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Just Another Day

Jonathan Clements  |  July 29, 2020

WELCOME TO OUR new daily market report, which we’re going to run exactly once, which is probably once too many. In market action yesterday, stock prices fluctuated—a development that shocked market observers who noted they hadn’t seen anything like that since the day before.

“If we can stay above the psychologically important 3,200 barrier, that’ll create an important support level that could build a base for a new bull market,” opined market strategist Ross Nodamus, who sits anxiously by his phone every market close, hoping some reporter will call and ask him to opine.

“Investors took a breather after last week’s rally,” continued Nodamus, who talked to precisely zero investors before cavalierly summarizing their mood. “They’re looking for stocks that will hit the ball out of the park, but these days it seems like nothing will reliably go through the uprights,” he said, adding to his illustrious history of completely meaningless sports analogies.

“It was yet another day when the sellers showed their hand, but buyers were hard to find,” said technical analyst Josephine Grandville, who has long struggled with the notion that every share sold is bought by someone. “Based on the VIX, the 200-day moving average, the put-call ratio and the odd lot indicator, the market clearly lacks conviction.”

The meandering market frustrates many market observers. “The market is fixated on consumer confidence,” noted money manager Firth Curtile, who lately can’t talk about anything else. “In the wake of recent earnings reports, it’s befuddled and yearning for direction.” When pressed, Curtile conceded he’d never heard of anthropomorphism.

“I know this is only anecdotal evidence, but I can tell how fearful investors are from the comments I’m getting from friends and family,” said hedge fund manager Rob M. Blind, whose specialty is anecdotal evidence of no analytical value.

“All this is setting us up for a vicious bear market,” reckoned Margaret Wolf, manager of the Perennially Bearish Fund, who—while convinced of the market’s ultimate direction—declined to specify when the downturn might occur, thus preserving her unassailable record as a forecaster.

As with the stock market, fixed-income experts remain sharply divided. “Bond prices rose, driving down yields,” insisted bond fund manager Rusk de Fawlt. Nonsense, countered Sterrill Chimp’s chief economist, Harry Joseph Cologne. “Yields fell, pushing up bond prices,” he argued.

Meanwhile, investors are looking ahead to Thursday’s report on initial jobless claims, which means it’s probably already fully reflected in current share prices and thus won’t make a jot of difference.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter @ClementsMoney and on Facebook. His most recent articles include Almost ZeroMy Four Goals and 15 Ways to Happy.

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