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“We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return.” – Queen Elizabeth II
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The quote above from Queen Elizabeth was from a speech in the early days of COVID, and with life getting back to ‘normal’ in most western economies, she was definitely right. The Queen’s comments from two years ago can also be attributable to the current market environment. 2022 hasn’t been enjoyable, and it’s more likely than not that investors will still have further volatility and losses to endure, but better days will come, even if – like COVID – those better days take longer than expected to return.
It’s been a busy morning of economic data today with ADP Employment missing expectations and showing the smallest level of job growth since April 2020. Unit Labor Costs were also revised more than a full percentage point higher, while the revision of Non-Farm Productivity showed a slightly less negative number. Jobless Claims were also just released, and on both an initial and continuing basis, the reported readings were lower than expected.
Heading into this morning’s data, futures were already higher, but they’ve given up some of those gains as interest rates ticked higher following the releases.
In today’s Morning Lineup, we discuss recent trends in the oil market (pg 4), activity in Asian and European markets (pg 4), and selected economic data from Asia and Europe, and the US (pg 5).
When it comes to semiconductors, we typically focus on the group’s relative strength versus the S&P 500 as a leading indicator for the broader market. This morning, however, we wanted to highlight the actual price chart of the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX). The group has been a steady outperformer in recent weeks, and unlike the major averages which are nowhere near their 50-day moving averages (DMA), the SOX has actually traded above that level in each of the last three trading days. The only problem is that it also closed below that level all three times. In market downtrends, declining moving averages often act as resistance, so the failed rallies of the last three days leave the bulls somewhat discouraged.
We were curious to see how common it is for the SOX to repeatedly run into resistance at its 50-DMA, so the chart below shows streaks where the index traded above its 50-DMA intraday but finished the day below that level. The current streak of three trading days is the longest streak since August 2018, and to find a longer streak you have to go all the way back to August 2007. While the current period has often been compared to the early 2000s, bulls can take some solace in the fact that there was never a similar streak in the years from 2000 through 2003.
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