You’ll need eyes in the back of your head to track all the risks out there today: trade hostilities, tech regulation, Syria tensions … and maybe a pink slip for thorn-in-Trump’s-side special counsel Robert Mueller.
POTUS promised to act swiftly in response to Syria’s suspected chemical weapons attack on civilians, but seems to have missed his own self-imposed deadline. Or did he mean action of the tweeting kind?
Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2018
Eh, but a 2018-seasoned investor should be used to a little volatility by now. And earnings season is about to kick off, not a moment too soon as a sense of world-events weariness sets in.
Enter our call of the day from Larry Tentarelli, founder of Trend Trading Signals, who says he’s tuning out the noise from tariffs and big tech. Instead, he’s focusing on the stocks that are standing firm as the market rocks.
“When in doubt, the U.S. consumer has stayed resilient recently, and some of the ‘everyday’ stocks are far away from Trade Wars talk,” says Tentarelli in an email. “Many consumer-oriented names, especially in retail and casual dining, have been showing strong price performance versus the overall market.”
For example, he likes mid-cap retailers that zero in on the domestic shopper, such Five Below FIVE, +3.71% , Burlington Stores BURL, +0.51% and Macy’s M, +0.51% . They’ve all recently hit new highs, Tentarelli notes.
Online dating app Match Group MTCH, +2.81% and food delivery service GrubHub GRUB, +2.87% have been holding up well. That’s because they are part of the daily routine for many consumers, says Tentarelli, who was calling out these sectors late last year. He also likes Yum! Brands YUM, +1.34% and Domino’s DPZ, -0.31% DPZ, -0.31% .
Also on the lookout for stocks that can ride out the headlines is Ari Wald, technical analyst at Oppenheimer, who recently highlighted a turnaround he’s seeing in the S&P 500 retail sector XRT, +2.08% . Wald says the retail industry is looking the best it has in years, with apparel sellers leading the way.
Key market gauges
A pullback is underway, with Dow YMM8, -1.04% , S&P 500 ESM8, -0.99% and Nasdaq NQM8, -1.00% futures all in the red. Europe SXXP, -0.68% stocks are getting dragged down, while Asia stocks had a pretty mixed session.
See the Market Snapshot column for the latest action.
Facebook FB, +4.50% CEO Mark Zuckerberg is back on Capitol Hill today, and we’ll see if House members can come up with questions that your 14-year-old couldn’t answer. In any case, the market rewarded Zuck’s testimony with the highest close since March 21 for Facebook shares.
While the White House has been drumming up support for an international strike against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, European airlines have been told to proceed cautiously in the eastern Mediterranean area for the next 72 hours. Any U.S. move against Assad may be seen as a move against Russia — and that could rattle markets.
China has promised easier access for foreigners to the country’s banking, securities and insurance sectors this year, and said it will set up a Shanghai-London trading link.
VirnextX VHC, +2.50% is up massively after a Texas jury reportedly said Apple AAPL, +1.88% infringed on the security software company’s patents.
We’re just one day away from the kickoff of earnings season, with BlackRock BLK, +2.46% due Thursday, and J.P. Morgan JPM, +1.91% and Citi C, +1.54% on the docket Friday. The bulls are hoping earnings will ride to the rescue of a market that’s been on a volatile ride lately.
The crowded trade right now is oil, says Scotiabank Economics (h/t The Daily Shot) in our chart of the day.
Here Scotiabank shows how very few are taking out short positions on crude right now. That means there’s a lot of expectation that oil prices will keep climbing.
Here’s another look at how bullish sentiment is on crude right now, from Saxo Bank’s head of commodity strategy, Ole Hansen. The blue area indicates the level of bullish positions from money managers, while the red shows the shorts.
Tuesday marked a big day for crude, with the highest Brent close in more than three years and WTI’s best since finish March 26. Those moves came as traders watched out for possible disruption to supply from Syria tensions. For the month so far, both contracts are well over 5% higher, beating out almost everything else in the commodity space.
“The multilateral trade system has transformed our world over the past generation. But that system of rules and shared responsibility is now in danger of being torn apart. This would be an inexcusable, collective policy failure.” That was IMF head Christine Lagarde speaking in Hong Kong, in a warning seemingly aimed at trade foes U.S. and China.
She reminded us, as if we really didn’t get it by now, that a trade war isn’t a good idea. Not was she keen on high levels of debt held by governments such as the U.S., which she says can prompt market corrections as interest rates rise.
Consumer price inflation is the headline number to watch today, while the minutes of the most recent Federal Reserve meeting are expected to draw attention later.
More than 100 dead after Algerian military plane crashes.
Video shows agents trying to drag an injured guy south of the border — because he looked Mexican.
The oldest American NBA rookie in 50 years dazzled the crowd last night.
Gaggle of dead geese fall from the sky in Idaho.
Kansas University, N.C. State drawn into probe over NCAA basketball corruption.
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