The “Sell in May and go away” ditty beloved of old Market dealers has seldom seemed so apposite than right now, although the second part of the proverb “don’t come back till St Leger Day” might be a little alarming, as this is not until the 11th September.
While markets are very spooky at the moment, this still does not get away from the fact that a double-dip, currently adored by comment writers, is still unlikely. The numbers are not yet recessionary, just not so glowing as previous indicators might have led us to expect. This does not get in the way of the fact that it is unwise to stand in the way of the juggernaut ploughing its way through the world’s equity markets.
The FTSE is actually quite peaceful this morning, trading at around 4820, and sellers seem to peter out as we approach 4800/4810, giving us some temporary respite, at least, to the incessant falls. As with all markets, bears must beware ‘the bounce’ and “our quote” has now fallen for nine straight days (midnight to midnight), making this our longest losing streak since Jan 2003, which might bring out the bottom pickers. But if we don’t get a recovery soon, especially with the Non Farm Payroll (NFP) coming this afternoon, then thoughts may well begin to turn to selling once again.
The expectations for the NFP have been deteriorating almost by the minute and the jobs recovery of the first quarter is now ancient history. For remaining bulls, the hope will have to be that the market is ‘selling the rumour’ and might ‘buy the fact’. But it would be a brave trader who is willing to put his/her head above the parapet before the number.
The Dow experienced an extreme period yesterday afternoon/evening, moving at will through 60 to 100 point ranges over and over again as investors battled for control. Long term players will be hoping that the current weakness is just delivering a better level to buy, but most will be waiting for an indication that we have reached something of a support area (or even a recovery scenario) before putting in more funds.
Aside from bonds, all asset classes were under pressure, with even Gold failing to benefit from any ‘safe haven’ boost. As feared in previous comments, Gold is joining the rout as the reasons for buying the Yellow Metal in times of stress seem to have finally run out of stream. But Gold has had these 60 dollar falls (and even more) many times over the last few years, only for the buyers to return to drive us to new highs. We did bounce off the 1195 support, which held at the stat of June, but bears may be targeting 1170 trend support and possibly even lower towards the 1040/50 major price support level. Bulls will naturally be looking for a quick return to levels above 1216 and 1224 to give confidence that the bull-momentum is still in place.
Oil naturally fell as well, as the 75 buck level was breached and fears for growth meant fears for consumption. We actually spent most of yesterday’s session between 72.00 and 73.00 after the Europeans sold off in the early afternoon. This morning we are in an even tighter spread between 72.75 and 73.25, with no real effort in either direction. Bulls will be worrying that there has been no bounce and bears that there seems to be good support below 72.75 to 72.00. As with all the other markets, the key will probably be the NFP later today.