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Earnings and Risk Rotation Could Fuel the Rally

Earnings and Risk Rotation Could Fuel the Rally

In the dead of winter, three long months ago, the buzz on Wall Street was about the great rotation. This budding super-trend was not only calling for a massive movement of money out of bonds and into stocks, but was also being used as a crutch to justify otherwise inexplicable gains in the market.

Today, there's another rotation underway, only this time the money flow is moving out of defensive sectors and into cyclicals and other industry groups that have been lagging. It's a sudden shift in sentiment that Miller Tabak's Jonathan Krinsky calls, "the other great rotation," and a trend that could prove to be just what's needed to drive stocks to fresh highs.

And according to Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight Capital, as much as earnings season has been "lumpy and uneven with extremes on both ends," it is also fueling the movement of money.

"Earnings and guidance are helping that rotation out of the defensives and into the more risk-oriented or growth-oriented or alpha-oriented issues, and away from the Dow 30," he says in the attached video. He notes even small and mid-cap stocks are beating the Dow Industrials now too.

And it doesn't stop there. Over the past week, the Dow Utilities (^DJU) and Transports (^DJT), as well as the Emerging Markets (EEM), Nasdaq 100 (^NDX), Biotech (^BTK), Banks (^BKX), Semis (^SOX), Builders (XHB) and Gold (GLD) are all outpacing the industrials. In short, you'll be hard pressed to find very many benchmarks that aren't beating the Dow.

It's part of why veteran strategist Sam Stovall of S&P Capital IQ writes, "the inability by the bears to spark a thrust lower may be adding to the confidence of the bulls." While still cautious that this move could still prove to be an ''oversold bounce," Stovall's of the mind that "prices may be on their way for a test of the recent highs at 1,593 on a closing basis, and 1,597 on an intraday basis."