It Has Been A Year Since The COVID Market Bottom & One Expert Says Stocks Are Now In No Man’s Land

Stocks have surged higher since the market bottom, but this expert says the market’s near-term picture looks dicey. Here’s why.

The one-year anniversary of the bottom of last year’s coronavirus-induced crash was this Wednesday. 

Prior to the crash, the Dow had risen to a record high of 29,551.42 on February 12. The index then saw one of its fastest plunges into a bear market ever and saw three of its biggest one-day point losses in history on March 9, March 12, and its largest one-day point loss ever on March 16, 2020.

The market hit bottom on March 23 with the Dow falling to a low of 18,213.65, the S&P 500 falling to 2,191.86, and the Nasdaq sinking to 6,631.42.

Stocks have been on a steady rise since then with all three indexes seeing massive gains. Since that March 23 bottom, the Dow is up 79%, the S&P 500 has gained 78%, and the Nasdaq has added nearly 96%.

But with stocks rising ever higher, Canaccord Genuity’s Tony Dwyer says he’s dialing back his appetite for stocks now.

“We’re in this period where the Russell 1000 growth mega cap stocks aren’t oversold anymore and the cyclical or economic recovery theme isn’t extreme overbought anymore,” Dwyer, the firm’s chief market strategist, said. “So, I don’t really see a near-term tactical edge until we see some sign of an extreme that just doesn’t exist right now.”

While Dwyer is bullish on stocks for the year—and is particularly keen on stocks related to the economic rebound—he argues now is not a good time to be putting new money to work.

“The other part of no man’s land is that economic recovery theme got so extreme that we actually even downgraded the financials [to neutral] last Friday,” Dwyer added. 

Banks stocks have been surging higher since the market bottom, with the KBW Bank Invesco ETF—which tracks the performance of the sector—gaining 116% since March 23, 2020. And Dwyer says the group could come under pressure in the near term due to risks associated with the economic rebound.

“It’s what made us downgrade the financials,” Dwyer said. “You actually have long-term interest rates come down because the markets start thinking the global recovery may not be as rapid. The risk is not in our view right now higher interest rates and economic accelerate. That’s what we want.”

While the picture doesn’t look so rosy in the near-term, Dwyer is bullish on the long-term.

“We still love the economic recovery theme,” he said. “We have excess liquidity that is historic. You go into recessions and sustained bear markets when you have a need for money with limited access to it. The opposite is tru today. We’ve never seen this level of global liquidity in the marketplace.”

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