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Many stocks, with a few exceptions, moved up last week. Clearly, investors are seeing some cause for optimism out there, pushing the Dow back over 25,000.
But you couldn't tell that from the news. I'm looking at a CNN headline chyron right now, for instance, that reads: "COVID-19 cases are rising in 18 states." The business section leads with "Markets are pushing higher as lockdowns ease. But huge risks remain."
So there's clearly a "Reality Gap" between those negative headlines and the prevailing, generally positive mindset and upward moves in the markets.
In that gap, there's plenty of room for making money...
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Here's What's Really Keeping Markets Up
The truth is COVID-19 cases are rising in some states, even as they move toward reopening. And there are plenty of risks ahead of us, from a persistent deficiency in testing to the possibility of renewed, wildfire coronavirus outbreaks come autumn.
We've also got renewed diplomatic saber-rattling between Washington and Beijing over trade, the autonomous status of Hong Kong, and the coronavirus itself. As we've seen throughout the Trump administration's tenure, tension and unrest between the United States and China has a tendency to unnerve investors and traders.
But these headlines give a very skewed impression of what's happening in the markets. Because despite all that, the Dow was up 500 points Tuesday, another 450 on Wednesday, and 200 in pre-market trading on Thursday.
The optimism that seems to mystify the mainstream media is really no mystery at all!
It's none other than the "Fed put"; massive, ultra-accommodative policy from the Fed, and the emerging consensus that we'll see some stimulus from Congress.
And I don't expect its influence will wane anytime soon. The gap between the cautious media and bullish markets will be with us a while longer, absent, heaven forbid, any big surge of COVID-19 in a reopened state or a significant escalation in U.S.-China tensions.
Not all stocks will keep rising, however. There will be some choice buying opportunities in some pretty unexpected places.
Some Buys to Make in a Surging Market
For example, Costco Wholesale Corp. (NYSE: COST) was doing a brisk business in the early days of the lockdown. It had a good earnings report on Thursday, too. The stock beat analysts' expectations, low as those were, with an EPS of $1.89. Bosses reported sales climbed by nearly 8%. Still, shares are drifting lower in a classic "sell the news" slump.
That's just what happened to Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), another company that surged during the early lockdown, only to sink a bit as folks sold the news of its earnings. Savvy investors used that as an opportunity to add to their position.
Costco is without doubt a stock to buy on these dips. You could build up a position over the several sessions I expect it'll take to bottom out.
The cannabis sector has been another relatively quiet lockdown success story - for a couple of surprising reasons.
Cannabis users across the United States and Canada took lockdown announcements as signals to stock up. That made the legal cannabis sector a silent success story over that period.
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) posted unexpectedly good earnings, or, more specifically, smaller than expected losses, and zoomed 55% in a day last week. It expects to return to profitability in fiscal 2021 and keep its capex spend below $100 million in the upcoming half of 2020.
If you were in Aurora for that ride up, well done. If not, don't worry: I think Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE: CGC) has had a strong run since Aurora reported and will benefit from a positive surprise in the long run.
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About the Author
D.R. Barton, Jr., Technical Trading Specialist for Money Map Press, is a world-renowned authority on technical trading with 25 years of experience. He spent the first part of his career as a chemical engineer with DuPont. During this time, he researched and developed the trading secrets that led to his first successful research service. Thanks to the wealth he was able to create for himself and his followers, D.R. retired early to pursue his passion for investing and showing fellow investors how to build toward financial freedom.