Market

The next few days may reveal whether investors have been riding one big suckers rally, says this strategist.

Stock futures are pointing due south as caution grips investors following Friday’s monster jobs beat.

While subject to revisions, that 517,000 surge in U.S. jobs may have shredded hopes among some that the Fed will be done with rate hikes sooner rather than later.

“Half a million jobs, climb down off the wall, call the recession off. This isn’t a soft-landing, the economy is still flying high,” says Chris Rupkey, chief economist at fwd: bonds, a research company.

Add the jobs numbers to a long list of things that don’t make sense right now, says Matt Maley, Miller Tabak + Co.’s chief market strategist. “After the action in the stock market this past week, you’d think that this earnings season has been great…and that the Fed has declared that they’re definitely going to cut rates soon…AND institute another QE program.  However, none of these things took place.  In the end, the fundamentals still matter, so be careful,” Maley told clients.

In our call of the day, Maley highlights “some artificial factors” that have been pushing stocks higher, leading some investors to believe that the markets are “looking beyond 2023.”

“Once those artificial factors peel away…the real/concrete developments will become much more prominent.  When that happens, the stock market could/should reverse to the downside very quickly,” he said.

Maley expressed surprised that the S&P 500 is trading at a price more than 19 times 2023 estimates, and given the fact earnings season hasn’t gone that well.

He also notes odd views making the rounds, such as the idea that the Fed pausing its rate-hiking program will be the same as a pivot, though historically pausing has never been the catalyst for a new bull market.

Maley takes a deeper look at the charts, where sees some good news and bad. Firstly, if last week’s gains that took the S&P 500
SPX,
the Nasdaq 100
NDX
and the Russell 2000
RUT
above key resistance levels hold, it will be the best thing the bulls have going for them right now.

But those markets have also become overbought in the short term, he says.


Miller Tabak

With that in mind, he says watch the shape of any pullback to come.

“It should last for a few days…and maybe even more than a week. If it’s a mild one…with low volume and the kind of breadth that is not extreme, it should mean that we’ll see even further material upside movement before we get through the month of February.”

“If however, the decline comes on high volume and rotten breadth…and is more than just a mild decline…it could signal that the recent rally was merely a great big sucker’s rally,” said Maley.

The markets

Dow futures
YM00
are down over 200 points, with S&P 500
SPX
and Nasdaq-100
NQ00
futures also around 1% lower. Bond yields
BX:TMUBMUSD10Y

BX:TMUBMUSD02Y
have climbed. The dollar
DXY
is slightly higher, along with oil
CL
and gold prices.

For more market updates plus actionable trade ideas for stocks, options and crypto, subscribe to MarketDiem by Investor’s Business Daily.

The buzz

Catalent stock is up 21% in premarket trading after a report that Danaher
DHR
is interested in taking over the contract manufacturer and pay a significant premium.

Dell
DELL
is reportedly planning to cut 6,650 workers, according to a report, and adding to the thousands of tech layoffs announced thus far.

Tyson Foods
TSN
shares are tumbling after an earnings and revenue miss. Take-Two Interactive
TTWO
and Activision Blizzard
ATVI,
among others, will report after the market close.

Monday’s data and Fed calender is quiet, but Chair Jerome Powell will speak at the Economic Club of Washington on Tuesday, so all eyes on that.

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake has left more than 1,300 dead in southeast Turkey and Syria, with hundreds feared trapped in crushed buildings across cities and villages on both sides of the border. Turkey was hit by a second big quake hours later.

Tensions are rising over a Chinese balloon U.S. President Biden ordered shot down over the weekend. Hong Kong stocks fell.

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The chart

You want a little good news for stocks? Check out the so-called hot dogs.

“The most popular stocks in hedge funds have been outperforming. This is good news for the market, as a shift in performance was seen in late 2018 right before the December bottom,” Lori Calvasina, head of U.S. equity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, tells clients in a new note.

She also says correlations within the S&P 500 and Russell 2000
RUT
are falling, notably for healthcare, consumer discretionary and comm services. This is positive for stock pickers because high correlations within equities makes it very tough for those active investors to beat the market. 

The tickers

These were the top-searched tickers on MarketWatch as of 6 a.m.

Ticker

Security name

TSLA Tesla

AMC AMC Entertainment

BBBY Bed Bath & Beyond

APE AMC Entertainment Holdings preferred shares

GME GameStop

MULN Mullen Automotive

AAPL Apple

AMZN Amazon.com

NIO NIO

CVNA Carvana

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Listen to the Best New Ideas in Money podcast with MarketWatch reporter Charles Passy and economist Stephanie Kelton.


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Jake

Jacob Keiter is a husband, a writer, a journalist, a musician, and a business owner. His journey to becoming a writer was one that was paved with challenges, but ultimately led him to find his true calling. Jacob's early years were marked by a strong desire for creative expression. He was always drawn to music, and in his youth, he played in several bands, chasing the elusive promise of fame and success. However, despite his best efforts, Jacob struggled to find the recognition he craved. It wasn't until he hit a low point in his life that Jacob discovered his love for writing. He turned to writing as a form of therapy during a particularly difficult time, and found that it not only helped him to cope with his struggles, but also allowed him to express himself in a way that he had never been able to before. Jacob's writing skills quickly caught the attention of others, and he soon found himself working as a journalist for The Sun out of Hummelstown. From there, he went on to contribute to a variety of publications, including the American Bee Journal and Referee Magazine. Jacob's writing style is reflective of traditional journalism, but he also infuses his work with a unique voice that sets him apart from others in his field. Despite his success as a writer, Jacob also owns another business, JJ Auto & Home, which specializes in cleaning. Jacob's commitment to excellence is evident in all of his endeavors, whether it be in his writing or in his business ventures. Today, Jacob is the author of two books and continues to inspire others through his writing. His journey to becoming a writer serves as a reminder that sometimes our darkest moments can lead us to our greatest achievements.

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