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Stocks Melt On January 26 Following The Fed

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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It was another wild session, but stocks started higher and finished lower this time. The S&P 500 was trading higher more than 2% to finish down on the day by 15 bps. Today was the big FOMC announcement, and the bulls didn’t get their less hawkish surprise; they got the Powell which we saw two weeks, talking about balance sheet runoffs and an economy that can handle multiple rate hikes.

When asked about the market volatility, he shrugged it off and said he was focused on the real economy and achieving their mandates and not using only one market to assess financial conditions. You can watch it right around the 27:30 mark. Given its size and duration, he also talked about the balance sheet running off sooner and faster than the 2017/18 scenario. Additionally, he noted that the Fed is likely to raise rates soon, which is the code word for at the next meeting. At least that is what it was in the previous iteration. So basically, the market didn’t get a less hawkish Fed; it potentially got an even more hawkish Fed. Today, there were many more details than in the confirmation hearings two weeks.

That, of course, sent the 2-year yield higher by 13 bps to 1.15% and the 10-year up to 1.87%. It helped to flatten the curve to around 72 basis points. Additionally, the Fed Funds futures for December are now trading at 1.17%, indicating that the 2-year yield needs to rise much higher, as I have been saying probably to 1.4%.

5-Yr TIP

But most importantly of all, the 5-yr TIP “real” yield rose to -1.04%, from around -1.20 pre FOMC, a massive Intraday move. Once the real yield started to move, it was over the stock market.

The 5-year TIP is now trading above its January 20 high of -1.06%, and I don’t see how the NASDAQ can push to new highs or even within 5% of those highs, with real yields rising and earnings estimates are falling. Worse is that the 5-year TIP is likely heading to -0.50 bps, so it has much further to climb still. The chart below shows an inverted (upside-down) Nasdaq.


The Qs melted all afternoon, dropping to and holding support around $342. Once that breaks, I think we should quickly take out the lows and start heading towards $330.

S&P 500 (SPY)

What is bad for the S&P 500 is that we spent nearly all day trying to clear the 200-day moving average and failed miserably, not a good sign.

Due to the move up this morning, I changed my pennant pattern into a bear flag. If I were to project that bear flag out, it could lead to a drop to 4,050, a decline of another 8%.

Microsoft (MSFT)

The conference call saved Microsoft yesterday, which provided better-than-expected revenue guidance. The stock managed to get back to resistance at $305 and couldn’t get further. I think the solid results and guidance will help support Microsoft, meaning that it may fall less in a big move lower in the broader indexes. But support at $282 is critical to maintaining.

That’s all I have for today, not feeling the greatest.


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