Need to Know: You’ll never guess how you could play defense in this soaring, tech-driven market

If you were nervous about the S&P 500 at 2,300, then you should probably find that security blanket, because 2,500 is knocking at the door.

In a feat not seen in six weeks, all three U.S. indexes hit a record on the same day yesterday, as this market just refuses to stay down for long. The S&P 500 has already taken out pretty much all of the end-2017 forecasts laid out by big banks last year.

Of course, Apple AAPL, -0.40%  may have something to say about another record session, as some of the iPhone 8, 8s and X euphoria seems to be waning.

For those scaredy bulls needing some extra courage, LPL Financial’s Ryan Detrick notes that the S&P now has five straight monthly wins under its belt, something that has only happened 25 times since the 1950s. “The good news for bulls is a year later it was higher 23 out of the previous 24 times, and higher 13.2% on average,” he says in a note.

Still got the jitters? If that’s the case, then our call of the day from Peter Garnry, Saxo Bank’s head of equity strategy, says there is one move you should definitely avoid right now.

“The worst thing, and unfortunately it’s one of the strategies a lot of retail investors are applying, is just going all cash,” Garnry said on an equities update webinar to clients Wednesday.

Data have shown that missing out on big days can torpedo a portfolio. “It’s very, very important for your long-term gains to be in the market when you get these strong, up-moving days,” he says.

Garnry suggests the uneasy investor “tilt” a portfolio toward defensives like utilities, telecom, health care and consumer staples, and take money off the table from cyclicals — financials, industrials and materials.

There’s one more sector to consider, he says — IT, which has become more defensive over the past five years.

“We think the primary driver of that is that software is 60% of the sector weight,” he says. “Software per definition is a more stable business, more recurring revenue, more predictable” than the two former big IT industries, hardware and semiconductors.

Read: Your best defensive bet is….tech stocks?

Key market gauges

Stocks may struggle to hold onto those highs as Dow YMZ7, -0.07%  , S&P ESZ7, -0.14%  and the Nasdaq NQZ7, -0.20%   futures are looking soft, with Apple trailing in premarket. Oil prices CLZ7, +0.81% are up, lifted after the IEA reported a drop in global supply. Gold GCU7, -0.35%  is perking up, while the ICE Dollar Index DXY, -0.10%  is drifting south. European stocks SXXP, -0.15%  are falling as Apple suppliers take a hit. Asian markets ADOW, -0.07%  had a mixed day.

See Market Snapshot for more.

Join MarketWatch in Los Angeles for a panel discussion on international investing in October. Now test your knowledge about overseas stocks.

The chart

The bitcoin bear has growled again.

J.P. Morgan CEO James Dimon took a swing at the lead cryptocurrency yesterday, telling the Delivering Alpha conference that bitcoin is “a fraud” and that it’s all going to end in tears. Bitcoin BTCUSD, -8.31%  , which has been under pressure due to lingering concerns over a China bitcoin-exchange ban, has been dipping below $4,000 this morning.

bitcoin_1409

It wouldn’t be the first time Dimon has taken a swipe at bitcoin. He called it a “terrible store of value” back in January 2014. Of course bitcoin was trading at a mere $900 when he made that comment.

Note this all comes as Bank of America Merrill Lynch reports that bitcoin is now the most crowded trade going.

The buzz

Apple AAPL, -0.40%  is down about 0.6% in premarket after its big reveals yesterday, while its suppliers are getting a bruising, too. Some investors are a little wary after the company revealed the $999 iPhone X will be released on Nov. 3, well after the company’s fiscal year ends. And analysts can’t agree on whether the iPhone event was a flop or a smashing success.

Read the First Take: Apple Watch finally lives up to Dick Tracy’s standards

Meanwhile, a group that includes Bain Capital and Apple signed a letter of intent to buy Toshiba’s 6502, +0.00%  chip business for more than $18 billion, the WSJ reported, citing sources.

Read: Why Apple’s new iPhone is bad — for the environment

WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton is leaving Facebook FB, -0.32%

An update on producer prices is due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, followed by the Federal budget at 2 p.m.

The quote

“Let’s throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the harbor. Catch the trade winds in our sails.” — That was EU bigwig Jean-Claude Juncker lauding the recovery of the region. He also warned Britain will soon regret its Brexit in a speech to EU Parliament.

The stat

22.2 million — That’s how many U.S. adults are expected to cut the cable cord this year, says research from eMarketer reported by Variety. If that happens, it’ll represent a 33% gain over 2016.

Random reads

The Cleveland Indians tied with the Oakland A’s for the longest American League win streak — 20 games — after Corey Kluber pitched a shutout.

A 60-foot long, 130-tonne “fatberg” of wet wipes, condoms and oil is blocking a London sewer.

Celebrities raised nearly $15 million for hurricane victims via “Hand in Hand” telethon

ESPN reprimanded anchor Jemele Hill for calling POTUS a white supremacist

Secret document shows Russia wanted to do more than meddle in U.S. elections

Porn star Cory Chase doesn’t “like” Ted Cruz

Robot conducts Italian orchestra and opera singer Andrea Bocelli, steals the show

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