Mon. December 13, 2021 – DIA 357.04 -.89%, QQQ 392.26 -1.44%, SPY 466.57 -.89%, IWM 216.04 -1.46%   CNN Fear/Greed Index 30 (Fear)
No high-impact economic data was released. The Omicron variant of Sars-CoV-2 news dominated the day’s trading as the British government released a statement that the virus was much more transmissible than the previous Delta variant. Risk-off and flight to safety were evident through the day’s trading. Interest rates declined as the 10-Year Note yield index (TNX) closed at 14.24 -.65. Reopening stocks were hit across the board. Energy Services (XLE) 55.65 -2.78% was the worst S&P 500 sector on the day with Devon Energy (DVN) 41.06 -5.44%, APA Corporation (APA) 25.28 -5.21%, Halliburton (HAL) 22.71 -5.10%, and Occidental (OXY) 29.23 -5.00% all getting clocked. As if the algorithm computers were in charge, pandemic favorite names such as interactive home exercise equipment provider Peloton (PTON) 41.34 +7.35% caught buying pressure. The shares have been a great disappointment to investors since the January highs of $171 / share and were trading near the yearly lows. COVID-19 vaccine producer Moderna (MRNA) 271.99 +5.81% also moved higher on the virus reports. The shares peaked in August at $497. Another vaccine producer Pfizer (PFE) 55.20 +4.59% moved higher as well approaching new highs for the year.

Tue. December 14, 2021 – DIA 356.17 -.24%, QQQ 388.20 -1.04%, SPY 463.36 -.69%, IWM 214.18 -.86% CNN Fear/Greed Index 26 (Extreme Fear)
The Producer Price Index came in much higher than expected at +9.6% vs. +9.2% on an ex-food and energy basis it too outstripped expectations coming in at +7.7% vs. +7.2%. Interest rates moved higher with the 10-year Note yield index (TNX) at 14.38 +.14 buy the close. On the first day of the two-day FOMC policy meeting, Financial Services (XLF) 38.86 +.60% topped the 11 S&P 500 sectors with insurance firm Travelers Group (TRV) 156.73 +2.32% leading the DJIA and regional bank Comerica (CMA) 83.73 +3.03% the number 2 stock in the S&P500. Pandemic favorite stocks continued to perform, as Moderna (MRNA) 277.16 +1.90% added to the previous day’s performance. Document technology provider DocuSign (DOCU) 144.46 +3.36% moved higher on news reports of mask requirements returning to NY state office buildings and reports of delayed or scaled back plans for office workers to return on a permanent basis to some technology firms in California.

Wed. December 15, 2021 – DIA 359.81 +1.02%, QQQ 397.05 +2.28%, SPY 470.60 +1.56%, IWM 217.58 +1.59% CNN Fear/Greed Index 34 (Fear)
Retail Sales came in far weaker than anticipated across the board +.3% vs. 0.8%, Retail Sales Ex-Autos +.3% vs. the anticipated +.9%. The day’s action was dominated by the FOMC interest rate policy decision and the subsequent Q&A of Chairman Jerome Powell. As anticipated the committee decided to curtail the bond-buying program far quicker by doubling the reduction to 30 billion a month. It also indicated an earlier time period by which the Fed would start to raise interest rates. Interest rates ticked up with the 10-Year Note yield Index at 14.63 +.25 Technology (XLK) 173.94 +3.74% topped the S&P 500 sectors, with Cisco Systems (CSCO) 59.93 +3.74% leading the DJIA. Healthcare Services (XLV) 139.07 +2.05 captured the second spot in the 11 sectors with United Healthcare (UNH) 494.38 +3.11%. Semiconductor-related stocks remained outperformers with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) 146.50 +8.04% and Nvidia (NVDA) 304.59 +7.94% leading the NDX100. In M&A news, semiconductor equipment firm Entegris (ENTG) 142.54 -.05% agreed to acquire CMC Materials (CCMP) 195.50 +33.93% for $6.5 billion.

Thur. December 16, 2021 – DIA 359.44 -.10%, QQQ 386.84 -2.57%, SPY466.45 -.88%, IWM 213.18 -2.02%     CNN Fear/Greed Index 31 (Fear)
Building permits were reported stronger than expected 1712K vs. 1660K. Housing Starts as well at 1679K vs. 1565K expected. Other economic data was not as robust. Initial Jobless claims ticked up to 206K vs. 195K expected. The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey came at 15.4 much lighter than the expected 30. The Markit Manufacturing PMI (preliminary) came lower than expected 57.8 vs. 58.5. The Markit Services PMI (preliminary) was lower than expected as well 57.5 vs. 58.7. Financials (XLF) 39.46 +1.26% were the stellar performer on the day, followed by Basic Materials (XLB) 88.77 +1.02%. Technology (XLK) 169.01 -2.83% was the clear loser, as key stocks reversed their previous day's FOMC inspired rise. Apple (AAPL) 172.26 -3.93%, Microsoft (MSFT) 324.90 -2.91% and (CRM) 253.12 -2.66% were the worst performers in the DJIA. Document software firm Adobe, Inc. (ADBE) 566.09 -10.19% beat on earnings and revenue, but disappointed on forward guidance for the coming quarter. The gold miner Newmont (NEM) 59.00 +8.80% popped on a large bar, breaking out of a downtrend the stock has endured since May. In COVID-19 related news, biotechnology firm Arcturus Therapeutics (ARCT) 43.00 +21.06% moved higher on an update on two mRNA vaccines in development.

Fri. December 17, 2021 – DIA 353.63 -1.43%, QQQ 384.91 -.50%, SPY 459.87 -1.06%, IWM 215.14 +.92% CNN Fear/Greed Index 26 (Extreme Fear)
Triple expiration day. No high-impact data was released. Markets were mostly to the downside, but small caps outperformed. Omicron variant news continued to concern traders and the media. Financials (XLF) 38.59 -2.20% reversed the previous day’s performance, with Goldman Sachs (GS) 381.80 -3.92% the worst performer in the DJIA. Energy Services (XLE) 54.37 -2.04% was the second weakest sector in the S&P 500, with Hess (HES) 71.62 -5.3% shares under selling pressure. Pandemic and lockdown favorites did well, as video conference software provider Zoom, Inc. (ZM) 199.74 +9.51%, interactive exercise equipment maker Peloton (PTON) 42.45 +6.63% both rose along with vaccine provider Moderna (MRNA) 294.80 +4.53%. In a move counter the news flow, some reopening stocks did well, Royal Caribbean (RCL) 72.41 +5.25% and Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCLH) 20.33 +5.12% moved higher. On speculation that a merger with Oracle (ORCL) 96.62 -6.39% was potentially in the offing, healthcare information services firm Cerner (CERN) 89.77 +12.93% moved higher.

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