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Bear vs. Bull: Who Will Win the Market Tug-of-War?

·3 min read

The S&P 500, thanks in part to incredibly positive jobs reports, was having a great summer until Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s Jackson Hole Symposium comments stymied its progress, as we discussed last week.

While the market tipped into bearishness last week, the good news going into this week is no news – there shouldn’t be too much upheaval in the market until the FOMC meeting on September 21. That’s when the Fed is expected to raise interest rates another 75 basis points. Until that announcement, things should be quiet.

Stocks are up a little to start a short week, but so are long-term interest rates. That’s not necessarily bearish, but it indicates a strong chance that the major indexes will remain flat and volatile this week. It may still take a few days before investors are willing to jump back in like they did last month.

InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips

September typically is a lackluster month for the market, so we’re preaching patience once again. That said, there’s always a bull market in some corner of the market, so we’ll be digging around in the coming weeks to find those profitable areas and bring them to you.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released its Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI). That monthly report measures purchasing manager/buyer sentiment in the retail sector, considering inventory, order flow, and forward-looking predictions.

The average PMI is 50 – anything higher than 50 signals expansion – and today’s number came in at 57. That’s a level consistent with bull markets and comparable to 2015 numbers. We don’t advise increasing retail exposure by too much, but it’s certainly an area of interest.

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Livestream Reports and Extras

In last week’s YouTube “shorts,” we addressed the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), the ADP National Employment Report, and the other labor reports that bolstered the market for most of the summer. Check them out here: Can Labor Reports Save Stocks? And here: Labor Report Is Good for Stocks.

And in our Learning Markets livestream, we took a look at Thursday’s support bounce, took a deep dive into those job reports, examined the S&P 500 heat map to see which industries were performing well, and much more. Check it out here.

In our livestream, we not only discuss the week’s news and answer viewer questions, but teach the basics of the stock market and options trading. Check out our The Stock Market for Beginners series and our Options Tutorials for more in-depth insight into successful trading.

If you have any questions yourself about options trading, specific stocks or bonds, or market trends in general, we’re happy to answer them. Just email feedback@investorplace.com or leave a comment under one of our videos.


John and Wade

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