Read about financial developments and other topical relevant information to you.

Weekly Economic and Stock Market Commentary: August 22, 2022


Chart showing the Returns to 8/19/22. S&P 500 YTD -113.%, 1 year -4.0% 3 year annualized 13.1%, 5 year annualized 11.8. Dow Jones YTD 7.2%, 1 year -3.4%, 3 year annualized 9%, 5 year annualized 9.2%. Nasdaq YTD -18.8%, 1 year -12.6%, 3 year annualized 18.7%, 5 year annualized 15.4%. MSCI Europe, Asia, Far East YTD -17.8%, 1 year -18.3%, 3 year annualized 1.1%, 5 year annualized -.5%.

As for the stock market specifically:

The sellers won the week last week, with declines measuring from slight to substantial.

It appears the good news about the economy and earnings stopped last week, and sellers stepped in. Based on distribution curves, in my humble opinion, I do believe the market moved up too fast. My weekly distribution curve showed the S&P 500 moving from a reading of 72% over-sold, almost in a straight line, to being 42% over-bought. So far, I think this is/was the inevitable pullback to a more neutral position.

In any event, so far, this is not a time for panic.

The bullish percent indicators barely budged last week, and the short and intermediate-term indicators didn’t do anything that merits comment. In other words, August remained August. I recommend the continuation of WEALTH ACCUMULATION mode.

Remember, Xs mean OFFENSE or wealth accumulation, while Os mean DEFENSE, or wealth preservation.

Below is where our indicators stand as of August 19, 2022 (Courtesy Dorsey, Wright, and Associates).

Chart of Indicator Overview. NYSE Bullish Percent Status Xs, Current 56.9%, 1 week ago 57%, 4 weeks ago 39.5%. OTC Bullish Percent Status Xs, Current 39.5%, 1 week ago 41%, 4 weeks ago 31.5%. Optionable Bullish Percent* Xs, Current 51.8%, 1 week ago 53.5%, 4 weeks ago 31.9% *Optionable Bullish Percent is the bullish percent for stocks with sufficient market capitalization and liquidity to be considered for exchange listed options trading.

On a general note:

The Department of Commerce gave us the most important economic news of the week. That came in the form of the report on July retail sales. Overall retail sales remained unchanged from June to July, despite lower gas prices. While consumers spent less on gas and automotive sales, they did turn on their computers/phones and did go online shopping, with consumers buying plenty of new electronic gear. They also traveled.

I have two reports concerning real estate to close out this week’s comments. First, the Commerce Department noted that housing starts fell by 9.6% in July as compared to June. Starts came in at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1.45 million units. June figures were revised down to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1.60 million units. Building permits came in at 1.7 million units or a decline of 1.3%.

In a related report, the National Association of Realtors provided the news that July’s existing home sales came in showing the sixth consecutive monthly decline. That has not occurred since 2014. Sales fell 5.9% in July compared with June, to a rate of 4.81 million units. The extent of July’s drop-off is such that it was the worst non-pandemic monthly sales volume since 2015 and more than 20% lower than July 2021. The median sales price fell to $403,800, which is down about $10,000 from June’s median sales price.