The sell-off that followed the positive January employment report on Friday should not have been a surprise. It was the typical market reaction to strong economic news during the early stages (relatively speaking) of a tightening cycle. Positive economic news could be inflationary and push the Federal Reserve into a more aggressive tightening phase.
The S&P 500 settled at 2607.75 and has lost 7.6% since Thursday’s close. Today’s session stalled at a high of 2763, and failed to hold the key level at 2757, a trend line and Friday’s close. Price action began cascading below the overnight low of 2733 and all bets were off once our rare major four-star support at 2690-2700 was taken out.
February is the shortest month of the year and there is no specific market insight to it such as the Santa Claus rally or January effect. It is one of the poorer performing months in all three major indexes: number eight in the Dow Jones and Nasdaq Composite and number nine in the S&P 500, but averages moderately positive returns in the Dow and S&P with a more robust 0.73% in the Nasdaq.