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

Stocks Down On Friday And For The Week

Stocks closed lower on Friday and for the week.

Heading into the end of last week, all of the major indexes were in positive territory. But by the end of the day on Friday, it was not meant to be.

We had gotten a couple of good reports on inflation last week (import prices and the consumer price index). While still hotter than anyone would like, they've been tracking under what's been expected.

We also got several pieces of positive economic data (retail sales, manufacturing data, mortgage applications, and small business optimism).

But stocks hit pause nonetheless. After a stellar rally this year (the Dow and the Nasdaq have been up in 6 of the last 8 months (thru August), with the S&P up in 7 of the last 8 months), some profit taking and consolidation was bound to happen.

Volatility was also probably heightened on Friday as it was Quadruple Witching. That's when stock index futures, stock index options, stock options, and single stock futures all expire.

In other news, the Consumer Sentiment report ticked up from 70.3 to 71.0. That's an increase from last month, but it was under the estimate for 72.0.

This week should be a busy week. Not just with the usual slate of economic reports on the docket. But with developments on the infrastructure bill, the budget framework bill, and the tax hikes to pay for it. With everything supposed to be voted on by September 27th, that leaves just 8 more days left.

You can also add the upcoming debt ceiling to the mix as well. That's got a bit longer than September 27th to deal with. But not much. An agreement will need to be made soon (sometime in October), which includes either lifting the cap or suspending it, otherwise the government will have to slash some government programs.

So plenty of focus will be on D.C. this week and next.

In the meantime, stocks continue to trade near their all-time highs.

And as the economic rebound continues, that should continue to underpin stocks.

See you tomorrow,

Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


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