(DAILY NOTION): Wall Street is Seeking Clear Direction, Next Mover: Initial Jobless Claims

Verified Official

NASDAQ 100 (as of Feb 18, 2021 at 1.15 p.m.)

Source: Yahoo Finance

SPX 500 (as of Feb 18, 2021 at 1.15 p.m.)

Source: Yahoo Finance

US30 (as of Feb 18, 2021 at 1.15 p.m.)

Source: Yahoo Finance

On Wall Street, the US30 close higher for the second day in a row, as it gained 0.29%. However, the SPX500 dipped 0.02% and the NAS100 lost 0.58%. The US30 was propped by cyclical stocks rose on the backs of higher oil prices.

The market cheered as results from the January Retail Sales beat forecast and came in at 5.3% against a forecast of 1.1%. Furthermore, minutes from the Federal Reserve (Fed) January policy meeting also indicated that they were in no hurry to tighten the monetary policy. 

Both the January Retail Sales data and the Fed’s minutes were timely because, despite the rather lacklustre day on Wall Street, hopes for better performance and better days ahead still reigned. U.S. financial advisory firm, Janney Montgomery Scott believes that corrections are the norm in every structural/secular bull cycle and these pullback/consolidation phases are warranted, with the SPX500 being able to sustain a 10% - 15% correction.

However, also reported that some analysts believe that the Fed could pull back on its accommodative policies if inflation rises should President Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus package is successfully rolled out. Concerns of rising inflation were evidenced in the Producer Price Index (PPI) which is the measure of wholesale inflation. The PPI Index rose 1.3, which is its largest gain since Dec 2009.

Meanwhile, traders will be keeping an eye out for the release of the initial jobless claims later today. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones are forecasting that 773,000 new claims will be added, which is a small decrease from its previous result of 793,000.

As the week is reaching to a close, will Wall Street get the clear direction it is seeking for? Let's keep an eye here.

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