Most of the time, the U.S. stock market looks to 3 factors (call them the “pillars” which support the stock market) to support its upward trend – let’s grade each of the pillars.
CONSUMER SPENDING: This grade is A- (very favorable).
THE FED AND ITS POLICIES: This factor is rated C- (Below average).
BUSINESS PROFITABILITY: This factor’s grade is B (above average). We are entering a period of what is supposed to be a good first-quarter earnings season, which begins in earnest this week. And those optimistic forecasts since the start of first-quarter earnings season have allowed analysts to raise their full-year expectations, something that hasn’t happened this early in the year since 2012. This is an incredible earnings season..
OTHER CONCERNS: The “Heat Map” is indicating the U.S. stock market is in OK shape ASSUMING no international crisis. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest level of crisis, we rate these international risks collectively as a 3. These risks deserve our ongoing attention.