It's too bad you can't predict an entire year from its first week. Nevertheless, there's nothing wrong with a good start, especially when a portion of the market is nervous and looking for things that could derail the bull. In fact, you could call this a GREAT start to 2018 that was filled with all the stuff we loved about 2017, namely new all-time highs and new milestones.
For the week, the NASDAQ advanced 3.4% and the S&P increased 2.6%, while the Dow rose 2.3%. That marks the best week of the year for the indices. And there's plenty of opportunity to surpass the bar that was just set...since it's also the first week of the year.
The session actually had a few disappointments, as the government's employment report missed expectations with only 148,000 jobs being added last month. Yet the major indices shrugged it off.
The Dow pushed forward by 0.88% (or about 220 points) to end the day at 25,295.9. The index crossed over 25,000 just yesterday for the first time. The NASDAQ was up 0.83% to 7136.6 and the S&P advanced 0.70% to 2,743.2, which means both of these indices set new all-time highs in each of this week's four days. The Dow is also at a new record for the third straight session.
The week ended with a quiet day for the portfolios, except for Options Trader . Kevin sold one option with a triple-digit return, but then immediately reinvested in a further out position to gain more time. See the highlights section below for more on this move:
Today's Portfolio Highlights:
Options Trader: The portfolio's March options in Retail ETF (XRT) have more than doubled since being added, but Kevin expects further improvement moving forward. The problem is that these options only have 69 days of time left. Therefore, the editor sold to close the 2 March 42.00 Calls for a return of 109%. He immediately reinvested in 2 June 46.00 Calls, which have an extra 91 days of time. That's 160 days, which will come in handy if there's some volatility as we move toward the January 19th spending bill deadline. Kevin would be open to buying another option in the event of a pullback. Get more specifics on today's moves in the full write-up.
Counterstrike:"Payrolls were out today with a disappointment of 148k v the 190k expected. The market didn't mind at all. Combine the weak number with the lack of wage inflation and perhaps the Fed won't be raising rates as fast as some have feared. This creates the Goldilocks situation that the market has loved for years.
"Stocks are simply starting to rip violently higher. Just today Amazon added 15 points, Google 13 points, Boeing 10 points and Priceline 9 points. There is green almost everywhere you look! It's an amazing environment to be in so soak it up, because it won't last forever.
"There seems to be no risks out there, which is why the market continues to grind unchallenged by any bear remaining. However, we have earnings coming up next week which could send stocks lower if they disappoint. The market is expecting fireworks, so corporate America better come through. Guidance will be important as companies report. They will start to factor in the tax cut into their numbers, which will show exactly who the tax plan winners are." -- Jeremy Mullin
Value Investor : "What a spectacular start to the year as stocks kept up their 2017 momentum and have opened 2018 with 4 straight days of record highs on the S&P 500.
"Large caps stocks closed sharply higher on Friday despite a disappointing jobs report of just December job gains of 148,000. The strong 250,000 ADP report gave many the false hope that this BLS report would be just as strong.
"Don't get me wrong. There's nothing awful about 148,000 and an unemployment rate of 4.1%.
"Several economists said that it could be that we're going to enter into a period of slower monthly job growth not because the jobs aren't there and employers aren't hiring, but because we're at near full employment so there simply isn't anyone left to hire. The "easy" hiring has been done now." -- Tracey Ryniec, who also manages the Insider Trader .
Have a Great Weekend,
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