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“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes.” – Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence

Morning stock market summary

Below is a snippet of commentary from today’s Morning Lineup. Start a two-week trial to Bespoke Premium to view the full report.  

S&P 500 futures are unchanged as we type this, and Dow and Nasdaq futures are also barely on either side of the unchanged line. That follows what was a positive night in Asia and morning in Europe. In Asia, China was the only country that traded lower as the Caixin Services PMI came in more than two points weaker than expected (51.2 vs 53.4). In Japan, the Services PMI was also weaker than expected but much closer to expectations (49.4 vs 49.8) while India’s PMI for the sector was slightly better than expected and firmly in expansion territory (60.5 vs 60.4). In Europe, all major equity benchmarks are in the green following a stronger-than-expected services sector PMI for the entire region, although Germany’s reading was weaker than expected.

There’s a lot of economic data on the calendar today, but the only reports released so far are the ADP Employment report and jobless claims.  All of these reports were modestly weaker than expected which has caused some downward bias in futures, but the 10 AM reports on the Services sector and Durable Goods could move things further.

For those of us who will be working on Friday, we looked at historical market performance on July 5th.  The chart below shows the performance of the S&P 500 every July 5th that the market was open since 1954 (when the five-day trading week in its current form first started).  Overall, the day after our nation’s birthday, the S&P 500’s median performance has been a fractional gain of just 0.092% with positive returns only 58% of the time, so it’s not too much of a positively biased trading day.

This July 5th is also a Friday, and Fridays after a holiday are notoriously illiquid given the propensity to extend the weekend to four days.  In the chart below, the bars shaded in dark blue indicate days when July 5th fell on a Friday.  Of those nine days, the upside bias has been stronger with a median gain of 0.40% and gains two-thirds of the time.

Illustrating the potential illiquidity of these days, the largest daily decline and gain both occurred on July 5th Fridays. Ironically, the worst was in 1996 when the S&P 500 was up over 10% heading into July 4th and fell 2.2% on July 5th while the best day was in 2002 when the S&P 500 was down 16.3% heading into the July 4th holiday but then rallied 3.7% the next day. Whatever the market’s direction this Friday, a lot will depend on how the June Employment report shakes out. Don’t forget about that!

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