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02 Feb, Thursday
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Bull Trader USA

Breaking down October’s big stock bounce — and why the market didn’t need Big Tech to do it

This is the daily notebook of Mike Santoli, CNBC’s senior markets commentator, with ideas about trends, stocks and market statistics. -Oversold bounces in brutalized Big tech disappointers and ongoing resilience in the average stock on positive seasonal dynamics, a still-expanding US economy and relief on bond yields takes the S & P 500 toward the week’s highs just above its 50-day moving average. -The S & P has managed tentatively to have broken the downtrend from the mid-August peak and has rebuilt a bit of a cushion. This rally shows the recent lows had a lot to do with messy UK action, fear of a major financial “accident” and disorderly surge in bond yields. Those fears in abeyance for the moment. -The goliaths of Big Tech were exceptional on the way up, thriving in a struggling economy, and are proving exceptional again, their stocks punished for growth shortfalls and lack of cost discipline in a market holding better on decent nominal growth and some relief on bond yields. The trade all year has been to own the median stock over the big guys, to favor value over growth and real vs. virtual assets. This continues, though a lot of the mean-reversion has occurred already. -Is it getting “too late to start to hate” Mega Tech? Obviously the week’s results are outright week aside from AAPL, the charts are a mess, the purge needs to play out, and this group won’t lead the next major uptrend. But valuation and crowd psychology has moved pretty far. One thing that needs to fall into place is the sell side throwing in the towel. Still too many buys on AMZN (90%), META (60%) and GOOGL (92%). -AMZN’s drop is brutal but yet somehow not unhinged relative to META and GOOGL this week. Before the report AMZN had traded exactly in line with S & P 500 over the prior three years. Now testing to see if the pre-pandemic peak will act as a short-term floor. -For the broad market, the bull case, broadly speaking, reads like this: The S & P 500 spent time retesting and slightly undercutting the June lows but didn’t get downside momentum; sentiment and positioning got deeply washed out; a classic October bottom took hold and seasonal tailwinds prevail from here and for months after a midterm election; valuations have reset toward “neutral”; the Fed might soon have its ultimate destination in sight for rates; earnings are OK, 70%+ of companies beating, small annual declines ex-energy; GDP has not yet taken a real hit. -Bears will counter that the tape has proven nothing, a mere 10% bounce, resistance above from 3900 all the way up to 4200, housing has collapsed, the macro data is lagging, the 3-month/10-year Treasury curve inverted as a trusted recession signal, the Fed is ready to swat down any serious risk rally and earnings need to come down net year, PCE inflation today OK and decelerating but not yet to acceptable levels. . -WSJ goes heavy today with the story of credit-card debt getting back up to pre-pandemic levels. Hard to get too exercised about this, it’s still well below the long-term trend in a much-larger economy and consumers continue to have more than $1 trillion in “excess savings” from pandemic fiscal support to work through. -Market breadth today is mixed, 50-50, AAPL really pushing the indexes quite a bit on its own. Credit has firmed up pretty well. VIX succumbing to stronger indexes and the “Friday effect,” though will likely rebuild into the Fed next week.

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