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Friday the 13th Reversing Market Fortunes for the Better?

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Friday, May 13, 2022

It’s Friday the 13th, and it turns out in a week like this that it’s good news! Pre-market indices are mounting a bounceback from a week full of bearish carnage. A half-hour ahead of the opening bell, the Dow is +300 points, the Nasdaq is +220 and the S&P 500 +50 points. But unless between now and the close the Dow grows by +1200 points, the Nasdaq 800+ and the S&P +200, we’re going to see another down week.

That’s not insignificant: for the Dow, this would mark seven straight weeks in the red — a 20-year low — and six for the S&P and Nasdaq. Even with the Nasdaq up in two of the last three trading days, it’s still more than -5% down going back to last Friday. Overall, it’s the worst week in the markets since January, and there’s unlikely much a warm-weather Friday is going to be able to do about this.

Import Prices for April reported this morning, and were flat — the first time they hadn’t gone up month over month so far this year. This was below expectations of +0.6%, largely on a drop in fuel prices by -2.4% (-2.9% on petrol — keep this in mind next time you’re filling your gas tank at an exorbitant rate per gallon — which offset the +0.4% import prices in non-fuel segments. Year over year, import prices are +12%, which makes today’s 0.0% look even more significant.

After today’s open, we’ll get results from a new University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey for May. Sentiment is expected to come down a full percentage point or so from last month’s read, to 64.1%. The same survey’s five-year inflation expectations is currently 3% — roughly a quarter of what we’re seeing in recent CPI and PPI data.

If you’re still among the actively trading, hopefully you’re through the worst of this storm. As we’ve said repeatedly all week, even though it may not look like it right now, there will be a turnaround and stock market fortunes will indeed change. And if you’re still here, chances are you’ll be able to take advantage of this when it occurs. That’s worth staying focused on, in any case.

Oh, and Elon Musk said his Twitter TWTR purchase may be on hold — something about issues with spam on the social media platform. But really: Tesla TSLA CEO Musk had agreed to pay $54.20 per share before this latest market meltdown, and now shares are wallowing at around $40. (This is counting the -11% sell-off on this news in today’s pre-market. But it had been worse: TWTR shares dropped -25% initially.)

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