Market Update: Thursday, August 18, 2016


  • Stocks start lower after yesterday’s pullback. U.S. markets are little changed in early trading following Tuesday’s session saw all three of the major averages fall near half a percent, with telecom (-2.1%) leading the way down. Energy was the only sector to close higher as WTI crude oil rallied for the fourth consecutive day, though WTI is slipping this morning following yesterday’s mixed inventory data. In Asian markets, the Nikkei staged a slight relief rally, up 0.9%, while the Shanghai Composite closed flat despite official approval linking the Hong Kong and Shenzhen stock exchanges, further opening investment in mainland Chinese companies to foreigners. In afternoon trading, European stocks are lower across the board after the release of a string of disappointing earnings reports. Finally, the dollar is inching higher, COMEX gold is down more than half a percent below $1350/oz., and the yield on the 10-year Note is little changed near 1.57%.


  • Another alternating streak. The S&P 500 dropped 0.55% yesterday, which was actually the second largest drop the past 30 trading days. That right there sums up how strong things have been recently. It also closed only a penny away from the lows; only May 11 (which closed at the lows) was worse in 2016. At the same time, yesterday was the 8th day in a row that the S&P 500 alternated between higher and lower. It had a streak of 11 alternating days earlier this year, making this the second eight day alternating streak this year. 2007 and 2008 are the only other years since 1950 to have two separate eight day streaks.
  • Why August 17 is a special day. Turns out today is one of the most bullish days of the year, up 76.6% of the time since 1950. That comes out to higher 36 out of the past 47 times. Incredibly only November 24th at 78.9% and December 26 at 83.8% are up more often. Of course, both of those take place around holidays and could explain some of the upward bias. Why August 17 is higher is a much tougher question to answer, and probably has no real reason other than being totally random. Nonetheless, we will take a closer look at this and a few other interesting phenomena happening today on the LPL Research blog.



  • FOMC Minutes
  • Bullard (Hawk)
  • China: Property Prices (Jul)



  • Indonesia: Central Bank Meeting (Rate Cut Expected)

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