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“Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don’t you think?”  – Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Morning stock market summary

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There’s less than 90 minutes until Powell speaks in Jackson Hole, and before anyone leaps to the assumption that the above quote is directed at certain monetary authorities or any of the commentators who will dissect every syllable spoken or even imagined in Jackson Hole today and this weekend… there could be some truth to that, but we’d also note that today marks 84 years since The Wizard of Oz first hit the silver screen, and after the August we’ve had, we could only wish that it was as easy as clicking our heels to get back to the rally of July.

Although it was primarily one stock driving the move yesterday, in early trading it looked like the S&P 500 was going to build on Wednesday’s gain and string together a rally that would take it back above its 50-day moving average (DMA). It didn’t take long for the sellers to step in and ruin the party, though, leaving the S&P 500 with another outside reversal day.

There are a number of different ways to screen for an outside reversal day, but for our purposes we looked at days where the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) had an intraday range of more than 1%, its intraday high was higher than the prior day’s high, the intraday low was below the prior day’s low, and it closed in the bottom quintile of its intraday range (near the lows).  Based on those criteria, yesterday was the fourth outside reversal in the last month.

While outside reversal days like Thursday aren’t particularly uncommon, you rarely see four within a one-month span (21 trading days).  Since SPY started trading in 1993, there have only been four other periods with as many or more, with the most recent being late last April.

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