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

Stocks Closed Lower Yesterday After Giving Up Earlier Gains

Stocks closed lower again yesterday, reversing earlier gains in the last hour of trade.

The day started off in positive territory, and got better as the day wore on. But the rally started fading later in the afternoon, before finally turning negative in the last hour of the session.

So the Dow and the S&P remain in 'pullback' territory (-6.05% and -6.97% respectively). And the Nasdaq remains in 'correction' territory (-12.7%).

As I wrote yesterday, pullbacks (defined as a decline between -5% and -9.99%), happen on average of 3-4 times a year.

And corrections (defined as a decline between -10% and -19.99%), happen roughly once a year.

The Dow and the S&P pulled back 3 times last year. But ultimately gained 18.7% and 26.9% for the year. The Nasdaq corrected once last year, and finished with a gain of 21.4%.

What's important to know is that pullbacks and corrections are common.

Every bull market has them.

But these are the pauses that refresh before the next leg up.

While they're never fun when they're happening, if you know these are commonplace moves, you can instead look at them as opportunities to buy rather than places to sell.

You don't have to go all in at once. But you can start taking nibbles at these discounted prices.

It was disappointing to see yesterday's bounce fall apart.

But for me, each additional step back means we are getting closer to the pullback/correction being over. Not to mention the opportunity of getting in at even cheaper prices.

And the sooner we can get this over with, the sooner we can get back to the bull market rally.

In other news, Weekly Jobless Claims missed expectations with an increase of 55,000 new claims to 286K vs. last week's 231K and estimates for a decline to 207K. (Although, the smoother 4-week moving average came in at 231K.)

Existing Home Sales came in at 6.12 million units (annualized), for an increase of 8.5% from the year prior, and hitting a 15-year high. Those numbers would likely have been even higher had it not been for record low inventory.

Today we'll get the Leading Indicators report.

And earnings season continues with another 9 companies on deck to report today. Next week we'll get 543 companies. And the week after that, we'll get 656.

In the meantime, keep your eyes on the bigger picture.

With a growing economy, a growing jobs market, and rising corporate profits, not mention robust growth outlooks for this year and next, it looks like there's a lot more upside to go for both the economy and the market.

So make sure you take full advantage of it.


Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


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