With the often challenging first nine trading days now behind us, the prospects for full-month August gains have improved somewhat. In the last 22 years, when the S&P 500 was positive in August through the ninth trading day it went on to post a full month gain in seven of nine years. In these nine years August finished with a well-above average gain of 2.0% however, the bulk of the move was usually completed by the ninth trading day as S&P 500 only averaged 0.5% from the ninth trading day to the end of the month.
Some may suggest recent market strength is the result of easing tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine and a cease-fire between Israel and Gaza, but it could also simply be an oversold bounce as many technical indicators had become quite negative in early August. Since cease-fire agreements seem to come and go like the rising and setting of the sun and the only thing that Russia has not done is officially invade Ukraine, an oversold bounce seems most likely. Not to mention the full impact of the latest round of economic sanctions against Russia remains largely unknown, but early signs suggest they are already beginning to dampen various corners of Europe’s economy where numerous U.S. multi-nationals generate significant portions of their quarterly revenues and earnings.
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