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“He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Morning stock market summary

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Futures were modestly higher relative to yesterday’s decline for a little while this morning, but those gains have evaporated almost as fast as yesterday’s decline erased the prior four days of gains.  Yesterday was pretty much a bloodbath in the equity market as not a single stock in the S&P 1500 was up 5%, and only 18 stocks in the entire index of 1500 stocks were even up on the session.  Strangely enough, though, only 12 stocks in the index declined 10%+.  For a day when the index was down over 4%, that’s a surprisingly low number.  we’ve seen more stocks down by 10%+ on days when the broader market was only down 1%.

After yesterday’s hotter-than-expected CPI report, the August PPI was right in line at the headline level with a 0.1% m/m decline and an 8.7% y/y increase.  Stripping out food end energy, the m/m reading was 0.4% compared to expectations for a gain of just 0.3%.  The y/y reading was also higher than expected at 7.3% versus forecasts for an increase of 7.0%.  This report certainly wasn’t as bad as the CPI report, but levels remain stubbornly high.

At the open yesterday, the S&P 500 erased the prior two days of gains, and by the close, it had basically erased the gains of the two days before that.  How’s that for efficiency?  As bad as the sell-off was, the one thing bulls have working in their favor is that the uptrend line off the June lows has held for now.  If that trendline – currently around 3,920 – doesn’t hold today, it won’t be much of a positive backdrop for a time of year that has historically already been among the weakest times of the year.

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