The markets are trading pretty much as we anticipated. The HCM-BuyLine® is positive and is still very strong, so any pullback should be bought. July and August are historically slow months and usually produce nothing but volatility; this seems to be holding true in 2021. We do expect the market to be higher by year-end. 

Like we stated in the past few Wealth Watch updates, AMZN has broken out of a 9-month base, and we expect that equity to move higher in the near-term. We are also bullish on SOXX, which is the ETF that tracks the semiconductor index. Chips have been in short supply and have held back some industries such as auto from being able to manufacture as fast as they would like. This is starting to ease up a bit, and we expect that by year-end it will not be nearly the problem it is now. 

To add to our outlook on chips, Qualcomm (QCOM), the world’s largest smartphone chipmaker, delivered a bullish quarterly forecast helped by the growth of 5G networks and consumer demand for new devices. On Wednesday, the company said earnings will be $2.15 to $2.35 per share for the period ending in September, which is well ahead of the average projection of $2.07. Revenue will be $8.4 billion to $9.2 billion, compared with an estimate of $8.5 billion.

Private sector gross job gains fell by 2.0 million in Q4 2020 to 8.8 million, which was still the second highest level since Q1 2000. Gross job losses slipped by 188,000 to 6.7 million. As a result, there were 2.0 million net job gains at the end of last year, the second most since data started in 1992. It shows that employment dynamics continued to normalize, following the pandemic shutdown and massive job loss in the first half of last year.

All 13 industries posted net job gains, but most were in services. Nearly 2/3 of all net job gains were in professional and business services, transportation and warehousing, and education and health care.