Yesterday the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 1.14% and market leading stocks such as Applied Materials (AMAT) dropped 0.78%. Big drug stocks made up the only sector in the green as Pfizer (PFE) rose 2.59%,and AbbVie (ABBV) gained 1.23%.
The fears yesterday were that the Omicron Variant of the Covid-19 virus would slow the economy and that Senator Joe Manchin had just killed prospects for any stimulus from the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better bil
Today the S&P 500 closed up 1.78%. A market leader like Applied Materials rose 4.42%. A big drug stock such as Pfizer was down 3.39%.
You’d think that today we know that the Omicron Variant won’t take a half point out of U.S. GDP growth in 2022, as Goldman Sachs projected yesterday, or that there was a glimmer of an alternative stimulus or climate change measure in Congress.
But there isn’t. The fundamentals are today what they were yesterday.
So what have we got today?
A traders’ bounce.
The drop yesterday was just too good a chance to pass up and so traders, especially once they saw that the overnight futures markets in Asia were in the green, turned on the cash flow into U.S. equities.
I think this is what you should expect for the rest of 2021 in what is, at its core, a directionless market. (As evidence of that I’d note that yesterday the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP) outperformed the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY) but that today the discretionary ETF was up 2.57% and the stables ETF was down 0.13%.)
And where trading activity will slow down, as it does every year at this time, and make dreams of moving the market on smaller volumes dance in trader’s heads.