Market Briefing For Monday, Oct. 23rd

Clear views ahead are impossible for the moment; given psychology is fully swept-up by the geopolitical issues, which are by no means resolved, even as we are pleased that two Chicago ladies were released by the terrorists.

Ultimately it will be about interest rates and corporate profitability; but not now as the market continues to close on or near the lows daily; and it's primarily in relationship to the 'something bigger' that investors are fearful might 'break'.

Impacts on the market go beyond the war even; and somewhat touched by a realization that the American consumer is not doing as well as some portray; hints of that came from American Express remarks this week (there I blame their deal with Delta Airlines a bit; since there's just some resulting drainage of customers with a ruckus over treating SkyMiles/Amex members variously).

You don't get a great picture about consumers anyway. How can you with this credit cycle, non-performing sectors, defaulting or slower-pay credit lines and so on, plus the collapse of a couple sectors (real estate brokers and mortgage originators, to put a unique spin on how Housing impacted those in the field).

Market 'X'-ray: cannot scan through the news filter to ascertain how stocks in the new week will respond to big-tech earnings, which may be decent enough but not the determinant factor. News from the Middle East (or related) will be.

Meanwhile, S&P is again poised just above recent lows, and either makes a secondary test of the recent lows (less likely); or breaks those lows, even if only temporarily before turning higher. But again will it be war or no war as the background that will continue to weigh on sentiment and enthusiasm barring a major breakthrough.

The Fed is not likely going anywhere for the moment; seasonals will make this all look good 'down the road', but it's not a bullish year, and it wasn't really. As the 'median stock' has been down within intervening rallies all year; that does matter ... and is an extension of what I described almost two years ago; a very bifurcated market that gave illusions of strength where buybacks in mega-cap stocks allowed 'concentration' into a handful of stocks basically.

So we had more than a 'check-back' in every stock except the mega-caps that are down but can go down more to complete this pattern. However that likely is going to depend on Apple (Apple TV+ takes a hit with 'edgy' programming, since it becomes obvious Tim Cook seems more interesting in placating CCP leaders in Beijing, than Hollywood critics or American viewers).

I'm referring to a dispute with outspoken Jon Stewart, who will no longer be on that streaming service (as an Apple fan of 'gear', iPhone and software, I'll stick with that and Apple TV 'hardware', but cancelled my Apple TV+ account as nothing very interesting; in all fairness I rarely have time to enjoy entertainment programming much). Plus I don't want Beijing censoring what's on US media.

As for stocks, it's momentum and jitters for now. Shakeout ends when the Semiconductor sector; or even just the S&P, wash out and turn higher.  At the moment war dominates trading swings; retaining a broad absence-of-bids psychology.


Bottom line:  So we'll see what the military weekend brings, if anything is evidently clear with regard to how it would impact S&P Monday.

More By This Author:

Market Briefing For Thursday, October 19
Market Briefing For Wednesday, Oct. 18
Market Briefing For Monday, October 16

This is an excerpt from Gene Inger's Daily Briefing, which typically includes one or two videos as well as more charts and analyses. You can follow Gene on Twitter  more

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