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“A man is worked upon by what he works on. He may carve out his circumstances, but his circumstances will carve him out as well.” – Frederick Douglass

Morning stock market summary

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Futures are rallying nicely this morning on optimism over a relaxing of COVID restrictions in China, and the gains here follow what has been an overnight rally in risk assets around the globe.  If these gains can hold, it will help to reverse some of the steep losses we’ve seen this week, but we still have to get through the October Non-Farm Payrolls report.  Needless to say, any strength on the jobs or wage front will not be greeted kindly by the FOMC.

Wasn’t November supposed to be a good month for stocks?  We’re only three trading days into it, but already the S&P 500 is down close to 4% (-3.92%) in what ranks as the worst three-day start to a month for the index since August 2019 and the 11th worst start since late 1952 (when the five-trading day week on the NYSE began).  The chart below shows the first three-day performance for the S&P 500 for every month since 1953 and what really sticks out is the fact that all but two of the months that had weaker starts were all since the start of 2000, while the other two were in December 1973 and December 1975.

We’d also note that this month’s poor start followed October’s exceptionally strong start where the index rallied 5.51% in the first three trading days of the month.  That strong start ranked as the 6th strongest three-day starts to a month since 1953.

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