Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Anatomy of a Downdraft

Most folks don't watch stock market futures or the second-by-second tick of the tape as part of their normal day. I do. It goes with the job. Let me describe an interesting thing I saw today.

The futures were up this AM indicating a slight uptick would be coming at the 9:30 AM EDT opening. This was a positive development for anyone long equities because the indexes are fighting to stay above support at the 50 day moving average (NASDAQ) and the 200 day moving average generally.

At about 8:01AM I noticed that the futures had reversed and were now indicating a lower open.

"What data was released at 8AM that spooked the markets?" I asked an associate. Query was met with shrug.

We couldn't figure it out... until I noticed that a wire report had moved around that time that showed an Obama economic adviser urging A SECOND PORKULUS PLAN! Then, late in the morning's trade a report ran that stated that Obama his own self hasn't ruled out A SECOND PORKULUS PLAN! The indexes sold off harder and broke under support levels.

At some point traders will realize that there is no appetite among Democrats on Capitol Hill for a suicide pact with Lord Obama. Maybe. But, on first blush, the White House damaged the markets on a very sensitive trading day-- just a day before earnings reports start coming out.