Two weeks ago, bulls seemed ready to push stocks higher as long-standing support reliably kicked in. But with just one full week to go before the Independence Day holiday week arrives, we will see if bulls can muster some reinforcements and make another run at the May highs. Small caps and NASDAQ are already there, but it is questionable whether those segments can drag along the broader market. To be sure, there is plenty of potential fuel floating around in the form of a friendly Fed and abundant global liquidity seeking the safety and strength of US stocks and bonds. Read more about Sector Detector: Bulls under the gun to muster troops, while bears lie in wait

Stocks are hitting new highs across the board, even though earnings reports have been somewhat disappointing. Actually, to be more precise, Q4 results have been pretty good, but it is forward guidance that has been cautious and/or cloudy as sales into overseas markets are expected to suffer due to strength in the US dollar. Read more about Sector Detector: Sector rankings stay neutral with few bullish catalysts on horizon

Volatility continues as the parade of mixed earnings and economic reports marches along amidst a backdrop of global unrest and economic uncertainties. This has led to a neutral near-term outlook for both the technical picture and fundamentals-based sector rankings. Nevertheless, the longer-term trends appear to favor further flattening of the yield curve and continued strength in the dollar, gold, volatility, and equities. Read more about Sector Detector: Neutral indicators and mixed reports, but sector rotation model bullish

Scott MartindaleThere is no sugar-coating what happened to stocks on Friday. All around the world, stocks really took it on the chin as the usual support mechanisms that bulls have enjoyed failed to materialize. The S&P 500 sliced through firm support at 1800 on high volume like it wasn’t even there. But market participants had become convinced that a long-overdue correction was imminent, so they quite simply were looking for a reason to sell. Read more about Sector Detector: Will investors embrace weakness as an entry point?

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Scott MartindaleThe stock market’s technical consolidation continues, and in fact anyone who missed last week’s entry point for the widely-anticipated year-end rally is getting another shot at it. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrials both lost round-number support again this week at 1800 and 16,000, after briefly recovering them from last week’s pullback. Read more about Sector Detector: Random observations, as consolidation in stocks continues

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Scott MartindaleStocks have shown some resiliency this week as they have made an attempt to recover from last week’s weakness, which was primarily due to the imminent threat of a US strike on Syria. Also, the senior portfolio managers are returning to the fold after taking some time off in late August, and they are likely seeing more opportunities than threats at the moment. Read more about Sector Detector: Top rankings in Tech, Financial, Energy, and Industrial

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Scott MartindaleOverall, earnings reports have continued to beat the low bar of expectations. Read more about Sector Detector: Revenue growth and raised guidance are critical for bulls

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We finally had another down week, albeit by the slimmest of margins. This next week promises to be the most important week of the month and, in all likelihood, next month as well. We get the ADP employment report, the FOMC meeting announcement, the first look at Q2 GDP, the Chicago PMI, the consumer confidence report, and more.  Undoubtedly, today’s weakness was based on investor apprehension about this week’s news and continued corporate reports.

Last week’s economic reports were mixed, and the style/caps were simply “mixed up.”  Our style/cap scorecard was turned on its head last week with year-long loser Large-Cap Growth up +0.26% to become the week’s leader and the last year leader (and still leader for the year) Small-Cap Value, bringing up the rear for the week at -0.15%. Read more about What the Market Wants: 4 Goldilocks Stocks Worth Looking At In This Environment

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Scott MartindaleStock investors are protecting gains and holding off on deploying cash as concerns abound about central banks, including the Federal Reserve, tapering off on their stimulus programs, i.e., money printing. Low-interest policies and quantitative easing have been the driving force for economic recovery while pushing return-hungry investors into equities by default. Read more about Sector Detector: Patient bulls are getting their buyng opportunity

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Banks Fairly Valued and Contributing to Market Strength

Continuing last week’s strength, Financials and Technology led the market again today. Banks were up nearly +2% intraday, although they lost some of their steam when put-option trades in Financial ETFs reached 4-month highs.  Last week, they roared ahead +7%, and they are now up more than +20% year-to-date. Read more about What the Market Wants: Banks Fairly Valued and Contributing to Market Strength

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