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

Stocks Down On Friday, But Up Strongly For The Month

Stocks closed lower on Friday, and for the week, except for the S&P, which managed to eke out a small gain. But all of the major indexes were solidly higher for the month with the Dow up 2.71%, the S&P up 5.24%, the Nasdaq up 6.66%, and the small-cap Russell 2000 up 2.07%.

A stellar earnings season has helped lift stocks. We have another 1,755 companies set to report this week, and another 1,037 companies on deck for next week.

A steady stream of better than expected economic reports has also benefitted stocks. That was underscored yet again with Friday's Personal Income and Outlays report showing household income rose by a record 21.1%. Granted, much of that was buoyed by the recent stimulus payments. But not all of it. Spending rose as well by 4.2%.

That comes on the heels of retail sales jumping 9.8% in March.

The Chicago PMI on Friday also came in better than expected at 72.3 vs. the consensus for 64.0.

And Consumer Sentiment increased to 88.3 from last month's 86.5 and views for 87.1.

The market is also cheering the forecasts for big growth this year. Q1 just came in at 6.4%. And full-year GDP is expected to come in at the fastest pace in 36 years.

Moreover, there's still another $2.25 trillion infrastructure package, and $1.8 trillion Families Plan package on the table as well.

We could be looking at a multiyear boom.

Of course, there will be some bumps along the way. Tax hikes are coming. And other parts of the world are seeing virus cases on the rise. So much so that the administration just restricted travel from India.

But none of the above, or anything presently known, are expected to derail the historic economic recovery that's unfolding.

Historic times typically bring historic price moves. And that bodes well for the market.

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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