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Market Commentary

May 21, 2024
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 Today's Commentary         (Not seeing a current commentary?)

The Dow was down almost 200-points yesterday, the Nasdaq was up over 100, the S&P 500 was flat. What's happening?  Yields and the dollar were up putting some pressure on equities, yet interest rate sensitive small caps led the TSP funds for the day.

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The start of this post options expiration week gave us more of the same as the end of last week's expiration week trading, so no reversal, but could today could be a Turnaround Tuesday?

I was looking for some kind of big move on Monday, up or down, but I was leaning toward the downside.  We got neither.  Stocks opened higher and it looked like a healthy rally, but it ran out of steam near last week's high and if not for a literal last minute push higher, the S&P 500 could have closed negative.


Here's a two minute chart of the last two days and this shows how close the S&P came to losing all it's gains yesterday.  Technically it's not a negative reversal day because of the gain, but it felt like one.

The strength in the 10-year Treasury Yield contributed to the downside pressure after a 3rd straight gain after finding support at the 200 day average last week.  It filled an open gap with yesterday's move up, and it closed a couple of ticks above the 50-day EMA, but it remains below the overhead descending resistance.


The dollar also moved up but it was a minor move that didn't have much of an influence.

We can only look back to yesterday's action in the world's largest bank, JP Morgan Chase, at some point to know if was a shot heard round the world for the financial system, or if it's just JPM investors worried about Jamie Dimon saying that retirement is on his radar.  It has had a tremendous run this year so keep an eye on whether dip buyers show up or not. 


The Dow Transportation Index was down about a half percent again yesterday, and it fell back below its 50-day EMA and is clinging to the 200-day average, which has been key support and resistance this year.  The general market probably cannot sustain a big rally if its leader starts breaking down again so it needs to hold here.


The market remains buoyant and the question we all have is whether it is getting tired and due for another pullback after the big rally in the first half of May.

We'll get those earnings from Nvidia after the bell tomorrow, and one of the reasons this is so key is that it may be one of the main tells for A-I technology.  Like the internet and the bubble that technology triggered in the late 1990's, A-I could send stocks unreasonably higher as companies buy the hardware and software needed to keep up with the new technology, similar the Y2K hype twenty five years ago.  Nvidia has become the poster child for this new technology.

The S&P 500 (C-fund) tested last week's highs but pulled back after nearing it in early trading.  It remains in a rising channel but in two out of the last three days it closed near its lows of the day after early rallies.  That's not a deal breaker but it is an attention grabber.  I also continue to watch the PMO indicator show much less momentum than the index appears to be producing, and this is a modest red flag.


DWCPF (S-fund) led on the upside today despite the move up in yields.  It has broken some upside support, but that was not sustainable and it could still rally but at a softer angle.  We'll see.  It's had quite a run and it may have used a lot of energy just to get where it was in March. 


The EFA (I-fund) was up slightly yesterday and it has also had a big run, and the dollar was a big catalyst, but lately the dollar is showing a little strength although nothing serious yet.  The longer term chart below shows that there could be some resistance in this current area.


BND (bonds / F-fund) continued to pullback from its recent high but there is some support in the area, so let's see how it reacts to the 71.7 area.


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

Tom Crowley

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S&P500 (C Fund) (delayed)

(Stockcharts.com Real-time)
DWCPF (S Fund) (delayed)

(Stockcharts.com Real-time)
EFA (I Fund) (delayed)

(Stockcharts.com Real-time)
BND (F Fund) (delayed)

(Stockcharts.com Real-time)

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