The breakout that wasn’t. News from Microsoft drove a mid-afternoon buying frenzy that was visible in the Microsoft intraday chart and big enough to show up in both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 charts. However, the breakout quickly faded and took the indexes with it to close away from intraday highs. Still there were good gains in the market thanks to a bullish morning on positive economic outlook with Biden’s announced infrastructure plans.
The bond market continued to show its influence on equities today, seemingly in a battle with strong consumer confidence numbers. A pre-market spike in long-term bond yields drove the Financials sector to a gap up at open. However, the yields began to taper off even before stronger than expected consumer confidence numbers were released after market open. The strong numbers sent the Consumer Discretionary sector to the top to finish the day.
It was a choppy day to start the week. The intraday movement has the look of a spiral that indicates indecision in the market. That’s not unexpected considering that investors had a few things to be nervous about including the re-opening of the Suez Canal and the large forced fire-sale from Archegos continuing into this week. It’s also no surprise seeing the impact to the Energy and Financials sectors.
The week started with supply chain issues as a semiconductor plant in Japan was on fire. The week also ended with supply chain issues as a container ship remained stuck in the Suez Canal, blocking a major shipping route. The blockage caused oil prices to spike and more pressure on an already stressed supply chain.
There were several change of winners and losers during a week that ended with the S&P 500 at a record close.
A late afternoon rally in the market closed the week with a positive day for all the major indexes. It’s not clear what caused the sudden late afternoon rally. It could just be expiring options activity, or it could be investors outlook of the economy improving. Morning economic data was mixed, but the personal income numbers and consumer sentiment showed the possibility of an upcoming rise in spending. Data from UK and Germany was also positive on their economies.
Economic news seemed to weigh on the market after open, but investors shook off the weight later in the day to find gains across the major indexes. A short pullback to absorb the reaction from a weak 7y note auction was overcome to close near market intraday highs.
In the endless rotations, the four cyclical sectors moved from the bottom to the top of the sector list in another session of selling for big tech, consumer discretionary and growth stocks.
The character of the market continues to swing in opposite directions. Expectation was for Sideways or Higher for today, and we got lower. If we were keeping score, you’d notice the expectations I’m setting on a daily basis are broken very consistently over the past few weeks. But it’s a good time to remind the reader that the expectations are not predictions, but they are to set and expectation, get our attention when the expectation is broken, and learn what might have changed in the market. Here we go.
Technology stocks showed up big for the first day of the week. The sector outperformed for the day, carrying most of the major indexes to close with positive gains for the day. The advances were not broadly shared, with two declining stocks for every advancing stock.