Sure, this week has been rough for traders and the markets overall, but it was a great month. Weeks like this are reminders to separate yourself from the recent daily volatility and look at the long-term trend. How do you do this? I'll show you in today's video.
As for the overall markets, let's get into it. Friday was as volatile as they come, with the Dow dropping -1.5% or -475 pts. The S&P 500 had lost -2.5% but pushed back strong into the close but fell just short of finishing in the green with a loss of -.48% or -18.49 pts, and while the NASDAQ shed -3.5% early in the day, it also bounced back to post a daily gain of +.56% or +72.91.
The S&P 500 is down -2.45% for the week, on pace for its second negative week in a row. The DOW has fallen -1.8%, and the NASDAQ way underperformed this week with its worst week since October, losing -4.9% on the week.
The stock market was on the move higher in early trading Friday after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said a large Covid-19 relief package is needed for a full recovery in the U.S. However, it has slipped to a mixed-mode as it headed into afternoon trading to close out the week with the DOW gaining roughly +48%, the S&P 500 and NASDAQ fighting to stay in positive territory for the day.
Stocks will end this record-setting week at or near record levels, with the S&P 500 gaining +.9% for the week, the DOW +.8%, and the NASDAQ outperforming with a gain of +1.4%. The records set this week by the three main indexes are as follows, S&P 500 - 1,931.50, DOW - 31,543.82, and the NASDAQ - 14,109.12.
On a weekly level, the market started hot on Monday but has steadily cooled off into the close on Friday after the record levels were achieved. As we head into the finale, the S&P 500 is looking at a daily gain of roughly +.10, the DOW has been waffling between gains and losses and is down about -.11% as I recorded this video, and the NASDAQ is up the same as the S&P 500 with an increase of +.10%. Continue reading "Records, Records and More Records"→
The Labor Department said the U.S. added 49,000 jobs in January, slightly below the 50,000 payrolls expected by economists. The unemployment rate fell to 6.3%, better than projections of 6.7%. December's numbers were revised much lower, with the month posting a loss of 227,000 from the initial reading of 140,000 jobs lost.
After suffering their worst week in months, the major indexes will wrap up the week with five straight days of gains ending with their best week since November. The S&P 500 will post a weekly gain of +4.7%, the DOW +3.9%, and the NASDAQ will outperform with a significant gain of +6%.
All of the news articles and media commentary on the volatility in GameStop (GME) stock last week centered on the supposed war between retail investors who were buying the stock, putting a squeeze on those evil rich hedge-fund managers who had shorted the stock. And the Davids, at least for now, were beating the Goliaths. Good versus evil is always easy to understand and makes for a compelling story, especially when "the little guy" prevails.
Morality play aside, a lot of people were probably scratching their heads as to why some people would be so enthusiastic about buying stock in a company that appears to be 10 years behind the times, seeing as how its main business consists of selling or reselling physical copies of digital games even as the rest of the world has moved onto streaming. It also cast a lot of attention on short-selling, with many people receiving a crash course in the tactic.
However, it's also another example of how the Federal Reserve's super-loose monetary policy and 0% interest rates are distorting investor behavior. While retail investors on Robinhood and other platforms are driving up the price of what otherwise might be a stock headed in the other direction, we need to remember one of the reasons why investors are willing to make such outlandish bets like this.
It demonstrates the lengths some investors will go to make money because it's become difficult to do so in more conventional (i.e., safe) investments, such as quality stocks and bonds. It also reveals the almost devil-may-care attitude some investors have adopted, believing that the Fed will eventually ride to their rescue. Continue reading "The Fed's Role In GameStop"→