JOBS REPORT UPSETS BULLS’ HOPIUM BUT THEY MIGHT NOT CARE, LAYOFFS HELP META AND AMAZON ADD $275B IN MARKET CAP

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By Nigam Arora & Dr. Natasha Arora

To gain an edge, this is what you need to know today.

Blowout Jobs Report And Earnings

Please click here for a chart of S&P 500 ETF (SPY) which represents the benchmark stock market index S&P 500 (SPX).

Note the following:

  • The chart shows a rally after a shallow pullback.
  • The chart shows that the shallow pullback approached but did not penetrate the high band of the support zone.  From a technical perspective this is a positive.
  • The chart shows an attempt of a new breakout.  This new breakout would have likely followed through if it was not for the jobs report data upsetting bulls’ hopium this morning.
  • The jobs report is a blowout.  Here are the details:
    • Non-farm payrolls came at 353K vs. 175K consensus.
    • Non-farm private payrolls came at 317K vs. 150K consensus.
    • Unemployment rate came at 3.7% vs. 3.8% consensus.
    • Average work week came at 34.1 vs. 34.4 consensus.
  • This is the strongest jobs report since January 2023.
  • In The Arora Report analysis, this jobs report is simply too strong for the Fed to cut rates.  Even though Powell was clear that a rate cut in March was not the base case, stock market bulls have continued to buy stocks on hopes of a rate cut in March.  
  • In The Arora Report analysis, this jobs report significantly upsets stock market bulls’ hopium.  If it was not for the blowout earnings from Amazon (AMZN) and Meta (META), the stock market would have likely fallen by as much as 1000 DJIA points on this report.  Now the questions for prudent investors are the following:
  • In view of blowout earnings from AMZN and META, will the momo crowd even care about the jobs report?
    • Will the new narrative of momo gurus that interest rates no longer matter ring true with investors?  
    • Layoffs helped AMZN and META report blowout earnings.  If the premarket gains hold, META and AMZN have added about $275B in market cap since they reported earnings after the close yesterday.  
  • META is initiating its first dividend and a $50B buyback.  The addition of a dividend and the buyback to stellar earnings is resulting in META stock running up 17.15% since it reported earnings to the time of this writing.  This is highly unusual for a $1T company.  When a $1T company starts moving like a penny stock, you know that the positive sentiment is at an extreme.  
    • At extremes, sentiment is a contrary indicator.  In plain English, extreme positive sentiment is a sell signal.
    • As we have been sharing with you over the years, sentiment is not a precise timing indicator.  It should be only one component of a 360 degree analysis such as the one provided by the adaptive ZYX Asset Allocation Model with inputs in ten categories.
  • META initiating a dividend will put pressure on other cash rich tech companies to initiate dividends.  Going forward, speculation of tech companies adding dividends will add fuel to the fire of extreme optimism about tech companies.
  • The historical pattern of trading in META stock after earnings is that the stock runs up right after the earnings report and later on during the conference call, the stock falls when guidance is given.  This historical pattern makes trading META stock after earnings a losing proposition.  However, yesterday was different.   Because of extreme positive sentiment, no pullback occurred during the conference call.
  • We have been sharing with you the semiconductor breakthrough in China that led to an incredible Huawei phone.  Our call has been that the Huawei phone will undermine Apple iPhone sales in China.  We have also been warning you about the China risk to Apple.  These calls have proven spot on.  Apple sales in China declined by 13%.  This caused an initial pullback in AAPL stock.  However, sentiment is so extreme in the stock market that the slight dip in AAPL stock is being aggressively bought in the premarket as investors ignore the drop in sales in China.
  • In The Arora Report analysis, investors need to be mindful that market conditions are such that good news is great news and bad news is good news.  These are precisely the market conditions when prudent investors should stay alert and build cash and hedges.  Building cash and hedges now will allow for taking advantage of better buying opportunities in the future.
  • As an actionable item, the sum total of the foregoing is in the protection band, which strikes the optimum balance between various crosscurrents.   Please scroll down to see the protection band.
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Magnificent Seven Money Flows

In the early trade, money flows are positive in AMZN, META, Microsoft (MSFT), and Nvidia (NVDA).

In the early trade, money flows are neutral in Alphabet (GOOG).

In the early trade, money flows are negative in AAPL and Tesla (TSLA).

In the early trade, money flows were extremely positive in S&P 500 ETF (SPY) and  Nasdaq 100 ETF (QQQ) before the release of the jobs report.  Since the release of the jobs report, money flows have become negative.

Momo Crowd And Smart Money In Stocks

The momo crowd is *** (To see the locked content, please take a 30 day free trial) stocks in the early trade.  Smart money is *** stocks in the early trade.

Gold

The momo crowd was *** gold before the release of the jobs report.  The momo crowd is *** gold after the release of the jobs report.  Smart money is inactive in the early trade.

For longer-term, please see gold and silver ratings.

Oil

Oil is being sold on the prospect of a ceasefire deal in the Middle East.

The momo crowd is *** oil in the early trade.  Smart money is *** in the early trade.

For longer-term, please see oil ratings.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin (BTC.USD) is moving up with positive sentiment emanating from tech stocks.

Markets

Our very, very short-term early stock market indicator is ***.  This indicator, with a great track record, is popular among long term investors to stay in tune with the market and among short term traders to independently undertake quick trades.

See also  WEEKLY STOCK MARKET DIGEST: CAN STOCK MARKET BULLS’ HOPIUM BE QUENCHED?

Interest rates are ticking up, and bonds are ticking down.

The dollar is stronger.

Trading futures is not recommended for most investors. The purpose of providing this information is to give an indication of the premarket activity that usually guides the activity when the market opens.

Gold futures are at $2048, silver futures are at $22.67, and oil futures are at $73.27.

S&P 500 futures are trading at 4930 as of this writing.  S&P 500 futures resistance levels are 5020, 5210, and 5400: support levels are 4918, 4852, and 4826.

DJIA futures are down 141 points.

Protection Band And What To Do Now

It is important for investors to look ahead and not in the rearview mirror.

Consider continuing to hold good, very long term, existing positions. Based on individual risk preference, consider holding *** in cash or Treasury bills or allocated to short-term tactical trades; and short to medium-term hedges of ***, and short term hedges of ***. This is a good way to protect yourself and participate in the upside at the same time.

You can determine your protection bands by adding cash to hedges.  The high band of the protection is appropriate for those who are older or conservative. The low band of the protection is appropriate for those who are younger or aggressive.  If you do not hedge, the total cash level should be more than stated above but significantly less than cash plus hedges.

It is worth reminding that you cannot take advantage of new upcoming opportunities if you are not holding enough cash.  When adjusting hedge levels, consider adjusting partial stop quantities for stock positions (non ETF); consider using wider stops on remaining quantities and also allowing more room for high beta stocks.  High beta stocks are the ones that move more than the market.

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Traditional 60/40 Portfolio

Probability based risk reward adjusted for inflation does not favor long duration strategic bond allocation at this time.

Those who want to stick to traditional 60% allocation to stocks and 40% to bonds may consider focusing on only high quality bonds and bonds of seven year duration or less.  Those willing to bring sophistication to their investing may consider using bond ETFs as tactical positions and not strategic positions at this time.

To take a free 30-day trial to paid services to gain access to more opportunities, please click here.

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Nigam Arora

Nigam Arora

Nigam Arora is known for his accurate stock market calls. Nigam is a distinguished master of the macro. He is a popular columnist with over 100 million page views, an engineer, and nuclear physicist by background. Nigam has founded two Inc. 500 fastest growing companies and has been involved in over 50 entrepreneurial ventures. He is the developer of Theory ZYX of Successful Change Management and is the author of the book on Theory ZYX, as well as the developer of the ZYX Change Method for Investing.

Dr. Natasha Arora

Dr. Natasha Arora

Dr. Natasha Arora has significant expertise in investment analysis especially biotech, healthcare, and technology. Natasha is a graduate of Harvard Medical School followed by a postdoc at MIT. She has published several peer reviewed research papers in top science journals.

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