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“The pilots I worked with in the aerospace industry were willing to put on almost anything to keep them safe in case of a crash, but regular people in cars don’t want to be uncomfortable even for a minute.” – Nils Bohlin

Morning stock market summary

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There’s not a lot going on in equity futures this morning.  Overnight, Asia saw mixed trading as Europe is modestly higher.  Notable economic data released overnight included a weaker-than-expected inflation reading in China where CPI was unchanged on a y/y basis versus forecasts for growth of 0.2%.  In Europe, the July Sentix Investor Confidence Index fell more than expected.  There’s not a lot of US data this morning, but there are several Fed officials scheduled to speak (yay).

The second half of 2023 started a week ago, but with a shortened session Monday and a market holiday Tuesday, it wasn’t much of a week even if there was some important ISM and employment-related data.  All that can be considered a dress rehearsal for a big and full week of trading as we’ll get CPI on Wednesday, PPI Thursday, and the unofficial start of earnings season on Friday when the big banks like Blackrock (BLK), Citi (C), JPMorgan (JPM), and Wells Fargo (WFC) all report.  In the words of Nils Bohlin, the Swedish engineer who was granted the patent for the three-point seatbelt back on this day in 1962, “Don’t forget to buckle up.”

One area where investors are used to being buckled up is in the bitcoin market where volatility is a fact of life.  Over the last couple of weeks, though, volatility in that market has dampened.  Over the last two weeks, bitcoin’s maximum intraday high was just over $31,500 versus an intraday low of just over $29,500 working out to a range of 6.7%.  As shown in the chart below, that narrow of a range in the price of bitcoin has been somewhat uncommon over the last six years or so.  It’s a small sample size, but the only period where a sharp sell-off immediately followed this type of narrow range was in late 2018.

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