Another roller coaster ride for stocks on Tuesday as the market braces for today's policy statement from the Fed. After another bloodbath morning got bought and eventually moved into positive territory for a brief moment, stocks rolled over again closing somewhere in the middle of that high / low range. The Dow was down more than 800 in early trading and up over 200 at the highs, and it closed down a modest 68-points. Bonds were down and the dollar was up slightly.
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We saw another day of gyrating as investors anticipate the Fed's next move, or lack thereof. No one one really expects a rate hike today, but there's currently more than a 90% chance priced in that they will hike 25 basis points (0.25%) at their March meeting. Any hints of anything different, more dovish or hawkish, and we'll see the market go wild again, depending on the policy. The policy statement is scheduled to be released at 2 PM ET.
Microsoft was one the first major market movers to report earnings, and after the bell the stock was trading down about 5% as earnings came in better than expected, but not the normal "beat" that they usually deliver, and right now the market seems to be in the mood to punish imperfections, especially when companies are trading at excessive multiples (P/E ratios.)
Internally it was also a negative day, but maybe not as bad as you'd expect on a day where the S&P was down 1.2%. The new lows in the Nasdaq is not quite as bad as we had been seeing when it was 600 to 800 a day, so maybe Monday's low was a bit of a washout?
The Yield on the 10-year yield was bouncing again as support held twice after the early January breakout. This is going to force the Fed's hand to raise rates, which of course is no surprise at this point.
This chart from sentimenTrader shows what happened after prior times that the S&P 500 reversed up more than 3% off a 6-month low to close positive, as it did on Monday. 1-day later had been down 3 of 5 times in the past and of course yesterday was down 1.2%. 3-days out it was up 4 out of 5 times, which makes to expect some kind of short-term relief rally. But things get worse two weeks to a month out. Of course this was a rare event as it only happened 5 other times going back to the 1970's, so it is a small sample size .
Chart provided courtesy of www.sentimentrader.com
The futures were getting clobbered after Microsoft's earnings release yesterday, nearly doubling the 50+ point loss during regular market hours. That could bleed into today's open but the volatility remains high and with the Fed on deck, you never know how the morning will go. After the policy statement is announced, we should get the usual craziness.
The S&P 500 (C-fund) posted another long kangaroo tail reversal yesterday, but it also closed well off the highs making a spinning top candlestick formation, which is a sign of indecision from traders. Like the positive reversal, a spinning top tends to come near market reversals. That doesn't mean the lows on Monday won't get tested but right now the market seems to be trying to shake out the weaker holders (most fearful) of stocks before taking it up again. It closed below the 200-day EMA.
The DWCPF (small caps / S-fund) was back in that laggard camp after the very impressive reversal on Monday that saw it up nearly 2%. There's good reason to believe that Monday's low was extreme and possibly the low for this leg down, but that doesn't mean another leg down can't come after a big rebound off that recent low. Again, another spinning top that was probably more about indecision than bearishness. If we get a relief rally near 2050 the bears may make another attempt to push it lower, but the top of that channel just above 2100 is also a possibility.
The EFA (I-fund) was due a little today because of not getting Monday's late rally in the U.S. priced in and, although the EFA was down yesterday, Europe's markets all closed sharply higher yesterday as they caught up to the U.S.'s Monday afternoon rally.
BND (Bonds / F-fund) continued their losing ways as the charts backs off after failing at the old support line, which is now acting as resistance.
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