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The Bear Thread

Discussion in 'Stock Market Today' started by bigbear0083, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. bigbear0083

    bigbear0083 Content Manager
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    Second Half August Trading: Historically Weak Too
    [​IMG]
    Following three straight days of gains, the market has recovered a sizable portion of its losses from earlier in the month. Losses earlier in the month and gains over the past three days (prior to today) have tracked August’s typical trading pattern for over the last 21-years quite closely. The magnitude of the moves this year has been larger than average, but the pattern has been tracked.

    Due to the magnitude of this year’s moves, August’s performance over the past 21-years has been plotted on the left vertical axis in the chart above and 2019 is plotted on the right. From right around mid-month or now through the end of August, the historical trend has been weaker. DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ, Russell 1000 and 2000 have all averaged a loss in August from 1998 to 2018 and they are on track to repeat this year.
     
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  2. bigbear0083

    bigbear0083 Content Manager
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    High Yielders Feeling Low
    Wed, Aug 21, 2019

    With plunging interest rates around the world continuing to mystify investors, one would think that high yielding stocks would be a primary beneficiary as investors search for alternative sources of yield. The fact is, though, that stocks with high dividend yields haven’t been very good performers over the last year. As shown in the chart below, the deciles of Russell 1000 stocks with the highest dividend yields are all down over the last year, including the deciles of the two highest yielders which are down an average of over 10%! Meanwhile, the deciles of stocks with little or no yields are all up.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. bigbear0083

    bigbear0083 Content Manager
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    September Almanac: No Respite in Pre-Election Years
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    The start of business year, end of summer vacations, and back to school made September a leading barometer month in first 60 years of 20th century, now portfolio managers back after Labor Day tend to clean house Since 1950, September is the worst performing month of the year for DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ (since 1971) and Russell 1000 (since 1979). Sizable gains in September 2012, 2013 and 2017 have lifted Russell 2000 to second worst (since 1979). September was creamed four years straight from 1999-2002 after four solid years from 1995-1998 during the dot.com bubble madness. September gets no respite from positive pre-election year forces.
    [​IMG]
    Although the month used to open strong, S&P 500 has declined eight times in the last eleven years on the first trading day. As tans begin to fade and the new school year begins, fund managers tend to sell underperforming positions as the end of the third quarter approaches, causing some nasty selloffs near month-end over the years. Recent substantial declines occurred following the terrorist attacks in 2001 (DJIA: –11.1%), 2002 (DJIA –12.4%), the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 (DJIA: –6.0%) and U.S. debt ceiling debacle in 2011 (DJIA –6.0%). However, September is improving with S&P 500 advancing in ten of the last 15 Septembers and DJIA climbing in nine.
     
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  4. bigbear0083

    bigbear0083 Content Manager
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    Typical September Trading: Choppy Early Gains Fade Late
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    September is the final month of the third quarter and historically it is essentially tied with August as worst month of the year. Since 1950, September is ranked last for DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ (since 1971) and Russell 1000 (since 1979). Small-caps, measured by the Russell 1000, have fared slightly better, but historical average performance is still negative. Over the last 21 years, September has generally opened tepidly with mixed performance depending on index with Russell 2000 often rising the most through mid-month. However, after mid-month gains have tended to fade quickly and turn into losses by month’s end. Sizable losses in 2001, 2002, 2008 and 2011 weigh heavily on average performance.
     
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  5. bigbear0083

    bigbear0083 Content Manager
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    S&P 500 Yield Tops the Thirty Year
    Tue, Aug 27, 2019

    The yield on the 10-year US Treasury dropping below the dividend yield on the S&P 500? That's so last month. Today, it's the 30-year yield that's falling below the S&P 500's dividend yield. At 1.966%, the 30-year Treasury yield just dropped below the dividend yield of the S&P 500 for the first time since March 2009. Who knows if we'll finish the day with a 30-year/S&P 500 inversion, but the way things have been moving, it's probably just a matter of time if it doesn't happen today.

    [​IMG]

    The chart below shows the spread between the 30-year and the dividend yield of the S&P 500 going back to 1977. The only other time in the last 40+ years where we have seen a similar inversion was for a few months in late 2008 through March 2009 (the low point of the Financial Crisis). In July 2016 right after the Brexit vote, the S&P 500 dividend yield came within 0.01% of the 30-year's yield, but it couldn't quite make it higher.

    [​IMG]

    Looking at individual stocks, it's pretty amazing how many stocks now yield more than the 5,10, and 30 year US treasuries. As of this morning, two-thirds of the stocks in the S&P 500 yield more than the 5-year, more than 62% yield more than the 10-year, and slightly more than half yield more than the 30-year.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. bigbear0083

    bigbear0083 Content Manager
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    This Isn't Normal
    Wed, Aug 28, 2019

    Being long bonds these days probably feels like being long tech stocks in the late 1990s. Every day you look at your portfolio, you expect it to be higher than the last time. This month through yesterday, the Merrill Lynch 10+ Year US Treasury Index is up over 10% and that doesn't even include the rally we are seeing today. If the gains we have seen so far hold up into month-end, it will go down as just the 5th month since 1978 that long-term treasuries gained more than 10% in a single month. The last time we saw this large of a move in the long-term Treasury market was more than 10 years ago in November 2008, and before that you have to go all the way back to February 1986. In other words, this kind of move isn't normal.

    Besides the fact that long-term Treasuries are up over 10% this month, August marks the fourth straight month of gains for the asset class, and while that may not sound like much, the last time we saw a streak of four or more months of gains was in January 2015. With all these gains, the Merrill Lynch 10+ Year Treasury Index is up over 22% YTD. 22%!

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. bigbear0083

    bigbear0083 Content Manager
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    Sentiment Still Leaning Bearish
    Thu, Aug 29, 2019

    The S&P 500 is up 2.75% since last Friday, which would be the best weekly performance since early June after rebounding from consistent selling in May. Despite this, the index is still range-bound, and sentiment has yet to pick up. This week's AAII sentiment survey saw the percentage of investors reporting as bullish fall to 26.13% from 26.64% last week. Bullish sentiment has now been more than 1 standard deviation below its historical average for four consecutive weeks. That is only the 12th such streak in the history of the data going back to 1987. The most recent similar streak was an identically long one ending on June 13th of this year.

    [​IMG]

    While bullish sentiment saw a fairly mild decline, bearish sentiment rose 3.5 percentage points to 42.21%. Bearish sentiment is still below where it was at the start fo the month when it peaked at 48.2%, but it also remains the predominant sentiment for four weeks running. Negative sentiment is also elevated compared to where it has been historically and has been one standard deviation above the historical average for three of the past four weeks.

    [​IMG]

    Most of the gains in bearish sentiment came out of the neutral camp. The percentage of investors reporting neutral sentiment fell around 2 percentage points to 31.66%. While this is not a new low, neutral sentiment has been trending lower over the past several weeks after spiking to its highest levels since 2016 earlier this year.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. bigbear0083

    bigbear0083 Content Manager
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    Manufacturing Activity Comes to a Grinding Halt
    Tue, Sep 3, 2019

    Here's a question for you. Given the escalation of trade tensions with China and the increased uncertainty surrounding the global economy, how on earth were economists expecting activity in the US manufacturing sector to increase in August? The reality is that the manufacturing sector was not only weaker than expected, it contracted for the first time in three years! While economists were expecting the headline ISM Manufacturing index to increase from 51.2 up to 51.3, the actual reading came in at 49.1 for the fifth straight monthly decline in the index. The last time the ISM Manufacturing Index declined for five months straight was in January 2016 which also happens to be the last time it was lower than it is now.

    [​IMG]

    The internals of this month's report were also very weak. For starters, we saw the most flips from growth (>50) to contraction (<50) in a monthly report since August 2016. On top of that, just one category in the report - Supplier Deliveries- is above 50. The last time there was such broad-based weakness was in June 2009! In the case Production, current levels are the weakest since November 2015, but for New Orders (first chart below), things haven't been this weak since April 2009. The same goes for Export Orders and Import Orders (second and third charts below). If you think that the ongoing trade war with China isn't impacting global trade, think again. Finally, ahead of the August Jobs report on Friday, the Employment Index (bottom chart) of this month's report fell to 47.4 which is the lowest level since January 2016.

    [​IMG]

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  9. bigbear0083

    bigbear0083 Content Manager
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    Low P/E, Low Return
    Wed, Sep 4, 2019

    Most investors are trying to forget about August performance as quickly as possible, but we wanted to highlight a noteworthy data set about the month before it gets too far into the rear-view mirror. At the end of every month, we run our decile analysis of the S&P 500 to see which stock characteristics drove performance the most. One characteristic we look at is valuation, and in August, valuations played a big role in performance.

    Below we've broken up the S&P 500 into deciles based on P/E ratios (trailing 12-month). Decile 1 contains the 50 stocks in the S&P with the lowest P/Es at the start of August, while decile 10 contains the 50 stocks in the index with the highest (or negative) P/Es. Each bar in the chart shows the average percentage change in August of the 50 stocks in each decile.

    As shown, the 50 stocks in the S&P with the lowest P/E ratios at the start of the month fell an average of 11.5% in August! The next two deciles with the lowest P/E ratios fell more than 5% as well. On the other end of the spectrum, the 50 stocks with the highest P/E ratios fell only 0.78% in August.

    You've certainly heard a lot about the "death of value investing" recently, and this is why! We have to think that at some point the scales will tip and head in the other direction.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. bigbear0083

    bigbear0083 Content Manager
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    Small Business Sentiment -- "Pessimism is Contagious"
    Tue, Sep 10, 2019

    Sentiment on the part of small business owners declined in August and based on the steep drop in interest rates and escalation of the trade war with China, you can't really blame business owners for becoming more cautious. Overall, the main index of sentiment dropped from 104.7 down to 103.1, which was 0.4 points lower than the 103.5 consensus expectation. In the commentary of the report, the NFIB noted that "in terms of real economic activity, August was a very good month," and went on to say that "the decline in the index was driven by weakened expectations for the future." One line that stood out from this month's report was the statement that "Pessimism is contagious, even when the real economy is doing well, expectations can be infected and turn sour. Those rooting for a recession are having a psychological impact in spite of a strong Main Street economy." While the statement isn't entirely inaccurate, we would note that the escalation of tariffs and rhetoric from the President certainly hasn't helped either.

    Looking at the chart below, it has now been a full year since the NFIB Small Business Index made its peak for the cycle. While it isn't far from that level now, it has shown signs of rolling over in the last few months. If the lows from January are breached, depending on your political perspective, that would suggest that either it's more than just news headlines driving down sentiment or that the headlines actually won out.

    [​IMG]

    In terms of the biggest problems facing small business owners, Labor Quality remains at the top of the list, rising from 26% to 27%. Behind Labor Quality, Taxes and Red Tape are tied for second at 14% each. It wasn't that long ago that these two problems topped the list and together totaled over 40%. Today, on a combined basis the two would barely top Labor Quality as the biggest problem. In last week's ISM reports, we noted that the ISM Commodities surveys were increasingly showing fewer and fewer commodities rising in price. Today, that sentiment of benign inflation was further illustrated by the fact that only 1% of small business owners see Inflation as their most important problem.

    [​IMG]

    As mentioned above, Labor Quality remains the most important problem for small business owners these days, and in the entire history of the survey, it has never been a bigger problem. At 27%, the level is now comfortably above the 24% peak reached in 2000. While it only seems logical that labor costs would rise as Labor Quality becomes a bigger problem, to this point we have yet to see that play out as only 9% of small business owners noted wage costs as their most important problem.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. bigbear0083

    bigbear0083 Content Manager
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    S&P 500 Nearing ATHs But Individual Sectors Not So Much
    Fri, Sep 13, 2019

    The past week has been a solid run for the US equity market as a whole. The S&P 500 continues to edge ever closer to prior all-time highs; opening today within half a percent of this level. As shown in the chart below, on average across all sectors, though, it is a little bit less optimistic. The average sector is still 6.5% below record highs. Excluding energy, which is by far the furthest (in terms of price and time) from its all-time high, the average across sectors jumps up to 3.6%. Consumer Staples and Utilities are the only sectors within 1% of their highs while the Tech sector is not far behind only 1.5% away.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. bigbear0083

    bigbear0083 Content Manager
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    Weaker Than Expected Empire Manufacturing Report
    Mon, Sep 16, 2019

    Economists were expecting a bit of weakness in the September Empire Manufacturing report, but the actual reading came in a bit weaker than those forecasts. The release of the headline General Business conditions index dropped 2.8 points from 4.8 down to 2.0. While the index of present General Business conditions only fell slightly, expectations for the next six months were notably weaker falling from 25.7 down to 13.7. While both of these indices are well off their highs from the last year or two, they also aren't at levels that at this point would be considered dangerous for the economy.

    [​IMG]

    The table below breaks down this month's report by each of the survey's sub-indices. As far as present conditions are concerned, New Orders and Shipments both declined, but every other category for present conditions increased, and only one (Unfilled Orders) is contracting. Looking out towards the future, though, sentiment is not nearly as positive. As shown on the right side of the table, the only two indices that increased this month were Prices Paid and Prices Received. So manufacturers are expecting weaker growth and higher inflation. That's never a good mix!

    [​IMG]

    One notable aspect of the table above is the large drops in expectations for Capital Expenditures and Technology Spending. The index that tracks plans for Technology spending fell 10.9 points from 17.4 down to 6.5 in what was the largest monthly drop since May 2016. Plans for Capital Expenditures were even worse as that index fell 18.6 points from 23.2 down to 4.6. For that index, it was the third-largest decline in the report's history dating back to 2001 and the largest monthly decline since May 2016. Here again, though, while these declines are pretty steep, they aren't at levels that in the past have been considered recessionary. Then again, back at the onset of the recession in December 2007, both of these levels were higher then than they are now.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. bigbear0083

    bigbear0083 Content Manager
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    Strong Start for September, but Second Half Could Bring Trouble
    [​IMG]
    As of Friday’s close the market is well above historical average performance in September. DJIA was up nearly 3.1%, S&P 500 was up 2.8%, NASDAQ and Russell 1000 were up 2.7% while Russell 2000 was up 5.6%. Small-caps outperforming large-caps recently is not unusual and they did so again today. However, the second half of September has historically been weaker than the first half. The week after options expiration week can be treacherous with S&P 500 logging 23 weekly losses in 29 years since 1990. End-of-quarter portfolio restructuring, and window dressing can amplify the impacts of any negative headlines.
     
  14. bigbear0083

    bigbear0083 Content Manager
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    Citi Global Surprise Breaks Record Streak of Days in Negative Territory
    Tue, Sep 17, 2019

    The Citi Global Surprise index measures the pace at which economic indicators around the world are coming in better than expected compared to economist estimates. As an example of how weak the global economy has been over the last 18 months, the Citi Global Surprise index was in negative territory for a record 361 trading days from April 2018 through last Thursday. But just in time for what will likely be another rate cut from the Fed this week, the Global Surprise index broke its record streak on Friday by closing in positive territory.

    As shown below, not even during the Financial Crisis did the surprise index remain negative for so long. Back in 2008 and 2009, however, the Surprise index got much more negative than it did at any point during the streak that just ended.

    [​IMG]

    Below is a chart comparing the Citi Global Surprise index to the Bloomberg World equity market index over the last two years. The two don't track each other very closely. In mid-2018, the Surprise index saw a spike similar to the one we've seen over the last couple of months, but that spike was followed by a very weak fourth quarter for the global stock market. The Surprise index didn't predict the Q1 2019 bounce-back for stocks either.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. bigbear0083

    bigbear0083 Content Manager
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    Fed Announcement Days Turn Bearish: S&P 500 Down 11 of Last 14
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    In the chart below the 30 trading days before and after the last 92 Fed meetings (back to March 2008) are graphed. There are three lines, “All,” “Up,” and “Down.” Up means the S&P 500 finished announcement day with a gain, down it finished with a loss or unchanged. Note how past down announcement days have, on average, enjoyed the best gains over the next 30 trading days. S&P 500 has advanced three times on fourteen meeting announcement days, just 21.4% of the time.
    [​IMG]
    Of the last 91 announcement days, the S&P 500 finished the day positive 50 times. Of these 50 positive days S&P 500 was down 28 times (56.0%) the next day. Of the 42 down announcement days, the following day was down 23 times (54.8%). All 92 announcement days have averaged 0.33% S&P 500 gains while the day after has been a net loser with S&P 500 declining 0.28% on average.
     
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  16. bigbear0083

    bigbear0083 Content Manager
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    will be interesting to see if we follow this historical pattern for the 2nd half of september.

    here is a chart of the avg. spx move in september over the past 20 yrs-

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  17. bigbear0083

    bigbear0083 Content Manager
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    Negative Sentiment Turn
    Thu, Sep 26, 2019

    As markets have turned lower in the past week—shying away from their all-time highs—so too has bullish sentiment. Falling from 35.34% last week, 29.37% of investors in the AAII survey are now in the bullish camp. Giving up nearly all the gain from the past couple of weeks, bullish sentiment is now back to where it stood at the start of the month. This week also marked the eighth consecutive week that bullish sentiment has remained below its historical average. This week also was the 30th week (of 38 total) in 2019 that bullish sentiment was below its historical average.

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    As bullish sentiment fell, bearish sentiment is on the rise. The percentage of bearish investors rose 5.4 percentage points to 33.26% this week. After moving back below its historical average for the first time in six weeks last week, it is now above average, though not to any extreme degree.

    [​IMG]

    While it did not rise as much as bearish sentiment, neutral sentiment also ticked higher this week by about half of one percent. Now at 37.37%, neutral sentiment has rebounded off its early August low and is the most elevated it has been since the first week of August when it was only 0.13 percentage points higher. The change in neutral sentiment over the past several weeks has now brought it back within the range that it has occupied most of this year. This week was also the third week in a row that neutral sentiment took the predominant share of sentiment.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. bigbear0083

    bigbear0083 Content Manager
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    ISM Back to 2009 Levels
    Tue, Oct 1, 2019

    Talk about a disappointing start to the quarter. In the first economic report of the new quarter, ISM Manufacturing came in weaker than expected falling from 49.1 down to 47.8 compared to expectations for a reading of 50.0. While a miss of fewer than 1.5 points versus consensus expectations isn't huge, investors treated it that way as the Dow has reversed more than 400 points from its earlier highs. What really spooked investors was the fact that the headline reading dropped to its lowest level since June 2009.

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    Breadth in this month's report was also poor as six categories showed m/m declines while just four showed increases. On a year/year basis, things were even worse as Customer Inventories were the only category up versus this time last year. Some of the more notable decliners were Production (first chart below), which fell to its lowest level since April 2009, and Export Orders which is at its lowest level since March 2009.

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    In the case of Export and Import Orders, this month we saw a really wide disparity between the two. While Export Orders fell to its lowest level since March 2009, Imports actually increased. Normally these two indices move in unison with each other, but this month saw a wide divergence suggesting that the US economy is still on a better footing than international economies. In fact, the current spread between Exports and Imports hasn't been this negative since September 2007.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. bigbear0083

    bigbear0083 Content Manager
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    Sentiment Tanks
    Thu, Oct 3, 2019

    As weak economic data over the past week has sparked selling in equity markets, the S&P 500 has experienced its worst first two days to a Q4 since 2009 with the index falling just a hair under 3% so far in October. As a result, bullish sentiment has also taken a fairly dramatic negative turn. AAII's survey of investor sentiment only saw 21.37% of respondents report as bulls this week. That is an eight percentage point decline from one week ago. While the first couple of weeks of August saw a much sharper decline of 16.78 percentage points, this most recent drop brings bullish sentiment to its second-lowest reading of the past year. In fact, last December's 20.9% was the only lower reading for bullish sentiment going back to 2016. Bullish sentiment is also now over one standard deviation below its historical average.

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    Pessimistic sentiment, rather than neutral, took the lion's share of these losses as bearish sentiment rose to 39.44%. That is up 6.2 percentage points from last week's 33.26% reading. While bullish sentiment has come in lower only a few times in recent memory, bearish sentiment is now back to similar levels as August. The bull-bear spread is the widest (in favor of bears) since August as well.

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    Although the largest share of losses to bulls did not go to the neutral camp, neutral sentiment nonetheless rose to 39.19%. As with bearish sentiment, this increase does not bring sentiment to any sort of historical high, but it is the highest level since late May. Additionally, neutral sentiment is back to more elevated levels that had been observed throughout the first half of this year.

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  20. bigbear0083

    bigbear0083 Content Manager
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    ISM Services Sinks
    Thu, Oct 3, 2019

    In what could have been the most anticipated economic indicator of the week after Tuesday's stinker ISM Manufacturing report, the ISM Services report for September was a pretty big disappointment relative to expectations. While economists were expecting the headline reading for the index to come in at 55.0, which would have been down 1.4 points relative to August, the actual reading came in at 52.6. That 3.8 point decline was the largest m/m decline since August 2016, which is also the last time the headline index was as low as it is now and the second largest one month decline of the entire expansion. Similarly, on a combined basis and accounting for each sector's share of the overall economy, the Composite ISM report for September fell to 52.1 from 55.6. That's also the lowest level since August 2016.

    [​IMG]

    Breadth in this month's report was mixed depending on how you look at it. On a month/month basis, half of the index's sub-indices actually increased with the biggest gains coming from Backlog Orders and Inventory Sentiment. On the downside, New Orders and Backlog Orders both plunged. While m/m readings were a bit mixed, y/y readings were weak across the board with every component lower now than they were at this point last year.

    [​IMG]

    In terms of the individual sub-indices, three we wanted to highlight are New Orders, Employment, and Prices Paid. First, New Orders saw the largest decline of any component this month falling to 53.7 and taking that index to its lowest level since August 2016. With tomorrow's Non-Farm Payrolls report on deck, the Employment component of today's ISM Services report wasn't very encouraging as it dropped from 53.1 down to 50.4. That's the lowest level and also the largest two-month decline for the index since February 2014. Finally, one area of the ISM Services report that had been bucking the trend lately is Prices Paid, which has now increased on a m/m basis in three of the last four months. That's one area where we don't want to be seeing steady increases in a sea of red everywhere else.

    [​IMG]

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