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“It is better to be roughly right than precisely wrong.” – John Maynard Keynes

Morning stock market summary

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Futures are mixed with a negative bias as the Nasdaq is leading the losses on reports that the Federal government will expand export curbs on certain semiconductors to China.  Apart from China, most global equity markets have been rallying overnight in follow-through from yesterday’s US rally.  Chinese stocks were more subdued and that comes after reports that industrial profits well 18.8% on a YTD basis as the government cited ‘insufficient demand’.  Even after the PBoC intervened in markets overnight, the yuan was under pressure and fell to a seven-month low versus the dollar.

In the US, mortgage applications increased 3% last week, and just in time for the opening bell, Fed Chair Powell will speak at an ECB panel in Portugal at 9:30 AM.

We’ve discussed the rally in the Nasdaq a lot in recent days, and through the fourth to last trading day of the first half, it is up 29.5% which ranks as the third-best first-half performance through this point in the first half trailing only the 39.6% rally in 1983 and the 44.3% surge in 1975.  If there’s one thing we’re confident of, it is that this year won’t overtake those two years between now and the end of the week.  As wild as this year’s first half seems, it’s even crazier when you consider the fact that last year’s performance through this point in the year was the second worst in the Nasdaq’s history.

Given the strong gains so far, we were curious to see how the Nasdaq performed in the last three trading days of the first half after rallying 10% YTD.  In the 24 prior years when the Nasdaq was up by double-digit percentages YTD heading into the last three trading days of the first half, its median rest of month performance was a gain of 0.89% with positive returns 79.2% of the time.  That’s a pretty impressive three-day average, but compared to all years in the Nasdaq’s history, it’s actually right in line with the norm.

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