Stocks Stall On February 9 As The Bears Circle The Wagons

Stocks were flat today, with the S&P 500 falling by around 11 bps. Meanwhile, the VIX finished the day trading flat at 21.6.  It was a fairly uneventful day of trading on the index level, with the S&P 500 held in place by a VIX that would not move. For those expecting the VIX to melt, you may have to wait a while longer, I don’t see it happening currently, and that is likely to keep a lid on the S&P 500 pushing higher from here. It will take a move lower in the S&P 500 to lift the VIX for the index to get the required energy to lift the S&P 500 to higher prices.

S&P 500 (SPY)

The S&P 500 closed the day right at the tip of the triangle today. It is getting really tight, and with the VIX where it is, it seems the only way for the S&P 500 to rises, is for volatility to breakdown, and that doesn’t seem to happen. Again, the expectation is for the S&P 500 to decline back to the trend line at 3780.

Yields

Tomorrow could be an important day for bond yields, with the CPI report coming at 8:30. A hotter than expected reading could easily start to push bond yields. But more important is the direction TIPs will decide to go. For the most part, the 10-year TIPS have seen their yields trending sideways, while Treasury yields have diverged higher.

This has caused inflation expectations to surge. We care about inflation expectations because the S&P 500 has been chasing inflation expectations for more than a year now, and where inflation expectations go stocks are likely to follow.

The problem here is that if TIPS start to trade up, and bond yields trade up, and the spread begins to contract, that could have a negative impact on equity prices overall. I talked about this a few weeks back in a video. ( First Two-weeks are free to try RTM – Yields And Inflation Rate May Be Predicting Lower Equity Markets)

Cisco (CSCO)

Cisco is trading lower in the after-hours, after the company reported better than expected top and bottom results, but basically inline guidance. Not good enough, because the stock ran up in anticipation of something good, and as usual Cisco’s guidance didn’t live up to expectations. So the stock is trading lower to around $45.85. I had noted today, that was a lot of put activity in the name leading up to results, and $45.85 was likely to be a support level.  ( For readers of RTM – First two-weeks free to try – Cisco Could See Lower Prices After Results)

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Disclosure: Mott Capital Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Information ...

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