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Afternoon Note

No Looking Back

By Charles Payne, CEO & Principal Analyst
2/12/2020 2:11 PM

The markets opened up and have not looked back.  Investors are less fearful of the coronavirus as news circulates that the spread is slowing.  Additionally, Fed Chairman Powell has been giving congressional testimony the past two days, and there has been nothing in his comments spooking the market. 

Communications Services is leading the way higher, followed closely by Energy.  WTI is on move, up 2.6% to $51.25 per barrel. Health Care is a laggard today due in part to the decline in shares of Merck (MRK) after the company’s news regarding its Phase 3 KEYNOTE-355 trial.

S&P 500 Index

+0.46%

 

Communication Services (XLC)

+1.12%

 

Consumer Discretionary (XLY)

+0.93%

 

Consumer Staples (XLP)

 

-0.16%

Energy (XLE)

+1.00%

 

Financials (XLF)

 

-0.02%

Health Care (XLV)

 

-0.23%

Industrials (XLI)

+0.60%

 

Materials (XLB)

+0.50%

 

Real Estate (XLRE)

+0.64%

 

Technology (XLK)

+0.80%

 

Utilities (XLU)

+0.19%

 

Interestingly, advancers and decliners are close, while new 52-week highs solidly outpace the lows.

Issues:

NYSE

NASDAQ

Advancing

1,815

1,933

Declining

1,084

1,176

52 Week High

242

218

52 Week Low

28

39

 
In economic news, the weekly MBA Mortgage Application Index rose 1.1% after rising 5% in the previous week. Low rates continue to drive the refinance market, while an uptick housing prices due to tight supply impacted new purchases.

Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting stated, "The mortgage market continues to be active in early 2020, as applications increased for the third straight week. Rates also rose, but still remained close to their lowest levels since October 2016." He added, "The refinance index climbed to its highest level since June 2013, and refinance loan sizes also increased as a result of an active jumbo lending market."

Speaking of rates, the benchmark 10-year is up slightly to 1.62% as demand for U.S. Treasury continues.


 

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