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Traders are confused by the stimulus back-and-forth and have their doubts about the market gains

Traders are confused by the stimulus back-and-forth and have their doubts about the market gains

Some are calling it “a la carte stimulus,” with aid for airlines in Column A, PPP aid in Column B. 



a group of people standing in front of a building: The New York Stock Exchange is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, October 2, 2020.


© Provided by CNBC
The New York Stock Exchange is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, October 2, 2020.

Whatever it is, hopes for stimulus — preelection, postelection, comprehensive package, stand-alone deal, whatever and whenever — is supporting breakouts in cyclicals like industrials, materials, consumer discretionary and banks.

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Many big names like Caterpillar, Eaton and FedEx have broken to new highs. Materials stocks like Martin Marietta, Vulcan Materials and Nucor are up 10% in the last week. Even bank stocks like US Bancorp are breaking out to multimonth highs. 

For some, the cyclical rally is getting way too stretched.

“The action over the last couple weeks is baking a lot of positive news into the market,” said Jack Miller, head of trading at Baird.

Alec Young, chief investment officer at Tactical Alpha, agrees. “We are quietly getting overbought. The market is looking a little tired, the size of the rallies is getting smaller, with little waves of selling,” he said. “It’s true cyclicals are rallying, but they have not shown any ability to do longer-term rallies.”

“I don’t think this market is very compelling, and I am pulling back and waiting to see what happens,” he added.

Others also have doubts about this rally. They note that volume on up days has been notably light while on down days it’s notably heavier. This implies there’s not much buyer conviction, that much of the rally is simply sellers holding onto stocks unless prices rise.

Jim Besaw, who manages $3 billion as chief investment officer at GenTrust, said this signals that many still don’t believe the rally: “The market is underpositioned. That’s why the markets

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