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“He was sitting over there, waiting like a possum for something to happen.” – Joe Torre

Morning stock market summary

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Futures are indicating another weaker open this morning after this morning’s weaker-than-expected ADP Private Payrolls report.  In what is a big week for employment data, we’re currently 0-2 (weaker than expected JOLTS and ADP) with jobless claims on deck tomorrow and the Non-Farm Payrolls report in the hole on Friday.

September 20th, 1998 seemed like just a normal night in Baltimore.  Heading into the last home game of the season, the Orioles were just two games over .500 and out of the post-season with only the Devil Rays separating them from last place.  For most fans, the only reason to go to the game was that they were playing the Yankees who were having one of the best regular seasons of all time and on their way to sweeping the Padres in the World Series.  Plus, it was a good weather night for baseball with temperatures in the high 60s.  What fans heading into Camden Yards that night didn’t know was that they would leave with an unforgettable memory.  No, it wasn’t bobblehead night.  It was even better as one of the most iconic records in sports came to an end as Cal Ripken pulled himself from the lineup and ended his iron-man streak of 2,632 consecutive games.

Compared to the environment three years earlier when Lou Gehrig’s ‘unbreakable’ streak of 2,130 games that stood for 56 years was broken, there wasn’t much celebration around the end of Ripken’s streak.  The Yankees did come out of the dugout to tip their cap to Ripken and the fans gave him a standing ovation and two curtain calls.  But while the whole country watched as Ripken broke the streak in 1995, most Americans didn’t find out about the streak ending until the next morning. The Orioles ended up losing 5-4 as ‘El Duque’ notched his 11th win and the 107th for the Yankees.

In the markets yesterday another record streak ended with even less fanfare than Ripken’s, and chances are that even the morning after, you never even knew about it.  After yesterday’s weak economic data, the 10-year yield finished the day at 3.34% which was its lowest close since early last September, marking the first time that the 10-year Treasury yield closed at a six-month low since – wait for it – August 2020!  That 664-trading day stretch without a six-month closing low in the 10-year yield was the longest streak in the history of the data going back to at least 1962.

Admittedly, this was a much more obscure streak than Gehrig’s ‘unbreakable’ streak that stood in place for 56 years, but this was something that hasn’t been done in at least 61 years.  Also, when you think about it, a run in the 10-year yield that kept it from closing at a six-month low for nearly three years definitely had more of a real-world impact on the lives of Americans (and people around the world for that matter) than any streak of Gehrig’s, Ripken’s, or anyone else who follows them.

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