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Plus 5 New Strong Buys for Today
Kevin Matras   
Profit from the Pros
By Kevin Matras
Executive Vice President
Zacks Investment Research

Stocks End Mixed As The Market Looks To Put A Tough First Half Behind It

Stocks ended narrowly mixed yesterday with the Dow up modestly, while the S&P and Nasdaq finished with a tiny loss.

But they are all down for the week at the moment. And headed for a down month with only one more trading day left in June.

Volume is already starting to thin out as we're looking at another 3-day weekend with the markets closed on Monday, July 4th, for Independence Day.

But until then it's business as usual.

Yesterday's final estimate on Q1 GDP came in at -1.6% vs. the previous estimate of -1.5% and views for -1.4%. Final sales to domestic purchasers were still up strongly at 3.0%, even though it was down from the previous estimate of 3.9%.

So the negative print for Q1 is in the record books.

We'll soon know how Q2 fared. At the moment, the GDP Now forecast by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, is estimating 0.30%. That's up from last week's 0.00%, but down from the 2.5% estimate a couple of months ago.

But as I mentioned yesterday, of even more interest is what's ahead.

While it's clear the economy slowed quite a bit in the first half, many still have solid growth forecasts for the second half.

The Fed is forecasting full-year GDP to come in at 1.7% this year, and 1.7% again next year. And St. Louis Fed President, James Bullard, in an interview earlier this month, said he does not see a recession this year or next. And that he sees a "pretty good second half," driven by "strong consumption this year."

So the Fed is looking for growth.

In other news, MBA Mortgage Applications were up 0.7% with purchases up 0.1% and refi's up 1.9%.

Corporate Profits for Q1 showed a 15.2% y/y increase. That's down from the last estimate of 15.7%. But that's still a solid gain.

The State Street Investor Confidence Index slipped to 94.6 from last month's upwardly revised 97.2. In total, that was a global decrease of -2.6 points. The European component came in at 57.6, down -10.6 points. The Asian component came in at 88.8, down -4.8 points. And the North American component came in at 97.1, down -2.5 points.

Today we'll get another look at the economy with Weekly Jobless Claims, the Personal Income and Outlays report (PCE Index), and the Chicago PMI report.

In the meantime, traders will be trying to consolidate last week's gains and steadying the market.

In spite of a tough first half, there are plenty of positives in the market that have been virtually ignored. And eventually, the market will have to take notice. Especially with valuations having fallen to more than 2-year lows. Many are racing in to grab those bargains while they can, hence last week's rally.

But you need to know what to look for?

If you're searching for new stocks to get into at these low prices, then be sure to read our latest commentary...

You Can Beat The Market, Even In Times Like This


Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


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