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“When we put it all together, we’ve got to be perhaps the greatest club ever.” – Bill Sharman

Morning stock market summary

Below is a snippet of commentary from today’s Morning Lineup.  Start a two-week trial to Bespoke Premium to view the full report.  

Markets are experiencing a bit of a turnaround Tuesday (in the wrong direction) this morning as a good chunk of yesterday’s gain is getting retraced this morning.  Small Business Optimism from the NFIB topped forecasts reaching its joint-highest reading since September 2022, and the Trade Balance came in slightly narrower than expected.  Perhaps the biggest headlines in the next 24 hours, though, will come in the crypto space where the SEC is expected to give a definitive answer regarding approval for a Bitcoin ETF.

Last week’s decline to kick off the year ended what had been simultaneous nine-week winning streaks for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq and the longest such streak in decades.  Given the weakness to kick off the year, a lot of investors went into the weekend thinking that maybe the rally had finally run its course, and the bears were going to be back in charge for 2024.  Yesterday, though, the bulls made a stand as the S&P 500 rallied 1.4% to put it down just 0.13% on the year.  Who knows what the rest of the year may bring, but one week doesn’t necessarily make a trend (even if it was the all-important first week of the year).  Think back to the 1972 Lakers.

52 years ago today, the Lakers, led by Jerry West, Gail Goodrich, and Wilt Chamberlain ended a record 33-game win streak when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar dropped 39 to help lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 120-104 win.  While the end of the streak was undoubtedly a disappointment at the time, the Lakers still ended the season with a 69-13 record.  They then sailed through the playoffs with just three losses in three rounds, ultimately winning the Championship over the Knicks.  Even the best runs have their rough patches.

As mentioned above, after five full trading days, the S&P 500 is down just fractionally YTD with a decline of 0.13%, and the average performance of stocks in the index is a decline of 0.23%.  Overall, 230 stocks in the index are up YTD, so it’s been a draw all around.  While there hasn’t been much movement at the index level, on an individual stock level, there have been some extremes at each end of the spectrum with a handful of ‘stars’ already up over 5% YTD and an even larger number down over 5%.

Starting with the biggest winners, 18 stocks in the S&P 500 have already rallied 5% on the year, and the top five performers are all from the Health Care sector with Moderna (MRNA) leading the way posting a gain of 16.1% YTD. Rounding out the top five, Eli Lilly (LLY) is continuing its run from last year with an additional gain of 7.4%. Outside of the Health Care sector, some of the more notable names on the list include Verizon (VZ), which doesn’t often find itself on a top performer list, and NVIDIA (NVDA), which always seems to be near the top of a top performer list no matter what time frame you look at.

While 18 stocks are already up at least 5% YTD, 27 stocks are already down 5% on the year.  The most notable of the losers is Boeing (BA) as it’s down over 12% following its 8% decline on Monday. Tech was a top-performing sector last year, but it has run into a bit of profit-taking in the first week of 2024 as one-third (9) of the stocks listed are all from that sector and more specifically, the semiconductor group.

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