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Bullish but inconclusive: Friday stock market action remains puzzling

Written By | Dec 4, 2020
quadruple witching Friday, pre Easter rally, bullish, inconclusive, dazed and confused, Dow rallies, trade war

Cartoon, “Wall Street bubbles – Always the same.” American financier J. P. Morgan is depicted as a bull, blowing soap bubbles for eager investors. Several of the bubbles are labeled, “Inflated values.” Public domain image from US Library of Congress (LOC) via Wikipedia entry and caption under “Market Trend.”

WASHINGTON – It’s another apparently bullish yet inconclusive day on Wall Street. As we approach the final hour of trading Friday, major averages continue to trend up. But conviction seems weak as we head into another weekend that might offer up bullish news. Or not. So it appears most investors continue to hedge their bets, even as nervous shorts close out their losing positions.

Also Read: President Donald Trump celebrates Dow 30,000. Recovery on the way?

Today’s market action as we near Friday’s close

Here’s a brief rundown on today’s activity thus far, according to Fox Business.

“The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up over 160 points, or 0.25%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were higher by 0.69% and 0.6%, respectively.  Energy stocks led the rally as oil tops $46 per barrel level.

“Driving the gains investor optimism that COVID-19 relief progress is being made on Capitol Hill after November employment growth trailed economists’ predictions.

“The nonfarm payrolls report showed the U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November as the unemployment rate fell to 6.7%. Wall Street economists surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting the addition of 469,000 jobs…

“A slowdown in the addition of jobs is one of the factors Congress must weigh amid negotiations over COVID-19 relief.

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, a Republican, said Thursday a deal was ‘within reach’ and that he hoped for a package by yearend. He has supported about $500 billion in stimulus while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, both Democrats, called the bipartisan $908 billion package a starting point.”

More Fake Stimulus News?

The COVID-19 news always excites the bulls, who’ll take whatever impecunious “stimulus” they can get. That particularly includes bailouts for deeply-indebted but still-overtaxed Deep Blue states. They need all the money from Red States they can scoop up from this lame duck Congress.

For the record, Cocaine Mitch has generally hoped deals with the House could be “within reach” for at least three months running, however. And indeed they are. Just as long as the Pelosi-crats get every last cent of money they can to pay off their supporters. Look for the GOP to mostly or entirely cave on this in the end. Because that’s who they are, and it’s what they do. Bullish but inconclusive.

I’m noticing this afternoon that big retail stocks aren’t doing so hot today, for whatever reason. Maybe because Blue State governors are confining all their obedient constituents to quarters for at least the rest of the calendar year, just because. And mainly because they want the economy to look as week as possible by January 20 when President-presumptive Slow Joe takes the oath of office in place of the real President-elect.

This way, the next leg of the Democrats’ “economic miracle” can continue unabated as (presumably) any memory of our current president is shoved down the memory hole forever. That’s bullish if you like it, but inconclusive at best if you don’t.

A cloud of fake economic news hangs heavy over the US of A

You just have to watch stocks these days rather than listening to anyone, since we live today in a public news environment that’s dominated by political gaslighting, 24/7. It’s a sorry endgame – and hopefully a temporary one – for the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. But there you have it. The truth may be hiding in there somewhere. But traders, investors and Deplorables alike continue to search for it anyway.

Meanwhile, big retailers like Lowes (NYSE: LOW), Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and (NASDAQ: AMZN) are floundering for at least the second day in a row, hurting our own accounts which own them all. I suspect that’s mainly because the media is now busy badmouthing The Christmas That Never Will Be. It’s a story that may ultimately prove to be the latest depressing untruth in a very untruthful year.

I guess the media and its Madison Avenue contingent has decided that only an unbroken chain of horrific Fake News can keep gullible listeners tuned into their commercial laden cable entertainment and news outlets. It’s all a sad joke. But not a very funny one.

We got plenty o’ nothin’…

Given the iffiness of today’s bullish but inconclusive trading action, it looks like we may have another interim market top as of COB today. That’s enough to keep our buy orders to a minimum. Unless I’m wrong, we’ll have a better opportunity for that Monday or Tuesday morning. That’s assuming the Chicoms don’t spend the weekend invading Taiwan or something even dumber than that.

So we’re about ready to wrap up this surprisingly lucrative trading week today with more questions than answers. We’ll be looking for some of those over an inconclusive weekend. But we’ll likely have to dig very deeply to find them.

Have a good one!

– Headline image: Cartoon, “Wall Street bubbles – Always the same.” American financier J. P. Morgan depicted as a bull,
blowing soap bubbles for eager investors. Several of the bubbles are labeled, “Inflated values.”
Public domain image from US Library of Congress (LOC) via Wikipedia entry and caption under “Market Trend.”


Terry Ponick

Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Senior Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17