The Standard & Poor’s 500 closed up 0.20% today, July 22. The Dow Jones Industrial Average squeezed out a 0.07% gain.
But if you were looking for bigger upside moves, turn your eyes to the technology sector. The NASDAQ Composite was up 0.36% and the NASDAQ 100 was higher by 0.66%.
The big gains, however, came shares of those tech stocks scheduled to report earnings next week.
Microsoft (MSFT), which reports on July 27, gained 1.68%. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), which also reports on July 27, advanced 2.01%. Apple (AAPL), another July 27 reporter, rose 0.96%. Alphabet (GOOG), yet another company set to report on July 27, gained 0.55%. Facebook, scheduled to report a day later on July 28, climbed 1.43%. And Amazon (AMZN), which reports two days later on July 29, gained 1.47%.
To me this smacks of investors and traders putting positions on ahead of what they’re hoping will be strong earnings reports with big positive earnings surprises and solid guidance for the September quarter. I’d note that the second quarter is normally the weakest of the for tech companies–although it won’t be this year because of the year to year comparisons with the Pandemic Recession second quarter of 2020–and that the third quarter is typically the strongest as tech companies gear up to for the end of year buying of electronics. For a trader, this is almost a perfect set up: big year over year earnings growth for the June quarter because of pandemic comparisons and strong guidance for the third quarter on the usual seasonal pattern.
And, if a trader is looking for yet another reason to go long tech, just take a look at the big 1.52% drop in the small cap Russell 2000 today. It’s a reminder that the market is worried about the June quarter marking peak earnings growth and about the Delta variant taking a bite out of economic growth in the coming quarters. On performance this year, tech, especially BIG TECH, is a good bet when the market starts worrying about growth.
As you might expect from this pattern the September 17 Call Options on Advanced Micro Devices and Apple that I added to the Volatility Portfolio on my subscription JubakAM.com site on July 21 moved up today with the Advanced Micro Devices Call at $90 gaining 22% and the Apple Call at $150 gaining 13.6%.