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Stock Market News: 02-20-21

Feb. 21, 2021 10:49 AM ET
Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.

Dividend Investing, Medium-Term Horizon, Value

Seeking Alpha Analyst Since 2009

Robert Hauver, MBA, was VP of Finance for an industry-leading corporation for 18 years, and publishes SA articles under the name DoubleDividendStocks. TipRanks rates DoubleDividendStocks in the Top 25 of all financial bloggers, and Seeking Alpha rates us in the Top 5 of several categories, including Dividend Ideas, Basic Materials, and Utilities. 

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Market Indexes: The market was down this week, with the NASDAQ lagging, as investors continued to move out of big cap tech stocks, as Treasury yields rose. The DOW was roughly flat, while the S&P and Russell small caps both lost ground.

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Volatility: The VIX rose 10.4% this week, ending at $22.05.

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Market Breadth: 12 out of 30 DOW stocks rose this week, vs. 21 last week. 53% of the S&P 500 rose, vs. 69% last week.

FOREX: The US $ fell vs. most major currencies this week, except for the Euro, the Swiss Franc, and the Yen.

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Economic Reports: “Wall Street’s main indexes fell on Thursday as investors resumed a shift out of big technology-related firms, while an unexpected rise in weekly jobless claims pointed to a fragile recovery in the labor market. The Labor Department’s report showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits were 861,000 last week, compared with 848,000 in the prior week, partly due to potential claims related to the temporary closure of automobile plants due to a global semiconductor chip shortage.” (Reuters)

“U.S. retail sales rebounded sharply in January, rising by a seasonally adjusted 5.3%, after households received additional pandemic relief money from the government, suggesting a pick-up in economic activity after being restrained by a fresh wave of COVID-19 infections late last year. The surge in sales reported by the Commerce Department on Wednesday was across the board and ended three straight months of declines. Other data showed inflation pressures building up at the factory gate, with producer prices posting their biggest gain since 2009 in January.” (Reuters)

“Lumber prices have shot to fresh records, defying the normal winter slowdown in wood-product sales in a sign that the pandemic building boom is bowling into 2021. Many engineered wood products used in new construction, such as I-joists, are in short supply, and mills are backlogged with orders well into March. Lumber futures have climbed 49% over the past three weeks, to more than twice the price a year earlier.” (WSJ)

“Sales of previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly rose to a three-month high in January as Americans sought to take advantage of ultra-low mortgage rates that have powered the boom in housing.Contract closings increased 0.6% from the prior month to an annualized 6.69 million, after a downwardly revised 6.65 million in December, according to National Association of Realtors data released Friday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 6.6 million rate in January.” (Bloomberg)


Week Ahead Highlights: Q4 ’20 earnings season continues to wind down, with ~12% of the S&P 500 reporting, including several Energy firms – WMB, OKE, EOG.

Next Week’s US Economic Reports:(MarketWatch)

Sectors: The Energy sector led again this week, rising ~3.4%, and continues to lead all sectors year to date by a wide margin. The Healthcare sector lagged.

Futures: WTI Crude fell .72% this week, ending at $59.04, after rising earlier in the week.“Total U.S. oil production has plunged by nearly a third as an unprecedented cold blast freezes well operations across the central U.S., according to traders and industry executives with direct knowledge of the operations.Crude output has now fallen by about 3.5 million barrels a day or more nationwide, they said, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Before the cold snap, the U.S. was pumping about 11 million barrels a day, according to last government data. Production in the Texas’s Permian Basin alone — America’s biggest oil field — has plummeted by as much as 65%.

Operations in Texas have stumbled because temperatures are low enough to freeze oil and gas liquids at the well head and in pipelines that are laid on the ground, as opposed to under the surface as practiced in more northerly oil regions. The big question now is how quickly temperatures return to normal.The huge scale of the disruption has helped oil prices to rise to their highest so far this year.” (Bloomberg)“Oil futures ended in a loss on Thursday, weighed down by speculation that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, together known as OPEC+, may decide at an early March meeting to boost crude production. A fourth straight weekly decline in U.S. crude supplies and ongoing energy production issues tied to frigid temperatures in Texas failed to provide lasting support to prices in Thursday’s session.” (MarketWatch)

Analyst's Disclosure: I am/we are long GLP, RTLR.

Our DoubleDividendStocks.com service has featured options selling for dividend stocks for over 11 years. It's a separate service from our Seeking Alpha Hidden Dividend Stocks Plus service. Disclaimer: This article was written for informational purposes only, and is not intended as personal investment advice. Please practice due diligence before investing in any investment vehicle mentioned in this article.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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