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Kevin Matras   
Profit from the Pros
By Kevin Matras
Executive Vice President
Zacks Investment Research

Stocks Close Modestly Lower, Earnings Season Gearing Up

Stocks closed modestly lower yesterday and near their highs of the day.

Lingering disappointment that a stimulus deal seems unlikely before the election weighed on stocks early on. But there's wide belief that some type of stimulus package will get passed after the election. (And there's still a chance, albeit slim, that something could get done beforehand. You never know.)

Also, reports that Europe is facing a resurgence in new cases and is contemplating new lockdowns didn't help stocks either. A decision is to be made on this sometime next week.

Although, with many experts and the World Health Organization now frowning upon large lockdowns as doing more harm than good, Europe may choose to impose targeted restrictions rather than large scale restrictions. We shall see.

But after stocks opened at their worst levels of the day yesterday, they immediately began trying to make up that lost ground. And it should be noted that the small-cap Russell 2000 Index closed up for the day with a gain of 1.06%.

In other news, Weekly Jobless Claims increased more than expected with 53K new claims at 898K vs. views for a decrease to 825K.

But the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index surged to 32.3, up from last month's 15.0 and views for 14.5 as new orders rose.

The Empire State Manufacturing Index missed expectations at 10.5 vs. the consensus for 14.5. But analysts pointed out that new orders increased, along with the shipments index, the number of employees index, and the future employment index.

Today we'll get a look at Retail Sales, Industrial Production, Business Inventories, and Consumer Sentiment.

In the meantime, earning season is upon us, and that's usually positive for stocks.

And analysts are still predicting unprecedented growth for the remainder of the year with Q3 expected to show a record 35.2% growth rate!

That's why stocks are on the move. And why it looks like they have a lot more upside to go.


Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


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