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Stocks Soar On Strong Start To Earnings Season

Stocks soared yesterday with all of the major indexes up 2% and more.

A strong start to earnings season attracted buyers in droves. Financials, tech, and retail were just some of the standout performers.

The market is still paying attention to the saga over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. As mentioned yesterday, it's believed that Saudi Arabia is preparing to admit that he was killed 'by mistake' in an 'interrogation gone wrong'.

News of that dragged the market off its highs on Monday. But with the retaliatory rhetoric between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia dialed back, the market breathed a sigh of relief on Tuesday. Although, when the gruesome details are officially made public, I would not be surprised to see a bit of unease grip the market again. But as long as the U.S. and Saudi Arabia can find a way forward, while also punishing those found responsible, the impact on the market should be minimal.

In other news, retail sales via the Redbook report showed y/y same store sales grew at a 5.8% pace. That's off from last week's 6.5% pace, which was a 13-year high. But analysts, nevertheless, were quick to point out that 'year-on-year growth remains exceptionally strong.'

The Housing Market Index increased from 67 to 68. The report highlights an increase in traffic to the best levels since February. It also cites present sales and 6-month sales gaining as well.

Industrial Production was also up with production and manufacturing rising 0.3% and 0.2% respectively. Analyst's pointed out that the manufacturing component 'makes up nearly 3/4 of all industrial production' and noted the yearly rate is up 3.5%. They further detailed that 'when adding in the rate of inflation, growth is closer to 6% which is strong.'

Another set of bullish economic reports.

Last week's pullback notwithstanding, the strong start to earnings season and the continuing strength in the economy reminded everyone again why the stock market is enjoying the longest bull market in history, and why it's likely to keep on going for many years to come.

So make sure you're taking full advantage of it.

See you tomorrow,

Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


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