There's lots of talk out there about whether the stock market hit bottom yesterday. You could turn to any number of market gurus, but a theory we've heard from a few is that yesterday's lows may be the bottom for now, and what happens next will be decided in part by the strength of the economy and of course, the Fed.
Also today's deal between congresssional leaders and the White House on a stimulus packageis seen as a good sign and a necessary ingredient for the economy. News of the deal pushed up stocks.
BlackRock Vice Chairman Bob Doll was on "Squawk Box" this morning (see video below) and he's someone who sees another low coming before the market ultimately turns:
"It's typical for these sorts of markets in these periods of chaotic movement. I think your technician is your best friend."
"You get a panic, throw in the towel, high volume cathartic bottom."
That was surely the case early yesterday, before that big 600-odd point upswing.
Doll: "Now we're in the rally phase, which can last a bit longer. And...there's the slow painful torture of a re-test, where we will ask the tough questions."
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Those questions, Doll says, are whether there will be a global recession; whether the financial system gets fixed, and whether inflation becomes a problem.
Doll: "The markets will finally say 'We'll make a bottom' and that will be that, but that will be weeks and maybe a few months away."
Today, the market is taking a bit of a breather. Financials were a leader in yesterday's rally. They were mixed today, with the group about 0.6 percent higher. Energy topped the gainers list, up 3.2 percent, though those safe haven utilities were down 2.8 percent. Tech is a top performer and closed up 3 percent. Microsoft is one of those stocks that are up, ahead of its earnings after the bell.
Traders describe today's trade as quieter, less frantic, without the panicky volume. Retailers, like Home Depot and Lowes , good performers yesterday, gave up gains and companies across the entire group are down multiple percents. That group had a good run Tuesday and Wednesday, a big beneficiary of this week's surprise Fed rate cut.
Doll: "When the dust does settle, I think we'll have some improvement in the former losers. That is the credit sensitive financials and consumer discretionary, but if the world economy holds up, albeit weaker, which is our guess, some global cyclicals will come back."
There's a view that the market will turn to become more of a stock picker's market. Doll agrees, and sees sector investing as less attractive. He recommends investors now "play closer to neutral."