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Stocks Slide as Fed Dampens Rate Cut Expectations

Jim Giaquinto

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The market fully expects a rate cut next month, so it didn’t take kindly to Jerome Powell seeming to suggest that such an action is less than certain.

The Fed Chair said that the Committee will take a ‘wait-and-see’ approach when it comes to future cuts, which isn’t the confirmation that we wanted to hear.   

To rain even more on the market’s parade, another FOMC member said that a 50-basis point cut in July seems too much at one time.

The news led to one of the worst days of this otherwise strong month. The market was also pressured by a soft consumer confidence number and ongoing jitters over the upcoming G20 meeting.

Tech was hit especially hard on Tuesday, sending the NASDAQ lower by 1.51% (or nearly 121 points) to 7884.72.

Meanwhile, the S&P slipped 0.95% to 2917.38 and the Dow dropped 0.67% (or about 179 points) to 26,548.22.

The major indices trended downward throughout the session and ended right around their lows.

We knew this would be a challenging week for the market. The G20 summit -- where President Trump will meet with China President Xi -- doesn’t happen until the weekend. That leaves a lot of time for the indices to just loiter around aimlessly at a slow time of the year (summer).

Unfortunately, stocks did pick a direction today. Just the possibility that we won’t get a rate cut next month was enough to throw the market off its game.

The good news is stocks are still up strongly for June, as the indices have climbed for the past three straight weeks.

Today's Portfolio Highlights:

Large-Cap Trader: Shares of Lockheed Martin (LMT) are on a solid momentum run this year, but John thinks this global security and aerospace company has enough fuel to continue rising. The company has an excellent record of beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate with a surprise of 39% last time and a four-quarter average of 17.4%. It reports again on July 23. Rising earnings estimates have made LMT a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Despite all this impressive stuff, the editor doesn’t think the valuation is too rich. Make sure to read the complete commentary for a lot more on this new addition.

Zacks Short List: The portfolio swapped out one position in this week's adjustment. It short-covered salesforce.com (CRM) for a 1.3% return in a week and replaced it by adding United Therapeutics Corp. (UTHR). Learn more about this emotion-free portfolio that takes advantage of falling and volatile markets by reading the Short List Trader Guide.

Stocks Under $10: Sticking with the idea that ‘strong stocks remain strong’, Brian decided to add a little healthcare to the portfolio on Tuesday. He added Cross Country Healthcare (CCRN), which provides innovative healthcare workforce solutions and staffing services. The company has been moving higher for the past three months, and the editor expects that trend to continue. In its most recent quarterly report, CCRN announced a positive earnings surprise of more than 166%. The portfolio is almost at its goal of being fully invested! Read the complete commentary for more.

Have a Good Evening,
Jim Giaquinto

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