Today has continued a pattern that emerged last week. With the odds improving that the United States and China will sign a Part 1 trade agreement on Wednesday (or so), the risk on, momentum stocks that led the market in 2019 have reasserted their leadership. Technology has been especially strong last week and again today. But the move to risk on has also spread to include the shares of commodity companies that would be expected to prosper if global growth ticked higher.
At 3:30 p.m. in New York today, the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) was up 1.18%, handily outperforming the Standard & Poor’s 500, up 0.56% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, up 0.18%.
Leading the way in the technology sector were stocks such as Apple (AAPL) up 2.14%, Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) up 3.95%, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM, ump 2.21%, Nvidia (NVDA) ip 3.05%, and Twilio (TWLO) up 3.97%.
Among shares of commodity producers, the stocks of copper and lithium miners were especially strong. Those two commodities would see strong growth if the global economy picked up some speed in 2020. In the copper sector First Quantum Minerals (FQVLF) was up 4.78% and Southern Copper (SCCO) was up 3.34%. Lithium producers Albemarle (ALB) and SQM (SQM) were up 5.07% and 8.10%, respectively.
Why am I flagging a two-week time period on this upward trend? By the end of January investors will have seen (or not) the signing of the Part 1 trade agreement and a big hunk of reports from technology companies on earnings for the fourth quarter, historically the strongest quarter of the year for tech company revenues. Apple, for example, reports December quarter earnings on January 28.
My concern is that at a point near the end of the month, the good news for stock will be out there. At which point the market is likely to consolidate (or possibly sell down ) as investors and traders look for another trend to ride upward. The question, of course, is whether or not they’ll find one good for the remainder of 2020.