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Next Up, The Christmas Rally

The markets ended narrowly mixed on Wednesday, in light, pre-holiday trade. The Nasdaq was the leader making new all-time highs by day's end. The other indexes finished within just a few ticks from their record closes earlier in the week.

There were plenty of reports out on Wednesday to move the market, but traders (those that showed up) seemed more concerned with the fast approaching Thanksgiving holiday (which has now come and gone) than anything else.

Nonetheless, here's a recap of those reports:

MBA Mortgage Applications were up 1.0% with the purchase index up 5.0% and refi's off by -5.0%.

Weekly Jobless Claims were down by -10,000 at 239,000, remaining near their best levels since this bull market began.

Durable Goods Orders slipped -1.2% on a m/m basis. Ex-transportation, it was up 0.4%. On a y/y basis, however, new orders were up 1.0%. And excluding the volatile transportation sector, it was up 7.4%. I should also mention that core capital goods, on a y/y basis, were also up nicely with an 8.1% increase. Analysts were quick to point out that this component is a direct input into GDP, so that is bullish.

And Consumer Sentiment jumped up from 97.8 to 98.5, which is within striking distance of its bull market highs.

All supportive news for a strengthening economy and a continuing bull market.

Today, economic report-wise, the only thing on the docket is the PMI Composite Flash report.

Take note that the market will close early today at 1:00 PM ET.

I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving.

Next up is Christmas and the anticipated Christmas rally.

If you have the day off today, good for you. If not, in a few hours the weekend will soon be here.

In the meantime, be sure to check out my recent article, "Are You Beating the Market This Year?" With the end of the year less than 6 weeks away, now is a good time to reflect on what you did right in the market, what you did wrong, and how to position yourself for a strong finish and an even better year next year.

Are You Beating the Market This Year?

Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research

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