Daily Market Update – March 26, 2015 (8:00 AM)
Yesterday’s near 300 point sell-off was for no discernible reason and that can never leave you with a good feeling.
It was another example of the disconnect seen over the past month between the pre-open futures trading and the manner in which the day’s trading later on would unfold. Almost without exception the early morning indicators have indicated nothing. Jumping in at the market open hasn’t been a good strategy of late.
This morning may be a counter to that disconnect as the early pre-open futures trading is decidedly negative, approaching a triple digit loss to begin the day, although the gap has been slowly improving.
These days that’s just a moderately negative opening, but the more pronounced the futures trading, whether higher or lower, the more likely you’re going to see it replicated when the regular session opens.
If that’s the case this morning the trend began with Tuesday’s closing as a decent gain heading into the closing hour was all lost and that selling has just continued for now.
As always, just like when you’re a kid, it’s much easier to learn your lesson when there’s a clear explanation available.
But whatever it is that has accounted for the selling pressure the past few days hasn‘t been clearly presented.
Based on what little economic data has been released this week it’s hard to make either a bullish or bearish case and it’s hard to adopt a good news is good news or good news is bad news kind of mentality.
Tomorrow still holds the GDP release, but it’s hard to imagine what it would hold that hasn’t already shown up in some other form in such things as Retail Sales Reports, Durable Goods, Home Sales and other measures of the economy.
With the losses of the past few days the prospects of assignments this Friday become more distant so the hope is for rollovers, but even those become increasingly unlikely as the market continues lower.
The one shining light, just as it previously was a beacon of darkness, has been the energy sector this week. If you hold shares in those companies, then your performance this week is better than the averaged are indicating, but those still have a long way to go to start earning some respectability again.
For today, there’s not likely to be too much to do as it’s rarely a good idea to get too much ahead of momentum when there’s an entire market behind that move. While I often like to get ahead of momentum on an individual stock those are often easier to halt than when the whole market is on the move.
Any other day and I might want to take a look at a stock like SanDisk, which is again taking a dive due to changing guidance, just as it did prior to its earnings report. But with a weakening market in the background, even what look like over-done reactions may be only the beginning, so we sit and watch and may find ourselves ending up asking “what if?”
Hopefully tomorrow’s GDP and maybe some encouraging words from Stanley Fischer, who’s on center stage again, may at least give investors some reason to believe that a better economy awaits and will be the kind that can sustain moderate growth for a while to come.