Like it or not, the bulls will have to take a break and eat some turkey in the holiday-shortened coming week.
Heading into Thanksgiving, the
is up 5.3% and the
index is up 6.6% since mid-October. And those investors patiently -- or perhaps not so patiently -- waiting for the fourth-quarter tech rally to emerge must be pleased with the
rising more than 9% over the past month.
Meanwhile, oil has dropped close to 10% in the past month. Interest rates, the market's other nemesis, also are on the way down. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury has fallen to 4.5% after hitting a high of 4.68% on Nov. 4.
With all that momentum, one might think traders wouldn't mind skipping the bird and mashed potatoes Thursday in favor of another day at their desks swapping stocks. Then again, a few market players say that a break in the action may help stocks move even higher later on.
"You are at the high levels of the trading range, so taking a breather without suffering a pullback is a healthy way to kick off a December rally," says Jay Suskind, head of institutional equity trading at Ryan Beck. "On Monday and Tuesday, traders will look to avoid surprises with one eye on oil and one eye on interest rates, and then the exodus begins."
Next week also should be slow on the economic front, with only a handful of data points scheduled for release.
On Monday, leading economic indicators for October will be reported. According to Thomson First Call, economists expect the composite index to rise 0.8%, significantly up from September's loss of 0.7%.
The other noteworthy report will be the release of the minutes from the
Nov. 1 meeting. But even though it's a Fed communication, market watchers may not obsess over it too much.
"The Fed was clear-cut in its statement on Nov. 1, so I don't expect anything new to come from the minutes," says veteran market observer Larry Wachtel of Wachovia Securities, who predicts the market will see "a little action on Monday and Tuesday, and then after Wednesday morning, it will be slim and none."
Even if there is "little action" in the two days prior to Thanksgiving, as Wachtel expects, history suggests the market will be net positive. According to Phil Roth of Miller Tabak, the two days together have produced net gains in 44 of the last 53 years.
Thanksgiving Week Earnings
The coming week may be holiday-shortened, but there are still a few companies scheduled to report quarterly results.
The market will hear on Monday from the likes of
( AGIL) and
Retailers are back in style on Tuesday, including reports from
Dollar Tree Stores
Also on tap for Tuesday are specialty retailers
( RSTO) and
takes center stage on Tuesday as well. The Thomson First Call mean estimate is for the company to post a profit of 79 cents a share, down from the $1.41 earned last year, on revenue of $4.56 billion.
Among the companies reporting Wednesday are
Toronto Dominion Bank
Investors will be able to give dental-products supplier
a pre-Thanksgiving checkup when they report earnings on Wednesday. Analysts expect the company to earn 35 cents a share, up from 31 cents last year, on $647 million in revenue. On Friday, however, Patterson said it expects to report earnings of 32 cents a share for the quarter, below its prior guidance of 35 cents to 37 cents.
The market is closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. Friday will be a shortened session, with trading until 1 p.m. EST.