Has The All-Clear Signal Been Given For Stocks?

By Bryan Rich

May 6, 3:00 pm EST

At the end of last week, I said “it looks like the all-clear signal has been given to stocks.”

Well, we had some more discomfort to deal with this week, but that statement probably has more validity today than it did last Friday.

With that, let’s review the events and conditions of the past two weeks, that build the case for that all-clear signal.

As of last Friday, more than half of first quarter corporate earnings were in, with record level positive surprises in both earnings and revenues (that has continued). And we got our first look at first quarter GDP, which came in at 2.3%, better than expected, and putting the economy on a 2.875% pace over the past three quarters.

What about interest rates? After all, the hot wage growth number back in February kicked the stock market correction into gear. The move in the 10-year yield above 3% last week started validating the fears that rising interest rates could quicken and maybe choke off the recovery. But last week, we also heard from the ECB and BOJ, both of which committed to QE, which serves as an anchor on global rates (i.e. keeps our rates in check).

Fast forward a few days, and we’ve now heard from the last but most important tech giant: Apple. Like the other FAANG stocks, Apple also beat on earnings and on revenues.

Still, stocks have continued to trade counter to the fundamentals. And we’ve been waiting for the bounce and recovery to pick up the pace. What else can we check off the list on this correction timeline? How about another test of the 200-day moving average, just to shake out the weak hands? We got that yesterday.

Yesterday, in the true form of a market that is bottoming, we had a sharp slide in stocks, through the 200-day moving average, and then a very aggressive bounce to finish in positive territory, and on the highs of the day. That took us to this morning, where we had another jobs report. Perhaps this makes a nice bookend to the February jobs report. This time, no big surprises. The wage growth number was tame. And stocks continued to soar, following through on yesterday’s big reversal off the 200-day moving average.

With all of this, it looks like “the all-clear signal has been given to stocks.”

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