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Futures were flat up until a few minutes ago, but have moved modestly into positive territory this morning following a better-than-expected Empire Manufacturing report. Just as important as the headline beat was the fact that Prices Paid fell back down to what is basically post-pandemic lows. Despite the bounce in futures, treasury yields have moved higher following the release of the report.
While it didn’t end on a positive note, stocks finished the week higher last week with the S&P 500 up by about 0.8%. Small and mid-caps led the way higher with gains of about 1.5% while mega-caps in the Nasdaq 100 barely finished the week higher. In many respects, last week was mostly about a reversion to the mean where the most overbought sectors underperformed while sectors that were either oversold or neutral heading led the way higher. As shown in the image below from our Trend Analyzer, Financials, Energy, and Industrials were all oversold or neutral heading into the week, and they rallied more than 2%. Meanwhile, all five sectors that were overbought were all either down or up less than 1%. The only exception to the trend was Real Estate. Even though it was one of five sectors below its 50-day moving average coming out of the Easter weekend, it was still the worst-performing sector in the week.
After a strong one-month rally off the October lows, the last five months or so have been a lot like watching paint dry as the S&P 500 is barely higher now than it was at the end of November. Six months removed from the low last October, in order for the S&P 500 to keep its uptrend intact, it’s going to need to clear resistance above its early February high just below 4,200 or roughly $418 in SPY.
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