From Polar park. Luckily there is a solid fence between us and the bear

It May Be Time For Stocks To Worry About A Recession

This column is my opinion and expresses my views. Those views can change at a moments notice when the market changes. I am not right all the time and I do not expect to be. I disclose all my positions clearly listed on the page, and I do not trade my account on the stocks spoken of in this column unless fully disclosed. If that does not work for you stop reading and close the page. Do not bother me or harass me.

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Apologies for the absence, my wife, was on a business trip, so I had double duty with the kids and dogs.

Believe it or not, despite the big rally yesterday, the S&P 500 as of today is down about 50 bps for the week, with the Qs down 1%. It’s just odd, given how much we rallied on Wednesday.

So let’s see, when we left off, we were getting ready for Jay Powell to get in front of Congress. It amazes me how one market can hear one thing and how another market can miss the whole message. The bond and currency markets, which are far smarter than equities, responded in a manner that one would expect when the Chair of the FOMC says things like: he intends to raise rates 25 bps in March. Or is open to possibly more than one rate hike at future meetings and may need to tighten above the neutral rate to bring inflation back under control.

Then you have the equity market, which is certainly not the sharpest tool in the shed for Fed messaging. Yet, it managed to focus on the part about only a 25 bps hike in March and rallied, totally missing the more important message.


So what happened? Well, what I said would happen, bond yields were offside and saw a massive sell-off on the front of the curve, with the 2-year climbing to 1.52% from 1.28%.

But perhaps more important is that the 10-year has not to kept pace, resulting in the ten minus two-year spread dropping below 40 bps, and now trading at just 31 bps. At this point, the spread could be heading straight for ten bps. A move like this should get the market to think about the rising chances of a recession.

Oil and Dollar

If that doesn’t freak the market out, then a soaring US dollar and oil prices are the only things better than a potential yield curve inversion. It only takes one to kill global growth; when you get both, the odds of recession seem high.

So let’s think about this, the dollar and oil are soaring, the Fed is talking about raising rates, running off the balance, and the potential to push rates beyond neutral? How is the equity market not freaking out?

S&P 500 (SPY)

The S&P 500 has been range-bound. The patterns have been hard to identify, which happens with a range-bound market. So I feel like I’m grabbing to find something. If tomorrow’s job report shows that wage inflation is taking hold now, I think fears of stagflation will take hold, but it is a recession one needs to worry about. I think the S&P 500 drops below 4,350 and tries to fill that gap at 4,300. Once that happens, I think we are on our way to below 4,200.

Tesla (TSLA)

Perhaps Tesla is giving us a preview. The stock already fell below $840 and looks well on its way to the gap fill at $810.

Zoom (ZM)

Zoom has been a pretty good leading indicator for the market, and today it made another lower low and probably a signal of the NASDAQ’s eventual drop too. For Zoom, $107 seems like the destination.


Talking about the NASDAQ, it’s awful when the number of new stocks making new highs-new lows on a cumulative basis is making new lows every signal day. I don’t see how the market sees a meaningful rebound until this indicator flatlines. That is what has indicated bottoms in the past.

Aren’t you glad I’m back?


Mott Capital Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser in the State of New York. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results.