Commenting on today’s late trading session, Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman said:
While the market-leading tech sector all but recovered from last week’s selloff, the weakness in global risk assets and the afternoon dip on Wall Street till warrant caution. Despite the explosive morning rally, bulls are still not out of the woods and the Dow dipped back below its 50-day moving average in late trading as the CDC confirmed that it’s ‘preparing for a pandemic’.
While the major indices all finished in the green, only the Nasdaq managed to close near its intraday high, as several key sectors were under pressure in late trading, due to the renewed fears of a global coronavirus pandemic. The Dow was up 144, or 0.5%, to 28,400, the Nasdaq gained 122, or 1.3%, to 9,273 while the S&P 500 rose by 23, or 0.7%, to 3,249. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 7-to-3 ratio on the NYSE, where volume was slightly above average.
Tech stocks in spotlight
While tech stocks shined bright today, the materials sector remained under severe selling pressure today, as the price of crude oil dipped below the $50 per barrel level for the first time in over a year. The very strong ISM manufacturing PMI wasn’t enough to trump the virus-related fears which also pushed the price of copper to a six-month low. The number of confirmed U.S. coronavirus cases rose to eleven and even though there is still no pandemic outside of China, the virus is far from being fully contained.
Google parent Alphabet (GOOG) reported strong earnings after the closing bell, beating the consensus estimate on its top line, but the market’s initial reaction was negative. The stock sold off due to the firm’s lower-than-expected revenues and its slightly disappointing guidance, falling back below the historic $1 trillion capitalization level that it recently passed. We can conclude the tech sector had a great fourth quarter in the face of the trade-related worries and the global economic weakness, and the Nasdaq’s runaway bullish trend might continue in the coming months.
Stocks sink in late trading
The main Chinese stock indices outright crashed today after reopening for the first time since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. Chinese authorities extended the Lunar New Year holiday to mitigate the impact of the epidemic and the lock-down of Wuhan and other major cities, but local stocks still closed almost 8% lower today. The Chinese yuan also got hit hard today amid the capital flight, and even though the People’s Bank Of China (PBOC) injected a near-record amount of liquidity banking system and temporarily banned the short selling of equities, the rout could continue this week.
We will have a relatively quiet day, in terms of economic releases tomorrow, but we will still get a couple of interesting U.S. indicators. Factory orders are expected to increase by 0.7% after pulling back in January, while the IBD/TIPP economic optimism number is also forecast to improve for the fifth month in a row. As for earnings, Disney’s (DIS) report, which is scheduled for the after-hours session, will highlight the day, but ConocoPhillips’s (COP) numbers could already make waves in the battered energy sector before the opening bell. Stay tuned!