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

Dow And S&P End Higher For The Week After Impressive Rebound

Stocks finished mostly higher on Friday and mostly higher for the week.

And what a week it was. After plunging on Monday, all of the indexes then spent the rest of the week rebounding. And by week's end, the Dow, which was down by -2.81% at its worst on Monday, closed up 0.62% for the week. The S&P, which was down -2.87% at its worst, was up 0.51% by week's end. And the Nasdaq, which was down by -3.34% at its worst, finished just -3.79 points or -0.02% away from a full retracement of Monday's drop.

On Monday of last week, word that a Chinese company, Evergrande, one of China's largest real estate developers, might not be able to meet its mounting debt payments and that they could go under, roiled the markets. With more than $300 billion in debt, some began to compare Evergrande's situation to the Lehman debacle back in 2008.

Even though the situation did not improve during the week, some started questioning the accuracy of the comparison. And while it would be a negative for China, folks began downplaying the impact it would have on the world economy.

And socks started to rebound.

Then the markets cheered Wednesday's FOMC Announcement where the Fed indicated they could begin their bond-tapering "soon," which the market interpreted to mean their next Fed meeting in early November.

Why cheer about tightening monetary policy (albeit just a little)?

Because 1) it shows the Fed's confidence in the recovery, and 2) it shows they won't let inflation get too hot before acting. And that was reassuring to the market.

As for rates, they expect those to remain near zero for the foreseeable future. While the Fed's policymakers were split on whether rates could begin to rise sometime in 2022 or sometime in 2023, it's clear nothing is going to happen this year. And whenever they do decide to raise rates, it will likely be the most telegraphed move with the biggest heads up in history.

This week, the focus will likely shift to Washington as the House is expected to bring the $3.5 trillion domestic spending bill, and the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill up for a vote. And the Senate will need to decide how to act on the Debt Ceiling after the House voted to fund the government thru Dec. 3rd, and suspend the borrowing limit until the end of 2022.

In the meantime, stocks are back near their all-time highs.

And it won't take much to retest those highs, and send them even higher.


Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


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