The S&P 500 added a towering 5.4% Thursday, making this one of the biggest up days in stock market history.
As much as I expected inflation to start moderating, I never expected the market to react in such an oversized way to what was a fairly modest change in inflation. But the trend is everything and Thursday morning’s inflation reading suggests our inflation fever is finally breaking.
Netting out Wednesday’s -2% post-election hangover, we’re “only” up 3.4% from Tuesday’s close, which is still a lot, but a tad more reasonable. And more importantly, Thursday’s gains put the rally to 4k back on track. (And at this rate, we could be there Friday morning!)
As much as bears tried to punish stocks for Republicans’ underperformance in the midterm elections, as I wrote Tuesday evening, this market isn’t concerned with politics.
The stock market really isn’t concerned with politics this time around because it knows the Fed is the one controlling the economy. By Wednesday afternoon, expect the election to be old news for the market and it will go back to what it was doing before, which is obsessing over inflation and rate hikes.
If the market’s attention is going back to what it was doing before the election took over the airwaves, that means October’s rebound is back on and 4k is within reach.
Well, it turns out my Wednesday afternoon forecast was a tad premature, but hopefully, most readers can forgive me for being off by a few hours.
As expected, the only thing that matters to this market is inflation and rate hikes and Thursday morning’s lower-than-expected inflation reading means the Fed doesn’t need to move as aggressively with future rate hikes.
Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good and Thursday was one of those days. I was fairly certain Wednesday’s election-fueled selloff would fade quickly. What I didn’t expect was Thursday’s historic gains following a “less bad than expected” inflation report, but that’s the way this game goes sometimes. The important thing is recognizing the direction the wind was blowing because we can’t get lucky if we don’t know which side of the street to stand on.
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Jani Ziedins (pronounced Ya-nee) is a full-time investor and financial analyst that has successfully traded stocks and options for nearly three decades. He has an undergraduate engineering degree from the Colorado School of Mines and two graduate business degrees from the University of Colorado Denver. His prior professional experience includes engineering at Fortune 500 companies, small business consulting, and managing investment real estate. He is now fortunate enough to trade full-time from home, affording him the luxury of spending extra time with his wife and two children.