Call this the "crummy retail sales but good Apple numbers" rally, one based on the Fed being put on hold by an awful August while lots of companies, particularly in tech, catch a bid because of the iPhone 7 sellout.
Let's break it down. We knew there was an outside chance the Fed could raise rates as soon as next week if we had a scorching retail sales number. That might have counteracted the punk ISM figures and been more in line with the excellent jobless claims we got this morning --best in about 40 years.
But a weak retail sales number dovetails with too much recent weak data, putting the onus on the hawks to justify why to move this soon without more data.
Apple (AAPL) ? Look, there's been a bear market around Apple and anything that comes near it: Skyworks (SWKS) , Qorvo (QRVO) , Cirrus Logic (CRUS) , but it's also put a damper on buying many other techs of late.
So you've got that delicious -- at least for the bulls -- combination of weaker macro numbers that allow you to buy all the bond market equivalent stocks while Apple inspires tech buying. I like Nvidia (NVDA) , Micron (MU) , Texas Instruments (TXN) and NXP Semi (NXPI) . (Apple and NXP Semi are part of TheStreet's Action Alerts PLUS portfolio.)
You don't have the financials because the retail sales push out the rate hikes. Health care does better, though, because it has growth in a slow-growth economy.
Of course, if oil were down big again today, I think this rally would have stalled and U-turned. Remember, though, that when oil gets to $43, that's when the rumors start, that's when we hear that Russian and Saudi Arabian oil ministers are meeting or that the emergency OPEC session will soon be called.
So, even as oil rolled over during the session, it didn't go negative, thus keeping the Apple-led charge intact.
If you believe in the rally, scan things, there's still plenty of stocks that are barely up. We just did some buying for Action Alerts PLUS of stocks we had been restricted in or that had fallen ultra-hard and are nowhere near where they were 10 days ago.
Those could still be bargains.