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“If I’ve made myself clear, I’ve misspoken.” – Alan Greenspan

Morning stock market summary

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It’s a new quarter, and investors hope the clean slate leads to a more positive backdrop for equities.  That being said, with S&P 500 futures indicated 1% higher at the open, it would only erase two-thirds of Friday’s decline, not to mention the losses from the rest of the week.  Along with higher equity futures, oil prices are up around 5% on the news out this weekend of a potential million barrel per day production cut by OPEC+.  Treasury yields are significantly lower this morning as the 10-year yield dipped below 3.70%. On the economic calendar, the big report to watch this morning will be the ISM Manufacturing at 10 AM.  Economists are forecasting the headline number to drop modestly from 52.8 down to 52.4.

Heading into the new quarter, the YTD losses for individual sectors and where they are trading relative to their 50-day moving averages are staggering.  Year to date, four sectors are down over 25% and another three are down over 20%.  Two more are down over 10%, and the 7% decline in Utilities seems like a win at this point.  The only sector in the green YTD remains Energy, and with oil prices higher this morning on reports of an OPEC+ production cut, the sector is poised to add to those gains this morning.

While the YTD declines have been steep, the recent weakness has really put many sectors into deeply oversold territory.  The fact that all but two sectors (Health Care and Energy) are at ‘Extreme’ oversold levels (greater than two standard deviations below 50-DMA) is illustrative enough, but it’s not often that you get seven sectors trading more than 10 percentage points below their 50-day moving averages.

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