Daily Commentary: May 02, 2024

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Fed Reaction Muted

Posted by Pete Stolcers on May 02

The reaction to yesterday’s FOMC statement has not produced much of a net move.

PRE-OPEN MARKET COMMENTS THURSDAY – Yesterday the Fed reduced its quantitative tightening (QT) by more than half and it now sits at $25B per month from $60B per month. That is a form of easing, but they did not signal a timeline for a rate cut. If anything, we can expect QT to end if economic conditions soften. They cited stubborn inflation as their primary concern. The market had large swings after the announcement and little net change. The S&P 500 is up 30 points this morning.

AAPL will report earnings after the close today. In general, earnings have been in line with expectations and the historic average for top and bottom line “beats” is intact. Mega cap tech has retreated in most cases after reporting earnings.

The market bounce has been sloppy. A nice crisp rally with long green candles up to the 50-day MA would have signaled that buyers are still aggressive. We didn’t get that. Instead, we’ve seen mixed overlapping candles. That is a sign that sellers are still active and that buyers are not very aggressive.

This morning initial jobless claims were 208K and that is supportive of a good jobs number tomorrow. Ideally, hourly wages will be .3% or less. That is the largest input cost for employers and we need inflation to ease.

I’m not sensing a clear direction for the market. The selling pressure shows that some Asset Managers are in “risk off” mode. The Fed did not assure them that they will backstop economic weakness yesterday. The earnings reactions have not been an upward catalyst and earnings season will start to wind down.

Swing traders can sell out of the money bullish put spreads on stocks with relative strength. The SPY could test the 100-day MA, but I don’t believe it will fall much below that level.

Intraday trading ranges have been fairly wide and there are opportunities. Don’t chase the gap up this morning. Most gaps up have been faded the last few weeks. If most of the gap holds, the market will test the upside. If the first 30 minutes of trading features stacked red candles and if more than half of the gap is retraced, we could continue to move lower and fill in the gap. 1OP is in a bearish cycle to start the morning. Let’s see what it produces.

The SPY is trapped between the 100-day MA and the 50-day MA. That is support and resistance respectively. Expect choppy conditions until we breakout.

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