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“You can’t have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time.” – Charles Kettering

Morning stock market summary

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After its first back-to-back gains of the month, the S&P 500 is poised for a lower open despite positive returns in Europe and Asia overnight.  The parade of employment related data for the week kicks off today with the July JOLTS report.  We’ll also get an updated read on Consumer Confidence from the Conference Board at 10 AM.

With just three days left in the month, the Nasdaq and the DJ Utilities Index (Utes) are on pace for a near record wide performance gap through the first eight months of the year. With the Nasdaq up just over 30% and the Utes down nearly 10% YTD, the nearly 40 percentage point gap between the two ranks as the third largest in history (dating back to 1971) trailing the 41.3 percentage point gap from 1991 and just slightly coming up short of the 39.9 percentage point gap in 2020 (August isn’t over yet though).  The divergent performance of the two indices continues what has been a wild ride over the last few years.  While this year has favored the Nasdaq, last year Utes outperformed the Nasdaq by a record amount.

A relative strength chart of the two indices really highlights the roller coaster highs and lows of the last three years.  Despite this year’s massive outperformance of the Nasdaq, its relative strength versus the Utes is still well off its 2021 high.

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