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

After A Tough First Half, Stocks Begin The Second Half In The Green

Stocks ended higher on Friday, but still down or the week.

After wrapping up the worst first half since 1970, it was nice to start the second half with green arrows.

2022's first half performance (down nearly -21%), was strikingly similar to that of 1970 (also down -21%). And in both periods, high inflation was an issue.

What's interesting is that the second half of 1970 saw the S&P up 27%.

Of course, that does not mean that's how it will go for the back half of 2022. But it doesn't mean it won't either.

Quite frankly, since 1957, negative first half performances had just as much of a chance for a negative back half performance as it did a positive one.

True the economy has slowed. But the labor market remains strong (unemployment is near a 50-year low). And consumer demand is strong. It's slowed, but it still remains strong.

And while it's looking very likely that the numbers will show we were indeed in a recession in the first half of the year (all you need is two negative quarters in a row for an official recession), the Fed is forecasting growth for the second half with full-year GDP coming in at 1.7% this year, and 1.7% again next year.

And St. Louis Fed President, James Bullard, in a recent interview, said that he sees a "pretty good second half," driven by "strong consumption this year."

So we shall see.

But there's plenty of positives in the economy right now that have been virtually ignored during this sell-off. 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.

We've got a busy week of economic reports this week, made even busier due to the shortened trading week this week.

But the main event will be Friday's always important Employment Situation Report.

In the meantime, the lows from three weeks ago have held. And the longer they do, the better it is.

Let's see if the market can build on Friday's gains.

See you tomorrow,

Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


10 Great Stocks to Buy for Under $10 in 2022

The market has been beaten up hard. The S&P 500 is down more than 20% year-to-date.

There are some screaming deals just waiting for investors to pick-up in the market. Stocks are on sale.

Companies that used to trade at 20 to 30 times earnings are now trading at less than 15 times earnings.

We've identified some of the best value stocks (all with a share price of $10 or less) in today's market and have put them in a special report for your immediate review.

Click Here to View These 10 Stocks

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