Fear is the Enemy
Yesterday was a seesaw session that eked out a gain, which is more than a minor victory. Once again, stocks with the largest market capitalization enjoyed gains as the de facto haven is the company of large crowds and strong balance sheets. After last week’s remarkable rally, it's only natural to expect consolidation of gains. But the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) might be edging out fear of the market moving lower.
The Fear & Greed Index has been in the ‘fear zone’ for 33 consecutive days, the longest streak in the past twelve months.
And much is being made of retail investors becoming bearish at the wrong time. It has happened throughout history. We spend as much time holding hands as crunching numbers, but significant drawdowns and taking losses remain a massive hurdle for too many investors.
For what it's worth, the most brilliant guys in the room are so bearish their short position has swelled to $134 billion.
Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey
The Senior Loan Office Opinion Survey report released in the middle of yesterday’s session was a mixed bag. Credit conditions tightened slower than anticipated, but significant worries exist (see below).
Lack of Demand
Demand for loans continues to swoon, including all residential mortgage loans. This isn’t a surprise, but it is a heck of a statement.
The net percent of banks tightening standards for consumer loans has stalled but is still near levels associated with significant recessions.
The NY Fed Vulnerability Index was riddled with yellow and red flags.
Today’s Economic Calendar
The US trade deficit grew to $61.5 billion in September up from August’s upwardly revised $58.7 billion and coming in higher than the estimate of $59.9 billion. Despite the increase, this was the 3rd lowest deficit since 2021,
Real exports of goods -adjusted for inflation – increased 2.9% and real imports of goods by $5.7 billion.
A relatively benign start to trading with Nasdaq is up fractionally, while the Dow and S&P 500 are down slightly.
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