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I am technology-challenged today (why my laptop had to crap out 21 days before I get my big desktop rig back is beyond me), so I am going to keep this brief.

Health Care and earnings are the focal points in the early going today and if the early action is any guide, we can probably look forward to more of the same. I.E. A grinding, low volatility stock market that moves up and down in a tight range, with a slight upward bias.

On the health care front, after two more GOP senators announced their opposition to the GOP bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned efforts to get an ACA replacement bill passed. While the markets don't seem to care too terribly much about the health care circus, apparently the public does. A recent Bloomberg News poll showed that health care is the most important issue at this time. Yep that's right, health care came in ahead of jobs, terrorism and the immigration issue (e.g. building the "wall" on our border with Mexico).

However, it is important to keep in mind that some investors/analysts/pundits see the failure of the GOP to pass a health care bill as a warning sign regarding the Trump administration's agenda. More specifically, the worry is that tax reform and economic stimulus will either be pushed back further than anticipated or, like the ACA "repeal and replace" effort, be DOA as well. Stay tuned.

On the earnings front, Netflix (NFLX) surprised to the upside and is getting the anticipated bump in early trade while Goldman (GS) and Bank of America (BAC) are struggling with trading profits.

In my humble opinion, the question of the day is if the current earnings parade (and the associated outlook/guidance for the upcoming quarters) will be good enough to allow traders to continue to look ahead - and to ignore sky-high valuation levels in the stock market.

More on this topic tomorrow - assuming I can find a computer to hunt and peck on, of course.

Thought For The Day:

Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that. - Norman Vincent Peale

Current Market Drivers

We strive to identify the driving forces behind the market action on a daily basis. The thinking is that if we can both identify and understand why stocks are doing what they are doing on a short-term basis; we are not likely to be surprised/blind-sided by a big move. Listed below are what we believe to be the driving forces of the current market (Listed in order of importance).

      1. The State of the U.S. Economic Growth (Fast enough to justify valuations?)
      2. The State of Earnings Growth
      3. The State of Trump Administration Policies
      4. The State of Fed Policy


Wishing you green screens and all the best for a great day,

David D. Moenning
Chief Investment Officer
Sowell Management Services

Disclosure: At the time of publication, Mr. Moenning and/or Sowell Management Services held long positions in the following securities mentioned: none. Note that positions may change at any time.


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