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“Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten-dollar haircut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair.” – Sam Ewing

Morning stock market summary

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For many investors, today’s CPI report for May has been the most anticipated event of the week, so we hope now that the day is here that these individuals have a hobby that they can fall back on once 8:30 comes and goes.  Futures are on either side of the unchanged line heading into the report, so much of today’s performance will hinge on how the report comes in relative to expectations and then what the numbers imply for next Wednesday’s FOMC decision.

In today’s Morning Lineup, we discuss market reaction to yesterday’s ECB decision (pg 4), market activity in Asia and Europe (pg 4), and economic data out of China and Europe (pg 5).

After hovering all morning and in the early afternoon just below the unchanged level, investors rushed for the exits in the last hours of trading yesterday pushing the S&P 500 down over 2%.  Most of those declines came in the last hour of trading as the S&P 500 fell 1.25%, finishing right near the low of the day.

Yesterday’s last hour decline was the sixth last hour decline of more than 1% already this year and the largest last hour decline since January.  Since the start of 2020, there have now been a total of 19 last-hour declines of 1%+.  While there were numerous occurrences in the early days of COVID, there was a full one-year stretch from late November 2020 through November 2021 with no such occurrences. While a sharp sell-off in the last hour of trading brings up fears of “what does the market know that I don’t”, the reality is that next day performance shows no clear-cut trends. Of the 18 prior occurrences since the start of 2020, the S&P 500’s median one-day performance has been a gain of 0.28% with positive returns 55% of the time.

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