By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch
This market looks like it needs its three-day weekend.
The S&P 500 is up for the holiday-shortened week, but it’s also moping around a bit like a kid who doesn’t like her Easter outfit. It’s on track for a March slump of 4% and a first-quarter downswing of nearly 3%, with one trading session to go.
Buck up and have a chocolate egg. That’s the tone of our call of the day , a combo based on the latest from CFRA’s Sam Stovall and CrackedMarket’s Jani Ziedins.
“We believe the correction has likely run its course and is now working its jagged way back to breakeven,” Stovall writes in a report and on Twitter .
The veteran strategist and his colleagues are encouraged that the infamously pricey S&P is looking less expensive after its recent tumbles. The stock gauge is trading at 16.6 times forward-year estimated earnings, just slightly above its average multiple of 16.4 since 2000, Stovall notes. His shop is sticking with its 12-month price target of 3,000, though Stovall cautions that stocks may suffer one more drop of 5% or more this year.
Meanwhile, Ziedins warns the market could fall further, but his overall message is that investors shouldn’t be getting spooked.
“This is still a fundamentally sound economy, and the market is seeing ghosts where there aren’t any,” the CrackedMarket scribe writes in a note to clients .
He ain’t afraid of the tech wreck.
“The only people deleting Facebook /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB -1.58% are the ones who rarely use it,” Ziedins says, adding that losing light users will have a minimal impact on the social-networking giant’s profit and revenue.
He’s also not quaking at the prospect of new government regulations on Silicon Valley: “There is a regulatory risk that also extends to Google /zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite GOOG -0.64% /zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite GOOGL -0.69% , but it takes Congress forever and a day to pass new laws, so I wouldn’t expect anything soon.”
Key market gauges
Futures for the Dow , S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 are rising, after the Dow /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.17% , S&P /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.06% and Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -0.45% lost ground yesterday.
Europe /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.57% is advancing, after Asia closed mixed. Oil and gold are dipping, while the dollar index /zigman2/quotes/210598269/delayed DXY -0.18% is little changed. Bitcoin /zigman2/quotes/31322028/realtime BTCUSD -0.66% has been trading around $7,500.
See the Market Snapshot column for the latest action.
Ahead of Good Friday, Easter and Passover, investor and writer Jeff Macke is hoping the S&P 500 stays above its 200-day moving average.
His chart above also shows how the index has kept above its early-February low — so far.
Below is a bonus chart from Bespoke Investment Group. It highlights how confidence among older consumers just topped confidence among youngsters for the first time since 2000.
Oldsters have become more optimistic as interest-rates rise, as well as since President Donald Trump was elected, Bespoke says .
Bespoke Investment Group