End of Day Update:
Stocks slipped on the final trading day of the third quarter, but remain inside the recent consolidation. 1,965 has been support over the last four days as the market struggles to reclaim the 50dma. But the problem for the optimist is markets usually snap back decisively from oversold levels, meaning we are not at oversold levels here. But that is only half the story.
Most of the headlines filling the front page have been bearish. There is so much political discord in the world it takes more than one hand to count all the active hotspots. We also have persistent signs of economic sluggishness. And just tonight, the potential of a spreading pandemic. But for all the negativity, the market is only a couple percent from all-time highs. Is the market being naive, or does it know something the rest of us don’t?
It is too easy to assume the market doesn’t have a clue and will eventually wake up to what is so obvious to the rest of us, but unfortunately beating the market isn’t that easy. More often than not, when we disagree with the market, we are the ones who have missed something. By default the market already knows everything we know since it is made up of people who have all the same information we do. Taper, rate hikes, Ukraine, Syria, etc. These stories have been around so long we can no longer call them news. Anyone afraid of these headlines sold long ago to someone who wasn’t afraid to own this risk. When there is no one left to sell a widely expected headline, it becomes fully priced in. When markets hold up the face of bad news and refuses countless legitimate excuses to sell off, it shows us it doesn’t want to go down. No matter what we think should happen, we have to respect the market’s resilience.
Now it’s time to resolve the contradiction between a market that doesn’t want to go down with one that isn’t oversold yet. It all comes down to timing. In the near-term, the inability to bounce decisively and put the 50dma behind us means there is a good chance this selloff is not complete. Be prepared for one more dip under recent lows and testing support at 1,950 is a very real possibility. But rather than signal the start of a larger selloff, this will be the capitulation point before rebounding to fresh highs. Expect more near-term weakness, but this is yet another buyable dip.