Thursday, March 9, 2017

Stocks Down Third Straight Session As NFP Looms

One would assume that a good jobs number on Friday would be good for stocks, but, as the economy goes, the Fed goes against it, with tightening via a raise in the federal funds rate almost a surety if the NFP number for February comes in strong, as suggested by Wednesday's ADP figure of 298,000 new jobs added in the month.

That's the backwardness of the stock market, fueled almost entirely by cheap credit and share repurchases (buybacks) over the past eight years. In fact, today marks the 8th anniversary of the market bottom in 2009, and its been nothing but accommodation by the Fed and happy talk from the press ever since.

Thus, stocks fell for the third straight session and fourth in five days, with the exception of the NASDAQ, where speculators have still not succumbed to the axe of profit-taking.

In a sign that the narrative may be unraveling, WTI crude oil fell sharply on Wednesday, closing under $50 a barrel for the first time since December after another survey showed massive gluts in crude and distillates. This should transfer into good news for drivers as the spring and summer driving months come into focus with lower prices at the pump.

Oil has experienced a glut of magnificent proportions over the past two years with demand down and supply at or near record levels. The price of +$50 has been fueled largely by speculation, as is everything else in the financial sector. With interest rates set to increase, perhaps the malinvestments and speculative frenzy can abate and true price discovery ensue.

At The Close, 3.8.17:
Dow: 20,855.73, -69.03 (-0.33%)
NASDAQ: 5,837.55, +3.62 (0.06%)
S&P 500: 2,362.98, -5.41 (-0.23%)
NYSE Composite: 11,448.21, -58.11 (-0.51%)

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