Stock Alert: Breakout or Fake-out?

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(Please enjoy this updated version of my weekly commentary from the Reitmeister Total Return newsletter).

Back to the main question; Is this a breakout above 4,700 or a fake-out?

The honest answer is to say that is “unknown and unknowable” because there are no crystal balls or time machines to give us 100% certainty. However, we have to appreciate that either is highly plausible.

Also important to note that the primary long term trend is bullish. Let there be NO DOUBT about that with rates still at historic lows and the economy improving rapidly from the devastations of Covid.

So in general, we want to lean bullish. And anyone getting too cute in betting heavily that stocks will go lower at this time is likely to look quite foolish. However, I suspect that the fairly big 1 month move from 4,300 to 4,700 has taken some steam out of this bull for the near term.

That makes me suspect that more of a consolidation period around 4,700 is the most likely outcome. Maybe sometimes flirting about 1% above that mark. Or perhaps up to 2-3% below defines a likely consolidation range we could play in til the Santa Claus rally takes over with 4,800 pretty much a certainty before the year ends. 5,000 not out of the question.

The point is to stay bullish as any pullback would be short lived and shallow. But indeed these consolidation periods come hand in hand with serious sector rotation that could easily trim 5-10% off your favorite stocks. That leads to a buy the dip mentality when the best stocks go on sale.

Now let’s turn to the recent economic data that continues to skew positive. That conversation starts with weekly Jobless Claims which headed lower for the 6th straight week. In general fewer jobs lost corresponds with more jobs gained that we will likely see on display in the monthly ADP and Government employment reports.

On the manufacturing front we see the important regional report, Empire State Manufacturing, surge from a previously impressive 19.8 to an even more splendiferous 30.9 We need to see if those positive trends show up in the other regional reports over the next couple weeks to tip us off to what the likely result for ISM Manufacturing.

On the surface, one has to applaud the much stronger than expected Retail Sales report today. From every angle this looks quite robust. That is the good news.

The potential bad news is that consumer fears of inflation leads early on to an increase in buying behavior to lock in lower prices. This surge in activity evolves into lower sales as demand is pulled forward.

Is that happening now?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Note that the investors had no issue digesting this news with stocks plowing ahead once again. But even if this negative version of the story was happening, we would be in the early innings of it being a concern for the economy. So best that we keep our bullish posture for now, but keep our eyes open for any true signs of weakness that would make us more cautious.

Putting it altogether we are in the midst of a long term bull market that is potentially experiencing another brief pause (consolidation) before building up the strength for the next run higher. So continue to have a bullish bias with an eye to buying the dip on your favorite stocks.

What To Do Next?

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Wishing you a world of investment success!

Steve Reitmeister

…but everyone calls me Reity (pronounced “Righty”)
CEO, Stock News Network and Editor, Reitmeister Total Return

SPY shares fell $0.80 (-0.17%) in premarket trading Wednesday. Year-to-date, SPY has gained 26.74%, versus a % rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

About the Author: Steve Reitmeister

Steve is better known to the StockNews audience as “Reity”. Not only is he the CEO of the firm, but he also shares his 40 years of investment experience in the Reitmeister Total Return portfolio. Learn more about Reity’s background, along with links to his most recent articles and stock picks. More…

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