Tech Titans On The Hill

Posted: Jul 29, 2020 12:00 PM
Tech Titans On The Hill

Source: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Yesterday, traditional safe havens rallied as the broad market never gained traction. Perhaps out of frustration, sellers were overwhelmed with reluctant buyers to send major indices lower into the close.  There was never a sense of panic. On the contrary, there was a sense of boredom. I was surprised at how much Materials sold off, but I expected Communication Services and Technology to wilt from all the unknowns.

One unknown is today’s trek to Capitol Hill, where the focus is supposed to be on antitrust issues, but expect any topic to be fair game from Congressmen looking to score points.

S&P 500 Index



Communication Services XLC



Consumer Discretionary XLY



Consumer Staples XLP



Energy XLE



Financials XLF



Health Care XLV



Industrials XLI



Materials XLB



Real Estate XLRE



Technology XLK



Utilities XLU



Market breadth suggests buyers were in the mix, and aggressively buying names with lesser weights in major indices.

Market Breadth









52 Week High



52 Week Low



Up Volume



Down Volume




Cloudier Outlook

Yesterday’s Consumer Confidence report did more to inform Washington, D.C., and Wall Street. The report was expected to decline, but it came in well below the consensus, and it was all about two things:

  • The resurgence of COVID-19
  • And worries that Congress will blow it when it comes to stimulating the economy

Also, there were large declines in several states that saw increases in COVID-19, including Michigan, Florida, Texas, and California.

 Consumer Confidence



Present Conditions






Present Conditions: 94.2 from 86.7

  • Business conditions good - 17.3 unchanged
  • Business conditions bad: 39.1 from 42.4
  • Jobs plentiful: 21.3 from 20.5
  • Jobs hard to get: 20.0 from 23.3

Expectations: 91.5 from 106.1

  • Conditions improving: 31.6 from 42.3
  • Conditions worsening: 19.3 from 15.2 

To see the chart, click here.

Members of Congress must read between the lines in this Consumer Confidence report. This doesn’t mean paying folks not to work. It means a plan that facilitates employment while taking care of those without near-term job prospects.

Portfolio Approach

We continued to build cash after taking profits on a couple of positions that stalled. This morning, we are adding two positions in Industrials in our Hotline Model Portfolio. If you are not a current subscriber to our Hotline, get started today. Contact your account representative or email

Today’s Session

We are swamped with earnings releases, which have been much better than expect, but the reactions vary.  Conference calls are more critical than ever, as listeners try to gauge not just words, but tone.  It has been a long time since we have been here with analysts playing psychiatrists, too.

Speaking of which, Fed Chairman Powell is expected to have a very somber tone. Meanwhile, those Big Tech CEOs are expected to have firm tones, as they express the importance of their companies.  

It is going to be an interesting day.