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

Stocks Up, Indexes Will Try To Extend Their Weekly Winning Streak

Stocks closed higher yesterday with the small-cap Russell 2000 leading the way with 0.68%.

With just one more day to go, the Dow and the S&P are currently up for the week, while the Nasdaq and Russell are within striking distance on doing the same.

Wednesday's FOMC Minutes, which showed the Fed committed to raising rates until inflation is under control, had some questioning the Fed's resolve.

With yields on the 10-year treasury falling ever since the Fed's 75 basis point July rate hike, the market has apparently taken the stance that rates won't go up as much as had been expected.

While the September 20-21 Fed meeting is more than a month away, we will hear from Fed Chair, Jerome Powell, next week at the Jackson Hole conference, where he's expected to make comments on U.S. monetary policy. He will give a speech at 10:00 ET on Friday, August 26.

In other news, Weekly Jobless Claims fell by -2,000 to 250K vs. the consensus for an increase to 265K. The smoother 4-week moving average declined from a downwardly revised 249.50K to 246.75K.

Existing Home Sales slipped to 4.81 million units (annualized) vs. last month's 5.11M and views for 4.85M. That's down -5.9% m/m and -20.2% y/y.

The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index beat expectations coming in at 6.2 vs. last month's -12.3 and estimates for -5.0.

And the Leading Indicators report was down -0.4% m/m. That's better than last month's pace of -0.7%. And it beat the consensus for -0.5%. Nonetheless, it was lower, once again.

Today we'll get the E-Commerce Retail Sales Report, and the Quarterly Services Survey.

And more earnings with another 109 companies set to report.

It's been a strong earnings season. And stocks have responded accordingly. Although, this week's earnings by retailers were a bit of a mixed bag. But all in all, it was a better than expected earnings season. And that helped lift stocks.

As it stands, both the Nasdaq and the Russell 2000 have exited their bear market and have begun a new bull. And the S&P is only a few percent away from doing the same.

If all of the indexes can close higher again this week, that would make it 5 weeks in a row for the S&P, Nasdaq, and Russell, and 4 out of 5 weeks for the Dow.

We shall see.


Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


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