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“Nothing in life is as important as you think it is when you are thinking about it.” – Daniel Kahneman

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 in a bit of a hangover this morning as futures are lower across the board.  S&P 500 futures suggest a 33 bps decline at the open while the Nasdaq is down over 50 bps.  There’s not much in the way of a catalyst for the move lower besides the fact that the market has come so far so fast, and investors appear to be looking over their shoulders for Fed Chair Powell’s congressional testimony tomorrow and Thursday.  Since the Fed started hiking rates in 2022, Powell has been known to take a crowbar to the knees of any rally, so some apprehension is understandable.

The key economic data this morning will be the ISM Services report at 10 AM, and the headline index is expected to decline modestly, falling from 53.4 down to 53.0. That would follow last Friday’s weaker-than-expected report for the Manufacturing sector which remains stuck in contraction territory. While not an economic report, Target (TGT) is trading higher this morning after reporting better-than-expected EPS.  In response, the stock is trading up over 8%.

Several of the top-performing stocks this year are also the largest in the S&P 500 (think Nvidia, Meta, and Eli Lilly), but over 60% of stocks in the index are up YTD and 45% are up over 5%, so underlying breadth has also been positive.  Looking through our Daily Sector Snapshot report, you can see the positive breadth in the cumulative A/D line which has been regularly hitting record highs, along with the percentage of S&P 500 stocks trading above their 50 and 200-day moving averages (DMA) which has also been well over 50%.

Another signal of strong breadth is in the percentage of stocks hitting 52-week highs.  Just yesterday, 19.5% of stocks in the S&P 500 hit 52-week highs which is the highest single-day reading in at least a year after it took out the prior high of 19.3% from early January.

When looking at the individual sectors driving the expansion of new highs, there are some modestly surprising trends. Leading the charge in new highs was the Industrials sector where 42% of the sector’s components traded at their highest levels in at least a year yesterday.

The Materials sector has also seen a steady widening in the number of new highs as its reading has steadily increased from less than 10% in late January to more than 30% yesterday.

The Consumer Discretionary sector didn’t see a new high in new highs yesterday, but at nearly 23%, only a couple of days in mid-December had a higher percentage of new highs.

Whenever we’re talking about market strength, you expect to hear Technology as part of the conversation.  While nearly 30% of the Technology sector hit 52-week highs yesterday, that reading was lower than Friday’s level of 34%. As shown in the chart below, there have been several days in the last few months where a higher percentage of Technology sector stocks hit 52-week highs.  Is Tech finally starting to pass the baton?

For more analysis of global equities and economic readings released this morning, read today’s full Morning Lineup with a two-week Bespoke Premium trial.

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