Commenting on the NFIB Small Business Index and today’s trading, Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman said:
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The major indices are all mixed and flat at midday following another choppy but active morning session on Wall Street. The continued stimulus talks and the COVID vaccine-related developments are still in focus ahead of the highly-anticipated central bank meetings of the next ten days, and the major indices are still only a tad below their recent all-time highs. The FDA announced that Pfizer's PFE, +2.2%) vaccine candidate "hasn't raised security worries", so the serum will likely be approved in the coming days and the U.S. could follow the U.K.'s lead and start distributing the vaccine as early as next week.
NFIB Small Business Index Falls Slightly Below Estimates
The positive report fueled a bounce among cyclical issues, but tech stocks and “stay-at-home” stars, in particular, lagged behind as the outlook for 2021 continues to improve. In economic news, the NFIB Small Business Index came in at 101.4, a hair below the consensus estimate, but small-caps remain relatively strong thanks to The much better-than-expected German ZEW Sentiment Index provided support for risk assets overnight, on hopes that the biggest European economy might avoid a double-dip recession despite the resurgence of the virus.
Dow: 30,141, + 71 or 0.2%
S&P 500: 3,695 + 3 or 0.1%
Nasdaq: 12,507, - 13 or 1.7%
Russell 2000: 1,900, + 9 or 0.5%
Market breadth has been relatively strong this morning, with advancing issues outnumbering decliners by a less than 6-to-5 ratio on the NYSE at midday. Only 6 stocks hit new 52-week lows on the NYSE and the Nasdaq, while 194 stocks hit new 52-week highs. The major indices have been hovering above their daily VWAPs (Volume-Weighted Average Price) for most of the morning session, pointing to intraday buying pressure. Most of the key sectors are little changed, with energy-related issues being the only exception, similarly to yesterday’s session, but today, the sector enjoyed inflows thanks to the positive vaccine headlines. Stay tuned!