Markets gapped up about four-tenths of a percent Wednesday. At that point, the large-caps roller-coastered sideways until early afternoon. However, the QQQ started a jagged selloff that lasted over the same period. Then all three major indices synced-up and sold off the entire afternoon, closing on the lows. This left the DIA in a black Inverted Hammer candle and the other two major indices just as big, ugly black candles. That said, all 3 remain in the recent range and still not far from all-time highs. So, we’re still just in the chop. On the day, the SPY lost 0.51%, the DIA was flat at +0.01%, and QQQ lost 1.69%. The VXX gained a bit under 1% to 12.61 and T2122 fell again, now well into oversold territory at 10.57. 10-year bond yields fell again to 1.608% and Oil (WTI) came back over 5.4% to $60.90/barrel.
During the day the big “reopening” plays (such as travel-related stocks) took a hit when the CDC said that cruise restrictions will remain in place until at least November 1. The new surges in Europe, Asia and South America may also have dampened outlooks. Still, it was the big tech names that led the fall with mega-cap FAANG names taking a big hit. As was expected, not much real news came from the second day of testimony by Treasury Sec. Yellen and Fed Chair Powell. However, Yellen did say she supports the Fed decision to allow big banks to do stock buybacks and that the bigger banks look healthier now than when the Fed had previously blocked buybacks. This led to a clash between her and Senator Warren over BlackRock, which Warren wants to be classified “too big to fail” and regulated more tightly.
The SBA says it will triple Covid recovery loans (maximum $150,000) starting April 6. On the opposite side of the coin, after hours, AAL terminated its government loan after raising $10 billion by selling bonds. In related news, JBLU is calling back more flight attendants as travel is picking up again.
Related to the virus, US infections are plateauing at a level above the fall level after a month and a half of steep and steady decline in new cases. The totals have risen to 30,704,292 confirmed cases and deaths have now passed half a million at 558,422 deaths. As mentioned, the number of new cases has ticked-up again to an average of 58,269 new cases per day. However, new deaths are mostly flat at 999 per day. A study of 1,100 discharged patients has found that 70% of people that were hospitalized for COVID-19 had not fully recovered even 5 months after release from the hospital. The CDC reported that it is encouraged by the pace of increase in vaccinations, but is worried about the pace of restriction-easing and poorly-behaving crowds such as large groups of Spring Breakers congregating to party as well as the up-tick in cases. AZN also revised its data reported to the CDC, lowering their efficacy claim to 76% from 79% after being challenged on the timeliness and accuracy of the data.
Globally, the numbers rose to 125,542,273 confirmed cases and the confirmed deaths are now at 2,758,757 deaths. The trends have been good, but we saw a significant uptick today. The world’s average new cases are rising again (about 10,000 per day) and are not at 513,085 per day. Mortality, which lags, also ticked up, now at 9,046 new deaths per day. Germany made the surprise announcement to reverse course and open up the country over the Easter holiday weekend. Elsewhere in Europe, the EU has changed its laws to allow it to block export of vaccines (particularly PFE-BTNX and AZN). This comes as AZN is behind in shipments to the EU and the UK has not exported any vaccine to the EU.
Overnight, Asian markets were mixed again. Japan (+1.14%) was by far the largest gainer with India (-1.54%) seeing by far the largest loss. Most of the region saw small to moderate moves in either direction. In Europe, markets are also mixed, but lean heavily red on modest trading so far today. The FTSE (-0.22%), DAX (-0.21%), and CAC (-0.19%) are typical, with some smaller exchanges remaining green. As of 7:30 am, US Futures are pointing to an open just on the green side of flat. The DIA is implying a +0.06% open, the SPY implying a +0.08% open, and the QQQ implying +0.07% open.
The major economic news scheduled for Thursday includes Q4 GDP and Weekly Initial Jobless Claims (both at 8:30 am), and a number of Fed speakers (Williams at 5:30 am, Clarida at 10:10 am, Bostic at noon, and Daly at 7 pm). Major earnings reports before the open include ARKO, DOOO, CL, DRI, MOMO, and BTU. Then after the close YY and SAIC report.
With Powell and Yellen testimonies done, for now, all eyes will be watching the Q4 GDP and Weekly Jobless Claims for some direction on how the economy is doing. However, these volatile chopping markets are not likely to take a new trend from that backward-looking data or from the flurry of Fed speakers today. So, continue to watch out for the intraday and intraweek swings we've been suffering from recently. Keep exercising some caution and prudence.
As I've said before, remember that you don't have to trade every day. A successful trading for the long run needs to accept that there are times it is best to sit on the sidelines...and for me, times of high chop are at the top of that list. So, if you are trading, follow the trend according to your trading horizon, respect both support and resistance, and don't chase the moves you missed. Another trade will be along any minute. As always, consistency is the key to long-term trading success. So, keep taking your trade goals (profits) off the table when you can, stick to your rules, and maintain that discipline.
Swing Trade Ideas for your consideration and watchlist: UBER, TMO, XLNX, KLAC, PYPL, NVDA, SMH, XLK, QQQ, SNPS, MPWR. You can find Rick's review of tickers on his YouTube Channel here. Trade your plan, take profits along the way, and smart. Also, remember to check for impending earnings reports. Finally, remember that any tickers we mention and talk about in the trading room are not recommendations to buy or sell.
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🎯 Friday 6/21/19 (10:09 am) Aaron B: Today, my account is at +190% since January. Thanks, RWO HRC Flash Malcolm Thomas Steve Ed Bob S Bob C Mike P and everyone that contributes every day. I love our job.
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