JULE 10/By Kevin Matras/Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research/August 2020.
Stocks soared again yesterday as traders focus on the better than expected economic numbers.
While the increase in coronavirus cases spooked the market last week, the gains we're seeing in the economy, even with the reopening pains, are pushing stocks higher.
In fact, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, in testimony yesterday to the House Financial Services Committee, said that the hiring and spending gains happened more rapidly than they had expected.
You can see that in the latest Employment Report which showed 2.5 million jobs gained vs. expectations for -7.7 million jobs lost; the Empire State Manufacturing Survey which came in well above expectations; the Retail Sales Report which jumped 17.7% (the biggest monthly gain ever); and the Housing Market Index which surged 56.8%, also the biggest monthly gain ever.
He did warn, however, that the outlook is "extraordinarily uncertain." But said it "will depend in large part on our success in containing the virus," and "the policy actions taken at all levels of government to provide relief and to support the recovery for as long as needed."
So far, nearly $10 trillion in fiscal and monetary stimulus has been pumped into the economy, not to mention near zero interest rates for the foreseeable future.
And it looks like there could be another stimulus package on the way.
Talk of bipartisan support for another $1.5 trillion stimulus bill could get done sometime in July, before Congress leaves for its August recess. That could include checks to individuals, more small business loans, aid to states and municipalities, infrastructure, and more. But Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, stressed that this package would be "jobs-focused," with a priority on "bringing back" positions.
The biggest unknown is the virus.
And the next few weeks will be crucial to seeing how this plays out.
In the meantime, the economic rebound is underway. And there's great pent-up economic demand being unleashed virtually everywhere.
And that suggests there's a lot more upside to go.
So make sure you're taking full advantage of it.