The following commentary was posted at Gillespie Research.
The markets get lots of inflation and inflation-related data this week, as well as several key corporate earnings reports. Wall Street spin surgeons already are at work portraying the numbers in a favorable light -- even in the absence of the numbers! Of course, the bulls understand how technically critical it is to hold, then rally, the stock market from current levels. Will they succeed? I doubt it and continue to look for materially lower stock prices over the next few weeks.
From last Friday's missive (7/9, "Stocks: An Update to the July 6th Piece"):
"...Bulls and bears alike are on the immediate brink of a potential agony-ecstacy event ... The DJIA finished yesterday ever so slightly below its 200-day moving average. The S&P 500 closed just above its. Therefore, we are about to get an imminent test of technically critical levels ... The NASDAQ composite now stands a couple percent below its 200-day moving average, something I interpret as a negative portent with regard to the Dow and the S&P's success in launching and sustaining a major rally from current levels. And 'sustaining' is the key word here. ..."
Thanks to highly "timely," euphoric statements from GE's own Jeff Immelt (you just knew something like this would come from somewhere), the DJIA and the S&P 500 received short-term reprieves on Friday, with respective gains for the day of 0.4% and 0.3%. But because of the positive slope of each proxy's 200-day moving average, they remained in roughly the same perilous relationship with that key measure as after last Thursday's close. The same was true for the NASDAQ Composite, despite its 0.6% gain on Friday.
My entire seven-measure tracking group was up an average 0.4% on Friday. This helped blunt a solidly negative week, which still saw the group fall 1.8%, on average, (median decline of 1.4%).
So now it is up to "better-than-expected" earnings (are there any other kind?) and "better-than-expected" inflation to save the stock market. CNBC and the other outlets in the regular propaganda loop got an early start on spinning this week's data. Their regular, incessant cavalcade of bulls were already doing it last week -- in the absence of the numbers, no less!
All this makes it more important than ever to look at and digest this week's various releases with great diligence (not to mention a little skepticism), not that such an approach is ever a bad thing.
It remains my strong view that the times, they are a changin' -- not for the better. I continue to look for materially lower stock prices over the next few weeks.