In month of June, the key indices witnessed a spike in volatility and their first monthly drop in 2013, however, stocks in the second quarter once again posted impressive gains. In Q2, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) finished up 2.27%, the Nasdaq (chart) +4.15%, the S&P 500 (chart) +2.36% and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) closed the quarter up 2.73%. So far this year these averages are up an eye-popping 13.78%, 12.71%, 12.63% and 15.09% respectively.
As I look back over the past month or so volatility kicked into high gear as the Fed continued to signal that its bond purchases would relent as early as the fourth quarter of this year. Couple that with Japan’s Nikkei index dramatically declining over 20% in less than a month from its recent high, and the gold market (chart) getting taken out to the woodshed with gold having its worst quarter on record, losing over 24% on the quarter. It’s no wonder the key indices retraced in June. In fact, I am surprised that our averages did not decline any further considering all of the facts.
So what now you may ask? How does the second half of the year portend to be? Here is the catch-22. As economic numbers continue to improve, this will give the Fed more reason to begin to lighten up on their bond purchases, hence more market volatility. However, if the economy continue to grow anemically, this will give the Fed the green light to keep stimulating. What’s wrong with this picture though? In my opinion, at some point in time our economy will have to stand on its own two feet and the top line of corporate America will have to show meaningful growth in order for this bull market to continue. We won’t have to wait very long to understand the health and growth prospects of corporate America as Q2 earnings reporting season kicks into gear here in July. That said, as a trader you relish in the opportunities that earnings season provides both on the long and short side. However, make sure to abide by your trading plans, disciplines and always consider using protective stops as part of your plan. Earnings reporting season typically adds to volatility and larger than expected price movements. I bid you good luck.
All the best 🙂