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Morning Commentary

COVID-19 LOCKDOWNS BITE THE BIG APPLE

By Charles Payne, CEO & Principal Analyst
11/19/2020 9:28 AM

Yesterday, the market swooned into the close, finishing at the lows of the session on a combination of factors. these were not new, but the cumulative effect finally triggered selling.

Increased lockdowns and local restrictions finally became big market news when it hit New York City schools. The news came out around 2:08 p.m., and minutes later, Mayor Bill de Blasio sent the following tweet to confirm.

At the time, stocks were edging lower, but there wasn’t any sign of panic. But once the lives of the fat cats of Wall Street were disrupted, selling intensified.

NYC School Shutdown Selloff

2:08

Close

S&P 500

3, 604

3,604

NASDAQ

11,894

11,801

Dow Jones Industrial

29,766

29,438

Too Chilled?

Several issues softened the market up and could be seen right off the bat. The vaccine “news” was losing its ability to awe the Street after so many up days, going back to last Monday. Yesterday, markets never really took off on the Pfizer (PFE) news, which was more of an update with better numbers that were already great.

The needle barely nudged.

The lack of fear could be a problem as the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), the so-called fear index was edging to levels that were around before talk of a deadly virus from China began to make the rounds in medical and investing circles.

There have been a few spikes in the VIX since the market bottomed. Mostly, it’s associated with another wave of the virus of worries – and a lack of additional stimulus.

VIX Index

Breaking up is hard to do, and investors continue to look longingly at those mega-cap growth names whenever they get rocky. Yesterday, they were the only two lagging sectors; before you knew it, they rallied into the plus column as traditional havens -Utilities (XLU), Real Estate (XLRE), and Consumer Staples (XLP) – slipped into the red.

I have also sensed the market rallied so much this month, particularly in beaten-down sectors, that it needed a break. I’m talking about good-old-fashioned consolidation. The problem there, however, is with the backdrop of breathless pandemic reporting meandering, it could morph into something more challenging.

The internals of the market were more in line with the selling, but it still reflected a market that is much stronger than the print on major equity indices would suggest.

Check out that up to down volume on the NASDAQ. My interpretation is big-pocketed buyers are using dips to get those names they missed the first time. 

Market Breadth

NYSE

NASDAQ

Advancing

1,178

1,395

Declining

1,880

2,186

52 Week High

162

222

52 Week Low

3

9

Up Volume

2.07B

2.82B

Down Volume

3.23B

1.89B

Conclusion

It was one of those sessions that was due to the only question, which was the spark. Now, the question is about follow-through. Keep in mind that economic data and other fundamental truths are very favorable, including the signal from the bond market, where yields were slightly higher. 

Hotline Model Portfolio Approach

We continue to take profits and raise cash, as many ideas either hit our targets or the risk-reward shifts enough to warrant ringing the register (which also feels good when it’s outperforming the market).

Today’s Session

There is lots of earnings out that reflect on the consumer.  Most have seen big beats on top and bottom lines, but there is little forward guidance.

Children’s Place (PLCE)

Macy’s (M)

BJ Wholesale Club (BJ)

L Brands (LB)

Jack in the Box (JACK)

Initial Jobless Claims

Claims came in much higher than expected, and while it didn’t initially impact equity futures, it does impact sentiment.  The other side of this could be the notion Congress sees a greater urge to get some fiscal aid through immediately.

Initial Jobless Claims

United States Initial Jobless Claims


Comments
It looks as if the Bejing Biden is taking effect. Thanks Charles for all the data.

Lorin Kenfield on 11/19/2020 10:31:55 AM
Is NYC worthy of all the press it is currently receiving? Sounds more like it is being renamed Little Apple with hundreds of thousands of permanent departures.

Ron LaCour on 11/19/2020 11:43:07 AM
 

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