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

Stocks Down For The Week, Stimulus Talks To Heat Up

Stocks closed mixed on Friday with only the Nasdaq and small-cap Russell 2000 finishing in the green. But all of the major indexes were down for the week.

According to the news, it was rising bond yields and the fear that the Fed would raise rates sooner rather than later that pressured stocks.

But Fed Chair Jerome Powell, after two days of testimony before the Senate and the House on Tuesday and Wednesday last week, essentially said that rates aren't going anywhere anytime soon. So this narrative is misguided, in my opinion. (How many times does the Fed have to say they're not raising rates before people believe they're not raising rates?)

As I said last week, I would chalk the pullback up to typical profit taking after a spectacular run-up.

Stocks usually pull back about -5% roughly 3-4 times per year. (A pullback is defined as a decline between -5% and -9.99%.)

And stocks usually correct -10% on average of about once a year. (A decline of -10% (actually -10% to -19.99%) is called a correction.)

So far, from their February high close, to last Friday's low close, the S&P has pulled back by -3.09%; the Dow by -3.22%; the Russell 2000 by -4.26%; and the Nasdaq by -6.41%.

Does the market have to go down -5%? No. Can it go down by more? Yes.

But with forecasts for full-year GDP to come in at the fastest pace in 38 years, it sure looks like a buying opportunity to me.

And with a large stimulus package likely on its way by March 14th (that's the self-imposed timeline that Congress has put on itself, which also happens to be when extended Federal unemployment benefits start expiring), that should give the economy an even bigger boost.

In the meantime, we continue to see economic report after economic report beat expectations. And we just witnessed the same with a stellar earnings season.

So I'm optimistic for both the economy and the market moving forward.

Because it looks like there's a lot more upside to go.

See you tomorrow,

Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


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