Major averages finished mixed yesterday on higher volume. The Dow Jones Industrials closed at new highs while the NASDAQ Composite closed further below its its 50-day moving average as big-stock NASDAQ 100 names continued to get hit hard. The Russell 2000, midcaps (ETF: IWR), and financials, meanwhile, closed strongly higher once again.
Trump's policies favor infrastructure, biotech, banks/financials/insurance, retail, and transportation among other groups. This capital shift into and out of certain sectors has left an institutional footprint. We should start to see confirmation this week in the form of actionable new leading names otherwise a key ingredient is missing, underscoring the question if and how soon such groups will benefit.
The recent bifurcated market action has some scratching their heads. Here, now, are brief explanations as to why certain markets are behaving in a seemingly unusual manner:
Why are the Dow Industrials, Dow Transports, Russell 2000, Russell midcaps, S&P 500 and other indices except the NASDAQ Composite and NASDAQ-100 rushing higher? A plan to increase infrastructure spending and cut corporate and personal income taxes will boost growth prospects. This is bullish for stocks and on the economy as a whole.
Yield curve steepening? The prospect of economic growth picking up under President-elect Trump's proposed policies makes bonds, perceived as relatively safe assets, less appealing than stocks. Also, more government borrowing means more debt will need to be issued by the Treasury. This increases the supply of bonds thus weighs on prices sending yields higher.
Weak oil? Trump's talk about ramping up coal and oil production has put pressure on crude-oil prices as supply would increase.
Strong dollar? Higher rates and a bigger budget deficit are seen as positive for the dollar in the short term.
Weak gold? The stronger dollar has put pressure on precious metals.
Meanwhile, big cap technology stocks such as AMZN, FB, GOOG, and NFLX continue to sharply correct though they are mini-gapping higher in the premarket. Trump mentioned AMZN as one example of a company that may be in violation of anti-trust laws thus needs to be investigated. Some other big cap techs may also fall into this category. But the continued sell-off in these names could be due to capital that had been parked in these leading names that is now shifting out into more Trump-favored sectors. The divergence between the lagging NASDAQ Composite/NASDAQ-100 when compared to other major indices is pronounced.
Alternatively, the market could be readying for a sharp sell off ahead of or after the December Fed meeting. The QE-bubble that has been building since 2009 is a concern. It seems unlikely that it can be easily deflated without some material consequences. As always, focus on the price/volume of stocks on our Focus list, and also on how fast stocks are being added or subtracted as this provides a barometer of sorts on the internal health of leading stocks.
This week, a number of Fed speakers will discuss Trump and how his presidency will impact their stance on interest rate hikes.