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Next up for Trump rally: Bulls look for new S&P 500 high

Even with weakness in some of Wall Street's favorite tech names, traders are hoping to see the Trump rally push the S&P 500 to new highs fairly soon.

But first, some strategists say the market may pause after two days of heady gains. Stock futures were lower Friday morning, after the Dow surged to a record high Thursday as investors bet that a Trump presidency might create the economic spark that has been missing in the years of low growth following the financial crisis.

For markets Friday, it is fairly quiet and the action in stocks might be the story. The Dow was up more than 5 percent already for the week as of Thursdy, the S&P 500 was 4 percent higher, but the Russell 2000 was up more than 7 percent. Nasdaq lags with a 3 percent gain.


There is one key Fed speaker Friday. That is Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, who speaks on the economy and monetary policy before the opening bell at 8:30 a.m. ET. There are also just a few earnings, including JC Penney.

The Dow Thursday soared 218 points to 18,807, while the S&P rose 4 to 2,167. The S&P 500 is just about 1 percent away from its closing high of 2,190, set in August. The Nasdaq was the laggard, down 0.8 percent Thursday at 5,208 as tech names like Apple and Microsoft declined.

"It's a tricky tape, full of divergences," said Scott Redler, partner with T3Live.com. He said the market could take a near-term breather before moving higher because of the already sharp gains in some sectors. He said seasonality could be a positive, referring to how the market often moves higher into the year end.

"I would think the S&P is not too far away from making new highs," he said.

Donald Trump's commitment to a big infrastructure program, tax cuts, more spending on defense, reworking Obamacare and an end of some Wall Street regulation has fired up rallies in many sectors. It has also caused a stunning sell-off in the Treasury market as traders sniff out rising inflation and the prospect of much more debt to pay for the big spending plans.

As a result, interest rates have risen swiftly, and that is one negative for tech stocks, but a huge advantage for financials and infrastructure names. However, the financial sector soared with big gains in Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and others.

"I do see this as a bit of an overreaction to what he can do and what can happen. The real catalyst is things are getting better. We had a massively outperforming earnings period. Things were turning. Raw industrial commodities were rising fairly substantially before the election," said James Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital.

Paulsen said he expects stocks to move higher longer term but they could take a pause. "I think the market's going to go higher, but short term I think it slows down a little bit," said Paulsen.

"Are we going to have a slow down over the next week or so? I think so … some of these moves are eye-popping," he said.

Aided by a Republican congress, Trump may be able to do away with some regulations on the financial sector. That along with a rising rate environment could be good news for financial firm profits.

"You're finally in a position where financials could really rip. You're going to get politics out of business for the first time in a very long time. There's just a massive rotation from what was hot and now it's not," said Patrick Boyle, managing director at BTIG.

Perhaps one of the more intriguing divergences is the sell-off in heavyweights like Facebook, Netflix, Amazon.com and Alphabet as money flows into names like Caterpillar and Goldman Sachs and Pfizer.

"There's a dose of skepticism because tech and high beta names didn't participate and have been weaker, but the strong sectors where money has rotated to have helped lift the market. The financials, industrials, materials and transports," said Redler.

Redler said the leadership of the market may be changing, and it may be that Facebook, Netflix and Amazon.com will no longer be the stocks traders look to first. "The generals of the market usually lead to new highs, but with a new administration maybe the generals are changing," he said.

The postelection drama in the bond market continued Thursday, and it is closed for Veterans Day on Friday. Stocks will trade at normal hours on Friday.

By late Thursday, the 10-year year Treasury yield, which affects home mortgages, was up to 2.15 percent, as bonds sold off. The yield moves inversely to the price.

"We had many once in a lifetime events this week," said George Goncalves, head of rate strategy at Nomura. "Everyone across the street is trying to calibrate in their heads where exactly can rates go."