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“History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” – James Joyce
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Equity futures have been whipping around all over the place this morning. After some relatively steep declines overnight, this morning’s announcement from the Bank of England to buy long-dated government securities has put some temporary support in the market causing interest rates to pull back from their overnight highs and equity futures to rally. How long this reprieve lasts remains to be seen, but market participants will take any break they can get these days. On one positive note, we would note that from a historical perspective at least, over the last ten years, the upcoming three-month period for equities has been better than any rolling three-month period of the year.
Buying equities during the throes of a bear market can be a humbling experience, and never has that been more true than in 2022. The chart below shows the percentage of time that the S&P 500 tracking ETF (SPY) has traded higher on the day versus the period day’s close in each year of its existence. Since its inception in 1993, there have only been seven prior years where SPY traded higher on the day less than half of the time, but this year’s current pace of 43.8% is easily the lowest reading since SPY’s inception. The forces of gravity on stock prices haven’t been this strong or consistent in at least 30 years.
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