August Sizzles On The Platter

Equities start the day flat as August sizzles on the platter. Not a great month for stocks but I’m telling you what, this time it’s different (the worst phrase to use in investing!!). All those other Augusts didn’t have the Fed standing in the batter’s box ready to swing a huge bat. We’ve been on hold all year waiting for Janet and her crew to make their move so I don’t see why anything would be different this month. Sure, we’ll have our up’s and down’s like the others but ultimately this market is going nowhere until that first rate hike is handed down. All the major concern has shifted to AAPL as it broke its 200 day yesterday. Is that a big deal? Sure, maybe, I guess it could be. It’s been pointed out that only a few stocks are leading the parade and Apple is definitely one of them so if it falters that’s a pretty big deal. On the other hand, Transports have successfully traded above their 50 day MAVG for four days now which might signal a change in that goat rodeo (we need it to change badly). So many cross currents my friends…which one should we pay attention to? I guess all of them, or none of them, I’m not sure they matter. The Fed…The Fed looms….it’s all about that Sep meeting. We can talk endlessly about trends and moving averages and margin debt and training camps but none of it means jack right now. We wait…just wait… standing at the bus stop staring down the street saying “really..are you ever gonna get here?” 

After the open, this was an actual headline on the venerable “Drudge Report”. Two thoughts swirled thru my gray hair covered head and I pondered the ramifications of such a claim  1) COME ON MAN  and  2) I wish I thought of it because that’s some epic clickbait. Apple did indeed trade lower (down 3%) but I honestly doubt one company could “bring down the market”. A few could (financials circa 2008 almost did), but one company, no matter how big, probably won’t crater a $19 trillion dollar market. That being said, this video about sums up Apple’s chart. We spent most of the morning going sideways because its August and virtually everyone is on vacation still (you should see the string of “out of office” I get when I hit send on this thing, it looks like a slot machine). A few decent movers to talk about though. NFLX rose 7% because they are launching in Asia, VMC also rose 7% after beating earnings with their pointy ears (sci fi nerdery!), and IPCM jumped 35% after getting a takeout offer from Team Health. Hey junior banker….are you in Healthcare M&A or Healthcare banking anything? Congrats on winning the 2015 lottery. Losers were ALL, NRG, NK, and CNX. Coal…my God. Are there going to be any survivors in this space?  Maybe Tiffanys? All of their charts look like the glidepath to runway 10L at O’hare. 

The afternoon saw us break the sideways malaise and trade lower.  Why? Well, it wasn’t Apple or Crude oil. Atlanta Fed President Lockhart said “there’s a high bar not to act in Sep” and that was enough for sell algos to break away from smashing coal stocks and start smashing all stocks. We closed at 2,093, down 22 bps, but we’re still nowhere. Someone on Twitter said its been 50+ days since we made a new high and that’s the longest streak in 2+ years. We’re on perma hold people, it’s like calling the cable company and trying to cancel. Sideways, it ain’t just about Merlot anymore.

Final Score:  Dow -22bps, S&P500 -22bps, Nasdaq -19bps, Rus2k -24bps.    

News Highlights: 

Once again I have a couple end links for you.   This time we’re gonna see just how big your attention span is.

 The first video is 14 minutes of motorbike crashes.  Lots of painful stuff in here

 The second video is 14 seconds of hammer throw fail.   I guarantee 99% of my readers choose this one.  We live in such a quick hit society right?

 Have a good night.