I was skeptical following the S&P 500 (SPX) breakout because stocks have stopped rallying on good news, like Apple’s splendid second quarter financial results, notes Jon Markman of Pivotal Point.
I doubt the indexes are at the beginning of a big correction, yet I would not be surprised if there was some consolidation at nearby support levels.
Bullish investors need a volatility reset to shake the trees and undermine excessive confidence. A decline for the benchmark to 4,134 would not be terrible. It might even be the pause that refreshes for the next big move up.
The bottom line is investors should remain positive and start making lists of stocks they would like to own at slightly lower levels if the month of May starts in first gear.
Stocks closed lower at the end of last week as a profusion of upbeat economic reports and corporate earnings windfalls failed to stir incremental buying interest in a market growing accustomed to good news.
Upside surprises from the likes of Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Facebook (FB), Google (GOOG), and a variety of industrial and consumer companies this week added up to a weekly gain of exactly one point for the S&P 500 after it fell 0.7% to 4,181.17 on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 0.5% to 33,874.85, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.9% to 13,962.68.
The 10-year US Treasury yield slipped one basis point to 1.63% despite more signals of an economic upswing.
Drugs, staples, utilities, and REITS fared best, while chips, banks, and energy lagged. With earnings reports from many market heavyweights already out and the seasonally bullish first third of the year concluded, the bull market slipped from Thursday's record highs.
In dataland, US personal income surged a record 21.1% in March while spending rose 4.2%, the government reported, confirming market expectations of a savings surge and shopping splurge on last month's stimulus checks. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for April jumped to a post-pandemic peak on record expectations of job gains, while a Chicago-area business gauge based on a purchasing manager survey set a 37-year high.
Twitter (TWTR) shares dropped 15%, the worst decline within the S&P 500, after first-quarter results topped analysts' estimated but paled next to the online ad windfalls at Facebook and Google.
Chevron (CVX) first-quarter results also topped analysts' average estimate as the oil major slashed capital outlays even as production declined and oil prices recovered. But the oil giant did not announce a resumption of share repurchases as some had hoped, and the stock fell 3.6%.
Tesla (TSLA) gained 4.8% amid speculation that a change in the company's incentive compensation disclosures for chief executive Elon Musk implied 2021 sales above market expectations.
Learn more about Jon Markman at Pivotal Point.