Below are some of our favorite charts from our work this week.  Try Bespoke’s premium research service today to receive our unique stock market charts and analysis in your inbox daily.  Click here to start a one-month trial now!

We started the week noting the steep drop in gas prices that we’ve seen from highs made in mid-June.  While gas prices are indeed down, they’re still up much more than usual year-to-date.  From a seasonal perspective, this is normally a time of year when gas prices are trending lower, so this year’s drop is not out of the norm.  In the chart below, the red line shows this year’s change in gas prices, while the blue line shows the average pattern that gas prices have taken throughout the year going back to 2005.

Gas prices are of course driven by the price of crude oil, and in Friday’s Morning Lineup, we noted that crude oil prices have now fallen back to the level they were at when Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine back in late February:

On Wednesday we wrote about weekly mortgage data that continues to show steep drops in activity.  As shown below, with mortgage rates rising sharply to levels not seen in more than a decade this year, refinancing activity has fallen to its lowest level since November 2000!

Less activity and much higher costs have caused homebuilders to sour on housing.  As we noted in a post on Monday and as shown below, the NAHB’s housing market sentiment index has fallen sharply in recent months to its lowest level since May 2020 just after the pandemic began.

There’s plenty of negative sentiment to go around throughout both the economy and the investment community.  In our weekly post on investor sentiment, we highlighted the chart below that shows streaks of weeks where there have been more bears than bulls in the weekly American Association of Individual Investors survey.  At 16 consecutive weeks, this is the third longest streak over the past 35 years!

We publish detailed analysis of the CFTC’s weekly Commitment of Traders report in our Closer report every Monday (the Closer is only available to Bespoke Institutional subscribers).  The Commitment of Traders report shows how long or short futures traders are on various asset classes based on their positions in the futures market.  As shown below, speculator positioning recently turned extremely bearish on the S&P 500.  These types of indicators are typically viewed from a contrarian lens, but you can read more about this specific indicator in our blog post from earlier in the week.

In good news, the “prices paid” component of this month’s Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing survey saw another sharp drop for July.  While it’s still elevated, this inflation reading has fallen sharply since peaking in April, and signs that inflation has peaked are a key reason why stocks have managed to bounce a bit over the last month or so.  You can read more about this month’s Philly Fed report in our post on the subject from Thursday.

Our Morning Lineup is one of our most popular reports for subscribers.  We’re biased, but we think it’s the best daily pre-market report in existence!  (See for yourself with a one-month Bespoke Premium trial.)  The chart below was highlighted in our Morning Lineup on Wednesday after the Nasdaq ended a streak of over 60 trading days below its 50-day moving average.  Since the Nasdaq was created in the early 1970s, there have only been 18 other streaks of 60 or more trading days below the 50-DMA.  It’s not common, but at least it’s over!

As we close out another hot summer trading week, below is a look at where key US index ETFs stand in their “trading ranges” after the recent surge we’ve seen for stocks.  Usually, after an ETF sees a gain of more than 5% in a one-week span, it’s trading well into “overbought” territory.  But given how depressed the US stock market had gotten heading into July, most of the index ETFs we follow are still trading in “neutral” territory.

Bespoke Premium and Institutional subscribers can use our interactive Trend Analyzer tool that looks similar to the graphic below.  It’s helpful for monitoring indices, sectors, stocks, baskets of stocks, and custom portfolios.  We also cover the concept of “overbought” and “oversold” in our work regularly, so if you’d like to learn more about how we monitor price movements, start a one-month Premium trial today!

Later today we’ll be sending subscribers our weekly Bespoke Report newsletter, so be on the lookout for that in your inbox if you’ve already signed up for your trial.  We hope you have a great weekend!

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