Talk about indecisive! After a moderate decline to kick off the week yesterday, US equities have more than erased those losses today. While a pretty big drop in the equity market followed by a big gain isn’t unheard of, when it goes on and on for more than a month, it’s enough to drive you nuts. Ever since early August, investors are being whipped around by a series of contradictory tweets, headlines, and “reports”. One day the trade war with China is at the point of no return. The next day the two sides are talking. It was only a couple of days ago that a peaceful solution to the protests in Hong Kong was almost out of the question. Today, everything is copacetic as CEO Carrie Lam withdrew the extradition bill that caused all the protests in the first place. On some days, Consumer Confidence, Retail Sales, Jobless Claims, etc suggest that a recession is out of the question, but then the next, reports like the ISM Manufacturing sector fall into negative territory.
Where does all the indecision leave us? Since the start of August, the S&P 500 has seen a series of eleven different rallies ranging between 1% and 4%. In between each of those rallies, though, we have seen ten different declines in the range of between 1% and 4% as well. With all the ups and downs, the S&P 500 finds itself trading at a level right around 2,930, which is a level it has crossed above and below on an intraday basis countless times over the last month, and for that matter the last year. We’ve already heard a number of stories about how companies are putting off big investment decisions until issues with trade and the economy start to sort themselves out, and based on the last month, the market has joined them. Start a two-week free trial to Bespoke Institutional to access our interactive market tools and all of our analysis.