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

Stocks Up, Dow Posts Best Day Since March

Stocks closed higher yesterday to start the week on a positive note.

Relief that the Omicron variant has not spread as fast as had been feared, and reports that the symptoms of infection have been mild, have helped the markets recover.

The S&P, from its highest intraday high on 11/22 to its lowest intraday low on 12/3 was down as much as -5.24%. But the market has since bounced back with the S&P now down just -3.21%.

As you know, the markets pull back by roughly -5% roughly 3-4 times per year. And the recent pullback looks to be the third one this year. A very common occurrence. Granted, they don't feel common or routine when they are happening. But they are pretty commonplace nonetheless.

Last week's disappointing Employment Situation report where we only saw 210K new jobs created last month rather than the 545K that was expected, was apparently put into perspective yesterday in that it was yet another month of job growth. And when you add in the lower unemployment rate (4.2% vs. the previous 4.6% and the expected 4.5%), along with the higher participation rate (61.8% vs. the previous 61.6% and the expected 61.7%), it wasn't a bad report after all.

Of course, inflation is still a concern. But we've known that all year. And we've pretty much known it will remain elevated thru mid-next year. So no new news there. But the taper has begun. That could help. And as more work is done to ease the supply chain bottlenecks, that should have a moderating effect on inflation as well.

In the meantime, the economy continues to impress.

Q4 GDP is expected to accelerate into the end of the year.

Full-year GDP growth is expected to come in at the fastest pace in 37 years.

And with December typically being a strong month for stocks, it looks like there's a lot more upside to go.

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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