1. U.S. Futures


The Bear Thread

Discussion in 'Stock Market Today' started by bigbear0083, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. bigbear0083

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    NY Fed Plummets
    Mon, May 15, 2023

    The economic calendar was light this morning with the Empire Fed Manufacturing survey the only release of note. Whereas last month saw a solid reading of 10.8 implying expansionary activity in the NY Fed's region, expectations were set low as the index was forecasted to fall down to a contractionary reading of -3.9. Instead, the index plummeted all the way down to -31.8, the lowest since January when the index reached a slightly worse -32.9. Additionally, the monthly decline in the headline number ranks as the second largest drop on record behind April 2020. Overall, the index has been quite volatile in recent months bouncing from historically contractionary readings to modest contraction or even growth.

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    As shown below, the month-over-month declines across many categories were nothing short of historic in May. For example, New Orders saw an astounding 53.1 point decline (just short of a record decline similar to the headline index). Shipments wasn't much better with a 40-point decline. However, expectations for both of those categories rebounded with New Orders being a particularly big uptick, ranking in the upper decile of all month-over-month increases. That being said, the indices remain in the bottom deciles of their historical ranges while all other categories (like unfilled orders and inventories) saw declines in expectations alongside declines in current condition indices. Again, while recent months have seen some volatility in these survey results, the findings would imply responding firms have observed a significant slowdown in their businesses.

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    One silver lining relative to post-pandemic trends is that the report has shown a complete reversal in readings on prices and delivery times. As shown in the first chart below, the average of the two current conditions indices has been rolling over and is now basically right in line with the historical median. Balancing out the more normalized level in supply chain readings, firms also appear to be reporting massive pullbacks in hiring capital expenditures, and plans for tech spending. During the past two recessions, this average has turned negative, and at the moment, it is only barely positive at 3.43.

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  2. bigbear0083

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    Market Weaker After Memorial Day Recent Years
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    The week after Memorial Day performed quite well 1971-95. DJIA & S&P up 68% of the time, averaging 0.8% – DJIA up 12 in a row 1984-95. NAS was up 72% of the time, average 0.6%, up 10 straight 1986-95. Since 1979 R2K was up 88.2% of the time, average 0.9%, up 13 straight 1983-95.

    Starting in 1996 the week after Memorial Day performance diminished. DJIA was up only 40.7% of times, average loss 0.02%, down 9 of last 13. S&P, NAS & R2K all gained ground less than 56% of the time, down 7 of last 13. Huge gains during the week in 2000 do skew the averages.
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    2023 Stock Trader’s Almanac page 100 tracks behavior before & after holidays since 1980. Days after Memorial Day show positivity. But weakness has increased the last 22-years the 3 days after Memorial Day. Day after Memorial Day DJIA & NAS down 6 of last 8, S&P down 7 of last 8.

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  3. bigbear0083

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    June’s Quad Witching Options Expiration Riddled With Volatility
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    The second Triple Witching Week (Quadruple Witching if you prefer) of the year brings on some volatile trading with losses frequently exceeding gains. NASDAQ has the weakest record on the first trading day of the week. Triple-Witching Friday is usually better, S&P 500 has been up 12 of the last 20 years, but down 6 of the last 8.

    Full-week performance is choppy as well, littered with greater than 1% moves in both directions. The week after June’s Triple-Witching Day is horrendous. This week has experienced DJIA losses in 27 of the last 33 years with an average performance of –0.81%. S&P 500 and NASDAQ have fared better during the week after over the same 33-year span. S&P 500’s averaged –0.46%. NASDAQ has averaged +0.03%. 2022’s sizable gains during the week after improve historical average performance notably.
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  4. bigbear0083

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    DJIA, S&P 500 and NASDAQ historically cooler in pre-election year Julys
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    July historically is the best performing month of the third quarter, however the mostly negative results in August and September tend to make the comparison easy. “Hot” Julys in 2009 and 2010 where DJIA and S&P 500 both gained greater than 6% combined with strong performances in 2013, 2018, and 2022 have boosted July’s average gains since 1950 to 1.3% and 1.3% respectively. Such strength inevitability stirs talk of a “summer rally”, but beware the hype, as it has historically been the weakest rally of all seasons (page 74, Stock Trader’s Almanac 2023).
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    Pre-election-year July rankings are something of a mixed bag, ranking #7 for DJIA and S&P 500, averaging gains of 1.0% and 0.9% respectively (since 1950); while NASDAQ (since 1971) and Russell 1000 (since 1979) pre-election Julys both rank #9. NASDAQ has advanced in seven of the last thirteen pre-election Julys. Russell 2000 has advanced in five of its last ten. Despite tech’s and small-cap’s meager pre-election July track record, NASDAQ and Russell 2000 have averaged gains of 1.0% and 0.3% respectively.
     
  5. bigbear0083

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    July Historically Opens Strong, But Fades After Mid-Month
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    July is the third month of DJIA’s and S&P 500’s “Worst Six Months” and the first month of NASDAQ’s “Worst Four Months.” Dynamic trading often accompanies the first full month of summer as the beginning of the second half of the year brings an inflow of new capital. But by around mid-month, inflows have faded and the market’s performance in July usually peaks. This tends to create a strong open and first half. In all the years examined the major indexes tend to reach a peak around mid-month and then drift sideways to slightly lower for the remainder of the month. In pre-election years since 1950, the mid-month peak and second half declines have more pronounced especially for NASDAQ and Russell 2000.
     
  6. bigbear0083

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    DJIA has declined 9 of last 12 on day after July 4th
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    Trading ahead of the July 4th Independence Day holiday has historically been stronger than the day(s) after the holiday. This has become more pronounced in recent years and was the case again this year. However, over the past twelve years since 2011, trading after Independence Day has softened notably. DJIA has declined nine times in 12 years on the day after. S&P 500 has slipped seven times. Average performance remains fractionally positive. NASDAQ and Russell 2000 have been modestly better.
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  7. bigbear0083

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    Factory Orders Go Negative
    Wed, Jul 5, 2023

    The last 24 hours have been rough for economic data both in the US and around the world as most indicators released have been weaker than expected. It started with weaker-than-expected PMI readings for the services sector in China but has since spread to weaker PMI readings for most major economies in the Eurozone as well. Here in the US, PMI data on the services sector will not be forthcoming until tomorrow morning, but Factory Orders released this morning were a big miss. At the headline level, orders for the month of May increased 0.3% which was a half percentage point below consensus expectations. Not only that but April’s reading was also revised down from growth of 0.4% down to 0.3%. After stripping out Transportation, Factory Orders declined 0.5% while April’s reading was revised from a decline of 0.2% down to a drop of 0.6%.

    On a year/year basis, Factory Orders also dipped into negative territory for the first time since October 2020. The chart below shows the historical y/y change in Factory Orders since 1960. While readings were negative during every recession, there were plenty of other periods where they also declined on a y/y basis and the economy was nowhere near a recession. Not only that but there were also many other periods during economic expansions where Factory Orders dropped by a much larger amount on a y/y basis.

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    While the magnitude of the decline in Factory Orders hasn’t been extreme, what is unique about the current period is how long the rate of change in Factory Orders has been declining. The chart below shows streaks where the y/y change in Factory Orders increased (blue line) or declined (red line). With May’s report, the rate of change in Factory Orders on a year/year basis has declined for a record eight straight months, breaking the prior record of seven months that was seen during recessions in the mid-1970s, early 1980s, and during the Financial Crisis. The fact that prior streaks of similar duration all occurred during recessions isn’t exactly reassuring. What makes it less worrisome, though, is that the decline is coming after Durable Goods experienced record growth and consistency of growth coming out of the COVID crash.

    There's plenty of evidence out there to cite as reasons why the US economy is teetering on the edge of a recession or merely in a slowdown, and parts of today's Factory Orders report could honestly be used to help justify either viewpoint.

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  8. bigbear0083

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    Stellar NASDAQ 1st Half Dampens July and Q3 Performance
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    NASDAQ finished the first half of 2023 with a stellar 31.7% gain. This is NASDAQ’s third best first half ever. Only 1975 and 1983 were better. In the following table we compiled all years since 1971 when NASDAQ was up 20% or more in the first half. Reviewing the table, we observed only two times out of the past eleven where the second half of the year was better than the first half (1999 and 2003). July and Q3 were also below average following a 20%+ first half gain while Q4 was better than average.

    This reinforces our existing tepid outlook for Q3. Today’s much stronger than anticipated jobs data has increased expectations for another Fed interest rate hike and added more uncertainty as to when the Fed will eventually pause. Increasing uncertainty is likely to lead to more volatility and a sideways to possibly lower market during the historically weak third quarter.
     
  9. bigbear0083

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    NASDAQ Down 5 Straight During July Monthly Options Expiration Week
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    Since 1982, the Friday of monthly options expiration week has a bearish bias for DJIA declining 23 times in 41 years with two unchanged years, 1991 and 1995. On Friday the average loss is 0.23% for DJIA and 0.25% for S&P 500. NASDAQ’s record is even weaker, down 25 of 41 years with an average loss of 0.38%. DJIA posts the best full-week performance, up 24 of 41 with an average 0.37% gain. However, NASDAQ has been weakest, down 22 times and the last five straight. The week after monthly options expiration leans bearish for NASDAQ over the longer-term with an average loss. In recent years the track record had been improving until 2015’s across the board, greater than 2% loss.
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  10. bigbear0083

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    S&P 500's Best and Worst Performers During a Monster Week
    Mon, Jul 17, 2023

    After weaker-than-expected inflation data inflated the prices of just about every financial asset, there were some very big winners by the end of last week. The table below lists the 20 top-performing stocks in the S&P 500 last week, which includes eight stocks that rallied more than 10%. Double-digit gains are typically considered very good for an entire year, so when large-cap stocks move that much in a week, it's impressive. Topping the list, shares of Match (MTCH) gained nearly 14% followed by DR Horton (DHI), Domino's (DPZ), and MGM Resorts (MGM). Among these four top performers and the other stocks listed, it is a somewhat eclectic group of stocks. One well-represented group on the list is the homebuilders. Along with DHI, Lennar (LEN) and Pulte (PHM) both also made the list. In terms of YTD returns, though, last week's biggest winners weren't solely the ones that have been rallying all along or the losers playing catch up; there was actually a little bit of everything. Three of the stocks listed (Etsy, Newell, and Sealed Air) are still down by double-digit percentages YTD while four (Pulte, Align, salesforce, and Monolithic Power) are up over 50%! Besides those extreme movers, there are also a few stocks that merely had single-digit YTD percentage gains before last week's spikes higher. One thing that just about all of these stocks have in common now, though, is that they headed into this week at short-term overbought levels of a varying degree.

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    In total, there were just 88 stocks in the S&P 500 that declined last week, and only 53 of those fell more than 1%. Of those 53 stocks, the table below lists the 20 worst performers which all fell more than 3%. This is also an eclectic group in terms of both their lines of business and their YTD performance heading into the week. The only stock down by double-digit percentages was Progressive (PGR) which now makes it down on the year as well. Right behind PGR, shares of Carnival (CCL) fell 9.5%, but unlike PGR, it's still up by over 100% YTD. Besides CCL, two other cruise operators (Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean) also sank during last week's rising tide, but they have also seen huge rallies on a YTD basis. Financials are another sector that was well-represented on last week's loser list. Besides PGR, State Street (STT), Allstate (ALL), Northern Trust (NTRS), Bank of NY Mellon (BK), and Travelers (TRV) all bucked last week's bullish trend. Unlike just about all of last week's winners which are now overbought, many of the week's worst performers are still trading within normal ranges of their 50-day moving averages.

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  11. bigbear0083

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    Reality Check for Housing Starts
    Wed, Jul 19, 2023

    After a blockbuster report for May where Housing Starts and Building Permits both surged, there was a bit of a reality check in June. While Building Permits were expected to come in at 1.50 million, the actual reading came in at 1.44 million representing a 3.7% m/m decline and a drop of 15.3% y/y. One positive of this report, though, was that single-family units actually increased 2.2% and are only down 2.7% y/y even as multi-family units plunged 12.8% m/m and over 30% y/y. With respect to Housing Starts, the headline reading also missed estimates by 46K (1.434 mln vs 1.480 mln). Not only did June's reading miss forecasts, but May's reading was revised lower, so that the originally reported 231K beat was more like 159K. Even after that downward revision, though, Housing Starts declined 8.0% m/m and 8.1% y/y.

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    Following May's report, we noted that the 12-month moving average of Housing Starts had broken its streak of 12 straight declines, but this month, the moving average resumed its downtrend and fell to its lowest level since February 2021. Similarly, the 12-month moving average for Building Permits declined below 1.49 million for the first time since December 2020 and posted its 11th straight decline.

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    Taking a longer-term look at the 12-month moving average for Housing Starts, it remains in its well-established downtrend. As shown in the chart below, prior periods where this average peaked and started to rollover usually preceded recessions.

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    A comparison of Housing Starts versus the performance of homebuilder stocks is a perfect example of how the market tends to trade in advance of events. Just as homebuilder stocks peaked four months ahead of the peak in Housing Starts, they bottomed five months in advance of the recent low in the three-month moving average.

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  12. bigbear0083

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    August Can Be Challenging in Pre-Election Years
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    Money flows from harvesting made August a great stock market month in the first half of the Twentieth Century. It was the best DJIA month from 1901 to 1951. Now it is the worst DJIA and second worst S&P 500, NASDAQ, Russell 1000, and Russell 2000 month over the last 35 years, 1988-2022 with average performance ranging from 0.1% by NASDAQ to a –0.9% loss by DJIA. Last year, DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ, and Russell 1000 all declined over 4% in August.

    Contributing to this poor performance since 1988; the second shortest bear market in history (45 days) caused by turmoil in Russia, the Asian currency crisis and the Long-Term Capital Management hedge fund debacle ending August 31, 1998, with the DJIA shedding 6.4% that day. DJIA dropped 1344.22 points for the month, off 15.1%—which is the second worst monthly percentage DJIA loss since 1950. Saddam Hussein triggered a 10.0% slide in August 1990. The best DJIA gains occurred in 1982 (11.5%) and 1984 (9.8%) as bear markets ended. Sizeable losses in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2022 of over 4% by DJIA have widened its August average decline.

    In pre-election years since 1950, Augusts’ rankings improve modestly: #8 DJIA, #9 S&P 500, #10 NASDAQ (since 1971), #11 Russell 1000 and #10 Russell 2000 (since 1979). Average performance in pre-election years is positive except for Russell 2000. However, all five indexes have declined in August during the last three pre-election years, 2019, 2015 and 2011. It would appear, August’s pre-election year advantage is fading.
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  13. bigbear0083

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    1st 8 or 9 Days of August Weaker Pre-Election Years
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    First eight or nine trading days of August have exhibited weakness while mid-month has been better. This pattern holds in pre-election years with greater magnitude (dashed lines). Note the bullish cluster from August 15 through 17. This strength is visible above on trading days 11, 12 and 13. The end of August tends to be softer when traders evacuate Wall Street for a summer finale. The last five days were generally bearish from 1996 to 2013 but have been positive in seven of the last nine years. In 2022, S&P 500 dropped 4.5% in the last five trading days of August. S&P 500 has also only been up nine times on the penultimate day of August in the past 27 years.
     
  14. bigbear0083

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    August’s First Trading Day Weak Last 25 Years
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    On page 90 of the Stock Trader’s Almanac 2023, it is shown that the first trading days of each month combined have produced an outsized share of the market’s overall gains. However, the first trading day of August does not contribute to this phenomenon ranking worst among other First Trading Days in the 2023 Almanac. In the upcoming 2024 edition of the Almanac August’s first trading day is second worst (December is worst). In the past 24 years DJIA has risen just 32.0% (up 8, down 17) of the time on the first trading day of August. Several sizable gains in those up years, have mitigated the average first day percent change, but the median performance is a more sizable loss. Over the past 12 years, DJIA and S&P 500 have both declined 9 times.
     
  15. bigbear0083

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    Small Dent to Claims
    Thu, Aug 3, 2023

    Initial jobless claims have been trending lower over the past couple of months, reaching a nearly six month low of 221K last week. This week, claims rebounded rising 6K to 227K. Albeit off the strongest readings from last fall, that remains a healthy reading on joblessness.

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    On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, claims are at historically solid levels even if they have come off their best levels. This week, claims dropped to 205K. That is slightly above the readings from the comparable weeks of the year of the past few years (excluding 2020 and 2021 when claims were much more elevated).

    At this point of the year, claims falling is normal as shown in the second chart below. The current week of the year has only seen claims rise week over week 10.7% of the time. That is the sixth most consistent week of declines of the year. Claims will continue to face seasonal tailwinds in the weeks ahead, but that will begin to reverse as summer turns to fall.

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    Continuing claims also ticked higher in the latest week's data, reaching 1.7 million. Although higher than 1.69 million the previous week, continuing claims have much more consistently been trending lower recently, and this week's reading did in fact come in below forecasts of 1.705 million.

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  16. bigbear0083

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    August Monthly Option Expiration Week: DJIA Down 13 of Last 18
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    Mid-August has historically better performing than the beginning and the end of the month. This strength is punctuated with a streak of bullish days this week from Tuesday to Thursday. In the annual Stock Trader’s Almanac, a bullish day is defined as a trading day in which the S&P 500 has risen greater than or equal to 60% of the time over the last 21 years.

    Unfortunately, this bullish cluster has not always resulted in full-week gains during August’s monthly option expiration nor does this daily bullish streak guarantee market gains on each day. DJIA and S&P 500 have declined on August option expiration day eight times in the last thirteen years. Full week performance has been mixed over the longer-term. S&P 500 and NASDAQ lean bullish with more weekly gains than losses while DJIA has the opposite record, more weekly losses than gains.
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  17. bigbear0083

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    September No Relief in Pre-Election Years for Worst Month
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    Start of the business year, end of summer vacations, and back to school made September a leading barometer month in first 60 years of 20th century, now portfolio managers back after Labor Day tend to clean house. Since 1950, September has been the worst performing month of the year for DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ (since 1971), Russell 1000 and Russell 2000 (since 1979).

    September was creamed four years straight from 1999-2002 after four solid years from 1995-1998 during the dot.com bubble madness. More recently, S&P 500 has been down in six of the last nine Septembers. September gets no respite from positive pre-election year forces.
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    Although the month used to open strong, S&P 500 has declined nine times in the last fifteen years on the first trading day. With fund managers tending to sell underperforming positions ahead of the end of the third quarter there have been some nasty selloffs near month-end over the years.

    Recent substantial declines occurred following the terrorist attacks in 2001 (DJIA: –11.1%), 2002 (DJIA –12.4%), the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 (DJIA: –6.0%), U.S. debt ceiling debacle in 2011 (DJIA –6.0%) and in 2022 (DJIA –8.8%).
     
  18. bigbear0083

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    Wednesday before Labor Day Best, Friday Weakest
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    In recent years, Labor Day has become the unofficial end of summer and the three-day weekend has become prime vacation time for many. Business activity ahead of the holiday was more energetic in the old days. From 1950 through 1977 the three days before Labor Day pushed the DJIA higher in 23 of 28 years.

    Since then the days leading up to the long weekend have become less bullish. In the last 21 years, Friday has been the weakest on average with declines across all four indexes. However, Wednesday has outperformed over the years with DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ, and Russell 2000 all up two-thirds of the time or better. Average gains on Wednesday range from 0.40% by DJIA to 0.67% by Russell 2000.
     
  19. bigbear0083

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    Sentiment Stays Down
    Thu, Aug 31, 2023

    Although the S&P 500 has risen 3.25% in the past week, sentiment has seen little in the way of recovery from the substantial increase in bearish sentiment earlier this month. The AAII's weekly sentiment survey saw bullish sentiment rise just 0.8 percentage points week over week to 33.1%. While that is a few percentage points below the historical average of 37.5%, bullish sentiment is above the consistently weak range of readings observed from early 2022 through this past spring.

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    Bearish sentiment, on the other hand, was slightly lower falling to 34.5% this week. Like bullish sentiment, that is a few percentage points off the historical average of 31%.

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    The inverse moves to bullish and bearish sentiment means the bull-bear spread was modestly higher this week. However, that increase was not enough to lift it back into positive territory meaning bears outnumbered bulls in back to back weeks for the first time since the end of May and first week of June.

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    Factoring other sentiment surveys echo the recent turn toward bearish sentiment. In the chart below, in addition to the AAII survey we have added the Investors Intelligence and NAAIM Exposure Index readings to create a sentiment composite. This index plummeted in August as increasingly bearish readings were observed across all three surveys. Last week, that bearishness hit a low point of -0.45. Although it has bounced back this week, it is still in negative territory (meaning sentiment is more bearish than what has been the historical average). Just like the bull-bear spread for the AAII survey, that is the first back to back negative readings since May/June.

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  20. bigbear0083

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    September’s First Trading Day Leans Bearish Last 15 Years
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    Even though S&P 500 has been up in 17 of the last 28 years on the first trading day of September, this trend appears to be fading as the S&P 500 has been down nine of the last fifteen first trading days. DJIA’s first trading day performance has experienced a similar trend reversal, also down nine times since 2008. NASDAQ has been modestly stronger recently, but is still mixed, up eight and down seven. Proximity to the three-day Labor Day holiday weekend can dampen trading activity, which could be a factor this year with the first day falling on Friday.