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Stocks closed mixed yesterday, with the Dow in the red, and the S&P and Nasdaq in the green. But it was only the Nasdaq that notched another new all-time high.
Kevin Matras   
Profit from the Pros
By Kevin Matras
Executive Vice President
Zacks Investment Research

Stocks End Mixed, But Nasdaq Notches Another New All-Time High

Stocks closed mixed yesterday, with the Dow in the red, and the S&P and Nasdaq in the green. But it was only the Nasdaq that notched another new all-time high.

Even though earnings season is winding down, there's still some big names on deck to report this week.

Today we'll hear from another 104 companies with Lowe's and AutoZone reporting before the open, and Toll Brothers and Urban Outfitters going after the close.

On Wednesday we'll get another 148 companies set to report. The biggest name will be widely held NVIDIA reporting after the close. But we'll also hear from other marquee names like Analog Devices and Target before the open, and Synopsis and Snowflake after the close.

In other news yesterday, Deutsche Bank raised their year-end forecast for the S&P from 5,100 to 5,500, with chief U.S. equity and global strategist Binky Chadha saying "we see the earnings cycle having plenty of legs."

Quite frankly, the updated call seems a little late given we're already at 5,308. Nonetheless, his citing of a solid earnings picture cannot be overstated.

In fact, when Q1'24 earnings season is finally over, it's expected to show S&P earnings up 6.1% and sales up 4.2%. But both earnings and sales estimates are on the rise with Q2'24 expected to show earnings up 9.1% and sales up 4.5%; Q3'24 is expected to show earnings up 7.4% and sales up 4.8%; and Q4'24 is expected to show earnings up 12.3% and sales up 5.4%.

The earnings picture is one of improvement, and another bullish indicator underpinning the market.

Not much in the way of economic reports out today. But we will hear from Fed policymakers Thomas Barkin, Christopher Waller, John Williams, Raphael Bostic, and Michael Barr as they speak at various engagements throughout the day.

The docket for economic reports fills out a bit as the week goes on. The biggest item, however, is likely to be Wednesday's FOMC Minutes from their last meeting on May 1.

The Fed made it clear at the last announcement they were in no rush to cut rates at their next meeting. But they also tamped down concerns that rates would be going up as worries over inflation were mounting at that time.

Since then we've gotten some better news from the CPI and PPI inflation reports that shows inflation is starting to head back down again. That's not likely to translate to a rate in June when they meet next. But if disinflation picks up steam in the next round of reports, we may not have to wait until September either, as there's a July meeting in between.

The minutes are not going to reflect any of that. But it will be interesting to see their thoughts and what they were thinking just a few short weeks ago, which actually seems like quite a while, given what the market has done since then.

In the meantime, the big three indexes are all either at or near their all-time highs.

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

See you tomorrow,

Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


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