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Market Commentary

July 22, 2019

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Stocks opened slightly higher on Friday but peaked quickly and started to fade as the day wore on.  Some concerns hit the Street after reports of Iran seizing a British oil tanker hit the wire, and with the weekend looming, it seemed like a good reason for investors to lighten up late in the day.  The indices closed at the lows of the day with the Dow falling 69-points, while the broader market indexes saw steeper losses, but the Transports bucked the trend and closed with a moderate gain.

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As the calendar suggested, the latter half of July is not always as friendly to stocks as the first half and on queue, both the C and S funds posted losses of over 1% for the week.  Now it's another post options expiration week, which have an even more negative bias compared to pre-options expiration week.  It will also be a heavy week for earnings with more than 25% of S&P 500 companies reporting including big names like Facebook, Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Boeing, and Starbucks.  And it's the final full week before the Fed makes their decision on rate cuts next Wednesday, so there is no lack of catalysts out there, as opposed to much of June where the market was rallying on speculation, so it's time for the market to live up to expectations, or pay a possible "sell the news" price. 

We get a GDP reading on Friday, and with the Fed decision on rates just a few days after that, it could be an important report.  Estimates are looking for a gain of 1.8% for the second quarter.  That's after a 3.1% gain in the first quarter, which is obviously one of the concerns for the Fed.

After some back and forth comments from Fed members, the Fed Funds Futures are now less enthused about the possibility of a 0.50% cut as it is now predicting only a 22% chance of 50-basis points.  That was above 60% earlier in the week.  They are predicting a 78% chance of a 0.25% cut.

Both the NYSE and Nasdaq gave Hindenburg Omen signals last week.  We'll talk more about this in the TSP Talk Plus report.

The S&P 500 (C-fund) looked to be on the way to adding to Thursday's positive reversal and rally, but things slowed down as soon after the opening bell rang, as the highs of the day were made in those first few minutes of trading.  Now we have a negative reversal day on the chart, and the S&P 500 is flirting with some key short-term support near 2975.  There is still a meaningful open gap down by 2945.


The weekly chart of the S&P 500 shows that negative reversal with the index closing at the lows of the week.  This has more weight than the daily chart but it's that 2975 level that looks key here as well.


The DWCPF (S-fund) was down on Friday as it continues to dance below that May high.  The rising support line off the lows has broken so watch that 20-day EMA (green) to be key support now.


The Dow Transportation Index had another good day as it tried to gain back the losses from Wednesday's big down day.  It remains in a rising trading channel above the 200-day EMA, but there was another negative kangaroo tail created, and the prior two preceded some negative follow-through.


The price of oil was up on Friday, but with all that was going on in the Strait of Hormuz, you would have expected a bigger jump.  It remains in an awful looking chart so that should be interesting to watch, especially if the conflict escalates.


The EFA (I-fund) was down slightly but with the dollar rallying and the late selling in U.S. stocks on Friday, it may have some headwinds today.


AGG (Bonds / F-fund) was down a bit on Friday after a couple of nice up days.  There is still an open gap slightly above the current level but if the downside continues there isn't a whole lot of support below.


Read more in today's TSP Talk Plus Report.  We post more charts, indicators and analysis, plus discuss the allocations of the TSP and ETF Systems.  For more information on how to gain access and a list of the benefits of being a subscriber, please go to: www.tsptalk.com/plus.php

Thanks for reading.  We'll see you back here tomorrow.

Tom Crowley

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