After posting blistering gains in the month of October, stocks took it on the chin last week and it’s technically looking like more short-term downside could be in the cards. For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) lost 665 points, the Nasdaq (chart) retraced 219 points or 4.3%, the S&P 500 (chart) -76 points and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) closed lower on the week by 53 points or 4.4%.
Seemingly, the start of the selling pressure accelerated when the October labor report came out surprisingly strong. This report was released on November 6th. One could say that this is the main reason stocks have been under pressure. Pundits are now calling with almost certainty that the Federal Reserve has the green light to raise interest rates at their next meeting in December. Couple this will commodity prices continuing to fall, in particular oil, which is down recently almost 10% and you can understand why the markets would be under pressure. Or could it be the simple fact that October saw almost 10% gains across the board and the key indices were overdue for a pullback. I’d like to add to the mix that the latest round of economic numbers could also be weighing in on investor sentiment. This is evidenced by a weaker than expected retail sales number and weak retail earnings reports issued last week along with a very weak Producer Price Index. Sum all of this up and it’s no wonder the aforementioned indexes closed lower by almost five percent last week. From a technical perspective the key indexes have now breached their respective 200-day moving averages and if you are bullish, you would want to see the markets recapture this key technical support line and return to the uptrend that was intact throughout the month of October.
As the Thanksgiving Day holiday fast approaches, both Paula and I wish everyone a very safe, healthy and Happy Thanksgiving 🙂