Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today: Winter Storm Boosts Energy Sector, But Stocks Finish Mixed

Oil and natural gas prices surged Tuesday as Winter Storm Uri pounded the nation, sending power demand higher and impacting energy supplies.

The major indices looked like they were ready to go after the long holiday weekend, and they did at the open. Unfortunately, many stocks couldn’t sustain that buzz all day.

A massive winter storm has wreaked havoc on Texas's power grid, leaving millions without electricity, and impacting the state's pipelines and refineries. The resultant spike in demand as well as the disturbance in supplies sent oil and natural gas prices higher; U.S. crude oil futures jumped a full 1% to $60.05 per barrel. Energy names such as Exxon Mobil (XOM, +3.0%) and ConocoPhillips (COP, +3.6%) helped lead the sector forward.

The rest of the stock market was a much more mixed affair.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.2% to a record 31,522) managed to finish in the black, albeit off its highs for the day, thanks to strong performances from Salesforce.com (CRM, +3.4%) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM, +2.4%). But the S&P 500 weakened throughout the day and closed with a marginal loss to 3,932, and the Nasdaq Composite also went green-to-red, finishing 0.3% lower to 14,047.

Other action in the stock market today:

  • The small-cap Russell 2000 drooped 0.7% to 2,272.
  • Gold futures settled 1.3% lower to $1,799.00 per ounce.
  • Bitcoin prices briefly surpassed the $50,000 mark on Tuesday before dipping back to $48,783. That was still 2.4% better than its price of $47,622 on Friday. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m. each trading day.)
stock chart for 021621

Turn Short-Term Pain Into Long-Term Gain

The market very well could be running out of gas. Tony Dwyer, analyst at Canaccord Genuity, says "We still believe the market is ripe for a pullback" amid high valuations, overbought chart indicators and historically sky-high sentiment (which incidentally can be a bearish signal).

Fortunately, these are mostly short-term concerns in what appears to be a favorable longer-term setup.

"The Fed is focused on obtaining sustainably higher inflation, money availability remains historic, the economy is just in the beginning of a long-duration recovery, consensus EPS forecasts are too conservative, and like 2010, any valuation contraction should be a result of a sharp EPS ramp rather than something more onerous," Dwyer adds.

The prevailing wisdom in such an environment is to buy dips, as they're expected to be temporary. But what dips should investors buy?

These S&P 500 stocks would have more appeal with a major reduction in price. But in the event that we don't get drastic pullbacks, simply look for slightly better prices for the highest-quality stocks on your wishlist. Perhaps that's the picks espoused by Warren Buffett, whose latest changes to the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) portfolio will be revealed this evening (check back here later tonight for full updates).

Or it might be the 21 picks hand-selected by several of us here at Kiplinger, as well as some of Wall Street's top fund managers. Most of these picks appear to have plenty more room to run in 2021 – and a quick market dip would make them all the more attractive.

Kyle Woodley was long CRM and Bitcoin as of this writing.

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