Commenting on the intensifying COVID worries and today’s trading, Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman said:
Global Risk Assets Pulled Back As The Covid Worries Intensify
The major indices are all trading slightly lower at midday following a mixed and volatile morning session on Wall Street. Global risk assets pulled back overnight due to the intensifying COVID worries and another batch of weaker-than-expected economic releases, but U.S. stocks are holding on to most of their recent gains despite this morning’s losses. The weekly average of new infections continues to hit new records together with hospitalizations in the U.S., but thanks to the encouraging vaccine-related developments, the S&P 500 and Dow are only a tad below their all-time highs following yesterday’s broad-based rally.
In economic news, retail sales missed expectations across the board, with core and headline sales edging higher by only 0.2% and 0.3% respectively. Import prices and business inventories also missed, but on a positive note, the NAHB Housing Market Index unexpectedly surged to a new record high of 90, while industrial production was in line with expectations in October. Walmart’s (WMT, +0.1%) bullish earnings report muted the efforts of the weak retail sales data, and consumer-related issues were actually among the best-performing stocks thanks to the retail giant's blowout online sales.
Dow: 29,764, - 187 or 0.6%
S&P 500: 3,612 - 15 or 0.4%
Nasdaq: 11,888, - 36 or 0.3%
Russell 2000: 1,771, - 14 or 0.8%
Market breadth has been relatively weak this morning, with decliners outnumbering advancing issues by a 3-to-1 ratio on the NYSE at midday. No stocks hit new 52-week lows on the NYSE and the Nasdaq, while 64 stocks hit new 52-week highs. The major indices have been trading above their daily VWAPs (Volume-Weighted Average Price) for most of the morning session, pointing to intraday buying pressure. The energy sector has been very strong this morning, thanks to the likely extension of the OPEC’s supply cuts, and even though the other key sectors spent the morning session in the red, their losses are limited, and the defensive utilities and healthcare sectors have been the weakest, which a positive sign for the rest of the day. Stay tuned!