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Profit from the Pros By Kevin Matras Executive Vice President
Stocks Soared Yesterday As Strong Economic Reports Come Back Into Focus
Stocks closed sharply higher yesterday as the economic reopening continues, bumps and all.
In spite of a bevy of positive economic reports last week, the growing concern over an increase in coronavirus cases, and what that could mean for the reopening, weighed on prices.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott shut down bars and scaled back restaurant dining. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered bars to stop selling alcohol, effectively shutting down those establishments. And California Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered 7 counties to shut down their bars as well.
But that concern is being tempered a bit as some healthcare professionals are saying inpatient counts are being "misinterpreted", and that the "level of alarm" is "unwarranted."
The CDC also said that half of the new cases in the U.S. are from people under the age of 35. That doesn't diminish the rise in cases, but it does reduce the consequences as that age group is not a high risk group.
Nonetheless, this is a serious issue. And HHS Secretary Alex Azar, said as much, remarking that the "window is closing" to control the outbreaks.
The next few weeks will be crucial to seeing how this plays out.
In the meantime, the market shifted its focus back to the better than expected economic numbers we've been seeing.
And even though the reopening is experiencing some snags, the economic rebound is underway. And there's great pent-up economic demand being unleashed virtually everywhere.
Yesterday's Pending Home Sales Index underscored that with a 44.3% m/m increase vs. expectations for 'just' 11.3%.
Today we'll get another look at the economic picture with Retail Sales via the Redbook report; more housing numbers with the S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index; general business conditions in both manufacturing and non-manufacturing with the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, and a look at the consumer with the Consumer Confidence Index.
In spite of recent volatility, stocks are on pace to close the month (today is the last trading for June), in positive territory, with the Nasdaq leading the way.
Note, we've got a shortened holiday trading week this week.
The markets will close early on Thursday, July 2nd.
And the markets will be closed on Friday, July 3rd, in observance of Independence Day.
I expect plenty of activity leading up to the long 3½-day weekend.
And by the looks of yesterday, traders are taking full advantage of it.
See you tomorrow,
Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research
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