U.S. stock markets closed out the month of October with the largest monthly losses we’ve seen in more than six years. All of 2018’s gains were essentially wiped out over just a few days of trading. Bond markets have been hurt all year as interest rates have continued to rise precipitously on the back of strong employment numbers. Investors are now worried that the future costs to service debt will halt the demand side growth we finally began to see after the financial crisis. I wrote last week that it appeared market participants were positioning themselves for things to get worse, not better. I also explained that we had a huge batch of earnings coming in and the response to those might very well dictate the end of this bull market. I said the proof would be in whether investors bought or sold the inevitable bounce in stocks from deeply oversold conditions. We saw the bounce over the past few days and Friday investors sold into it. While one or two days, or even weeks, does not make or break the stock market, this fact is not a good sign. The 200-day moving averages are now acting as resistance for major indexes, just as they once offered support prior to being broken. The October pain is not over and a fourth quarter rally cannot occur until those important moving averages are reclaimed. I spoke at an adviser event early last week and pointed out that almost 80% of all U.S. stocks were trading below their 200-day moving averages. This has been the case all year for foreign equities and it is coming home to roost. This old bull market is not dead and earnings are good, but I believe the best is likely behind us. We have seasonality in our favor and a bounce may very well occur as we close in on the end of the year, but I am concerned, and at Cabana we are defensive. We remain cautiously bullish – very cautiously bullish
October 2018 Market Review and Outlook
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