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“We’re not retreating, we’re advancing in reverse” –Skulduggery Pleasant, Playing with Fire by Derek Landy

After three tough days for US stocks where the Nasdaq has declined 10%, it has quickly turned into a tough September for US equity markets.  This morning the picture for futures looks brighter, but the move has little in the way of a catalyst behind it, so traders aren’t exactly trusting the move at this point.

On the economic front, the only US report on the calendar is the July JOLTS report, but given it’s looking back at July, it shouldn’t have too much of a market impact.

Be sure to check out today’s Morning Lineup for a rundown of the latest stock-specific news of note, an analysis of Japanese Machine Tool Orders (a positive report), market performance in the US and Europe, trends related to the COVID-19 outbreak, and much more.


Back at the end of August, we noted that a lot of equity indices and sectors were showing returns for the month of August that would normally be considered good years.  September is now just five trading days old and returns this month have already in many cases been the equivalent of an entire bad month or in some cases even a bad year.

The Nasdaq 100’s 8%+ decline in just five trading days so far this September includes two trading days with gains to start the month off.  To put this move in perspective, for an entire calendar year, the last time the Nasdaq 100 dropped over 8% was in 2008.  Other indices covering the US equity markets have ranged from a 5% decline for the Russell 1000 to a loss of 3.12% for the Dow.

In the growth versus value matchup, value, for a change, has had the upper hand as ‘cheaper’ stocks outperform growth across all three market cap ranges.

Among individual sectors, Tech has led the way lower (-8.7%) followed by Energy, which is the only other sector down 5%.

In international markets, most countries have outperformed the US month to date so far, and Brazil has actually managed a gain of 1.7%.

One trend to note about performance so far in September is that it has essentially been the opposite of what we have seen since the March lows.  In other words, the best performing ETFs from 3/23 through now have also been among the worst-performing ETFs since the start of September.

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