|Day's Range||20.95 - 20.95|
Modern markets have evolved into vastly complicated organisms with thousands of data points competing for attention. It's our job to transform this information flood into an efficient set of charts, tickers, indexes and indicators that support our profit objectives. Part of this task requires observation of broad market forces, while the balance demands a narrow focus on specific securities used to execute our strategies.
Volatility is elevated as the S&P 500 stalls near historic highs, while the software industry is oddly not participating in the recent rebound.
U.S. markets and stock exchange traded funds meandered on Friday as optimism over progress in the trade war with China was pared down by lingering uncertainty over global growth. On Friday, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA) rose 0.2% and SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) was flat. Global equities have been pushing higher this week on hopes of easing trade tensions between the U.S. and China, along with expectations of looser monetary policies from global central banks, recovering some of the lost ground experienced over a volatile August.
The federal budget deficit has topped $1 trillion for the first time in seven years, the Treasury Department said. Expenses in August eclipsed incoming revenue by $214 billion this month, taking the government’s total shortfall to just under $1.07 trillion, the government reported Thursday. The growing deficit has also pushed up the national debt, the amount owed by the country to creditors to cover the difference between revenue and expenses.
Debt owed by governments, businesses, and households has shot up by almost 50% worldwide since the financial crisis, far outpacing economic growth.
The S&P 500 hesitated at historic highs. Micro caps have surged since September's start, with Chef's Warehouse breaking to new highs.
The SPDR S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) hit new all-time highs on Thursday. Who would have predicted that for the stock market today?Not many were looking for such a robust rally to take place over the past few trading sessions. But InvestorPlace readers were ready. They knew that the stock market was trading in a well-defined range throughout the month of August and they knew when that range resolved to the upside.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsOnce resistance gave way and we saw follow through from the bulls, that's when it was clear new highs were possible. In fact, we wrote: "Above resistance could send the S&P 500 back to 3,000, while a move below support likely brings up a test of the 200-day moving average."So what's causing this rally anyway? Markets liked the de-escalating tone between China and the U.S., even though there some reports say the trade war will not likely be resolved any time soon. More Quantitative Easing, Please?For those looking for more quantitative easing from the Federal Reserve, don't hold your breath. The Fed is scheduled to make its rate decision next week on Wednesday, Sept. 18. As it currently stands, the Fed Funds Rate is pricing in an 88.8% probability of a 25 basis point cut next week. The other 11.2% probability has the Fed keeping rates unchanged.Put simply, the U.S. is not in the economic position -- either with low growth or negative interest rates -- to warrant more stimulus. But the European Union is. * 10 Battered Tech Stocks to Buy Now The European Central Bank announced a 10-basis-point cut in its deposit rate to -0.5%, in-line with expectations. The ECB also announced that it will restart its QE program to the tune of $20 billion per month beginning Nov. 1. While ECB president Mario Draghi says there's only a low chance chance of an E.U. recession, those odds have increased.QE should be a boost, but it's concerning that it's needed after a near-decade of various policies. Movers in the Stock Market TodayIt was an exciting day in the stock market today, if not just because equities are flirting with their all-time highs. However, not all assets are moving favorably.While gold prices -- and the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEARCA:GLD) -- closed higher on the day, GLD finished well off its morning highs. The can be said for bonds too, via the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NASDAQ:TLT). The fall in bonds helped pave the way for bank stocks to continue their rally on Thursday, even as they approach resistance.The Top Stock Trades column took a closer look at the bank stocks earlier today.What else was moving?Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) fell roughly 10% and hovered near its session lows in the stock market today. The decline came after the company reported its quarterly results, missing revenue expectations and showing margin pressure. The woes of the cannabis space continue.Shares of General Electric (NYSE:GE) fell 1.2%, but Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHGE) was making waves after the former became a seller of the latter.BHGE opened notably lower on the day and fell to $21.36. However, it finished higher by 1.5% at $22.63 despite GE announcing it will cut its stake from 50.3% to roughly 39.5% as it looks to raise capital.The IPO market remains a mixed bag, with the latest shake-up coming from SmileDirectClub (NASDAQ:SDC). Shares priced at $23, above the $19-$22 range. But that didn't please investors, as shares tumbled 27.5% in their debut. Ouch. Heard on the StreetShares of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) got off to a hot start in the stock market today. However, the stock only managed to climb 1% by the time the market closed. That's despite Nomura analysts upgrading the stock to "buy" and raising their price target from $49 all the way to $64. The target implies more than 16% upside from Wednesday's closing price.Wells Fargo analysts are ringing the bell on Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) and Deere (NYSE:DE). They downgraded both stocks from "outperform" to "market perform," assigning price targets of $170 and $143, respectively.Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. As of this writing, Bret Kenwell did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Battered Tech Stocks to Buy Now * 7 Strong-Buy Stocks Hedge Funds Are Buying Now * The 7 Best Penny Stocks to Buy The post Stock Market Today: Should Investors Expect More Quantitative Easing?Â appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Below is a closer look at the Goldman's 5 key takeaways on this trend. While the drop in momentum stocks over the past two weeks was sharp, it simply unwound a robust rally that propelled these stocks upward by 17% for the month through Aug. 27. "The reversal in Momentum captured sharp rotations in other equity factors and sectors that had become increasingly correlated with each other," the report notes. Growth stocks and low volatility stocks also fell, while small caps and value stocks outperformed the broader market.
[Editor's note: "3 Different Ways for Newcomers to Buy S&P 500 Stocks" was previously published in July 2019. It has since been updated to include the most relevant information available.]If you're new to investing, one of the best ways you can dip your toe into the water is to buy a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF) that invests in all 505 of the S&P 500's stocks. Your first question: What is the S&P 500? Your second question: How come there are 505 stocks, not 500? Both are relatively painless questions to answer.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsFirst, the S&P 500 represents 500 of the largest and most established companies listed on a U.S. stock exchange. You're likely familiar with many of the index's constituents. The S&P 500's largest company by market capitalization [share price multiplied by number of shares outstanding] is Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) at $1.075 trillion. Warren Buffett, one of the most successful investors of all time, has said that most investors should simplify their investments to deliver better long-term returns. He put it this way in his 2013 annual letter to shareholders:"My advice [to the trustee] couldn't be more simple: Put 10% of the cash in short-term government bonds and 90% in a very low-cost S&P 500 index fund. (I suggest Vanguard's.) …I believe the trust's long-term results from this policy will be superior to those attained by most investors -- whether pension funds, institutions or individuals -- who employ high-fee managers."Low costs and few moving parts win the game in the long run.The second question requires much less legwork. There are 505 stocks in the index because some of the companies, such as Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A, NYSE:BRK.B), have more than one class of shares, which means Berkshire Hathaway counts as two holdings, not one.Simple, right? * 7 Stocks to Buy With Over 20% Upside From Current Levels Now that I've answered the two questions, I better cut to the chase by providing readers with a short list of easy ways to buy S&P 500 stocks. Option No. 1: The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY)Source: Shutterstock Launched in 1993, SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA:SPY) is the oldest ETF in the U.S. It also happens to be the biggest with $268 billion in assets. As you probably expected, it has 500 holdings, but you may be surprised to hear that the SPY ETF currently pays investors a dividend yield of 1.9% to hold it. And that's all for the expense ratio of 0.09%, or $9 per $10,000 invested per year.However, remember what Buffett said about low-cost funds. It's not the cheapest of the ETFs tracking the S&P 500, but it is the most popular. And it has stood the test of time. Option No. 2: Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO)Source: Shutterstock Two of the next three largest U.S.-listed ETFs also invest in every one of the S&P 500 stocks -- the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA:VOO) has $115 billion in assets and charges 0.03%. This used to be 0.04%, until Vanguard cut the fees on three of its most popular products -- including the VOO ETF. * 7 Stocks to Buy In a Flat Market As Vanguard's literature points out, this fund is "more appropriate for long-term goals where your money's growth is essential." It makes a great base holding. Option No. 3: Buy Buffett's Stock (BRK.B)Source: Shutterstock Berkshire Hathaway has often been compared to a very large mutual fund because it owns $216 billion worth of publicly traded stocks, most of them part of the S&P 500.However, in addition to the equities, owners of the stock get a small piece of hundreds of private companies operating in all kinds of different sectors of the economy. The best part: Buffett won't charge investors annual fees to own his stock. He'll just deliver long-term returns that handily beat the S&P 500. From 1965 to 2017, Berkshire Hathaway stock's generated a compound annual growth rate of 20.5%, more than double the S&P 500. These three options plus mutual funds that track the S&P 500 index (they're slightly more expensive than ETFs) will get the job done while letting investors who buy them sleep easier at night. As of this writing, Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * Should You Buy, Sell, Or Hold These 7 Medical Cannabis Stocks? * 7 Strong Buy Stocks With Over 20% Upside * 7 Reasons Stock Buybacks Should Be Illegal The post 3 Different Ways for Newcomers to Buy S&P 500 Stocks appeared first on InvestorPlace.