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Afternoon Note

Swift But Stabilized

By Charles Payne, CEO & Principal Analyst
2/20/2020 1:10 PM

It’s been an indifferent session, one of high anxiety and selling, and there's a debate on what’s impacting the market most. The World Health Organization held its coronavirus update noting that Iran has finally reported numbers on those infected, including two deaths.  Dr. Tedros portrayed a race against time, arguing the window of opportunity to contain the virus remains open and urging everyone not to squander the chance to arrest the situation, noting the window may close.

That coupled with reports of US hospitals gearing up for a pandemic trigger selling. Then, there are the comments from Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida, who threw cold water on potential Fed rate cuts this year, noting the strong US economy and his opinion that most market participants don’t expect rate cuts. The selling was swift but has since stabilized.  It underscores a market that had a monster move yet is grappling for the next catalysts that could move it higher. 

Consolidation Phase

The market has been looking for reasons to take some money off the table, and I have been making adjustments in our model portfolio.  There are going to be reasons for selling from time to time, but the underpinnings of the economy are very strong and continue to provide the basis for investing.  Bottom line is sometime the market has more sellers than buyers, and sometimes the machines get panicky.

Technology is the big loser today, as it has been the big winner for a long time.  The downgrade of AMD set the tone for chip stocks.

S&P 500 Index



Communication Services (XLC)



Consumer Discretionary (XLY)



Consumer Staples (XLP)



Energy (XLE)



Financials (XLF)



Health Care (XLV)



Industrials (XLI)



Materials (XLB)



Real Estate (XLRE)



Technology (XLK)



Utilities (XLU)




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