The Zigmont Report (Daily Market Recap for 4/23/18)

Mike Zigmont

Mike Zigmont, author of the Zigmont Report, is a partner at New York-based Harvest Volatility Management, a hedge fund with over $10B AUM, offering volatility management solutions to its investor base worldwide.  Mike has been publishing his daily newsletter (Monday-Friday) privately for the firm’s investors and his personal contacts in the investment business since 2008, sending it daily shortly after the market close.

The opinions expressed below are my own

Boring to the max.  US equity markets didn’t react too much today.  There wasn’t much in the way of headlines to drive them either.  We’ve experienced a stretch of low activity in equities since the start of earnings season and today simply continues the trend.  Capital flow was 74%.  This kind of low activity is more similar to the summer doldrums than a typical earnings season.  I don’t understand it.  Until we get clarity on why investors are disengaged, we’ll simply observe the fact that they are.

Returning to the price action… let’s just look at a picture.  Up in the morning, down in the afternoon.

There’s no hidden story here.  For whatever reason, equity investors soured over the session.  It’s a small move so it’s not terribly important but it certainly shows that bullish mojo cannot sustain itself on a quiet day.

To be fair, maybe because it’s earnings season the bulls need earnings to help them push the tape?  There weren’t many earnings releases today so that’s possible.  We’re about to get a big wave of releases over the rest of the week though.  175 S&P 500 companies announce from today’s close through Friday’s open.  That’s pretty intense.  We’ll see how everything goes.

Last week we had all kinds of discussions about earnings season and the macro narrative versus the micro reactions.  Let’s just look at the S&P 500 price action since the start of earnings season.

We’re essentially back at the level just before the start of the season.  What does it mean?  Not much.  If anything, it simply means that despite the record earnings growth and the superlatives accompanying the macro narrative of the season… stock prices aren’t climbing in response.

The bulls need a new catalyst to make new highs.  I have no idea what that could be either.

See you tomorrow,