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Stocks Take A Breather, But Economic Reports Show Continued Strength

Tough day in the markets yesterday with most of the major indexes down for the day, although the Russell 2000 Small-Cap Index was unchanged.

There was no new news that weighed on stocks. Markets go up and down. Given the winning streak the markets were on (it was up to 8 days in a row for the Dow), a modest down day is just a normal run-of-the-mill day.

Actually, I'm glad to see the market's pullback yesterday. Especially for the S&P. Why? Because they left a gap on the chart after the market opened higher last Thursday. The gap came in at 2,701.27. We effectively closed that gap yesterday, getting as low as 2,701 and some change, before heading back up. Since common gaps are typically filled, buttoning that up improves the technical picture and should attract new buyers.

In other news, Retail Sales came in as expected with a 0.3% m/m gain.

The Redbook report also showed good news for retail with the same store sales y/y rate of change at 4.9% vs. last month's snapshot of 4.2%.

Business Inventories were flat vs. expectations for 0.2%, but sales increased by an even bigger 0.5%, helping to decrease the inventory-to-sales ratio to 1.34 from 1.35.

And the Housing Market Index rose to 70 from last month's revised print of 68 and views for 69. Analysts noted the "sentiment among the nation's home builders is strong".

Solid day of economic reports.

The markets should be back to their winning ways in no time.

See you tomorrow,

Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research

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