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“A day wasted on others is not wasted on one’s self.” – Charles Dickens

Morning stock market summary

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Coming out of a four-week winning streak, bad news out of China has put pressure on stocks to kick off the week.  S&P 500 futures have been trading down over half of one percent this morning, but that weakness comes after a four-week rally of over 10% which took the S&P 500 to ‘extreme’ overbought levels (more than two standard deviations above 50-DMA) to close out last week.

The week kicks off on the economic calendar with the Empire Manufacturing report at 8:30 Eastern and then Homebuilder Sentiment at 10 AM.  Both of these numbers will be for the month of August, so bulls will want to see improvement in both readings to allay any concerns over the health of the economy.

Today’s Morning Lineup discusses earnings and market news from Europe and the Americas, overnight economic data, including the weaker than expected data out of China which prompted a surprise rate cut, and much more.

A lot of people go on vacation in the second half of August, so things often tend to quiet down.  In a perfect world, the slowdown would be accompanied by a period where not much occurs in the markets.  Every so often, though, less liquidity at this time of year can exacerbate the impact of news and cause an exaggerated move in markets.  Usually, the direction is lower.  From a seasonal perspective, the upcoming one-week period has historically been one of the weakest of the year.  Over the last ten years, the S&P 500’s median decline from the close on 8/15 through 8/22 has been a decline of 0.26% which ranks in just the 22nd percentile of all one-week periods throughout the year.  As bad as the upcoming week has tended to be for stocks, the next three months have historically been one of the better periods as the S&P 500’s median gain has been 4.56% which ranks in the 86th percentile of all three-month periods throughout the year.

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