Market Update – 4/19/21


Pradipta | Pixahive

Thomas Ghita, Business Editor

The U.S. stocks fell the week of April 12 to April 19 as sell-offs continue amid valuations once again reaching all-time highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has decreased by 1.5% since April 16. The S&P 500 fell by 1.4% on the same day, and the NASDAQ Composite, which has been hurt the most due to a large drop in overvalued tech stocks, saw a decrease of 2.1%.

The drop in stocks comes at a strange time for the U.S. economy, as strong economic data pointing towards an imminent recovery has been driving investor confidence and subsequently the markets for the past few months.

This continued confidence has become a cause for concern for many investors who have seen their share prices skyrocket over the past few months. The price increase has caused many to cash out and walk away from the current market, as “there is a general lack of impetus” to cause stocks to further increase as of now, besides data pointing to a recovery, according to Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.

Similar sentiments regarding economic recovery have been reflected in the U.S. bond market, which has seen its yield drop from a recent high of 1.74% to 1.60% amid reports of a rapidly recovering labor market and rising inflation.

While this usually would have caused bond yields to increase as bond prices fall, analysts believe that this has already been factored into the bond market.

“Investors have realized that a lot of the good news was already there,” according to Steve Englander, head of global FX research and North America macro strategy at Standard Chartered.

Looking past general economic conditions, the market is about to enter earnings seasons, which will be a test for the current economic boom, as we could see further contraction if companies fail to hit the lofty expectations set for them.

Despite that, confidence in what earnings season could do for the markets is still high, with many expecting the earnings picture to remain “very buoyant” and for momentum to “stay positive” as long as companies hit their expectations, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Some companies have already begun to hit their expectations, with Harley-Davidson Inc. posting better than expected sales and profits for the first quarter of 2021. This caused their share price to jump more than 10%, despite being hit with increased tariffs from the European Union.

Looking forward, earnings will have to be focused on as huge companies such as Netflix Inc., Lockheed Martin Corporation and Procter & Gamble Company are scheduled to release their earnings for the week of April 19 to April 23.