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

Stocks Closed Sharply Higher Yesterday On Better Than Expected Earnings And Economic News

Stocks closed sharply higher yesterday with the Nasdaq up 1.79% and the S&P up 1.42%.

Fewer headlines about regional bank concerns allowed the market to focus on some of the good news that's out there.

Between Tuesday's report that Alibaba will split into 6 units, lululemon's stronger than expected sales and earnings, and yesterday's announcement that Apple is launching their own buy now, pay later service called Apple Pay Later, helped energize stocks early on, and that momentum carried on throughout the day.

The good news kept coming with yesterday's MBA Mortgage Applications report which showed the composite index up 2.9% w/w, with purchases up 2.0% and refi's up 4.8%.

The Pending Home Sales index was up 0.8% m/m, which was just under the 1.0% consensus. But that was in addition to last month's sharp 8.1% gain.

And the State Street Investor Confidence Index rose to 81.4 from last month's upwardly revised 77.6. The European component was up 11.0 points at 117.5, North America ticked up 0.9 points to 73.9, although Asia fell by -6.3 points to 91.9.

There's also plenty of reason to cheer the latest inflation numbers which showed inflation declining more than expected and well off their summer highs of last year. That, in part, led the Fed in their last FOMC meeting to back away from previous comments that they might need to raise rates higher than expected. Instead, they reiterated their comments from their December meeting that suggested their terminal rate may only get to 5.1%, which would mean just one more 25 basis point rate hike come May 3.

We'll get another look at inflation tomorrow with the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) index, which is the Fed's preferred inflation gauge. Another better than expected inflation reading would be bullish for both the economy and the market.

But before that, we'll get another look at the economy today with Weekly Jobless Claims, Corporate Profits, and the final reading for Q4 GDP.

For those keeping score, Q4 is expected to come in at 2.7%.

And Q1'23, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, via their GDP Now forecast, is estimated to come in at an even better 3.2%.

In spite of the recent volatility, stocks are mostly higher this year with the S&P up 4.90% and the Nasdaq up 13.9%. And from last year's October lows, the Dow is up 13.9%, the S&P is up 12.6%, and the Nasdaq is up 16.8%.

So there's plenty to be excited about. And plenty of reason to believe there's a lot more upside to go.

One of the bright spots this year should be the alternative energy market.

Companies and countries are investing billions of dollars (even trillions), in the rush for new and reliable clean, green and renewable energy of all types. And it's promising to be one of the most profitable investment spaces for years to come. Because the world isn't trying to figure out how to get off of alternative energy like they are fossil fuels, they're trying to figure out how it can replace fossil fuels and power the future.

The opportunities could be as spectacular as the burgeoning technology sector was many years ago.

To learn more about the opportunities in the alternative energy market, be sure to read our latest commentary...

Fuel Your Portfolio of the Future with Next-Gen Energy


Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


Profit from the Red-Hot Future of Energy – Today

Trillions in R&D, incentives, and investments are already pouring into solar... hydrogen fuel cells... next-gen nuclear... and other new alternative energy sources.

Clean energy is now a strategic priority for virtually every nation on earth. More importantly, some of these little-known companies could become the next trillion-dollar energy behemoths. Investors who get in now may be in line for potentially massive gains.

Don't miss Zacks top stocks in this space. Deadline for entry is Sunday, April 2.

See Our Hottest Energy Stocks Now »

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