile’ take?

There is a perception on Wall Street and within the Federal Reserve that driving inflation down from 3% to the Fed’s 2% target could pose more difficulty for the Fed. After all, most of the easing from last summer’s highs was driven by falling commodity prices and supply-chain normalization as the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic faded.

Powell has repeatedly warned of a “bumpy ride,” and he reiterated on Thursday that the battle against inflation is far from over.

See: Powell says Fed is wary of ‘head fakes’ from inflation

Inflation data released this month, and in the months to come, could help to define investors’ expectations for how long this “last mile” might take, helping these reports regain their significance for markets.

“I like a calm market, but I think CPI is coming more in focus these days now that we’re getting closer to that 2% target,” said Callie Cox, U.S. investment analyst at eToro, during a phone call with MarketWatch.

Since the start of 2023, the S&P 500 index hasn’t seen a single move of 1% or greater on a CPI release day, according to FactSet data. By comparison, the biggest daily swings seen in 2022 occurred on CPI days, with the large-cap index sometimes swinging 4% or more in a single session.

Economists polled by FactSet expect consumer prices rose 0.1% in October, following a 0.4% bump in September. They expect a 0.3% increase for core prices, which excludes volatile food and energy. Powell has said that he’s keeping a close eye on core inflation, as well as so-called “supercore” inflation, which measures the cost of services inflation excluding housing.

To be sure, the CPI report isn’t the only piece of potentially market-moving news due during the coming week. Investors will also receive a monthly update from the Treasury that includes data on foreign purchases and sales of Treasury bonds, as well as a flurry of other economic reports, including potentially market-moving readings on housing-market and manufacturing activity.

There is also the producer-price index, another closely watched barometer of inflation, which is due out Thursday.

U.S. stocks have risen sharply since the start of November, with the S&P 500
SPX
up more than 5.3%, according to FactSet data.

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#Stockmarket #rally #faces #makeorbreak #moment #play #October #inflation #data

Santa May Be Warming Up His Sled; What’s Next? Watch the Fed and the Bond Market

The traditional year-end rally may have started with last week’s liftoff on Wall Street, as the Fed’s rate hikes start to bite and the economy shows signs of slowing. Investors hope the economy slows just enough to reduce inflation.

The stock market seems to have bottomed, as short sellers panicked and recently frightened buyers rushed back into the markets. It’s about time, as the signs of a pending reversal have been in place for the past two months, namely a slowing economy and fears about the Fed’s rate hike cycle, which have been mounting as investor’s pessimism rose to a fever pitch. Moreover, the self-perpetuating talk of doom loops led to a bout of panic selling, which reversed as the Fed held rates steady and Friday’s employment report showed a cooling in the labor market.

Of course, there are no certainties in any market. And this rally could easily fizzle. But the longer stocks hold up and bond yields remain subdued, the higher the odds of the rally intensifying.

Buckle up! Santa may be warming up his sled.

The Signs Were There

I’ve been expecting a major reversal in both bonds and stocks since September when the selling in the U.S. Treasury market, and the subsequent rise in yields entered an absurd trading pattern. I chronicled the entire process, including the likelihood of a pending reversal in bond yields on October 15, 2023, when I wrote:

“The slightly-hotter-than-predicted PPI and CPI numbers certainly put a temporary damper on the recent short-covering rally in stocks and bonds, raising investor fears about further interest rate increases. But, as I’ve noted recently, fear is often the prelude to a buying opportunity. Such an opportunity may be developing in the U.S. Treasury Bond market and related interest-sensitive sectors of the stock market, such as homebuilders, real estate investment trusts, and select technology stocks.”

Prior to that, I had suggested that a historic buying opportunity in homebuilder stocks was approaching, while providing an actionable trading plan for such a development here.

Last week, in this space, I wrote: “The stock market is increasingly oversold, so investors should prepare for a potential bounce before the end of the year, especially given the usual bullish seasonality which begins in November and can run through January.”

Bond Yields Crash and Burn and Stocks Respond with Bullish Reversal and Broad Rally

What a difference a week makes, especially in the strange world of the U.S. Treasury bond market. Just two weeks ago, the U.S. Ten Year note yield (TNX) tagged 5%, a chart point which triggered heavy selling in stocks from the mechanical trading crowd, also known as commodity trading advisors (CTAs) and their hedge fund brethren. The selling was further enhanced by headlines about mortgage rates moving above 8%.

But as I noted here, the selling spree had the smell of panic, especially given the lack of a new low in the RSI indicator, when the New York Stock Exchange Advance Decline line (NYAD), as I describe below, made a lower low. The key was whether NYAD broke below its March lows, which it didn’t. This provided the perfect setup for a massive short squeeze, which is currently unfolding.

Here are some details. The U.S. Ten Year Note yield has rolled over, with two significant technical developments occurring:

  • TNX is now trading inside the upper Bollinger Band, which is two standard deviations above its 200-day moving average. This marks a return to a “normal” trading pattern;
  • It is also testing its 50-day moving average and the 4.5% yield area. Normal trading action suggests that a consolidation in this area should occur before TNX makes a move toward 4.3%; and
  • Bullishly for the homebuilder and housing-related real estate stocks, as well as the rest of the market, mortgage rates seem to have topped out as well.

Moreover, as I discuss below, the rally seems be quite broad, as measured by the New York Stock Exchange Advance Decline line. In addition, money is moving back into large-cap technology stocks, as in the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ), which also rebounded above its 50-day moving average. Especially encouraging on this price chart is the rally in On Balance Volume (OBV), which signals that the rally is being fueled by real buying along with short-covering, as evidenced by a rising ADI line.

Big tech certainly got a boost, as Microsoft (MSFT) continued its recent climb and is approaching a potential breakout which, if left unhindered, could well take the stock to the $400 area in the next few weeks.

But it’s not just big tech that’s rising. A less obvious member of the QQQ stable, food producer and packager Mondelez (MDLZ), has been quietly moving higher and is now approaching its 200-day moving average. MDLZ’s On Balance Volume (OBV) line is rising nicely as money piles into the shares.

Huge Potential Gains Lurk in Homebuilders

Even better is the unfolding rebound above the 200-day moving average in the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB), where OBV is exhibiting an equally bullish trading pattern. As I noted above, I issued a Buy alert on the homebuilders a few weeks ago, and thus subscribers to my service have been well-positioned for this move in the sector.

Consequently, the rally in the homebuilders may just be starting, especially if interest rates don’t rise dramatically from current levels. As the price chart above shows, mortgage rates may have topped out, along with bond yields. This reversal is already being reflected in the bullish action visible in the homebuilder stocks. Note the following:

  • Rates are still trading above normal long term trends. 
  • The upper purple line on the chart is two standard deviations above the 200-day moving average.
  • Since mortgage rates follow the trend in TNX (above), the odds favor a further decline in mortgage rates, with the first downside target being 6.5%.

Note the nearly perfect correlation between falling bond yields (TNX), falling mortgage rates, and rising homebuilder stocks (SPHB).

Join the smart money at Joe Duarte in the Money Options.com. You can have a look at my latest recommendations FREE with a two-week trial subscription. And for frequent updates on real estate and housing, click here.

Incidentally, if you’re looking for the perfect price chart set up, check out my latest YD5 video, where I detail one of my favorite bullish setups. This video will prepare you for the next phase in the market. 

Market Breadth Reverses Bearish Trend

The NYSE Advance Decline line (NYAD) did not remain below is March lows for long, and has now nearly fully reversed its bearish trend as it approaches its 200-day moving average. The price chart below shows the similarity between the unfolding market bottom and that which occurred in October 2022. The circled areas highlight this super cool technical phenomenon where the lack of a new low in the RSI, when NYAD made a new low, marked the bottom. Also note the double top in VIX, which is also repeated.

The Nasdaq 100 Index (NDX) rallied above its 50-day moving average, with both ADI and OBV turning higher as short sellers cover (ADI) and buyers move in (OBV).

The S&P 500 (SPX) also rebounded above its 200-day moving average, returning to bullish territory after its recent dip below 4150.

VIX is Back Below 20

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) didn’t stay above the 20 level for long, which is a bullish development.

When the VIX rises, stocks tend to fall, as rising put volume is a sign that market makers are selling stock index futures to hedge their put sales to the public. A fall in VIX is bullish, as it means less put option buying, and it eventually leads to call buying, which causes market makers to hedge by buying stock index futures. This raises the odds of higher stock prices.


To get the latest information on options trading, check out Options Trading for Dummies, now in its 4th Edition—Get Your Copy Now! Now also available in Audible audiobook format!

#1 New Release on Options Trading!

Good news! I’ve made my NYAD-Complexity – Chaos chart (featured on my YD5 videos) and a few other favorites public. You can find them here.

Joe Duarte

In The Money Options


Joe Duarte is a former money manager, an active trader, and a widely recognized independent stock market analyst since 1987. He is author of eight investment books, including the best-selling Trading Options for Dummies, rated a TOP Options Book for 2018 by Benzinga.com and now in its third edition, plus The Everything Investing in Your 20s and 30s Book and six other trading books.

The Everything Investing in Your 20s and 30s Book is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It has also been recommended as a Washington Post Color of Money Book of the Month.

To receive Joe’s exclusive stock, option and ETF recommendations, in your mailbox every week visit https://joeduarteinthemoneyoptions.com/secure/order_email.asp.

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#Santa #Warming #Sled #Whats #Watch #Fed #Bond #Market

‘The high for equities is not in,’ says technical strategist who unpacks the stocks to buy now.

Siegel argues that bonds, which have been giving stocks the shove, have proven to be a terrible inflation hedge, but investors have forgotten that given it’s 40 years since the last big price shock. “Stocks are excellent long-term hedges, stocks do beautifully against inflation, bonds do not,” he told CNBC on Tuesday.

Don’t miss: ‘Bond math’ shows traders bold enough to bet on Treasurys could reap dazzling returns with little risk

Other stock cheerleaders out there are counting on a fourth-quarter rally, which, according to LPL Financial, delivers on average a 4.2% gain as portfolio managers snap up stock winners to spiff up performances.

Our call of the day from Evercore ISI’s head of technical strategy, Rich Ross, is in the bull camp as he declares the “high for equities is not in,” and suggests some stocks that will set investors up nicely for that.

Ross notes November is the best month for the S&P 500
SPX,
Russell 2000
RUT
and semiconductors
SOX,
while the November to January period has seen a 6% gain on average for the Nasdaq Composite
COMP.
He says if the S&P can break out above 4,430, the next stop will be 4,630 within 2023, putting him at the bullish end of Wall Street forecasts.

In addition, even with 10-year Treasury yields back at their highs, the S&P 500 is still ahead this week and that’s a “great start” to any rally, he adds.

Evercore/Bloomberg

What else? He says “panic bottoms” seen in bond proxies, such as utilities via the Utilities Select Sector SPD exchange-traded fund ETF
XLU,
real-estate investment trusts and staples, are “consistent with a bottom in bond prices,” which is closer than it appears if those proxies have indeed bottomed.


Evercore/Bloomberg

Among the other green shoots, Ross sees banks bottoming following Bank of America
BAC,
+1.14%

earnings “just as they did in March of ’20 after a similar 52% decline which culminated in a year-end rally which commenced in Q4.”

He sees expanding breadth for stocks — more stocks rising than falling — adding that that’s a buy signal for the Russell 2000, retail via the SPDR S&P Retail ETF
XRT
and regional banks via the SPDR S&P Regional Banking
KRE.

The technical strategist also says it’s time to buy transports
DJT,
with airlines “at bear market lows and deeply oversold,” while railroads are also bottoming and truckers continue to rise.

As for tech, he’s a buyer of semiconductors noting they tend to gain 7% on average in November, and Nvidia
NVDA,
-2.88%

has been under pressure as of late. He also likes software such as Microsoft
MSFT,
+0.82%
,
Zscaler
ZS,
+0.66%
,
MongoDB
MDB,
+0.90%
,
Intuit
INTU,
-1.43%
,
Oracle
ORCL,
-0.05%
,
Adobe
ADBE,
+0.93%
,
CrowdStrike
CRWD,
+0.55%

and Palo Alto Networks
PANW,
+1.38%
.


Evercore/Bloomberg

“The strong tech will stay strong and the weak will get strong,” says Ross.

The markets

Stocks
SPX

COMP
are dropping, with bond yields
BX:TMUBMUSD10Y

BX:TMUBMUSD02Y
mixed. Oil prices
CL.1,
+1.82%

BRN00,
+1.69%

have pared a stronger rally after a deadly hospital explosion in Gaza City, with Iran reportedly calling for an oil embargo against Israel. Gold
GC00,
+1.84%

has shot up $35.

For more market updates plus actionable trade ideas for stocks, options and crypto, subscribe to MarketDiem by Investor’s Business Daily.

The buzz

Morgan Stanley
MS,
-6.02%

posted a 10% earnings fall, but beat forecasts, with shares down. Abbott Labs
ABT,
+3.12%

is up after upbeat results and aguidance hike and Procter & Gamble
PG,
+2.91%

is up after an earnings beat. Tesla
TSLA,
-0.89%

(preview here) and Netflix
NFLX,
-1.20%

(preview here) will report after the close.

Read: Ford CEO says Tesla, rival automakers loving the strike. He may be wrong

United Airlines shares
UAL,
-7.83%

are down 5% after the airline lowered guidance due to the Israel/Gaza war. Spirit AeroSystems
SPR,
+22.60%

surged 75% after the aircraft components maker announced a production support deal with Boeing
BA,
+0.88%
.

Housing starts came short of expectations, with the Fed’s Beige Book of economic conditions coming at 2 p.m. Also, Fed Gov. Chris Waller will speak at noon, followed by New York Fed Pres. John Williams at 12:30 p.m. and Fed Gov. Lisa Cook at 6:55 p.m.

China’s third-quarter GDP rose 4.9%, slowing from 6.3% in the previous quarter, but beating expectations.

Middle East tensions are ratcheting up with protests spreading across the region after a massive deadly blast at a Gaza City hospital, and airports evacuated across France over terror threats. President Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that “it appears as though it was done by the other team.”

Read: Treasury says Hamas leaders ‘live in luxury’ as it unveils new sanctions

Best of the web

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Why the FDA needs to halt Cassava Sciences’ Alzheimer’s clinical trials

Hail, heat, rot in Italy push France to top global winemaking spot

Attacks across Europe put Islamist extremism back in spotlight

The tickers

These were the top-searched tickers on MarketWatch as of 6 a.m.:

Ticker

Security name

TSLA,
-0.89%
Tesla

AMC,
-0.73%
AMC Entertainment

AAPL,
-0.39%
Apple

GME,
-1.20%
GameStop

NIO,
-2.99%
Nio

AMZN,
-1.10%
Amazon

PLTR,
-0.59%
Palantir

MULN,
-0.06%
Mullen Automotive

TPST,
-11.20%
Tempest Therapeutics

TTOO,
-8.20%
T2 Biosystems

Random reads

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