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This has been a good week for the market. The S&P 500 tested support last week and prices have gradually been inching higher.
The economic news this week has been market friendly. ISM manufacturing, ADP, ISM services, initial claims and factory orders all exceeded estimates. This morning, the Unemployment Report showed that 114,000 new jobs were created September. That was slightly better than expected and the market liked the news.
Earnings season starts next Tuesday. The strongest companies announce early in the cycle and stocks typically rally during the first two weeks. There have been plenty of warnings in the tech and transportation sectors. The expectations have been lowered and profits should be good.
Revenues will be light, but cost-cutting will preserve the bottom line. Companies are running lean and mean and analysts know that any uptick in revenues will go straight to the bottom line. Stocks are attractively valued at a forward P/E of 14 and balance sheets have never been stronger. Bonds are at historic lows and European credit concerns have subsided. All of these factors will force Asset Managers to rotate out of fixed income and into equities.
Many analysts have been looking for a 3% correction and the plan was to buy on weakness. With each passing day that decline becomes less likely and Asset Managers will become more aggressive. They don’t want to miss a year-end rally.
China’s market has been closed all week and they should open with a bang. The Shanghai index rallied 4% in the last two sessions. China will appoint a new leader and as soon as that selection is revealed, monetary easing and fiscal spending will ensue. They want to make sure this transition is smooth.
In coming weeks, Spain will formally request a bailout and Greece will secure its next tranche. Both of these events will be bullish.
The presidential race has tightened after Wednesday’s debate. Traders had priced in an Obama victory and this shift has been market friendly. Romney’s policies are viewed to be pro-business.
The fiscal cliff looms, but it won’t be an issue for another month. The November elections will be more important.
All of the pieces are in place for a nice rally. If you have been following my advice the last week, you should have a portfolio of bullish stocks. I suggest adding to positions and you should have about 75% of your allocation on by the end of the day.
Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase will post results next Friday. Financial stocks have been very strong and the results should be good. Wells Fargo is the largest mortgage lender and they should benefit from refis and mortgage applications.
The news is very light next week and the market should continue to grind higher.
Yesterday, stocks held their gains into the close and we did not see late day selling. That late-day selling pattern needs to be broken and I would like to see the market close on its highs today.
Keep adding to long positions.