Today, Monday, July 19, stocks accelerated their retreat from the end of last week on fears that a fourth wave of the pandemic, fueled by the Delta variant, will crush hopes that the economy is headed back to normal.
As of the close New York the Standard & Poor’s 500 was down 1.59% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was lower by 2.09%. The NASDAQ Composite was off 1.06% and the NASDAQ 100 had dropped 0.90%. The small cap Russell 2000 had fallen 1.51% and the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) was down 1.68%.
For the day at least you can see the market’s fears accurately reflected in the list of stocks falling most heavily. Economic recovery plays such as Macy’s (M) and Six Flags (SIX) and (even) Disney (DIS) led the index declines with drops of 4.90%, 8.53%, and 3.55%, respectively. Cyclical stocks that would be expected to see rising revenues if an economic recovery (and not if the economy as a whole stalls) were down with Boeing (BA), Dow (DOW), and Dupont (DD) down 4.94%, 3.70%, and 4.46%, respectively. Commodity stocks, again exposed to a failure of growth to pick up to the degree expected were lower too, with Southern Copper (SCCO), Albemarle (ALB), and First Quantum Minerals (FQVLF) off 1.74%, 1.43%, and 7.63%, respectively.
To the degree that I can see indications of a turn in this decline, I find it in technology stocks. Most are off today along with the general market with Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL), for example, down 1.33% and 2.69%, respectively. But there were a few green prints in the sector with Nvidia (NVDA) up 3.41%, Applied Micro Devices (AMD) higher by 0.80%, Synaptics (SYNA) rising 0.82%, and Palo Alto Networks (PANW) gaining 0.29%.
What I’d be looking for to see a turn in sentiment from extreme fear to moderate worry would be more green in technology stocks as investors worried about growth move money into the stocks that did so well during the last breakout of pandemic fears and the economic slowdown that came with rising rates of infection.
Watch Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft, Alphabet (GOOG) and Facebook (FB) for positive signs.
And pay special attention to the reaction to earnings from Netflix (NFLX) scheduled to be reported tomorrow