Today what I’m calling “re-opening dependent” stock fell again. At least in the early going.
Toward the end of session–like yesterday–these stocks and stocks in general rallied. Which in and of itself tells us something important about this market.
First, the 2 p.m. story.
Amusement park operator Six Flags (SIX) was off o.16 as of 2 p.m. New York time. Starbucks (SBUX) was down 0.86%. Shake Shack (SHAK) fell 1.54%. American Airlines was lower by 1.51%.
Meanwhile, technology stocks that have led the market recently were up strongly. Amazon (AMZN) had gained 1.59% and Microsoft (MSFT) up 1.29%. Cyber-security stock Palo Alto Networks (PANW) rose 2.92 and email, app,voice integrator Twilio (TWLO) tacked on another 4.09%
So the question is Will the weakness in re-opening stocks spread across the market as coronavirus cases continue to rise or will tech stocks continue to roar ahead and drag the market with them?
The coming earnings season, which kicks off on Tuesday, July 14 in my books with JPMorgan Chase (JPM) reporting, is making some Wall Street analysts nervous. The huge gains in the Standard & Poor’s 500 in the second quarter–20%–have been outstripped by gains in Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Facebook (FB), Netflix NFLX), and Alphabet (GOOG.) Shares of Amazon and Apple both gained almost 40% in the quarter. Microsoft picked up 29% in the period Facebook climbed 36% and Alphabet 22%. Netflix rose 21% in the quarter.
Nothing, seemingly, has been able to stop the advance in these shares. Apple’s gains, for example, came as Wall Street earnings estimates fell 6.8% from where they were 90 days ago. Facebook has climbed even as it faces a boycott from major advertisers.
Will these companies be able to deliver earnings over the next 6 weeks that provide a reason for investors to buy even at these prices or will we get at least a dip on traders and investors take profits?
A lot hinges on earnings results for these market favorites as the overall market looks a bit tentative.
Today as of 2 p.m. New York time the Standard & Poor’s 500 was up 0.18% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged ahead y 0.04%. The Russell 2000 small cap index was lower by a scant 0.08%. The NASDAQ Composite was up a stronger 0.75%.
One of the “interesting” features of today’s market is that another strong performance from Chinese stocks has lifted emerging market share but not U.S. equities.
The Shanghai Composite index gained 1.74% overnight and the CSI 300 was up 1.61%. That helped the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) run higher by 1.98%
And it kept the high profile stocks in the Chinese market on the fast track. JD.Com (JD) gained 6.23% in New York trading as of 2 p.m. New York Tine. Alibaba (BABA) was up 8.24%. Meituan Dianping (MPNGF) gained 7.55%. Tencent Holdings (TCEHY) climbed 6.02%.
Netflix and Microsoft both report next week on Thursday July 16 and that should give us an early meaningful sense of how the market will go during earnings for these tech stars.
So what about that end of the day rally? At the close Six Flags was up by 2.41%S instead of down, American Airlines had managed to move not the green by 0.67%. And some of the biggest winners at 2 p.m turned into even bigger gains by the end of the day. Twilio, for example, turned its 4.09% 2 p.m. gains into a 4.42% climb at the close.
I don’t think this is a sign of health in the market or a believe in the fundamentals of the economy. To me the end of the day moves are a sign that the computerized program trades are in full swing at the end of the session, looking to make a profit from the uncertainty in the market by revising the trend of earlier in the day–and they may well have made money on the downside move earlier.
It’s volatile out there without much in the way of conviction beyond the next few hours. (Going forward, I’d be especially on the lookout for an attempt to make some money out of forcing a reversal of the trend in the NASDAQ Composite.)
On the day the S&P 500 closed higher by 0.78% and the Dow was uo 0.68%. The Russell 2000 turned for a slight loss to a solid 0.81% gain at the finish. The NASDAQ Composite put in another record and gained 1.44% on the day.