Still No Green for S&P Since Midterm Rally

Remember that amazing rally a week ago today in the aftermath of the midterm elections? Yup, that nearly 550-point surge for the Dow was only a week ago, but it seems a lot longer because the major indices have been losing ground ever since. We were hoping that the worst of the correction was over back then, but now we're again wondering where the bottom is.

Stocks had another disappointing session on Wednesday as a morning rally and an afternoon rebound both failed. The major indices were off their lows by the close, but were still stuck in negative territory.

The NASDAQ slipped 0.90% to 7136.39 and the S&P was down 0.76% to 2701.58. Apple continues to confound investors as the once impeccable iPhone maker dipped another 2.8%, following declines of 1% on Tuesday and more than 5% on Monday. The S&P hasn't closed in the green since that rally last week, marking a five-day losing streak.

The Dow was off 0.81% to 25,080.5 for its fourth straight day in the red. We saw an especially bad performance from the financials, which was probably exacerbated by Rep. Maxine Waters (who will likely chair the House Financial Services Committee in the new Congress) calling for an end to the curbing of banking regulations.

Meanwhile, oil finally broke its 12-session losing streak, which was its longest in history. And there was some movement on Brexit today as Prime Minister Theresa May's Cabinet approved the draft withdrawal agreement. It's not a done deal yet, but it's a big step in finally bringing this drama to an end.

Several of the editors believe the market is reaching an important moment. S&P 2685 is the technical point to watch, according to Dave Bartosiak and Jeremy Mullin. The market dipped down to that level today, but the bulls got their act together and defended it. So there could be a nice bounce tomorrow. But if that mark fails, then stocks likely have even further to fall. Let's see what happens…

Today's Portfolio Highlights:

Insider Trader: Shares of Williams (WMB) have dropped 20% so far this year, but several insiders at this large-cap natural gas pipeline company see a buying opportunity. In fact, the stock experienced a full-fledged cluster buy with five insiders buying earlier this month, including the General Counsel, the CFO, the COO, the Senior VP of Corporate Strategic Development, and a director. Tracey considers cluster buys to be the strongest signal in insider trading, so she added WMB on Wednesday with a 10% allocation. The full write-up has a lot more on this new addition.

Income Investor: The portfolio already has exposure to retail through giants like Macy's and Target, but Ryan is bullish enough in the space to add a much smaller, specialty name. On Wednesday, he added Chico's FAS (CHS), a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) women's clothing retailer. The company has finally turned around and looks poised for a strong holiday season. Earnings estimates are on the rise as we head toward its quarterly report on November 28. CHS also has a solid balance sheet and good history of raising its dividend. By the way, the editor also bought Life Storage (LSI) to get some exposure to the more defensive REIT space. FFO and its dividend are on the rise, and LSI should be less sensitive to rising rates. Read more about all of today's moves, including the two sells that made room for today's additions.

TAZR Trader: This morning's spike higher didn't last long, and now Kevin thinks stocks could be set up for further downside. The Dow looks to have the steepest drop with the possibility of another 5% to 7% toward the February-April lows. To take advantage, the editor picked up ProShares UltraPro Short Dow30 (SDOW) on Wednesday with a 10% allocation. Read more about this move and Kevin's outlook in the full write-up.

All the Best,

Jim Giaquinto Recommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios:

Believe it or not, this article is not available on the website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to "test drive" Zacks Ultimate for FREE >>

Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story


Other Topics


Latest Markets Videos


    Zacks is the leading investment research firm focusing on stock research, analysis and recommendations. In 1978, our founder discovered the power of earnings estimate revisions to enable profitable investment decisions. Today, that discovery is still the heart of the Zacks Rank. A wealth of resources for individual investors is available at

    Learn More