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Is Healthcare A Buy? (It’s Negative YTD)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Why Stocks Faded At the Open Yesterday (For the Second Straight Day)
  • Is Healthcare a Buy? (XLV is lagging the S&P 500 by 16% YTD)
  • Oil and Energy Update

Futures are slightly lower following a night of mixed economic data.

EU flash composite PMIs missed estimates (51.3 vs. (E) 51.8) and that’s a disappointment given recent stabilization in China.  But, not all the data was bad as UK Retail Sales rose 1.1% vs. (E) 0.2%, likely on Britons stocking up goods ahead of the hard Brexit deadline in late March.

Today is the eve of a three day weekend but it’s going to be busy as we get a lot of economic data and important earnings.

Important data today includes (in order of importance):  PMI Composite Flash (E: 54.3), Retail Sales (E: 0.8%), Philly Fed  (E: 10.2) and Jobless Claims (E: 206K).  As we said in Monday’s report, the stronger the data, the better for stocks as there is no inflation threat right now (so good data won’t make the Fed hawkish).

On the earnings front, some releases we’ll be watching include:  AXP ($2.00), PM ($1.00), SLB ($0.30) and HON ($1.83).