^VIX - CBOE Volatility Index

Chicago Options - Chicago Options Delayed Price. Currency in USD
-1.18 (-4.40%)
At close: 4:14PM EDT
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Previous Close26.84
Day's Range25.04 - 26.98
52 Week Range11.42 - 85.47
Avg. Volume0
  • Why investors should be paying attention to TSA checkpoint data and OpenTable data
    Yahoo Finance Video

    Why investors should be paying attention to TSA checkpoint data and OpenTable data

    Michael Antonelli, Baird PWM Market Strategist, joined Yahoo Finance's The Final Round to discuss why he's paying attention to TSA checkpoint data, credit card spending data, and OpenTable data.

  • 'The good news is the rally is broadening': Oppenheimer's John Stoltzfus
    Yahoo Finance Video

    'The good news is the rally is broadening': Oppenheimer's John Stoltzfus

    John Stoltzfus, Chief Investment Strategist and Managing Director at Oppenheimer Asset Management, joined Yahoo Finance's The Final Round to discuss his outlook for the market and reopening optimism.

  • Zoom Initially Slips Despite Strong Earnings, Then Reverses Course In Pre-Market Trading

    Zoom Initially Slips Despite Strong Earnings, Then Reverses Course In Pre-Market Trading

    This elevator ride keeps zooming higher, almost like the market is scrambling to get back to where it was before the crisis began. We're up more than 40% from the late-March lows, and stocks have a firm tone again this morning as reopening optimism continues. Remember there's no reason to go "all in" at times like these. Enthusiasm is definitely high right now, and the market has obviously come a long way. On the other hand, things are really rough around the U.S. economy and a lot of people have lost their livelihoods. This is a very tough situation and there's no guarantee the market won't make another move lower at some point. Jobs data due tomorrow and Friday are bound to be ugly (see more below).The general consensus seems to be that people think the economy will get back to normal as COVID-19 looks to be somewhat under control for now. Having some of the stores in major cities destroyed by civil unrest could slow that somewhat, but people are thinking cities will rebuild.Markets in Europe and Asia rose in the early going today, and European stocks are up nearly 30% from their March lows. So the rally isn't just here.Volatility is pulling back, with the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) now starting to flirt with 25. That's down from above 80 at the peak of the crisis.It wouldn't be surprising to see Financial stocks come strong out of the gate today as the 10-year yield climbed to 0.72% this morning. The safety of bonds is getting sold and rates are inching higher.Midweek Data Watch Two key numbers to consider watching as today's session moves along are April factory orders and the May ISM non-manufacturing index, both due soon after the opening bell. On Monday, manufacturing ISM moved up a bit from April, providing a little solace to people worried about the economy. Analyst consensus for non-manufacturing ISM stands at 45%, which would be up from 41.8% in April, according to research firm Briefing.com. Analysts look for factory orders to have declined 13% in April vs. 10.3% in March, but this will likely be dismissed as a backward-looking data point.A private payrolls number out this morning showed job losses continued in May but at a much slower pace than in April. It also was far better than analysts had expected, but still showed major losses in the manufacturing sector. That could be a category to consider watching in the government's report Friday for any signs of improving economic conditions. The payrolls report this Friday is almost certainly going to be hard to digest, but it may not hold as much weight as usual because people know it's going to be a disaster. Wall Street's consensus is for job losses of 8.5 million in May, according to research firm Briefing.com. That would be an improvement from 20.5 million jobs shed in April, though it's still horrible to imagine the pain and suffering of so many represented by that one number. It's important to keep an eye on the weekly initial jobless claims data out tomorrow ahead of the payrolls report to get a better sense of whether the needle is moving back in the right direction as the economy reopens. The consensus is for new initial claims to jump another 1.8 million in tomorrow's report, down from 2.1 million the previous week, Briefing.com says. Turning to earnings for a moment, it was a nice looking quarter that Zoom Video Communications Inc (NASDAQ: ZM) reported after the close yesterday. They beat Wall Street's expectations and raised guidance. So what happened? The stock initially fell in after-hours trading, though it did engineer a slight comeback ahead of the opening bell.The takeaway behind the initial weakness could be that ZM shares have come a long way very quickly (tripling so far this year) and this could be a case of buy the rumor, sell the news. It's also possible people could be worried about ZM's prospects now that people are coming back out of their homes and may not need the product as much as during the full shutdown. Draw Play Keeps Working It's been the same story for weeks: If the FAANGs can't do it, some other sector steps up and says, "Hey, how about a lateral?"We saw that yesterday when all five FAANGs and some of the chip stocks yielded the floor early on. That paved the way, not for a setback in the major indices, but instead another rally led by some of the big banks and travel stocks. Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) and Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE: WFC) advanced, and so did Boeing Co (NYSE: BA), United Airlines Holding Inc (NASDAQ: UAL) and Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL). Keep an eye on the payment companies and the package delivery industry, too, which seem to be gaining steam as economic hopes improve.The less the major indices rely on FAANGs for big gains, arguably the more positive for the overall market. Some of the FAANGs, including Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), along with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), have $1 trillion market-caps and exert huge influence on the direction of the S&P 500 (SPX) and Dow Jones Industrial Average ($DJI). A more balanced rally featuring stocks of companies that would benefit from reopening is probably something more investors can hang their hats on, as it reflects a wider cross section of the economy.That said, even most of the FAANGs recovered by the end of the day as the Nasdaq (COMP) came back from early losses. The small-cap Russell 2000 (RUT) also made solid strides. Yesterday basically had something for almost everyone, and it was encouraging to see the markets really put on the afterburners in the last hour of the session. That's been a pattern lately and likely speaks to investor enthusiasm.Instead of being nervous about going into the evening long, people are making bids ahead of the closing bell in a time slot that some called the "witching hour" back in March. We've seen some of the same enthusiasm on recent Fridays, compared with heavy selling on Fridays earlier this year as people seemed nervous heading into the weekend with long positions. Cyclicals that depend on economic reopening outperformed the so-called "stay at home" stocks, for the most part, reflecting investor optimism. Some of the late push higher yesterday might have reflected a positive news report related to vaccine progress. Headline news of this sort is likely to continue being a key factor, whether the news is good or bad. People are still closely attuned to any progress or lack of it in the fight against COVID-19, which almost goes without saying.Three-Month Highs to Start Day Tuesday's solidly higher close for the SPX means it went into today at its highest level since the March 3 close, exactly three months ago. It's still down 9% from the Feb. 18 intraday high, but down just 4.6% for the year. Who'd have thought we'd be back at this sort of level so soon when back on March 23 when the SPX fell below 2200 and was down 35% from its high? It goes to show what a huge response by the Fed can help do, namely attract investors to the stock market.Still, June could bring a reckoning as we get further into the month. The major indices trade at historically high valuations, though many analysts have basically written off this year's horrific earnings and are comparing stocks to projected 2021 financial results instead. The Atlanta Fed's GDP Now indicator projects a shocking 53% cratering of GDP this quarter, though Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has said he expects things to start improving in the second half. He'll probably be asked about the Fed's projections for economic growth a week from today in his press conference after the June 9-10 Fed meeting. CHART OF THE DAY: FALLING THROUGH THE TRIANGLE BOTTOM. The U.S. Dollar index ($DXY-candlestick) was moving within a triangle (yellow lines) for about two months before breaking down from its lower boundary. Theoretically, after price breaks out from a triangle to the downside, it could go as low as the distance of the widest part of the triangle (blue dashed line) from the breakout point. If this were to happen, we could potentially expect $DXY to go as low as 97, which could act as its next support level. Data Source: ICE. Chart source: The thinkorswim® platform from TD Ameritrade. For illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results. The Immovable Object: With the next Fed meeting around the corner next week (June 9-10), almost no one in the futures market is looking for a rate move. Chances are around 96% of the Fed holding its benchmark rate at between zero and 25 basis points, according to Fed funds futures listed by CME Group (CME). That pretty much stands to reason when the Fed is still trying to power up the economy with as much stimulus as it can muster. At this point, it's way too soon to figure out how long this effort can last, and it depends more on the virus than on anything under the Fed's control. Anyone hoping the Fed can put the brakes on this easy policy any time in the near future isn't going to find much to write home about looking farther into the futures market, either. Even when you get to next March, odds remain below 3% of rates being any higher than they are right now. Glimmer of Hope? Which leads us to another "immovable object" that's tied pretty closely to the Fed's benchmark rate: The 10-year Treasury yield. It's been stuck roughly between 0.6% and 0.7% since late March. It traded at 0.68% at Wednesday's close, about where it was two months earlier. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) has rallied nearly 40% since then, which could reflect that old saying, "Don't fight the Fed." In other words, when the Fed is trying to make things comfortable for corporations by keeping its interbank lending target near zero and by buying Treasury and corporate debt, some investors see that as a green light to jump into stocks--not only as an alternative to low-yielding fixed income securities, but also as a de facto backstop (the so-called "Fed put"). What's interesting, however, is action in the 30-year yield, which is up about 14% since late March and hit 1.5% yesterday for the first time since March 20. The premium of the 30-year yield to the 10-year yield reached 83 basis points on Tuesday, up from 66 at the end of March. When you see the yield curve steepen this way, it could be another sign--like the stock rally--of investors hoping for better economic times ahead (or it could simply reflect more investor interest in the short end of the curve that's getting so much help from the Fed's buying program). Still, maybe it's more helpful to "mind the gap" between 30- and 10-year yields for a sense of where the economy might be going rather than just watching the 10-year yield march in place. Any narrowing of this premium, by the way, could give you an early sense that there may be more bumps in the road ahead. So we'll continue to keep an eye on it. Dollar Yields: Another benchmark to consider watching is the dollar index, which has slipped lately after posting nearly three-year highs back at the peak of the COVID-19 shutdowns in late March (see chart above). At that point, the dollar index ($DXY) had risen well above 100. Then the dollar traded between 98 and 99 for a couple months before dropping below 98 on Tuesday for the first time since mid-March. While you wouldn't want to see the dollar drop too far because that might be a sign of investors starting to see cracks in the U.S. model and also kindle inflationary worries, a slight ease could be a healthy development. It might mean fewer people are panicking, and also provide evidence that some international economies like Europe are starting to gain a bit of traction. Remember, U.S. multinational corporations sell huge amounts of their products to Europe and Asia, and a really strong U.S. dollar can slow down that demand. It's arguably good for the U.S. if our trading partners experience improvement in their economies. A rising tide lifts all boats, as the old saying goes.TD Ameritrade® commentary for educational purposes only. Member SIPC.Photo by Allie on UnsplashSee more from Benzinga * Financials Sector Could Be In Focus Today As Treasury Yields Tick Higher * Slack, Zoom, And The "Stay At Home" Economy—Q1 Earnings Preview * Manufacturing Checkup: Fresh Data To Start Week As Market Deals With U.S. Unrest, China Concerns(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

  • Barrons.com

    The Dow Rose 268 Points Because a Curfew on the Economy Will End at Some Point

    U.S. stocks rose Tuesday as hopes for the reopening economy continued to outweigh other risk factors such as ongoing U.S.-China tension and nationwide protests. History shows unrest hasn’t had a material effect on stocks.

  • This stock-market rally refuses to conform to norms

    This stock-market rally refuses to conform to norms

    The rally in the S&P 500 index remains strong and continues to defy detractors, whether they be fundamentally or technically based.

  • Gold Sold Despite Multiple Tailwinds
    FX Empire

    Gold Sold Despite Multiple Tailwinds

    The Commitments of Traders report covering positions held and changes made by money managers in the week to May 26 found that speculators maintained strong buying interest in crude oil while selling was most noticeable in natural gas, gold and the three major crops.

  • LA Clippers Chairman Steve Ballmer discusses the 2020 NBA season
    Yahoo Finance Video

    LA Clippers Chairman Steve Ballmer discusses the 2020 NBA season

    LA Clippers Chairman Steve Ballmer joins 'Influencers with Andy Serwer'

  • Stock Market News for June 1, 2020

    Stock Market News for June 1, 2020

    Benchmarks finished mostly higher on Friday after President Donald Trump's press conference in response to China's new security legislation turned out not to be as disruptive to trade and finance as investors had earlier feared.

  • Hulbert: My stock market forecast for June is likely wrong — but watch out for August

    Hulbert: My stock market forecast for June is likely wrong — but watch out for August

    Over the next three weeks at least, it’s unlikely that the stock market will break below its March 23 lows. In the report, I ascertained that, based on the average lag time between the VIX’s (VIX) peak and the bear market’s eventual end, that low would occur on June 14. One is to be reminded — yet again — that financial markets are never 100% predictable.

  • Costco Shares Come Under Pressure Despite Strong Earnings, Same-Store Sales

    Costco Shares Come Under Pressure Despite Strong Earnings, Same-Store Sales

    (Friday Market Open) It's often said that markets climb a wall of worry. Well, it feels like there's a lot to worry about this morning, and that's slowing the long rally heading into the weekend.A weaker tone took hold overnight as investors awaited the administration's latest words on China. The talk has been heating up and today we might find out what sort of action--if any--the White House plans to take at President Trump's news conference.Depending on what President Trump announces and any counterpoint China takes, things could get nastier pretty fast in their relationship and scramble an already struggling global economy even more. This nervousness could be reflected in crude being down this morning and people coming in to buy bonds.Compounding the uncertainty, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak at 11 a.m. ET today. It's not a formal speech, just what's called a "conversation" with a moderator at Princeton University. Still, you never know what Powell might say that's potentially market-moving.In addition, this is the last day of the month, which sometimes means a little profit-taking and possible higher volatility. Cboe Volatility Index futures (/VX) crept above 30 early on. Yesterday saw three-day winning streaks snapped for the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($DJI) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) and a five-day victory streak ended for the Russell 2000 Index (RUT). Bonds are higher this morning as caution creeps in.Investors are punishing Costco (NASDAQ: COST) this morning despite revenue that beat Wall Street's expectations and a comparable sales rise of almost 8%. One issue might be that competitors like Walmart (NYSE: WMT) and Target (NYSE: TGT) had double-digit same-store growth. Also, COST's comparable sales fell in April, and the company had higher expenses as it paid out overtime and implemented safety measures.It looks like COST benefitted from people stocking up during the crisis, so maybe there's some concern that sales got pulled forward and might not be as strong with the economy now reopening on so many fronts. On an interesting note, 4% fewer people visited COST stores but spent an average of 9.3% more per transaction.Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) shares also took a licking in pre-market trading as the company beat earnings forecasts but trimmed their forecast.Can We Hope for a "Turn-Around Friday?" That was an ugly close yesterday, no doubt about it. Luckily, there's still a day left this week and month to see if the market can leave a better taste in our mouths heading into the weekend.The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) were among those hardest hit late Thursday by the China fears, though they've all generally managed to do pretty well throughout the combined crisis of last year's trade war and this year's pandemic.The other thing that possibly tripped up stocks late yesterday might have been thoughts that the market has just come too far, too fast. It's the end of the month, and sometimes investors and money managers take the opportunity to reassess when they arrive at these kinds of junctures. Also, it's a time when you often see profit-taking. That's why you can't necessarily rule out another ugly close today.A Merry May, at Least for Wall Street Even if things skid a bit, it's hard to get too disappointed about the way May went. Both the $DJI and SPX managed to consolidate the sharp gains they made in April and move above areas of key technical resistance despite a constant background of horrible data and some rough earnings reports. As of Thursday's close, the SPX had advanced 4% in May and was back above 3000 and above its 200-day moving average for the first time since early March.Some of the sectors that had revived in recent days, like Financials and Industrials, hit the dirt on Thursday as investors headed back into more cautious sectors like Utilities and Staples. That went counter to May's encouraging trend that saw Industrials, Communication Services, Financials, Energy, and Materials all climb double-digits since April 30. When you see these sectors outpacing the "defensive" ones like Real Estate and Utilities as well as Information Technology--the market's favorite security blanket the last few years--it can suggest many investors see light at the end of the pandemic tunnel.Whether they're right remains to be seen, and June could be a month that goes a long way toward providing some answers. The pandemic still rules the roost, as anyone who saw the devastating jobless claims yesterday would probably acknowledge. While some jobs appear to be coming back, that's not too evident yet in the numbers. Without jobs returning, sentiment could remain on the mat. That's a terrible situation not only for those without employment but also for consumer demand that drives so much of the corporate earnings picture.After climbing more than 35% combined in April and May from the late-March lows, it wouldn't be too surprising to see a bit of a "June swoon," especially considering that summer is historically a weaker time for the markets. That said, there's still a lot of money on the sidelines, and investors probably don't have many other great choices right now if they're looking for yield. The bond market still shows no real sign of giving up ground in a way that might make yields there more attractive to investors.One Canary Took Wing This Month Another thing investors probably shouldn't ignore is the amazing May performance of the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) of small-cap stocks. While the RUT took a major blow yesterday, it's up 11% so far this month, way better than the SPX. As we've been noting, small-caps can sometimes be a canary in a coal mine for the economy. If they keep putting on a show like this in June, that could send a positive signal even if larger-caps can't find new traction.This continues to be a headline-driven market, especially with earnings season basically done and so much worry around the virus. Any headline, good or bad, could trip things up or light a fire under the market on any given day, as we saw yesterday with some of the social media stocks like Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) getting slammed by word of an executive order from President Trump pertaining to the industry.What faces investors next week? First of all, there's the May jobs report coming up next Friday. Some might say this one isn't as important as the one in early July, which will show more impact from reopenings. Still, any payroll report is bound to get a lot of attention in this stumbling economy, and the challenge could be trying to find anything positive to take home from it. We'll talk more about that in days to come.Next week also brings May auto sales and the ISM manufacturing index for May. The ISM fell to 41.5% for April, the lowest since early 2009. Every key index--including new orders, production, employment, and order backlogs--sank dramatically. With the May report this coming Monday, any improvement might be welcomed as a possible sign of life for the economy. We'll have to wait and see. CHART OF THE DAY: WHAT NEXT? This three-month chart compares the S&P 500 Index (SPX--candlestick) with its 200-day moving average (blue line) and 50-day moving average (red line). Note the 50-day fell below the 200-day soon after the SPX made its low in late March, but just recently has begun bending a bit back toward the 200-day. It took quite a rally to get the 50-day to move upward, so it will be interesting to see if the two lines can continue to converge and possibly cross over--which would be a bullish sign. Data Source: S&P Dow Jones Indices. Chart source: The thinkorswim® platform from TD Ameritrade. For illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results.Change of the Guard? The situation arguably looks a little healthier now if you're someone who doesn't like to see too much concentration in one area of the market. Going into the week, about 90% of stocks in the SPX were trading above their 50-day moving averages. As one analyst noted, when you see that happen historically, it's often been a good omen for the year ahead.What seems to be happening is a rotation by some investors out of the Consumer Staples, Technology, and Health Care stocks that put a charge into the rally, and into some areas that got less love recently like Financials and Industrials (at least until yesterday). You could look at this as a rotation out of growth and into "value," to some degree, but it's way too early to call it a trend. Value stocks are typically thought of as well-run and fundamentally sound companies whose shares have been taken down more than they deserve due to overriding issues in their sector or because many investors ran to embrace more "exciting" stocks elsewhere.Flying Away: While you never want to see people lose jobs--especially when so many already have--investors seemed to view this week's Boeing (BA) layoffs as good news for the company. No one likely needs to be reminded of how far BA's shares have sunk, so the idea of cost-cutting might have gotten some people excited about the stock. However, this isn't your "father's BA," to use that old phrase. It's likely to be a more slimmed-down company in the future, which raises questions of whether market cap could ever return to the January 2019 highs from before the 737 MAX shutdown.Also, If you're hoping for good news about the airline industry, BA didn't have much optimism to offer this week when it announced those layoffs. Instead, BA's CEO talked about how it could take years for the industry to recover from the pandemic's impact. Speaking of which, despite recent rallies for many of the airline stocks, most aren't incredibly far off their March lows and continued to trail the broader market during this long rally. Anyone thinking of "bargain-hunting" by going after a beaten-down airline stock should understand the risk they're taking, especially with those companies in the business that are most highly-leveraged. Some analysts continue to warn that bankruptcies can't be ruled out, and it might be survival of the fittest.Marching in Place: You might want to consider keeping an eye on the U.S. Dollar Index ($DXY) in the coming days and weeks, as well as the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX). If either start moving higher, it could be a sign of investor caution gaining ground. VIX managed to stay below 30 most of last week, down from highs above 80 at the peak of the crisis. It's still not back to historical norms of around 20.The $DXY, meanwhile, has been as steady as a rock for almost two months now, rattling around between roughly 98 and 100. If it leaves that range one way or another, it could tell us something about investor thinking. A drop in the dollar might suggest people are more willing to take a chance on less defensive investments and even on markets outside the U.S. It's a higher dollar that would cause some investors to lose sleep.TD Ameritrade® commentary for educational purposes only. Member SIPC. See more from Benzinga * Costco Earnings On Tap After Close As Investors Mull Strong Toll Brothers Results * Costco Reports Tomorrow As Investors Examine Ralph Lauren, Toll Brothers Today * Biotech Shares In Focus As Encouraging Vaccine News Leads Broad Market Rally(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

  • Stock Market News for May 29, 2020

    Stock Market News for May 29, 2020

    U.S. stocks ended the session on May 28 mostly in the negative territory, as equities took a dive in the final trading hour after President Donald Trump said he would hold a news conference on China on May 29.

  • Decoding the Stock Market: The Vocabulary of Volatility
    Motley Fool

    Decoding the Stock Market: The Vocabulary of Volatility

    When the stock market is making large up and down moves on a regular basis, you may hear that we're in a "volatile" market, but what does that mean? While the word volatility is often used to describe general stock market action, or big movements in a certain stock, there's quite a bit more to the concept of volatility than that. A more specific definition of the word volatility when it comes to the stock market is how large the price movements of a stock or index have been (or are expected to be).

  • Niall Ferguson joins 'Influencers with Andy Serwer'
    Yahoo Finance Video

    Niall Ferguson joins 'Influencers with Andy Serwer'

    In this episode of Influencers, Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Niall Ferguson joins Yahoo Finance to weigh the policy decisions surrounding the pandemic and help us to put the crisis into perspective.

  • The economy is 'turning the corner': Economist
    Yahoo Finance Video

    The economy is 'turning the corner': Economist

    Mark Zandi, Moody's Analytics Chief Economist, joined Yahoo Finance's Myles Udland, Seana Smith, Dan Roberts, and Melody Hahm to discuss what the economy will look like as businesses begin to reopen and what the shape of recovery may look like.

  • 'What we've seen in the economy is unlike anything we have ever seen': Strategist
    Yahoo Finance Video

    'What we've seen in the economy is unlike anything we have ever seen': Strategist

    Liz Ann Sonders, Charles Schwab Chief Investment Strategist, joined Yahoo Finance's Myles Udland, Seana Smith, Dan Roberts, and Melody Hahm to discuss her outlook for the U.S. economy.

  • Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: VIXM

    Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: VIXM

    Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: VIXM

  • Stock Market News for May 22, 2020

    Stock Market News for May 22, 2020

    Wall Street ended lower on Thursday following weak economic data and mounting economic and trade tensions between the U.S and China.

  • We can 'absolutely' characterize this as a recession: Barclays Chief U.S. Economist
    Yahoo Finance Video

    We can 'absolutely' characterize this as a recession: Barclays Chief U.S. Economist

    Michael Gapen, Barclays Chief U.S. Economist, joined Yahoo Finance's Jen Rogers, Myles Udland, Andy Serwer, and Dan Roberts to discuss his outlook for the US economy and what the shape of recovery may look like.

  • Fed's Powell: U.S. economy faces ‘great uncertainty’
    Yahoo Finance Video

    Fed's Powell: U.S. economy faces ‘great uncertainty’

    Invesco Chief Global Market Strategist Kristina Hooper joins Yahoo Finance’s Brian Cheung and Seana Smith to discuss Jerome Powell's remarks as the Fed chair notes the U.S. economy faces ‘great uncertainty.’

  • 'Sell in May and go away' isn’t happening this year, and that’s a good thing: Strategist
    Yahoo Finance

    'Sell in May and go away' isn’t happening this year, and that’s a good thing: Strategist

    More investors watching stocks this summer may decrease volatility, top strategist tells Yahoo Finance

  • The VIX is not really a "Fear Gauge"

    The VIX is not really a "Fear Gauge"

    The VIX is not really a "Fear Gauge"

  • This could be the next signal for the S&P 500 to climb past 3,000, says Standard Chartered

    This could be the next signal for the S&P 500 to climb past 3,000, says Standard Chartered

    Our chart of the day says a measure of volatility for markets could offer a hint of what’s to come on the S&P 500.

  • Stock Market News for May 21, 2020

    Stock Market News for May 21, 2020

    Wall Street closed sharply higher on Wednesday buoyed by investors jubilation on reopening of the U.S. economy.

  • Market Recap: Wednesday, May 20
    Yahoo Finance Video

    Market Recap: Wednesday, May 20

    Stocks rose Wednesday and the Dow advanced more than 300 points, or 1.2%, as hopes surrounding some states’ reopenings extended during the session. Yahoo Finance's Jen Rogers, Myles Udland, Rick Newman, and Andy Serwer discuss on The Final Round

  • Chop Chop: Strong Earnings Lift Markets After Tuesday Thud; FOMC Minutes Ahead

    Chop Chop: Strong Earnings Lift Markets After Tuesday Thud; FOMC Minutes Ahead

    Yesterday's close was all a dream. It never happened.OK, it did happen, but it seems to be getting quickly forgotten by many investors as stocks drove higher in pre-market trading on the back of strong earnings and strength in the crude market.Before we get to those things, it's worth asking why markets continue to be so choppy this week. First of all, it's best to get used to it. There's still no cure for coronavirus and that makes for a lot of caution. Note that gold is at five-week highs and the dollar hasn't given back much of its gains from March.We have a mixed picture because people are getting back to work and no one knows how it's going to turn out. You can't be too positive in case of a spike in the caseload, but at the same time there's a lot of money continuing to flow into stocks because at this point many investors see them as potentially offering the best return, and there's a lot of hope.Still, a lot of people say this entire recovery from the March lows is a "bear market rally"--or perhaps a so-called "bull trap"--that might not have a solid foundation, and could be keeping sellers ready to charge in whenever things move higher.Lowe's, Target See Momentum Flow Into May Getting back to this morning's events, the day began with two more positive earnings reports-- this time from Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) and Lowe's Companies Inc (NYSE: LOW). While TGT came up short on earnings per share, LOW beat analysts' estimates on top and bottom lines and both companies killed it on same-store sales. TGT's online sales also looked impressive. That theory about people staying home, stocking up on essentials, and focusing on home improvement projects apparently holds water as both companies' same-store sales rose double digits.LOW shares kicked into high gear in pre-market trading, up more than 6%, while TGT was only about 1% higher, maybe because of that miss on EPS. Hearing LOW say that momentum continued into May is probably a major reason things reacted so positively, and TGT said basically the same thing. We know people stocked up when the crisis began, so it's good to hear that it wasn't just a one-time spike.The two solid earnings today really helped drive things after yesterday's disappointing close. Overseas markets looked mixed as some investors focused on a steady drop in virus cases in Germany even as there's still some concern about yesterday's media report casting a bit of skepticism over the recent vaccine study results (see more below). All 50 U.S. states will be at least partially reopened by the end of today as Connecticut becomes the last to begin lifting some restrictions.Consider keeping an eye on the big bank stocks, which took a dive late yesterday to give back their sharp gains from Monday. This is an important sector that just can't get it going despite the market's strong recovery overall from the March lows. Banks appear to be getting a little positive traction in pre-market trading.Coming Up: Earnings, Data, Fed Minutes There aren't a lot of major earnings today after the close, so people might be more focused on tomorrow's busy reporting schedule that includes Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE: BBY) and Medtronic PLC (NYSE: MDT) in the morning and NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) in the afternoon.The chip sector stepped back just a little yesterday after starting the week on a roll. NVDA actually closed slightly higher yesterday even as the rest of the Information Technology sector took a breather. Shares of NVDA are up nearly 50% year-to-date and nearly 80% from their March low.On the data front, consider watching the weekly U.S. crude production and stockpiles report due out this morning for any signs of increasing demand that might hint at the economy beginning to rebound. Crude inventories actually fell the previous week, so two weeks in a row (if it happens) might indicate that the drawdown wasn't just a one-week fluke. Yesterday's report from the American Petroleum Institute showed a weekly decline in supplies, so we'll see if the government's data match up.June crude futures went off the board Tuesday with barely a whimper as prices remained pretty solid above $30 a barrel. Talk about contrasts. Last month was when the May contract expired and prices had an eye-popping collapse below zero due to over-supply of the physical commodity.The Fed takes center stage this afternoon when Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes from the last meeting get released. This might be worth more than a glance considering the Fed is making its decisions in unprecedented times and Fed funds futures recently suggested the chance of negative rates in the near future. Anything the FOMC members said about that possibility certainly could be closely scrutinized, though Powell has stood solidly against that strategy. And for what it's worth, the U.K yesterday sold its first negative interest rate bonds--a batch of 3-year securities that fetched an average rate of -0.003%.Turnaround Tuesday Finished with a Thud There's just one word to describe how yesterday's session ended: Ouch!Before the last half hour, it had looked like the major indices might finish flat or with slight losses after Monday's incredible rally, but the bottom just fell out in the final 30 minutes, as Energy and Financials took the biggest beatings.From a technical standpoint, it looked like a damaging close because it dropped the S&P 500 Index (SPX) below key support at 2940, which had been the old resistance line breached on Monday. But early action this morning finds index futures back above 2950. One thing about this market's choppiness is that it's been a challenge at times for technical traders to pinpoint support and resistance levels.In general, it's not too surprising to see profit-taking after a day like Monday, though it would have arguably been a real victory if the SPX could have held 2940. Some of the late selling apparently stemmed from a news report that raised a bit of concern about Moderna Inc's (NASDAQ: MRNA) Covid-19 vaccine data that had gotten the market so excited Monday.To put things in perspective, the article in Stat News didn't refute anything MRNA had said. It mainly asked various experts what they thought of the results, and some said they hadn't seen enough data and pointed out that these are very early findings so it's too soon to judge.The late selloff demonstrated that the market remains driven by headlines and can be a tough one to trade. With earnings season soon fading away, headline news could begin to exert more influence as corporate news quiets down. Just as a reminder, much of the recent rally took place during earnings. Anyone venturing in now should be ready for quick reversals in either direction, as we've seen so far this week.Before the closing thud--led by drops in Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) and Home Depot Inc (NYSE: HD) despite impressive earnings from WMT and solid earnings from HD--the market was having a pretty good day. Weakness in those two companies might have represented some "buy the rumor, sell the news" kind of trading.Food, Shelter Trending Up One thing that stood out before the late selloff and remains worth watching in days to come is housing. Everyone knew the April housing starts and building permits report early Tuesday would be a disaster, so the answer was out before the question was asked, so to speak. The surprising thing is how well homebuilder stocks did despite the bad news.To understand why, it helps to put the data into context. This doesn't look like a repeat of 2008 for housing, and that's for a bunch of reasons. First of all, the supply of homes is far more limited than it was back then, and second, lenders have raised their standards for mortgages. They've gotten a lot more cautious.Also, a bunch of signs point toward a rebound in housing demand after the initial crisis-related collapse in March and April. These include realtors talking about strength in some of the biggest markets including Dallas and Chicago even as mortgage rates remain rock bottom. In the meantime, shares of homebuilders Lennar Corporation (NYSE: LEN) and DR Horton Inc (NYSE: DHI) saw their foundations get a little firmer on Tuesday and both are up pretty nicely from their lows back in March. Existing home sales for April are due tomorrow.In another sector beaten down by the crisis, Darden Restaurants, Inc (NYSE: DRI) had a decent day of their own Tuesday as the company reported that 41% of its dining rooms are now open. They expect that to increase significantly by the end of the month, and that's a very good sign. Sales at some of their restaurants like Olive Garden have taken a big hit and the company didn't have a great month overall, but shares appear to be trading on hope raised by some very positive words from the CEO. The company said customers are loyal and have stuck with Darden through the downturn. CHART OF THE DAY: OUT OF THE FRYING PAN: Though the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX--candlestick) popped back above 30 on Tuesday amid a late selling spree in the S&P 500 Index (SPX--purple line), the VIX has cooled off momentously over the last few weeks and is down from above 80 during the worst of the sell-off. At a time when many market relationships have been off, this one (VIX falling as SPX rises) appears to be sticking to historic precedent--for now anyway. Data Sources: S&P Dow Jones Indices, Cboe. Chart Source: The thinkorswim® platform from TD Ameritrade. For illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results.Cash No Longer King? Coronavirus has put the term "money laundering" in a whole new light. If you've been to any grocery stores lately, might have seen a sign saying they don't accept cash. Back in the day, maybe you remember your mother telling you to wash your hands after handing over a grubby dollar bill for a few packs of baseball cards. Why? Because money is dirty and germ-laden. Now the move away from cash, which already was going on before the virus, is getting accelerated in an effort to keep customer and merchant hands from being smeared with the virus. This only could be helpful for Financial sector firms like the big credit card companies and the Square Inc's (NYSE: SQ) and PayPal Holdings Inc's (NASDAQ: PYPL) of the world that let you pay without getting your hands germy. SQ is up 24% year to date and PYPL is up 36%. It's not all because of cash not being accepted, obviously, because a lot of the strength reflects a trend toward online sales with stores shut down. Still, it's one more arrow in the quiver.Another Way to Think About Valuations: We've talked a lot about how hard it is to price this market due in part to companies pulling or suspending guidance, as well as near-term earnings taking a huge hit from Covid-19. There's always uncertainty, obviously, but this year takes that to new extremes. One analyst interviewed yesterday on CNBC made an interesting observation, saying that the current forward price-to-earnings ratio on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is a historically high 23 vs. projected 2020 earnings, up from 14 at the peak of this crisis and up from around 20 before the crisis began. Never in history has the market been able to sustain such a high multiple for very long.However, if you look at the P/E vs. projected 2021 S&P 500 earnings, it's closer to 20, meaning basically that the market is looking past this year's cratering earnings and pricing in hopes of an earnings rebound back to 2019 levels by next year. A lot of the current massive P/E run-up probably reflects the Fed's incredible surge of stimulus that has pushed bond yields to all-time lows. This has the effect of convincing some investors that stocks could be the best place for them to find any kind of traction, though no such thing is guaranteed. That could explain why valuations are so high at the moment even as earnings are in the dumps.Some say valuations can't get much higher. On the other hand, keep in mind that a lot of money was extracted in March and still sits on the sidelines, meaning it could potentially go back to work if the virus ebbs or one of the many vaccines seems to work. Some of that "sideline" money might have gotten back into the game on Monday.The New Defensives? When we think of defensive stocks we tend to think of Utilities, Consumer Staples, sometimes Real Estate--things that are often seen as recession-proof, cash-cow dividend payers regardless of which way the economic winds are blowing, or perhaps at times uncorrelated to the broader market. But like with many aspects of investing, the coronavirus pandemic might be changing how we view and define the word "defensive." Case in point: Netflix Inc (NASDAQ: NFLX).On Monday--a broad-based rally day where the major indices rose several percentage points and investors flocked to "risk-on" segments such as the Russell 2000 Index (RUT)--shares of the streaming giant slipped. And though the Staples sector advanced along with the market, a few of the "stock-up" stocks such as Clorox Co (NYSE: CLX) and Campbell Soup Company (NYSE: CPB) didn't fare too well, with CPB falling some 8% in two sessions. Two companies that seemed to epitomize the "at-home" trend--Slack Technologies Inc (NYSE: WORK) and Zoom Video Communications Inc (NYSE: ZM)--also slipped Monday. It's an important reminder that a reopening of the economy might be great for airlines, hoteliers, cruise lines, and consumers in general, but perhaps at the expense of those companies that cater to the quarantined.TD Ameritrade® commentary for educational purposes only. Member SIPC.Photo by Dan Stark on UnsplashSee more from Benzinga * Walmart Earnings Look Strong Across the Board, But Home Depot Down After Missing on EPS * Walmart Earnings Ahead: Sales Figures May Offer Outlook For Spending During Coronavirus Lockdown * Walmart, Target And Home Depot Among Major Retailers Set To Report Earnings In Days Ahead(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.