Monday 3/14/2022 – DIA 330.07 +.02%, QQQ 318.17 -1.92%, SPY 417.00 -.73%, IWM 192.71 -2.04% CNN Fear/Greed Index @ 16 (Extreme Fear)
No high impact economic data released on the day. Markets opened under the pressure of geo-political headlines, from the Russo-Ukraine war to the COVID-19 lockdowns in China. Interest rates climbed to a new high for the year as exhibited in the 10-Year Note (yield) index climbing to 21.40 +1.36. As a result Financials Services (XLF) 36.86 +1.26% was the clear leading economic sector for the S&P 500. American Express (AXP) 172.79 +2.91% led the DJIA, followed by the Travelers Group (TRV) 177.18 +1.99%. Lagging the index Energy Services (XLE) 74.55 -2.99% performed the worst as WTI Crude oil prices paused from recent selling pressure at 102.04 down -.97. The selling in the sector appeared uniform and across the board. As news of COVID-19 lockdowns in China became more prevalent pandemic favorite vaccine maker Moderna (MRNA) 150.07 +8.59% rallied to lead the NDX 100. Athletic and lifestyle brand Nike (NKE) 117.57 -4.13% hit another 52-week low and was the worst performer in the DJIA. China shares continued under the selling pressure of the last few weeks Pinduoduo (PDD) 25.53 -20.54%, (JD) 42.94 -10.52%, NetEase (NTES) 71.53 -9.56%, and Baidu (BIDU) 108.97 -8.37% all declined on continuing delisting worries. In M&A news television ratings firm Nielsen Holdings (NLSN) 22.85 +30.50% was reported to be in advance talks to be taken private.

Tuesday 3/15/2022 – DIA 336.19 +1.85%, QQQ 328.15 +3.14%, SPY 426.17 +2.20%, IWM 195.78 +1.59% CNN Fear/Greed Index @19 (Extreme Greed)
The highly watched Producer Price Index was reported in at an all-time high of +10% as was expected. Ex-Food & Energy the index was elevated but lower than expected at +8.4% vs. +8.7%. Markets were lower pre-market but recovered by the opening as geo-political news flow was moderately positive. Ukraine was calmer and the Polish prime minister was reported to be having plans to travel to Kyiv in Ukraine, as well as reports that civilians were being allowed to evacuate Mariupol. Interest rates moved slightly higher with the 10-Year Note (yield) Index at 21.60 +.20. Technology Services (XLK) 146.14 +3.36% performed best on the day, followed by Consumer Discretionary (XLY) 169.43 +3.35%. Entertainment and theme park giant Walt Disney (DIS) 134.25 +4.01% led the DJIA, followed by software and cloud company Microsoft (MSFT) 287.15 +3.87%. Semiconductor firm Marvel Technology (MRVL) 65.78 +9.18% led the NDX100 as it broke out of a descending triangle pattern. With crude oil prices having retreated significantly in recent days and more positive news out of Ukraine, airline and cruise ship stocks outperformed, American Airlines (AAL) 15.57 +9.26%, United Airlines (UAL) 38.24 +9.19%, Delta Airlines 34.86 +8.70%, and Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCLH) 18.25 +6.98%. On the downside Energy Services (XLE) 71.82 -3.66% was the worst performing sector, with Valero (VLO) 84.421 -6.78%, ExxonMobil (XOM) 77.22 -5.69%, Schlumberger (SLB) 39.26 -5.51% and Chevron (CVX) 158.28 -5.06% leading the sector lower.

Wed. 3/16/2022 – DIA 341.36 +1.54%, QQQ 340.32 +3.71%, SPY 435.62 +2.22%, IWM 201.94 +3.15% CNN Fear/Greed Index @22 (Extreme Greed)
Retail Sales for February was reported at +.3% vs. +.4% expected. The FOMC raised the Fed Funds rate by a quarter of 1% as expected, while indicating an additional 6 hikes that would take the official rate to 2.75% by the end of 2023.  Markets traded tentatively on the positive side going into the announcement. After the announcement markets faded and then moved higher to finish the session strong on an FT news release that a peace plan was emerging for Ukraine. Consumer Discretionary (XLY) 175.21 +3.41% led the 11 S&P 500 economic sectors followed by Technology Services (XLK) 150.89 +3.25%. Short covering was clearly evident as some of the most beaten down stocks performed the best. Chinese internet stocks that had been under the threat of potential delisting were some of the best performers; Pinduoduo (PDD) 42.62 +56.06%, (JD) 64.08 +39.36%, Baidu (BIDU) 150.87 +39.20%, NetEase (NTES) 93.31 +25.69% all posted spectacular gains. Travel and entertainment shares fared well during the session, Las Vegas Sands (LVS) 36.65 +11.88%, Wynn Resorts (WYNN) 75.17 +8.13% and United Airlines (UAL) 41.19 +7.71%. On the downside, defense contractors came under profit taking; Lockheed Martin (LMT) 421.34 -6.09%, Northrup Grumman (NOC) 424.43 -5.22% both were down. In M&A news clothing and home goods retailer Kohl’s (KSS) 63.39 +17.26% received a buyout offer from private equity firm Sycamore Partners said to be in the high 60s.

Thursday 3/17/2022- DIA 345.45 +1.20%, QQQ 344.44 +1.21%, SPY 441.07 +1.25%, IWM 205.11 +1.57% CNN Fear/Greed Index @25 (Extreme Fear)
Housing Starts were higher than expected at 1769K vs. 1690K. Building Permits as well at 1859K vs. 1850K. Initial jobless claims were slightly better than expected at +214K vs. 220K.The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey for March was much stronger at 27.4 vs. 15 expected. Markets opened modestly higher and built strength throughout the session with all 11 economic S&P 500 economic sectors closing positive. WTI crude oil prices rebounded from the previous days profit taking closing at $103.25 +8.21. Energy Services (XLE) 73.95 +3.44% rebounded in tandem with the price of WTI. Devon Energy (DVN) 57.52 +9.65%, Occidental Petroleum (OXY) 58.01 +9.47%, APA Corporation (APA) 39.43 +7.00% Marathon Oil (MRO) 23.01 +6.86% and Diamondback (FANG) 133.88 +6.57% were all at the top of the S&P 500.  Basic Materials (XLB) 85.58 +1.92% was the second best sector with Dow Chemical (DOW) 62.84 +5.37% leading the DJIA. Cybersecurity software provider CrowdStrike (CRWD) 204.13 +7.63% was the top performer in the NDX 100. Selling pressure returned to China based technology shares after Thursday’s spectacular rebound. NetEase (NTES) 85.10 -8.80%, Pinduoduo (PDD) 39.37 -7.63%, (JD) 61.94 -3.34% and Baidu (BIDU) 147.15 -2.47% all were lower in a consolidation.

Friday 3/18/2022 – DIA 347.19 +.73%, QQQ 351.49 +2.05%, SPY 444.52 +1.10%, IWM 207.27 +1.05% CNN Fear/Greed Index @37 (Fear)
No high impact economic data released. Interest rates declined and the yield curve flattened. The 10-Year Note (yield) Index closed at 21.44 -.44. Equity markets continued to rally but in a subdued trading session. Consumer Discretionary (XLY) 181.88 +2.11% was the top S&P 500 sector followed by Technology Services (XLK) 155.07 +2.05%. (CRM) 218.80 +3.99% topped the DJIA with Nike (NKE) 131.24 +3.01% coming in second. Document and contract management software provider DocuSign (DOCU) 95.51 +9.45% led the NDX100 followed by digital and multi factor security software provider Okta (OKTA) 174.5 +8.30%. To the downside, renewable energy firm Constellation Energy (CEG) 49.01 -3.88% was the clear laggard in that index. Online dating services firm Match Group (MTCH) 102.69 +7.8% led the S&P 500. In earnings news FedEx (FDX) 218.91 -3.98% missed on expected earnings but had a beat on revenues as virus sickouts effected performance.

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