It’s no surprise here that the month of August was weak for the overall stock market. Despite the current economic backdrop historically August tends to underperform compared to the rest of the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (see chart here) last month closed down over 1000 points and the S&P 500 (see chart here) closed below the 4000 mark. The Nasdaq Composite (see chart here) gave up over 500 points and the small-cap Russell 2000 (see chart here) pulled back slightly. That being said and considering the current headwinds we are facing I believe stocks held up pretty well.
Now that we are in September and from a seasonal perspective especially with mid-terms approaching, I anticipate volatility to continue. There is also a possibility that vol will accelerate. Looking at the current backdrop, we have a Federal Reserve that continues to raise interest rates, corporate earnings are stagnating and the political situation in our country is nothing to be proud of now. Taking all of these factors into consideration, plus the constant flow of negative news, August could off sold off a lot more. Out of all these dynamics I prefer to tune out most all of the noise and really study how the Federal Reserve is navigating itself through this cycle. To me it is this entity that swings the biggest bat on how the markets move. As you know by now, I also pay attention to the technical shape of the key indexes.
Speaking of the technical shape of the market, let’s take a look. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (see chart here) is trading below its 20 day, 100 and 200 day moving averages. The S&P 500 (see chart here) is also experiencing a technically weak pattern as is the Nasdaq Composite (see chart here) and the Russell 2000 (see chart here). Again, no surprise here but I did notice the markets today appeared to find some support. For the markets the dog days of summer are almost over, but I think we all need to buckle up between now and the mid-terms because I do expect volatility to continue.
Good luck to all and have a great and safe Labor Day Holiday!