These stocks are the key to the market going higher for the rest of the summer


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Tech led the summer rally, and it needs to keep up the momentum if the market is going to continue higher into September, strategists say. The S & P technology sector scored a roughly 13.5% gain in July. Those stocks are represented in the Technology Select Sector SPDR fund , which was down about 0.6% in the first two trading days of August so far. “Tech led the overall broad-based rally in July, so it definitely needs to play an important role if this rally is going to continue through August and into September,” said Scott Redler, chief strategic officer of T3Live.com. “First they have to prove they can hold. Then if the market is going higher, they need to go higher. Right now they’re just range bound.” Much of the heavy lifting has been done by the biggest tech names. The two largest — Apple and Microsoft — were lower Tuesday afternoon after briefly moving higher. “We have seen a pretty good relief rally for a lot of these high growth technology stocks,” said Katie Stockton, founder of Fairlead Strategies. “That started happening in June, right when Treasury yields peaked.” Now, strategists are watching a potential warning from the bond market, where yields were extremely volatile Tuesday. Bond strategists say the 10-year note yield may have reached a near-term bottom in a turbulent trading session. Tuesday’s bond action The 10-year yield was as low as 2.52% in morning trading but was back to 2.74% in the afternoon. The benchmark yield was at the bottom of its recent range Tuesday morning, after moving nearly 100 basis points off its June high. One basis point equals 0.01 of a percentage point. “There’s been a little bit of a story there around Treasury yields. The higher growth technology stocks have done very well and folks have associated that with the weakness in Treasury yields,” Stockton said. “And now we’re at the point from a technical perspective that yields are oversold into support. You wonder if an oversold bounce doesn’t affect sentiment negatively surrounding the high growth stocks.” Some bond strategists say the 10-year yield may have bottomed early Tuesday, after sliding on geopolitical concerns around House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan. Hawkish comments from multiple Federal Reserve officials Tuesday helped reverse the trend and drive the yield sharply higher. San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly said the central bank “is far from done” when it comes to raising interest rates. “For me, looking out over the next few months to the end of September, I think yields are a fair amount higher than they are today,” said Michael Schumacher, head of macro strategy at Wells Fargo. Yields move opposite price. “I think [10-year yield] probably has bottomed.” Tech’s relationship to the 10-year Treasury yield Tech stocks have been tethered to the 10-year yield this year. Tech and growth names can command higher prices because investors are willing to pay up for future earnings. But those high price-to-earnings ratios are challenged when interest rates rise and the cost of money goes up. Tech shares were pounded when yields moved higher in the first half of the year, but the stocks began to bounce back as yields fell in July. The tech sector is still down about 18% in 2022. Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group said the rebound in tech came after “massive underperformance.” “The drop in rates certainly was a catalyst as well. You throw in, of course, some decent numbers or slightly better than lowered expectations in tech earnings was enough to lift the group,” Boockvar said. “But the macro challenges still are here, in terms of a strong dollar, slower global growth, with tech having a larger portion of their business outside the U.S.” Boockvar said the run-up in tech could be temporary, along with the broad market rally. “Just the market cap of these companies are so large that they are major players in dictating where these indices go,” he said. He said it was understandable tech and growth had a reprieve. “That’s what happens in a bear market rally. Those that got beaten up the most tend to bounce back the most,” said Boockvar. “I don’t think it was sniffing out a turn in fundamentals. Some people think it’s the end of the sell-off. I don’t. I think this is how a bear market rallies.” The rally’s staying power But traders are closely watching those big tech names to see if they can hang in. “As far as trading goes, I’m going to key off the stocks that reacted best to earnings. Apple, Tesla, Microsoft and Amazon, ” said Redler. Tesla was higher Tuesday, up nearly 2%, but still off from its 52-week high of $1,243.49. “Tesla just went from $600 to $935. Now we have to see if it can hold $850,” he said. Redler is also watching Apple. “Apple just had a huge move. Will it protect its earnings gap?” he said. The stock went to an intraday high of $163.63 the day after the tech giant issued its earnings . “The low of that day was $159.50. Does support hold or does it get choppy and drift?” Redler asked. Redler is also watching Ark Innovation ETF , the poster child for growth this past year. He said Ark could make a move up. The disruptive tech fund gained more than 2% Tuesday, but it’s still down about 50% for the year. Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak, said he is watching to see if tech continues to support the market. “The real thing I’m worried about is if the big names roll over for some reason,” he said. “Some of these names are getting overbought… I do think if the big names hold up, the group can hold up.”


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