Volatility continued Friday as a large opening gain quickly vanished. In the end cyclicals remained relatively well bid while technology stocks clanked. The S&P 500 (SPX) closed at 4,538, down 0.84%, says Jon Markman, growth-stock specialist and editor of Strategic Advantage.
It is noteworthy that a strong rally in the final hour pushed the benchmark S&P 500 back to the critical support level at 4,540. This is important and should set up another attempt early in the coming week at 4,620, the major overhead resistance level.
To be clear, volatility is surging -- and while bears may be feeling good about the beatdown delivered on Friday morning, nothing has changed. The odds of a strong rally into year-end are good.
After that, the potential for significant trouble increases as many of the supports for the market up to now – low interest rates, low inflation and the election-year cycle – abruptly start to lean bearish. If that happens, we’ll continue to support digital transformation stocks but with a lighter touch that takes into consideration the potential for more volatility and weaker price-earnings multiples.
For now, bulls simply need to work through resistance and climb the wall of worry that has been erected to coincide with weakening consumer sentiment and the latest coronavirus variants.
The big news event Friday was a November employment report showed the economy added fewer than half the number of jobs that the market had anticipated.
Technology, consumer discretionary, and financials were the worst performing sectors, while consumer staples and utilities led gainers.
The 10-year US Treasury yield dove 6.9 basis points to 1.38%, the lowest level in about 10 weeks.
Nonfarm payrolls rose by 210,000, below the 550,000 jump anticipated in a survey compiled by Bloomberg, while October payrolls saw an upward revision to 546,000. The poll was carried out Nov. 7-13, two weeks before the omicron variant of the coronavirus was reported.
"This is disappointing," Pantheon Macroeconomics Chief Economist Ian Shepherdson said in a note, pointing to weakness across the services sector. However, Shepherdson continued to believe the Fed will announce a faster tapering on Dec. 15, "unless the scientific news on the omicron variant over the next couple weeks is disastrous."
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil Futures (WTI) rose by $0.3 to $66.77 a barrel, after trading up more than $1 earlier in the session. On Thursday, the OPEC agreed to stick to a joint policy of 400,000 barrels per day of monthly supply increases. The US recently pressured the world's largest oil cartel to continue adding supply to keep oil and gasoline prices from spiraling higher, but the effort fell on deaf ears.
The World Health Organization reportedly said Friday that omicron has been detected in 38 countries, up from 23 two days ago, with early data suggesting the strain is more contagious than delta.
In company news, DocuSign's (DOCU) revenue guidance came in lighter than expected as demand slowed after six quarters of acceleration, prompting the electronic signatures firm to respond by investing aggressively in its salesforce. Its shares plunged 40% intraday, the steepest decline.
The biggest gainer on the index was Marvell Technology, whose shares surged 18%. The company's end-to-end platform approach to core cloud, 5G and auto supports long-term structural growth following its breakout Q3 results and outlook, Oppenheimer said in a Friday note.