My Thoughts For Today - Relax It's Just a Pullback

February 15, 2024

Since bottoming at the end of October, the Standard & Poor’s 500 (SPX) rose approximately 22%, over the milestone 5,000 level at the end of last week. Now, after a fantastic run, you knew that some profit taking would take place. We are just never certain from what level a short-term top would begin. I usually like to say that we were a market looking for an excuse to pull back. We got that excuse yesterday when the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released January’s CPI report. Year-over-year CPI of 3.1% came in hotter than 2.9% than was expected from the so-called economist intelligentsia. Setting aside what I know about poor histories of economic forecasts, the markets got their excuse and wobbled. The Federal Reserve told us that rate cuts were going to be pushed out further than Wall Street hoped for. Now we know why.

What I could not stand on Tuesday from the media was: i) the crocodile tears being shed over the pullback for a market which needed a correction, and ii) the focus on the Dow Jones Industrials (INDU), a laggard amongst market indexes rather than the more important SPX.

 
Source: Telemet

So what are you supposed to do?

Remember that we are concerned not so much about where the market came from but where it is going. Rates will begin to move lower as the year progresses. So far, fourth quarter earnings, especially from the largest capitalization companies, have been better than expected, as was future guidance. New buybacks and dividends were announced from companies such as Meta (META). Expect Alphabet (GOOG / GOOGL) and Amazon (AMZN) to follow suit. 

The housing market remains tight which means that prices are holding steady or moving higher. Lower mortgage rates and lack of supply are helping. Maybe, by the spring more inventories will become available as rates drop further. 

That's all for now, best regards.

Rich