This stock-market rally is running into a wall

It’s Earth Day, and even stock pundits are talking about our planet and sustainability.

They’re worried.

“Like the weather whose seasonal transgressions occasionally bewilder, but ultimately is beholden by our position from the sun, we expect U.S. equities will again be capped,” writes Erik Swarts over at Market Anthropology.

“We do not believe the rally in equities is sustainable.”

Stocks aren’t about to break out to all-time highs, he says. They’re switching back to trading in a range they have stayed in over the past two years. More from Swarts below in our call of the day.

He’s far from the only pundit on earth with this view. Folks are sounding less upbeat after the SP

SPX, -0.13%

 dropped yesterday following a three-day advance that took it above 2,100.

“I’m concerned about Thursday’s inability to hold the 2,100 breakout,” writes CrackedMarket’s Jani Ziedins.

He suggests traders lock in profits and “embrace a cooling-off period.” If stocks just kept climbing higher without a routine step back, a violent drop would become more likely, Ziedins argues.

Speaking of violent moves, the yen just delivered one, diving against the dollar on buzz about additional Bank of Japan intervention. See our chart of the day for more on that.

Key market gauges

Dow

YMM6, +0.07%

 and SP futures

ESM6, +0.02%

 have been little changed. Stocks don’t look like they’re celebrating big into the weekend, but the SP is on pace to nab its eighth weekly gain in 10 weeks. Oil

CLM6, +1.46%

 has been advancing.

European stocks

SXXP, -0.32%

 have dropped, hurt in part by the view that the “emissions scandal is set to claim more scalps,” starting with Daimler

DAI, -4.68%

Asian markets closed mix, with Shanghai

SHCOMP, +0.22%

 suffering a weekly drop of 3.9%. Gold

GCM6, -1.54%

 has been lower, as a key dollar index

DXY, +0.50%

moves higher. Silver

SIK6, -0.76%

 has been trying to end its big week on an up note.

The call

A breakout by stocks is “still far out on the horizon,” warns Market Anthropology’s Swarts. “Looking out a few months, it’s hard to imagine a market environment … where equities outperform.” The dollar could resume its uptrend, hitting stocks, Swarts says. And what’s more likely is the Fed will turn more hawkish as inflation expectations step up, which also would hurt stocks, he argues. Monetary policy becoming less certain won’t help either. Go here to read his full post.

The quote
Getty Images

Obama at London Stansted Airport last night.

“For the United States to tell us in the U.K. that we must surrender control of so much of our democracy is a breathtaking example of the principle of do as I say, not as I do.” — New York-born Boris Johnson, a Brexit supporter and London’s mayor, isn’t rolling out the welcome mat for President Obama, even throwing in a “part-Kenyan” reference.

Obama arrived last night in the U.K., where he’s expected to lunch with the queen, now aged 90 years and 1 day. His call for Britain to stay in the E.U. is going over about as well as you would expect with Brexiteers.

Read more: Brexiteers tell Obama to mind his own business

The stat

$100 million — That’s about how much Sahm Adrangi’s Kerrisdale Capital Management has raised from investors to bet against a single stock, according to a Reuters report. The target apparently has a market cap of more than $10 billion and will be revealed in mid-May.

The chart
MarketWatch, FactSet

Times show are for London, five hours ahead of the East Coast.

The yen

USDJPY, +2.08%

 has really weakened against the dollar today, trading at levels last seen more than two weeks ago. The two-day chart above shows the sharp move.

What’s taken some air out of this safety play? News that the Bank of Japan could apply negative rates to its lending program for financial institutions. Read all about it here.

Japanese bonds also have chart watchers fired up:

The buzz

Come to Papa! Troubled Valeant

VRX, +7.50%

is looking to Perrigo

PRGO, -5.92%

 boss Joseph Papa, hoping he’ll become its CEO and soothe investors, a Wall Street Journal article says.

McDonald’s

MCD, +0.14%

has been higher premarket after reporting earnings ahead of the open, but GE

GE, -0.89%

, Caterpillar

CAT, +0.20%

and Honeywell

HON, -0.84%

 have all been retreating after their results.

Earnings reports late Thursday didn’t thrill investors. Google parent Alphabet

GOOG, -5.27%

GOOGL, -5.68%

, Microsoft

MSFT, -6.82%

  , Starbucks

SBUX, -5.80%

 and Visa

V, -2.03%

are all lower premarket following their reports. At least AMD

AMD, +38.36%

is soaring.

A tech IPO! But the pricing was below expectations for SecureWorks

SCWX, -1.36%

 late Thursday.

The economy

Watch for Markit’s manufacturing PMI at 9:45 a.m. Eastern Time.

Oil and energy-related stocks could move this afternoon, when we get a reading on North America’s oil-rig count.

Random reads

Spots worldwide lit up in purple last night for Prince. Niagara Falls was actually honoring the queen:

In honor of Earth Day, find out how poisonous your neighborhood is.

Arrieta’s no-hitter last night for the Cubs was his second in 11 starts and ended the Reds’ longest-in-baseball run of avoiding no-hitters.

Big doubts about the reports of Apple

AAPL, -0.90%

finding gold.

The Internet has been ripping into an Italian soccer team’s ill-advised haka.

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