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A Tale of Two Markets: S&P 500 Notches Its 69th Record Close as the Bottom Falls Out of the Nasdaq

Courtesy of Pam Martens

New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

On December 3 there were 585 new 52-week lows on the Nasdaq stock market versus 12 new 52-week highs. To look at it another way, 48.75 times more stocks were setting new 52-week lows than were reaching new 52-week highs. That doesn’t sound like the definition of a bull market to us. The Nasdaq had closed down just 1.9 percent that day.

Yesterday, the Nasdaq closed up 1.39 percent. We decided to check out the breadth of the market. Sure enough, even on an up day for the Nasdaq, there was negative breadth. There were 139 new 52-week highs but 203 new 52-week lows.

Against this pattern of a clearly deteriorating stock market picture came a raft of headlines yesterday touting that the S&P 500 Index had notched its 69th record close for the year. But here’s what you need to know about the S&P 500: it’s an index weighted by market cap and you have a handful of tech giants that dominate the market cap of the S&P 500 index. Alphabet’s share price (Google) is up 70 percent year-to-date; Microsoft is up almost 60 percent; and Apple is up 40 percent.

There has also been a deterioration in the share price of two megabanks on Wall Street. You can’t have a healthy stock market if the megabanks that lend to the largest corporations begin to struggle.


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