Technology stocks are leading the market higher on Wednesday, amid news that new orders for important U.S.-produced capital goods decreased in July, implying the possible recovery in business investment could slow to a more gradual pace as coronavirus worries continue to spread.
The S&P 500 is making fresh highs along with the Nasdaq, with the 500 stock index climbing 0.4% in mid-morning trading, while the tech-heavy index is up a healthy 1.07%, led by key players like Microsoft, Alphabet, Facebook, and Amazon. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has yet to reach its February highs and is declining for the second day in a row, off by 0.2%.
The Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) was up 1.04%, while the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) is down along with its underlying benchmark index. The iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV) and SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) are both higher as the S&P 500 continues to break new ground. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite and corresponding ETFs are targeting a fifth positive day in a row.
Orders for non-defense capital goods, with the exception of planes, which represent a popular proxy for business spending plans, gained 1.9% last month, according to data from the Commerce Department on Wednesday. These “core capital goods” orders advanced 4.3% in June, while economists polled by Reuters had projected a 1.9% in July.
Overall durable goods surged 11.2% in July, compared with an anticipated gain of 4.3% and a 7.6% increase from a month before.
Still, some strategists are worried that the current market environment has become overdone, and that now stocks vulnerable to a fall.
“US earnings expectations have certainly ‘V-shaped’ and this has been accompanied by an enormous reversal in risk appetite in almost a miniscule amount of financial time,” writes Sean Darby, global equity strategist at Jefferies.
“Some of our indicators are beginning to move into the ‘euphoria’ stage, and we caution that managing drawdown risk is coming to the fore.”
Darby is concerned about the pace at which the market has recovered, referring to it as “the speed of financial light,” and suggests that caution right now is warranted. “The bottom line is that as investors ‘buy’ into the ‘earnings growth,’ risk appetite is moving into the euphoria stage,” Darby adds.
“The obvious catalysts for a correction are not present but the technical ‘stretch’ of some of our indicators are a warning sign. A close watch should be kept on the US 30-year yield and any sign that that US money supply is rolling over.”
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