Thursday, June 25, 2020

Evening Note: One past, many possible futures...

Super quick evening note. It's the Mrs.' birthday and, well, you know...

Stocks staged a big turnaround today sparked by news that the central bank is inviting commercial banks to their we're-bailing-out-the-riskiest-risk-takers party.

The equity market is a "risk market", so, sure, anytime we can free up a few 10s of billions in cash to engage in risk-taking behavior is bound to be good for at least a decent pop.

The internals today, while not as supportive of today's up move as yesterday's were of its big down move, were nonetheless better than we've seen during the more recent up days.

First of all, in non-confirmatory fashion, volume was very weak (20% below the 20-day average). But breadth was pretty good, with NYSE up/down volume finishing at 3743/1113, with S&P 500 advancers vs decliners at 383/120 and Nasdaq's at 1771/878. 

Again, while not nearly as green today as yesterday was red, today's internals were somewhat better than I've been recording on the up days of late.

Weekly jobless claims were reported this morning. New claims totaled 1.48 million, continuing claims came in at 19.52 million! All I can say is if you had told me at the start of the year that by June we'd be staring down literally millions of job losses, I would've told you we'd surely be navigating our way through the worst bear market of my 36-year career. 

Brings to mind this from Jim Al-Khalili's fascinating (so far, i.e., I'm still in it) The World According to Physicsemphasis mine...
"Surely, the difference between the past and future is more than just the statistical drive of randomly colliding molecules toward equilibrium, or the difference between an unshuffled and shuffled pack of cards. After all, the past is fixed—we remember only one course of events: one history. In contrast, the future is open to us with its infinite possibilities. Most of the events that will happen tomorrow will be unexpected, and my day could unfold in myriad different ways, depending on the coming together of millions of different factors. So, is there in fact a difference between past and future, at a level deeper than simple statistics, which is based on the notion that we have one past but many possible futures? Put another way, is our fate sealed or is our future governed by chance? Is the future fixed or yet to be determined?"

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