Market Briefing For Wednesday, Nov. 23

Stormy seas - challenged the Pilgrims, unsure if they'd encounter Plymouth or land hard on the rocks. It slightly correlates to the stock market, as many debate the prospects of a 'seasonally typical' year-end rally ... or a shipwreck.

Right now investors expect to hear the continuity of more-restrictive monetary policy in the FOMC Minutes coming Wednesday, but that's already presumed based on the Fed-head comments peppering market waves of recent days.

Hence the debate over hard versus soft(er) landing prevail, while consumers, to a degree, are already telegraphing their 'pressure', note last nights graphic references to increased revolving and credit card debt utilization increases.

Meanwhile, lots of stocks are rudderless in these stormy seas, with big-caps trying to stabilize and lead the S&P and DJIA to challenge resistance barely above current levels, while small-caps that are still down, generally are tossed around like small boats in a hurricane. This is the contrast of buyers hopeful a few of them will thrive and revive in the new year, while the very same stocks are suffering from tax-loss selling. Hence many have little net overall change.

Consumer Discretionary stocks have clawed-back a little, the Yield Curve has screamed another recession is around the corner, but we've already had that in many aspects (hidden by some of the Federal spending and other factors), but I just call it double-dip risk. A seasonal tailwind here for S&P may help just a bit, but not expecting anything terribly dramatic from it. Might even set-back a bit in early December, only to revive with a late-year rally thereafter.

There's of course no such 'actual' thing as a Santa Claus rally, but there is the removal of the heavy snow-boots from the jugular of the market that is likely a help to the most downtrodden, especially those with low or no debt issues.

In-sum: there's lots of logic to counter upside S&P ideas, however even if the advances are sort of 'capped', and there are other shoes to drop so to speak, surprises are possible 'either way' (including peace negotiations). While this rebound is sort of stale (per our projected 'erratic complex bottom' of the prior months), frustrating at times, it's still ongoing as it thrusts to key resistance.

Passive investing helped the S&P (SPX) move with requisite money manager action in the Indexes. As Tuesday evolved, a handful of smaller stocks showed life, and this overall behavior is 'as outlined' likely ahead of a Thanksgiving pause.

On Wednesday we get the FOMC Minutes from the prior meeting, so we shall see if conditions are changed (probably not) with regard to hawkish views we know, but maybe a bit more discussion about slowing the pace of increase.

Barring some exogenous event, there is 'no' 5-alarm fire coming, other than a fairly alarming day for 'actual' turkeys. The market's turkeys are both stocks in repression still, and a handful of formerly-tasty mega-caps that are overpriced still. Growth expectations have come down, but are not negative, and maybe earnings (boosted by inflation) help avoid a further meaningful breakdown.

In case you wonder about stocks like Chevron (CVX) or Ford (F), we remain favorably inclined to both (even to GM), but while they can advance, none are bargain basement prices, or they already moved up and are essentially core holdings. I suspect stocks like Intel and Texas Instruments will ultimately be fine too.

Crude Oil stocks held better than WTI itself, however crude remains in longer term bull market status, as I've outlined overall. (Resistance 100-120, support in the 70's should be solid based on backdrop economics as known for now.)

 With the caveat of holding-one's-breath as FOMC Minutes come out. The suspicion of a post-holiday consolidation or dip before a possible year-end rally remains the general outline, ideally in a favorable way.

The challenge of the 200-Day Moving Average is there, so S&P longer-term trends have to be viewed as well. Our view remains 'active' not 'passive' bias to this market, while some of the Semiconductors have indeed rebounded at the point some pundits were disparaging them 'after' the preceding decline.


More By This Author:

Market Briefing For Tuesday, Nov. 22
Market Briefing For Monday, Nov. 21
Market Briefing For Wednesday, Nov. 16

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