Day Traders Diary


The major averages rose for a second day, after upbeat earnings reports from two bellwethers raised hopes that corporate earnings may be better than feared even with a potential recession. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 526 points, or 1.6%, to finish at 33,376. The S&P 500 surged 56 points or 1.49% to settle at 3,878 while the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.54% to end at 10,709.37.

"We got sort of oversold and I think the market was looking for an excuse to rally, and the Nike and FedEx number provided that," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research. "I really question, however, if this is something that's going to be long-lasting."

Nike surged 12% after beating Wall Street's expectations for quarterly earnings and revenue. The results lifted other retail stocks. The sports apparel maker also showed progress in its attempt to clear through inventory, posting a decline over the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, FedEx gained 3.4% after reporting earnings per share that beat estimates. The company also shared a slew of cost-cutting plans.

Better-than-expected consumer confidence data for December, which jumped to the highest level since April, also boosted investor sentiment.

With the end of 2022 in sight, all three major averages are on pace to snap a 3-year win streak and post their worst year since 2008. The Dow's down 8.15% for the year and 3.51% this month, while the S&P has shed 18.63% and 4.94%, respectively. The Nasdaq's plummeted 31.55% in 2022 and 6.62% in December.

Earnings season continues before the Christmas holiday, with Micron reporting after the bell.

Citi's Scott Chronert is expecting a 5% to 8% drawdown in the market at the start of 2023, and that should create a solid stock-picking environment for investors.

"That's a buying opportunity because then, as you go into the spring timeframe, you get some lessening of the Fed overhang, and on that alone, you begin to get some valuation relief," the U.S. equity strategist told CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Wednesday.

Chronert's base case for 2023 accounts for a mild recession, likely to occur during the first half of the year.

Given this outlook, Chronert recommends that investors find opportunities in areas of the market with earnings resilience, pointing to sectors like healthcare, real estate, energy and industrials, which Citi is overweight on.

"We're looking for a combination of defensive characteristics, where we can also benefit from the risk-on attribute," he said. "In our setup, it kind of dials you into the energy and industrials sectors."

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