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“Waiting helps you as an investor and a lot of people just can’t stand to wait.” – Charlie Munger
Heading into the 8:30 data, we were looking at the possibility of the first back to back sub-million readings in jobless claims and the first reading below 15 million in continuing claims since April. Well, you can’t win them all. While continuing claims fell below 15 million to 14.844 million, initial claims surged to 1.106 million for the largest weekly increase since March.
Be sure to check out today’s Morning Lineup for a rundown of the latest stock-specific news of note, market performance in the US and Europe, trends related to the COVID-19 outbreak, and much more.
We hear a lot about how top-heavy the market has become and how uneven performance has been, especially since the COVID crisis began. Looking at performance on a group basis, though, doesn’t quite confirm that narrative. After Wednesday’s modest losses, the S&P 500 is down slightly relative to its 2/19 pre-COVID high. Of the 24 S&P 500 industry groups, eleven have outperformed the S&P 500 since 2/19 while thirteen have underperformed. That’s almost an even split right down the middle and exactly what you would expect to see for a stock market that is essentially unchanged over that span.
Leading the way to the upside, two groups stand out among the rest, and they are Retailing and Tech Hardware which have both rallied over 25%. This is where the top-heaviness of the market comes into play as Retailing is primarily Amazon (AMZN) while Tech Hardware might as well be Apple (AAPL). To the downside, though, two groups also standout against all the others. With declines of over 30% since 2/19, both Banks and Energy are lagging every other industry group by at least ten percentage points.