The Dow Jones Industrial Average has been on a tear over the last few days and was flirting with statistically exiting the bear market it entered only two weeks ago, but is the Dow rally sustainable?
Markets have been extremely volatile since crashing off record-highs in February, and the Dow even managed its best day since 1933 Tuesday, bouncing 11% after Monday’s 3% dip. The index was flirting with 20% gains since Monday’s low during Thursday trading, which is technically considered bull market territory.
Of course the index is still around 25% off it’s Feb. 12 record-high close of 29,551 points, but market historians and other analysts aren’t so optimistic about more big swings up like this until they show some sustainability.
“We’re in this intermediary phase where we’re going to have big up periods and big down periods. I don’t think the coast is clear. I’d be a buyer on red days, if you will, and a trimmer on green days. Expect choppiness,” Bob Doll, chief equity strategist at Nuveen Asset Management, told Bloomberg TV.
Banyan Hill Publishing Chartered Market Technician Chad Shoop is in the same boat as Doll, and he’s taking advantage of the Dow rally that’s being fueled by the announcement of a major coronavirus stimulus bill to prop up the U.S. economy.
“While the near 20% bounce in stocks looks great, I’m not buying into it. Instead, I’m selling and adding bearish trades,” Shoop said. “Stocks are bouncing after a huge sell-off after finally getting a stimulus package they were looking for.”
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a $2 trillion stimulus package that includes direct payments to most Americans, unemployment insurance and loans for businesses. The House of Representatives is set to vote on the bill Friday. Shoop thinks more boosting will come, though, as the economy takes more short-term hits.
“We’ll need more stimulus,” he said. “And the economic data that supports that is just beginning. Today we saw that jobless claims shattered previous records and even were twice as bad as current estimates, coming in at 3.3 million filing for unemployment benefits. That’s just the start.”
The Dow rally has been buoyed largely by Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), which has surged around 70% this week as the struggling plane-maker seeks government aid from the stimulus package.
Bloomberg found that one-fifth of the Dow rally this week was fueled by Boeing’s rise. Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) and UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) also made up another 10% of the Dow’s gain the past few days.
“There is no doubt some of the names that have been destroyed in the past week were driven there by force selling and fear,” Manulife Investment Management’s Nathan Thooft told Bloomberg. “And we are now seeing some people take a step back and say, ‘Wait, these names are not going away.'”
The Dow had dropped 37% from Feb. 12’s close to Monday’s low, and some analysts think those lows could be tested again.
“The temptation is to breathe a sigh of relief that the waterfall is over and jump back into the market,” Ed Clissold, Ned Davis Research CFA, said. “History suggests that a more likely scenario is a basing and testing period that includes a breaching of the waterfall lows.”
Shoop agrees with this sentiment on the Dow rally and what’s to come concerning the economy.
“This is just the start,” he said. “The economic data is going to get a lot worse in the short-term, and that’s going to cause another round of selling next week.”