Stocks Edge Higher Ahead of Long Weekend
Stocks edged higher last week as investors digested the latest round of mixed economic and earnings data. In the short term, the market looks a little extended and due for a little pullback to digest its recent gain. The big take-away is that the stock market remains strong as we have yet to see any conclusive “data” that suggests the Fed should raise rates anytime soon. In fact, most of the data continues to be lackluster at best which means the “data-dependent” Fed will likely not raise rates anytime soon (which, for now, is bullish for stocks). Looking at earnings, so far,approximately 481 companies in the S&P 500 (96%) have reported Q1 results and 63% have had a positive EPS surprise and 33% had a negative EPS surprise with the reminder meeting estimates. The fact that the market has edged higher since earnings season began bodes well for this aging bull market and suggests higher prices will likely follow, for now. History shows us that some of the market’s strongest performers occur from big gaps up on earnings and some of the weakest stocks gap down after reporting numbers.The big winners (so far) from earnings season include: Amazon.com ($AMZN), Netflix ($NFLX), Hasbro ($HAS), Domino’s Pizza ($DPZ), Skechers ($SKX), Dunkin (Donuts) Brands Group ($DNKN), Microsoft Corp ($MSFT), O’Reilly Automotive ($ORLY), and YUM Brands ($YUM), Skywest ($SKYW), Web.com ($WWWW), Equinix ($EQIX), Styngenta ($SYT), Nutri System ($NTRI), Brink’s Co ($BCO), Teradyne Inc ($TER), Skyworks Solutions ($SWKS), GoPro ($GPRO), Estee Lauder ($EL), Abiomed Inc ($ABMD), Golar LNG ($GLNR), Energizer Holdings ($ENR), RetailMeNot, Inc ($SALE), Herbalife ($HLF), BlueBird Bio ($BLUE), HubSpot Inc ($HUBS), Alibaba Group ($BABA), Qorvo Inc ($QRVO), Visteon Copr ($VC), Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings ($NCLH)
On the downside: Whole Foods Market ($WFM), Keurig Green Mountain ($GMCR), Kate Spade ($KATE), Lannett Co ($LCI), Nu Skin ($NUS), Terra Nitrogen ($TNH), Tumi Holdings ($TUMI), Noodles & Company ($NDLS), Qualys ($QLYS), Groupon Inc ($GRPN), News Corporation ($NWSA), Vitamin Shoppe Inc, ($VSI), Fossil Inc ($FOSL), Frontier Communication ($FTR), TriNet Group ($TNET), Zulily Inc ($ZU), Weight Watchers ($WTW), Walter Energy Inc. ($WLT), Skullcandy ($SKUL) Twitter ($TWTR), Yelp ($YELP), LinkedIn ($LNKD), Constant Contact (CTCT), Accuray ($ARAY), Cooper Tire & Rubber ($CTB), Abaxis ($ABAX), Texas Instruments ($TXN), Buffalo Wild Wings ($BWLD), Baidu Inc. ($BIDU), Stratasys ($SSYS), Harman ($HAR), Nokia ($NOK), Travelers ($TRV), 3M ($MMM), Chipotle ($CMG), Pulte Group ($PHM), Biogen Inc ($BIIB), Generac Holdings ($GNRC), First Solar ($FSLR), and American Express ($AXP), just to name a few.
Monday-Wednesday’s Action: Economy Data Is Not Impressive
Stocks rallied on Monday helping the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the benchmark S&P 500 hit new record highs. Stocks rallied after the National Association of Home Builders’ survey missed estimates and showed builder confidence fell two points in May. Separately, European stock markets and the Euro were under slight pressure after rumor spread that Greece was on the verge of bankruptcy. Greek bond yields soared, with the 10-year jumping a whopping 7%, after a leaked internal memo from the International Monetary Fund showed the country had little chance of making the June 5 payment. Spanish and Italian bond yields also jumped more than 7% on related fears.
Thursday-Friday’s Action: Stocks Flirt With New Highs
Market Outlook: The Central Bank Put Is Alive And Well
Remember, in bull markets surprises happen to the upside. This has been our primary thesis since the end of 2012. We would be remiss not to note that this very strong bull market is aging (celebrated its 6th anniversary in March 2015) and the last two major bull markets ended shortly after their 5th anniversary; 1994-2000 & 2002-Oct 2007). To be clear, the central bank put is very strong and until material damage occurs, the stock market deserves the longer-term bullish benefit of the doubt. As always, keep your losses small and never argue with the tape.