Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Everything that appears on this blog is the copyrighted property of somebody. Often, but not always, that somebody is me. For things that are not mine, I either have obtained permission, or claim fair use. Feel free to quote me, but attribute, please. My photos and poetry are dear to my heart, and may not be used without permission. Ditto, my other intellectual property, such as charts and graphs. I'm probably willing to share. Let's talk. Violators will be damned for all eternity to the circle of hell populated by Rosanne Barr, Mrs Miller [look her up], and trombonists who are unable play in tune. You cannot possibly imagine the agony. If you have a question, email me: jazzbumpa@gmail.com. I'll answer when I feel like it. Cheers!

Friday, April 10, 2020

Taking Stock

I've been reporting on stock market activity on my FaceBook page every business day.  I thought yesterday's events warranted a more permanent record, so I'm copying it here.  Today is Good Friday, and the markets are closed.

Thursday, April 9, 2020
Green arrow up
DJI30 Index at the close —- 23,719.37 +285.80 (+1.22%)
The Index opened at 23691, 251 points above yesterday’s close. The high was 24009, and it was approached at 10:00, 1:00 and 1:30. Round number resistance bent, but did not break. The next move was a drop of 500 points to 23504 just before 3:00, followed by a choppy ride into the close. The last move of the day was a gyrating drop of 90 points in the last 25 minutes.
This is a clearly up day, with the hi, lo and close all higher than yesterday’s.
Today’s good news and bad news:
Good - Fed to provide $2.3 trillion to prop up the economy - just what a liquidity fueled, significantly over-valued market needs. 

Covid-19 cases reported to be slowing. We’ll see how well that holds up given, frex - Arkansas and Trump’s great desire to reopen the economy.
Bad - Horrible unemployment numbers, exceeding expectations with over 6 million new claims on top of the over 10 million from the last 2 weeks.
Teenagers spending is off 13% YoY.
Nearly 1/3 of tenants didn’t pay rent this month.
All of this is from the Yahoo Finance news items listed below the stock chart.

 Today’s lo to hi span was 505 points, the lowest since 409 on 2/20. That looked like an outlier at the time, but got swamped from the 24th on. For context, the ten day average then was 207 points. On April Fool’s Day it was 1039. Now it’s 778.

Today’s moves would have looked wildly disjoint as recently as the middle of February. But now it’s the tamest day we’ve seen in 6 weeks. Is this some sort of new complacency? This market is remarkably resilient. And I find that to be frightening.
The breaking news is that with the markets closed tomorrow for Good Friday, the SP500 had it’s best week in 46 years. The Nasdaq had it’s best week since 2008. Hmmm - what happened after that? For the DJI30, it was the best week in 2 weeks! Go figure.

While we’re at it, let’s have a look back 46 years ago to 1974. Context matters. I can’t quickly find S&P data for 1974, but DJI30 should be good enough. The index averaged 4764 in Dec.1973 and 3071 in December 1974, a 46% loss. So that big gain happened in the midst of a brutal bear market and clearly didn’t last long.
But wait - there’s more. The DJI topped at 7785 in Dec ’65 and bottomed at 2145 in July ’82 - a bone crushing 73% decline that took 17 years to play out. So the ’74 bear market was just an episode in a much longer devastating trend that nobody seems to remember today. Here's a link to the chart, and you can play around with the dates, if you’re so inclined.

Historically, most of the largest short term gains - covering a day or a week - have occurred during bear market rallies. These things treacherously offer false hope. I believe this financial exuberance is irrational and the pandemic optimism will backfire horribly. I would love to be wrong.

Stay safe out there. Or, better yet, just stay home.
NYSE Internals
A/D = 2584/422 = 6.12
A/D Vol = 3.52
New Hi/Lo = 12/2 = 6.00

Notes on the graph --

The fine green, blue and red lines indicate daily hi, close and lo values, respectively.
The heavy green line at the top is a projection of the all-time high of Feb12.
The down-slanting channel contains the drop from the all-time high.  It was violated this week, but i kept it for reference.
The horizontal channel indicates sideways motion.  It looked like it was in effect since the bottom on Mar 23. Possibly obsolete now.
The falling blue line is the 233 day EMA.