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“As soon as you become complacent your show gets canceled.” – Dick Wolf

Morning stock market summary

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32 years ago today, a new show called “Law & Order” debuted on NBC.  “Law & Order” opened to little fanfare, but it has gone on to become one of the most successful and long-running franchises on TV.  At the peak of linear TV, there probably wasn’t a time of day that the show or one of its numerous spin-offs was not airing somewhere on cable TV, and the famous “dun dun” sound effect has become one of the most recognizable sounds on TV.

When “Law & Order” first aired, the reviews weren’t positive.  The Hollywood Reporter called the show “a program that fails to properly function.”   Based on the initial reviews, it’s hard to imagine that the original episode in 1990 would spawn multiple spin-offs and thousands of hours of content. But like all successful investments, it takes a creative and forward-looking mind to see how something that may look ordinary today can turn into something very valuable down the line. On to the markets…

Inflation is the big indicator to watch today, and consensus expectations had the headline number penciled in at a m/m decline of 0.1% with the core reading rising 0.3%.  The actual numbers were stronger than expected with the headline rising 0.1% while the core reading was double expectations.  Markets were positioned for a weaker print, so the strong number completely reversed (and then some)  the positive tone in equity futures.  It’s hard to remember a time when an 8:30 number caused such a sharp and near-instantaneous reversal in futures.  After official numbers like these, it’s impossible to say that inflation isn’t a problem anymore, but at the same time, it doesn’t change the fact that the pile of secondary indicators showing softening inflation pressures from peaks just a few months ago has really started to pile up.

Just like inflation, breadth has gone from one extreme to the other but in a much tighter timeframe.  Coming off the June lows, we saw extremely positive breadth in the S&P 500.  Then, towards the tail end of the late summer sell-off, breadth turned extremely negative.  The last four trading days, however, have seen breadth reverse again with four straight days of net positive readings in excess of +250 and two positive ‘all or nothing days’ (days where S&P 500 net daily breadth reading comes above +400 or below -400).  Long story short.  It’s been a broad rally.

With two all-or-nothing days in the last week, we wanted to update our chart of occurrences by year.  With 26 so far this year, 2022 is on pace for 37 all-or-nothing days this year, and if that pace comes in, it will rank as the third-highest total since the end of the Financial Crisis and the 7th highest total for all years since 1990.  Although the period before 2000 doesn’t even really count, since all-or-nothing days were so rare back then.

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