US stocks catch a big bid in the final 15-minutes of trading to limit the damage

Dramatic move late

The S&P 500 finished the day down just 24 points at 2954 in a big win for the bulls late in the day.
The index gained more than 70 points in the final 15 minutes of trading in a huge bid, that was likely helped by month-end rebalancing. The huge rallies in bond and selling in stocks this month left pensions and other balanced funds heavily overweight bonds, so they’re forced to buy to get back on target.
There may also be hopes for an emergency Fed cut on the weekend or some good coronavirus news. There’s no doubt the market could have overshot this week, with the S&P 500 posting its worst weekly performance since October 2008 — when Lehman Brothers collapsed.
The intraday chart shows the huge reversal that kicked off a test of the earlier low of 2880.
On the day:
  • S&P 500 -25 points to 2954 (-0.8%)
  • Nasdaq – flat
  • DJIA -1.4%
On the week:
  • S&P 500 -11.5%
  • DJIA -12.4%
  • Nasdaq -10.5%
The weekly chart is still ugly but at least the bulls have some lift as we closed off the weekly lows:
SPX weekly
We will have to get back above the 200-dma at 3046 to generate any real optimism.

A story of how honesty cost one trader his job.

With the current climate surrounding the investment banking culture in the wake of the Barclay’s Libor scandal, it is interesting to read about the story of Steve Clark taken from his interview with Jack Schwager in the Hedge Fund Market wizards
Clark is a highly successful hedge fund manager, running the Omni Global fund which during the period since inception in 2001 has returned almost 20% per annum, with a maximum peak to trough drawdown of just 7% and not a single losing year. However during the 90s he tells a story of how he was forced out of a major investment bank purely for being honest. 
The excerpt from the interview goes as follows:
‘Nomura ended badly for me because there was a change in management. The new guy in charge wasn’t straight. He had a convertible book, and all he was doing was buying illiquid convertible bonds and every month pushing the price up. He was the market because he owned most of these issues. So all he had to do was buy a few hundred bonds every month to push the price up. (more…)
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