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

Stocks End Higher, S&P Exits Bear Market And Begins New Bull Market

Stocks closed higher yesterday with the big 3 indexes in the green. And the S&P 500 finally caught up to the rest of the indexes and officially exited their bear market. They needed a close at or above 4,292.44, and they gained 0.62% to close at 4,293.93. From their bear market low close to yesterday's close, they are now up 20.04%. And crossing that 20% threshold means their bear market has ended and a new bull market has begun.

The small-cap Russell 2000 was the first one to exit their bear market back in August of last year. Then the Dow followed suit in late November of last year. The mid-cap S&P 400 exited their bear market in late January this year. The Nasdaq ended their bear market and started a new bull just last month. And the S&P 500 joined the party just yesterday.

In other news, Weekly Jobless Claims rose by 28,000 to 261,000. Although, the 4-week moving average came in at 237,250.

And Wholesale Inventories slipped -0.1% m/m vs. the consensus for -0.2%.

The only report on the docket for today is the Quarterly Services Survey report.

But what everybody is really waiting for doesn't happen until next week. And that's the Fed's FOMC announcement on rates on Wednesday, June 14.

At the moment, the expectation is for the Fed to pause on rates. But there's a growing belief that they may raise another 25 basis points at the July meeting. Of course, that all depends on the data we get before then. But with the latest uptick on the PCE Index (the Fed's preferred inflation gauge), and the better than expected Employment Situation report last week, the odds are currently at almost 70% for a 25 basis point hike in July.

So all eyes will be on next week's meeting.

In the meantime, the Dow is poised to close up for the week for the 2nd week in a row. The S&P is in position to do the same making it 4 weeks in a row. The Nasdaq is just under the mark coming into today. But they only need another 0.02% to get into the green for the week. And if they do, it will be their 7th week in a row.

The small-cap Russell 2000 and the mid-cap S&P 400 are both poised to close sharply higher for the week. And if so, that will make it 2 weeks in a row for each them.

In fact, the rally in the small-cap and mid-cap indexes this week, along with the rally in the equal-weighted S&P 500 index (which is different than the market-weighted S&P 500 which has been powered higher by the top 10 largest stocks this year), showed that the market rally was finally widening. And that was a bullish sign.

YTD, the Dow is up 2.07%, the S&P is up 11.8%, the Nasdaq is up 26.5%, the Russell 2000 is up 6.79%, and the S&P 400 is up 5.22%.

And it looks like there's plenty more upside to go.


Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


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