I found myself humming “I scare myself” this morning as the market continued its September selling. The Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks song pretty much sums up the market action this morning.
We all know that stocks go down in September so we’re sending stocks downward. And we all know that September 17 is the Big Bad Day in the month so it’s unreasonable to expect a turn in sentiment before that date. (Especially with that big Federal Reserve meeting set for September 22 next week.)
But so far, I’d note, the selling seems “orderly” with the usual candidates bucking the trend and showing up in the green.
It’s when those still in the green stocks start tumbling that I’ll really start to worry.
For the day the Standard & Poor’s 500 closed down 0.57% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.84% lower. The NASDAQ Composite fell 0.45% and the NASDAQ 100 doped 0.33% as tech stocks, in general, didn’t support these indexes.
The small cap Russell 2000 lost 1.38% with the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) losing 1.27% to $220.04. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) was down 0.84%.
But, I’d argue there wasn’t, yet, a mass rush for the exits.The CBOE S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX) gained only 0.46% on the day to 19.46. I don’t see a massive surge in hedging in that number.
Pretty much everything sold down today. Utility cyclicals and infrastructure stocks such as Deere (DE) and Cummins (CMI) were down 1.53% and 1.61%, respectively. Leaders on the post-vaccine recovery story lost ground with MGM Resorts International (MGM) dropping 3.92%on negative news on Macao gaming and amusement park operator Cedar Fair (FUN) losing 3.15%. CVS Health (CVS) fell 0.73%.
What to me indicates that at this stage investors and traders aren’t throwing in the whole towel (maybe just pieces of it) is the green showing up in market favorite sectors such as cybersecurity and lithium. CrowdStrike (CRWD) gained 1.29% and Palo Alto Networks climbed 1.83%. Lithium producer Albemarle (ALB) gained 0.58% as lithium hydroxide prices hit an all-time high.