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Sizing Up the S&P 500

  • Potential short-term range on S&P 500:
    • 5057: 2/27 low
    • 5127: 3/4 low of 5127
  • Potential “shooting star” on Monday
  • Potential risks:
    • First outside week since mid-October has begun
    • High on 2nd session of March may open door to negative month.
    • VIX making higher weekly lows
  • Next catalysts:
    • Tomorrow morning: payrolls
    • Tue 3/12: CPI
S&P 500, daily chart, showing key levels and first bars of weeks and months.

Key News:

  • Powell testimony leans dovish but is noncommittal
  • Super Micro Computer (SMCI) replaces Whirlpool (WHR) in S&P 500.
    • Deckers Outdoor (DECK) replaces Zions Bancorp (ZION)
  • Ford Motor (F) EV sales +81% y/y in February
  • Goldman Sachs bearish on EV battery metals (lithium, cobalt, nickel) amid oversupply.
  • Target (TGT) earning beat estimates by 23 percent despite revenue missing by 1 percent. (See Margins below.)
  • Apple (AAPL) nears October lows on weak Chinese sales
  • Bank of America raises S&P 500 target from 5,000 to 5,400, but sees potential pullback.
  • Jonathan Krinsky of BTIG: AAPL weakness may trigger broader pullback

Seven Catalysts for Stock Movement

  1. Volumes: More / less business
    • Measured in units, orders, bookings. These often become revenue
  2. Margins
    • Selling prices rise / input costs fall = wider margins
    • Selling prices fall / input costs rise = narrower margins
  3. Macro trends
    • Economic growth, interest rates, commodity prices
  4. Strategic Actions
    • M&A, buybacks, spinoffs, dividends
    • “Financial engineering”
  5. Credit
    • Effective use of leverage can increase profitability
    • Debt meltdowns can occur when business contracts
    • Changes in interest rates can impact leveraged companies
  6. Business transformation
    • Change in business model, products
    • Example: software transition to subscription model, chipmaker embrace of AI vertical
  7. Investor rotation
    • Typically occurs around quarters, years
    • Can result from changes in six catalysts above

Note: Legal / regulatory risk isn’t included because the issue is typically often associated with catalysts cited above

Signals Scan

  • Best Buy (BBY): Bullish outside day after “golden cross”
  • (AMZN): potential “shooting star” on 3/4
  • Tesla (TSLA): potential downside to $152 if $175 breaks?
  • MGM Resorts (MGM): downside potential after gap lower?
  • Nike (NKE): downside risk to September low under $90?
  • Seagate Technology (STX): bearish outside day

Using the Platform

  • “First bar” PaintBars are available over various time frames: Day, Week, Month, Year
  • On Chart Analysis: Studies → Add Study → PaintBar
  • Spans intraday, daily and weekly timeframes
  • Also available on RadarScreen and Scanner

Upcoming Events

  • Earnings tonight: AVGO, COST, GPS, MDB, MRVL
  • Fri 3/8: Non-farm payrolls
  • Tue 3/12: CPI
  • Wed 3/13: Oil inventories
  • Thu 3/14: PPI, retail sales

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