Showing posts with label dull. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dull. Show all posts

Friday, November 15, 2019

Stocks Remain In Slumber Zone for Fourth Straight Session

The slowdown continues...

Rather, this is what happens when humans make poor decisions, over and over again, allowing computers to do most of the decision-making on trading. Now you're stuck between a rock and a hard place.

The rock: China's refusal to concede on many points in a trade deal.

The hard place: US insistence that a deal is "close."

This has been going on for months, about 16 to be precise, and stocks have been whipsawed in either direction depending on what the algos are going to interpret as good and/or bad news.

The latest, by presidential economic advisor and former financial talk show host, Larry Kudlow, has futures pointing higher prior to Friday's opening bell. But, we've seen this picture before. By he end of the day, there won't be a deal, and the Chinese will issue forth a press announcement that they don't agree to this or that or anything, maybe, and stocks will erase the gains they've made.

Count on it.

Judging by the figures below for Thursday's session, markets - outside of bonds - were essentially flat for the fourth consecutive day. Money Daily's headline yesterday, that this was about a dull a market as has ever been, was confirmed on Thursday.

Will Friday be any different, and, does it matter?

The chances that Friday will be different, and that stocks will find some direction, are good. It's an options expiration day, which usually adds some volatility, and it's the end of the week, so the market has those things going for it. On the other hand, there's nothing really new or different upon which to base trades.

As for the bond market, specifically treasuries, a rally is well underway. The selloff that saw yield on the 10-year note go from 1.54% on October 4 to 1.94% on November 8, is reversing course. The benchmark closed out yesterday at 1.82% and appears to have momentum heading into the holiday season. A slow-moving equity market at or near all-time highs (the S&P set another closing high yesterday) isn't helping inspire confidence, so there are many seeking the safety of government bonds.

As we head toward the opening bell in what can only be described as the welcome end to a week of insignificance, it's worth noting that even the phony impeachment hearings on Capitol Hill aren't even making headlines. That speaks volumes about how poorly the news media is perceived and even more about how loathsome our political leaders have become.

OK, you can go back to sleep now...

At the Close, Thursday, November 14, 2019:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 27,781.96, -1.63 (-0.01%)
NASDAQ: 8,479.02, -3.08 (-0.04%)
S&P 500: 3,096.63, +2.59 (+0.08%)
NYSE Composite: 13,392.00, +6.94 (+0.05%)

Thursday, November 14, 2019

This Is About As Dull A Market As There Ever Has Been

It's been a slow week.

"How slow is it," the crowd chants, Johnny Carson style.

Well, the Dow is up 102 points as of Wednesday's close. That's the good news, and it's about as good as it gets. The NASDAQ, in three sessions, has gained six points, the S&P just under one point, and the NYSE Composite is down 22.75 points.

That's how slow it is.

As for the causes, anybody's guess will do, but the most likely candidates are uncertainty over just about everything, from impeachment hearings in the House of Representatives, to ongoing and increasingly-violent protests in Hong Kong, to backtracking in US-China trade relations, to just plain old vanilla market overbought conditions. It's not like the economy is booming (1.9% 3rd quarter GDP), or that most of the fuel has been courtesy of the Federal Reserve (another $200 billion added to their balance sheet in just the past two months), or that stock buybacks have been responsible for more than 60% of the gains over the past five years (maybe).

There are ample reasons for people to take a look-and-see stance. Just in case nobody's noticed, it's almost the end of 2019, allocations have already been made and funds are sitting on their hands, lest they get burned hitting the BUY button before year end.

If the New York stock exchange shut down for a day or two, or even a week or two, would it matter to anybody but the ultra-wealthy? Probably not, and, since the ultra-wealthy are, ahem, ultra-wealthy, why should they be buying stocks at nosebleed levels anyhow? They're waiting for the next greater fool, so they can sell some of their holdings at nice profits.

Thus, it's a simple assumption to make that if there are few buyers, and ample sellers who are holding out for the best prices, not much is going to happen, and that's why this week has been so slow. Whether that translates into a major downdraft, as many have been predicting once new highs were made last week, or another step up the ladder of success depends largely on news flow, and that hasn't been particularly encouraging of late (see above).

There's an old adage that reads something like, "never short a dull market," which falls a bit short in the logic department. If a market is dull, it obviously is in need of a catalyst to move ahead, move quicker, move at all. Will selling short bring out buyers? Maybe that's the idea, but there's no proof that a dull market is any more prone to melt up than a volatile market. If things are hot, people are buying and selling, brokers are making commissions (well, that's how it used to be), and stocks are going somewhere, up or down, that would seem to be a more dangerous place into which to sell.

There will be short sellers, but, at the present, there doesn't seem to be many eager buyers out there.

This is what happens when nothing happens. You have to write about nothing happening as if there is actually something happening.

Nothing is happening.

At the Close, Wednesday, November 13, 2019:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 27,783.59, +92.10 (+0.33%)
NASDAQ: 8,482.10, -3.99 (-0.05%)
S&P 500: 3,094.04, +2.20 (+0.07%)
NYSE Composite: 13,385.05, -2.57 (-0.02%)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Weekend Wrap: Stocks Stuck In Limbo As Rise In Yields and Oil is Relentless

Anybody looking for volatility on Friday's options expiry was sorely disappointed with the rangebound markets and little change as a dull week came to an even duller finish.

What did move dramatically for the week was bond yields and oil, both of which spiked at the expense of the equity markets, all quite predictable.

As the case for a bear market in stocks continues to grow every day the January 26 high on the Dow of 26,616.71 gets further and further away, so the denial of the Wall Street crowd and pension fund maniacs which know nothing other than stocks, stocks, and more stocks, all the time, everywhere.

As the Money Daily Dow Scorecard below clearly shows, the 30 blue chip stocks were down for the week, though the losses were contained. None of the indices fell by more than one percent, the nearest to that the NASDAQ, with a loss of 0.66%.

Since the early February selloff, stocks have gone exactly nowhere, a point of emphasis for the bears who contend that despite the narrative of "full employment," a growing economy (2-3% is barely keeping pace with inflation; real growth is somewhere in the range of -3 to -5 percent), tax breaks and a strong dollar, undermining the false bravado of the bulls is oil soaring over $71/barrel for WTI crude and notching above $89/barrel this week for Brent crude, plus the 10-year note spiking to 3.11%.

Rising bond yields - which compete with stocks in the relative risk paradigm - and rising fuel prices make a very challenging environment for stock holders, especially those trying to beat the indices, which shouldn't be a tough job, though it has become so as everything is falling and the component parts are falling faster.

Stock pickers may find their task all the more challenging by crowded trades in favored sectors. Tech and consumer non-durables have been hammered recently, but the energy sector has fared much better, up something on the order of 8% on the year. Basic materials have been a disappointment for the most part, and dividend-carrying stocks are, again, barely keeping up with inflation.

It's a no-win market just about everywhere for those who only can go long, so the bears once again have the upper hand.

Dow Jones Industrial Average May Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
5/1/18 24,099.05 -64.10 -64.10
5/2/18 23,924.98 -174.07 -238.17
5/3/18 23,930.15 +5.17 -233.00
5/4/18 24,262.51 +332.36 +99.36
5/7/18 24,357.32 +94.81 +194.17
5/8/18 24,360.21 +2.89 +197.06
5/9/18 24,542.54 +182.33 +379.39
5/10/18 24,739.53 +196.99 +576.38
5/11/18 24,831.17 +91.64 +668.02
5/14/18 24,899.41 +68.24 +736.26
5/15/18 24,706.41 -193.00 +543.26
5/16/18 24,768.93 +62.52 +605.78
5/17/18 24,713.98 -54.95 +550.73
5/18/18 24,715.09 +1.11 +551.84

At the Close, Friday, May 18, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 24,715.09, +1.11 (0.00%)
NASDAQ: 7,354.34, -28.13 (-0.38%)
S&P 500: 2,712.97, -7.16 (-0.26%)
NYSE Composite: 12,717.42, -30.41 (-0.24%)

For the Week:
Dow: -116.08 (-0.47%)
NASDAQ: -48.54 (-0.66%)
S&P 500: -14.75 (-0.54%)
NYSE Composite: -44.40 (-0.35%)

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Dull Market...

As much of the Western Northern Hemisphere falls into a deep freeze (if you think it's cold in the US, try Canada... brrr), stocks seem to be following the trend, frozen into a stuttering somnambulism over the past six trading days.

To get an idea of just how sluggish the market has become, consider the overall range on the Dow since Monday, December 18 - six trading days - has been a mere 155 points. It's been even more severe on the S&P, where, over the same span, the average change has been roughly 3 1/2 points.

The lack of volatility has been a constant throughout the year, though it has been expressed even moreso in the past week, owing to the time of year and exhaustion of traders, many of whom are likely far away from their desks, taking time off to what out the final market days of the year.

Happy Holidays.

At the Close, Wednesday, December 27, 2017:
Dow: 24,774.30, +28.09 (+0.11%)
NASDAQ: 6,939.34, +3.09 (+0.04%)
S&P 500: 2,682.62, +2.12 (+0.08%)
NYSE Composite: 12,821.98, +13.08 (+0.10%)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Stocks continue Doleful, Doubtful Dance On Unchanged

If anyone was thinking that Monday was a dull day for US markets, then Tuesday had to be considered a suitable capper, but only if one were to be looking only at the closing figures.

The Dow - and other major averages - took a deep dive after the opening bell, falling by as much as 145 points inside of the first two hours of trading.

A reversal took place right off the lows, regaining the green shortly after 1:00 pm ET. After that, stocks spent the rest of the session in a slow churn to close modestly in the red for the day, the only average to finish with gains was the NYSE Composite.

Naturally, this kind of two-day non-event gives even the most skeptical investor absolutely nothing upon which to base any trades, either of the buying or selling variety.

Since the markets have recently nodded off into a semi-somnabulatory state, one can only assume... well, nothing.

While the majority of awakened people in the world probably are hopeful for some kind of stimulation, perhaps it is reassuring that Wall Street finds nothing alarming about anything at this juncture.

On the other hand, it is just these kinds of days and weeks of churning about that usually precede gigantic moves, either to the up-or-downside. Anybody's directional guess is equally good right now.

At the close, Tuesday, April 11, 2017:
Dow: 20,651.30, -6.72 (-0.03%)
NASDAQ: 5,866.77, -14.15 (-0.24%)
S&P 500: 2,353.78, -3.38 (-0.14%)
NYSE Composite: 11,473.62, +9.28 (0.08%)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Stocks Flatten Out To Open Week On Dull Trading Day

Talk about a slow news day!

Stocks barely budged on Monday as investors apparently had more than enough on their collective minds to care about trading. The word for the day was "dull."

That's it.

At the close, Monday, April 10, 2017:
Dow: 20,658.02, +1.92 (0.01%)
NASDAQ: 5,880.93, +3.11 (0.05%)
S&P 500: 2,357.16, +1.62 (0.07%)
NYSE Composite, 11,464.34, +18.76 (0.16%)