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Profit from the Pros By Kevin Matras Executive Vice President
Stocks End Higher, S&P And Nasdaq Up 5 Days In A Row
Stocks closed higher yesterday to start the shortened holiday trading week.
After closing higher for 3 weeks in a row, and putting in their best 3-week period in years, it looks like stocks could be ready to make it week number 4.
Last week's better than expected CPI and PPI reports confirmed that inflation remains on the decline.
We've got one more inflation report next week (11/30) with the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) index (which is the Fed's preferred inflation gauge). That's the last inflation report before the next FOMC announcement on 12/13.
But it's looking more and more likely that the Fed will leave rates unchanged, yet again, making it their 3rd pause in 3 consecutive meetings.
In fact, Fed Funds traders are placing a 99.8% probability that the Fed leaves rates where they are. Additionally, they are giving zero percent odds they raise in December, and are actually giving a 0.2% chance they cut rates by a quarter point.
I don't see much of a statistical difference between 0.00% and 0.20%. But the point is, Fed Fund traders are in solid agreement that the Fed stands pat.
As for cutting, it's highly unlikely. The longest of long shots.
But after UBS came out last week suggesting the Fed could cut rates by as much as -2.75% next year (bringing the Fed Funds rate down to a midpoint of 2.63%), more and more people are expecting a bigger Fed pivot (the Fed only forecast a -50 basis point cut next year), and sooner too.
In other news, yesterday's Leading Indicators report slipped -0.8% m/m vs. last month's -0.7% and views for -0.6%.
Today we'll get Existing Home Sales, and the Chicago Fed National Activity Index.
We'll also get the FOMC minutes from November's meeting.
Even though earnings season is mostly over, there's still companies that have yet to report. One of the biggest and most anticipated ones is NVIDIA. They will be reporting after the close. But just yesterday, they made another new all-time high. YTD they have gained a whopping 244%.
We'll also hear from Lowe's, Medtronic, and Baidu before the open. And Autodesk, HP, and Urban Outfitters after the close.
But NVIDIA will be the main event today.
Remember, the market is closed on Thursday 11/23, for Thanksgiving Day. And the market closes early on Friday 11/24, for Black Friday.
In the meantime, the blistering Q4 rally continues. The major indexes are within striking distance of making new YTD highs.
And it looks like we are headed for a strong year-end finish.
See you tomorrow,
Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research
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