U.S. Stocks Decline; Oil Falls While Dollar Gains: Markets Wrap

By Cecile Gutscher and Claire Ballentine

U.S. stocks fell for a second day after Wells Fargo & Co. dragged down the banking sector in the wake of disappointing fourth-quarter results. Crude oil declined from a 10-month high as the dollar strengthened.

The energy and financial sectors led the S&P 500 lower, with Exxon Mobil Corp. dropping more than 5% after a report said the company is being investigated for overvaluing assets. Utilities and real estate shares rose. Stocks were already lower in Europe and Asia as President-elect Joe Biden’s much-anticipated $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan came under scrutiny. Treasury yields declined.

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Stock Market Books Tell The Story: A Generational Bull Market Is Starting

By John S. Tobey

Tracking new investing books can be rewarding. New editions ride a popularity wave (to maximize sales), so they reflect well the market environment.

Additionally, new books reveal investors’ emotions, particularly in times of bull market euphoria and bear market distress. The insight gained helps maintain composure and produce timely, contrarian decisions and actions .

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Stocks Erase Gains With Stimulus Odds Still Long: Markets Wrap

By Vildana Hajric and Anchalee Worrachate

U.S. stocks turned lower as investors remained on edge with aid talks showing little progress and data signaling coronavirus cases on the rise. The dollar strengthened.

Technology shares led the S&P 500 Index’s retreat. AT&T Inc. advanced after the phone giant added more wireless subscribers than analysts estimated. Luxury handbags and scarves house Hermes International rose after surpassing analysts’ sales estimates on a rebound in demand from Asia.

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The ‘rising stocks are ignoring the terrible economy’ crowd is missing the clear reasons for the market’s surge

By Neil Dutta

Mr. Market has turned into everyone’s favorite punching bag, a heartless fellow utterly divorced from economic reality. This bashing of the stock market as divorced from reality has been par for the course over the past few weeks.

The Wall Street Journal recently noted, “Although the stock market has erased its losses suffered during the pandemic, the economy appears to be telling a different story.” 

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The stock market’s comeuppance is coming, as bullishness gets extreme

By Mark Hulbert

The U.S. stock market’s five-month rally is coming to an end. Of course I don’t know when. That’s important to acknowledge, since this spring I presented arguments for why the market’s March lows could be retested in mid-June or mid-August. As many of you have emailed me recently to remind me, neither scenario came to pass.

Nevertheless, conditions are even stronger now for a correction. One big reason is that short-term market timers have become extremely bullish, which is not a good sign from a contrarian perspective. This is illustrated in the chart below, which plots the average recommended equity exposure among nearly 100 such timers that my firm monitors on a daily basis (which is the Hulbert Stock Newsletter Sentiment Index, or HSNSI). This average currently stands at 65.9% — higher than 95% of all daily readings since 2000, when my firm began calculating this index.

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S&P 500 inches closer to a record high, Dow rallies 300 points

By Fred Imbert

The S&P 500 rose on Tuesday, putting it on the cusp of a fresh all-time high amid a rotation out of technology shares and into stocks that would benefit from a reopening of the economy and a vaccine, such as cruise lines and airlines.

The broader market index gained 0.2% and was within 1% of reaching its Feb. 19 record of 3,393.52. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 314 points, or 1.1%. The Nasdaq Composite struggled, however, sliding 0.7%.

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The stock market is positioned to rally if it can clear this low bar, fund manager argues

By Steve Goldstein

Only 10% of S&P 500 SPX, 0.62% companies have reported results through Monday, and so far earnings are down a staggering 45% year-over-year, according to data from FactSet Research, which is more or less what the expectations are for the remaining companies.

Put another way — that is a pretty low bar. And that is why one fund manager is optimistic.

Salman Baig, multiasset investment manager at Swiss fund manager Unigestion, points out that during the first quarter, 65% of companies beat analyst estimates. While that sounds good, that is actually the worst percentage since 2009 and lower than the typical 75%.

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Never too young for the stock market

By Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

MANILA, Philipipines — Mariah Manaois of Paniqui, Tarlac, has been saving up money from Christmas “aguinaldo,” school allowance and the occasional reselling of novelty items to classmates since she was in Grade 1. Only 14 and a 10th grader, Mariah has become a new investor in the local stock market.

Mariah’s father, 37-year-old musician and entrepreneur Fidelito Manaois Jr., matched her savings and recently opened an online stock trading account, with the goal of building up her college fund. He bought shares of a new grocery store chain at its initial public offering (IPO) for P100,000, the maximum amount allowed for small investors under the electronic allocation system for IPOs of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

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