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Stocks closed mostly lower again yesterday after spending much of the day in the green. Weekly Jobless Claims were unchanged at 212,000, which was just under the consensus for an increase to 215K.
Kevin Matras   
Profit from the Pros
By Kevin Matras
Executive Vice President
Zacks Investment Research

Stocks End Lower Again, On Pace For Another Down Week

Stocks closed mostly lower again yesterday after spending much of the day in the green.

Weekly Jobless Claims were unchanged at 212,000, which was just under the consensus for an increase to 215K.

The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index rose to 15.5 from last month's 3.2.

Existing Home Sales fell to 4.19 million units (annualized) vs. last month's 4.38M, but above views for 4.18M. On a m/m basis that was down -4.3%. Year over year it was down -3.7% vs. last month's 3.3% pace.

And the Leading Indicators report fell -0.3% m/m vs. last month's upwardly revised 0.2% and estimates 0.0%.

Yesterday, Atlanta Federal Reserve President, Raphael Bostic, said inflation was going to take longer to return to the Fed's target of 2% than he expected. But he said he was "okay" with that, adding that he was "comfortable being patient." He went on further to say that, in his view, the Fed might not be in a position to reduce rates until the end of the year.

He didn't say anything that hasn't been expressed already.

The consensus now is for the first rate cuts to begin in September, months later than the March, or May, or June meetings that were once talked about by Fed watchers. But, of course, there are those floating the idea there may not be any rate cuts until 2025.

We will have to wait and see. But if the economy continues to expand, and we are still creating jobs, all while inflation ticks lower (as slow as it might be), that's still bullish for the market, and rate cuts are not 'needed' to keep GDP growing.

Rate cuts are coming. But the question remains when?

After the close Netflix reported earnings and posted a positive EPS surprise of 17.07%, and a positive sales surprise of 1.18%. That equates to a quarterly EPS growth rate of 83.3% vs. this time last year, and a sales growth rate of 14.8%. Although, for the current quarter, they are forecasting revenue of $9.49B vs. the consensus for $9.55B. They were down roughly -4.50% in after-hours trade. For perspective, however, they came into the day yesterday being up by 25.4% YTD.

Intuitive Surgical reported after the close as well and posted a positive EPS surprise of 7.14%, and a positive sales surprise of 1.39%. They were up 3.7% in after-hours trade.

Today we'll hear from 30 more companies including Procter & Gamble, American Express, and Schlumberger, to name a few.

Not much in the way of economic reports out today. But we will hear from Austan Goolsbee, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Lots of Fed officials talking about rates lately. We'll see what he has to say.

At the moment, stocks appear to be headed for another down week. If so, that will make it 3 weeks in a row for the Dow and the S&P, and 4 weeks in a row for the Nasdaq.

Just remember, as painful market pullbacks are (the S&P is down -4.63% from their all-time high close), they are very common. Every bull market has them. In fact, stocks usually pull back roughly 3-4 times per year. And corrections take place on average of about once a year.

For reference, a 'pullback' is defined as a decline between -5% and -9.99%. A 'correction' is a decline between -10% and -19.99%.

And if you know these are commonplace moves, you can instead look at them as opportunities to buy rather than places to sell.


Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


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