The Zigmont Report (Recap for 5/2/19)

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 and do not necessarily represent those of Harvest Volatility Management, LLC.

Fatigue?  Boring headlines resumed today and overseas markets were quiet, actually a touch negative.  That led to a quiet premarket where equity futures bounced around but still suggesting a small positive open.  We actually opened a touch down then rallied modestly early on.  It looked like the same-old, same-old.  The pattern where any dip draws the bulls in immediately and new highs pop out the other end.

That’s not how today played out.  The market softened just before lunch and printed lows for the day around noon (down about 20 handles).  Dip-buyers repaired most of the damage but couldn’t turn the close into a positive.  No big deal.  The trivial close-to-close change ends up obscuring some intraday drama where the bears had a moment.

Back-to-back down sessions aren’t much of a win but it’s all the shorts have to hang their hats on.  The reason for this pullback isn’t clear.  Some are pointing to the Fed but I’m not finding that explanation very compelling.  My best guess is that bulls are tired and there’s no fresh catalyst to inspire them.  They will return but who knows when.

I’m highly confident they won’t change their behavior without a major change in the financial landscape.  In the short run, there’s nothing likely to do that either.  *Maybe* an implosion of the US/China trade talks qualifies but I’m starting to wonder.  It feels like the market has numbed itself to that issue.  The last time US/China trade news stung on the downside was eons ago.

This means we’re in the same psychological boat we’ve been in… the party-on mode where pullbacks are brief and shallow and there’s no such thing as a bear market.

Maybe this time it’s different?  LOL.

See you tomorrow.