Mon. February 14, 2022- DIA -345.89 -.40%, QQQ 347.49 +.12%, SPY 439.02 -.33%, IWM 200.68 -.35% CNN Fear/Greed Index 32 (Fear)
No high impact economic data released. Markets were lower on the opening as international tensions over a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine continued. By mid-morning equity markets found lows as reports that the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov (through Twitter) had made a declarative statement that some of the troops on the border would be pulled back. Equity markets once again came under selling pressure as the White House released a statement that the Ukraine embassy was under an evacuation / relocation order. By mid-afternoon equity markets moved of lows to close mixed. Consumer Discretionary (XLY) 181.51 +.57% performed best of the eleven S&P 500 economic sectors with Nike (NKE) 141.59 +1.01% leading the DJIA, followed by Disney (DIS) 150.85 +.92%. As more news and reports of pandemic mandates and restrictions being lifted, reopening stocks advanced, with internet travel company Expedia (EXPE) 197.17 +2.63% leading the S&P 500 followed by entertainment and gaming firm Las Vegas Sands (LVS) 46.21 +2.33%. Vaccine producer Moderna (MRNA) 142.47 -11.68% dropped as the FDA postponed a meeting on the authorization of the firm’s vaccine for children between the ages of six months to 5 years. In M&A news, Cisco Systems made a 20 billion dollar offer for enterprise software and security firm Splunk (SPLK) 124.97 +9.13%.

Tue. February 15, 2022-DIA 350.22 +1.25%, QQQ 356.13 +2.49%, SPY 446.10 +1.61%, IWM 206.06+2.68% CNN Fear/ Greed Index 37 (Fear)
Producer Prices reported in significantly higher at 9.7% vs. 9.1%. PPI Ex-Food & Energy came in higher than expected as well +8.3% vs. 7.9%. Equity markets gapped higher as more reports surfaced of Russian troops being moved back to deployment barracks. Later in the day, reports of a more substantive and productive discussion between Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz gave equity markets a firmer tone toward the end of the session. Technology (XLK) 158.91 +2.63% led the eleven S&P 500 sectors, followed by Consumer Discretionary (XLY) 185.57 +2.24%. The clear laggard on the day was Energy Services (XLE) 68.03 -1.05% which fell in sympathy from a pullback in WTI crude oil which settled at 91.97 -$3.49. (CRM) 214.25 +3.80% led the DJIA followed by Boeing (BA) 217.73 +3.66%. Semiconductors and semiconductor manufacturing firms were strong on the day, as the 4 top performers in the NDX100 were Marvell Technologies (MRVL) 74.17 +9.48%, Nvidia (NVDA) 264.95 +9.18%, Micron Technologies (MU) 96 +6.83%, and Lam Research (LRCX) 593.82 +6.37%. Travel & entertainment shares were strong for a second day as American Airlines (AAL) 18.84 +8.09%, United Airlines (UAL) 50.48 +7.56%, Expedia (EXPE) 211.93 +7.49%, Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCLH) 22.55 +6.92% and Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) 22.78 +6.65% all moved higher. The day’s disaster was clinical stage development firm Medpace (MEDP) 138.87-20.30% which fell hard after its earnings release.

Wed. February 16, 2022- DIA 349.67 -.16%, QQQ 356.04 -.03%, SPY 446.60 +.11%, IWM 206.49 +.21% CNN Fear/Greed 41 (Fear)
Retail Sales reported at +3.8% vs. +2.0% expected. Ex-Autos reported +3.3% vs. .8% expected. The FOMC minutes from the January meeting were released with no surprises. The Biden administration pushed back on Russian claims of troop withdrawals from the border of Ukraine, while stating that there was no evidence of support for the claim. Markets opened down but advanced during the day closing mixed too slightly higher. In a significant sign of a continued rotation from former technology leaders into sectors that benefit from inflation, Energy Services (XLE) 68.58 +.81% led the S&P 500 eleven economic sectors (Even though WTI crude oil 90.30 -1.92% closed lower) followed by Basic Materials (XLB) 85.46 +.73%. While Communication Services (XLC) 69.80 -.70% and Technology Services (XLK) 158.75 -.10% were the two laggards. Leading the NDX100 to the downside, media and communications giant Viacom (VIAC) 29.58 -17.81% tanked after missing consensus earnings and revenue estimates. Additionally, enterprise software security firm Akamai (AKAM) 104.86 -5.56% fell after beating on earnings and revenues. Prior beneficiaries of the pandemic lockdowns, Zoom Video Communications (ZOOM) 138.51 -5.71% and internet craft retailer Etsy Inc. (ETSY) 140.41 -5.28% continued their selloffs. On the upside, backup power supply machinery manufacturer, Generac Holdings (GNRC) 316.44 +14.36% beat earnings and revenue estimates handily, while giving positive forward guidance.

Thur. February 17, 2022-DIA 343.68 -1.71%, QQQ 345.45 -2.97%, SPY 437.06 -2.14%, IWM 201.20 -2.56% CNN Fear/Greed Index 38 (Fear)
Housing starts came in weaker than expected at 1638K vs. 1700K. Building Permits were much better than expected 1899K vs. 1760K. Jobless claims rose to 248K and ahead of the 219K expected. The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey was weaker than expected at 16 vs. 20. Ukraine tensions continued to dominate the day’s trading. U.S. Secretary of state Anthony Blinken presented the Biden administrations view of an impending invasion of Ukraine by Russia to the United Nations Security Council and that such might happen on a false flag pretext. In a flight to safety reaction, treasury bonds advanced in price as equity prices fell. The 10-Year Note (yield) Index 19.72 -.75 as a result moved lower. Gold prices advanced on a safety bid as well. The front month contract settled at 1900.70 +$29.20. As would be expected low beta stable and value oriented equities caught a safety bid as well. Consumer Staples (XLP) 75.89 +.77% was the only S&P 500 economic sector to close positive on the day. Walmart (WMT) 138.88 +4.01% beat on earnings and revenues and increased its dividend, as it continued navigating higher costs while holding price increases down for customers. Food staples manufacturer The Kraft Heinz Company (KHC) 37.79 +3.19% advanced for a second day after reporting an earnings beat and announcing price increases for its products. Cisco Systems (CSCO) 55.77 +2.80% was the bright spot in technology as it reported a beat on earnings and revenues while announcing a significant stock buyback program.

Fri. February 18, 2022 – DIA 340.98 -.64%, QQQ 341.51 -1.14%, SPY 434.23 - .65%, IWM 199.47 -.86% CNN Fear/Greed Index 38 (Fear)
No high impact data released. Equity markets traded in the red for the entire session with a few rally attempts but succumbed to selling into the close. For a second day in a row Consumer Staples (XLP) 76.03 +.18% performed best of the 11 S&P 500 economic sectors. Financial Services (XLF) 39.22 -.03% held up well as interest rates eased. Cisco Systems (CSCO) 57.21 +2.58% led the DJIA bucking the overall trend of technology for a second day. Coca-Cola (KO) 62.54 +.68% was second best for the index. Intel (INTC) 45.04 -5.32% was the clear laggard (hitting 52 week low) after the company shared its growth strategy at its investor meeting. Discount store chain Dollar Tree (DLTR) 142.84 +5.22% led the NDX100 after the company announced the retirement of the executive chairman. Food staples firm Kraft Heinz (KHC) 38.46 +1.77% continued its move higher. China technology shares came under selling pressure, Pinduoduo (PDD) 56.03 -6.05%, Baidu (BIDU) 157.72 -5.22%, and (JD) 71.86 -3.61% all declined as the Beijing Olympic Games drew closer to an end. General Electric (GE) 92.69 -5.86% fell on supply chain woes.

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