Thanks to the Omicrom COVID-19 variant, the bull market got stopped in its tracks, and the S&P 500 Index is now 4.3% off the highs.
4.3%. That's a mere drop in the bucket after such a a big move for stocks in 2021, right?
But... a look below the surface of a major index like the S&P 500 shows that markets are in far worse shape than you might think.
In fact... we can credibly say we have "markets in turmoil!"
Because if you've been in the wrong stocks or cryptos, you're down a heck of a lot more than 4.3%.
That means risk management and stock selection are key right now.
So let's go through the charts you need to see.
The Apple Effect
As the #1 weighting in the S&P 500 -- and by virtue of its ability to impact other stocks -- Apple (AAPL) is essentially holding up the stock market.
The S&P 500 is helpful for judging the performance of large cap stocks, but it can never tell the whole picture of the market.
Just 10 stocks account for 30% of the movement of the S&P 500. And they're mostly big cap tech stocks... with Apple at #1.
Apple is a consistent fan favorite in our sentiment polls and has been remarkably strong, even in the face of a rumored iPhone production cut.
VIX Approaching January Highs
The VIX is known as the market's fear gauge, and just hit levels not seen since January.
What does this mean in plain English?
Well, the VIX uses prices of various S&P 500 options to measure traders' expectations of volatility.
So traders expect rocky times ahead. Will they be right? We'll see.
Helpful Link: Our Primer on the VIX
Small Caps Spanked!
You just saw that big caps are holding up fairly well.
But what about small caps? Well... it ain't pretty:
IWM is 12% off the highs for some major relative weakness as countless small stocks are 20%+ off the highs.
Now let's dig into one of the more speculative areas of the market... crypto currencies.
Bitcoin & DogeCoin Are Crashing
Bitcoin is getting SMASHED, and as of Saturday morning, it's 32% off the November 9 high.
Interestingly, that high came right around a few interesting news events.
In early November, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said he wanted his first three paychecks t be paid in Bitcoin.
And on November 17, we learned that Crypto.com paid a whopping $700 million for naming rights to the Los Angeles Lakers' Staples Center.
Of course, this came amid an alt coin craze led by Dogecoin, which itself is diving:
Did they top tick the crypto currency market? We'll see.
But needless to say, the downturn in the crypto currency market is emblematic of a risk-off environment.
So as you might guess..
Meme Stocks Get DESTROYED
AMC Theaters (AMC), the King of meme stocks, is now 37% off its highs.
Other names in the meme stock universe like GameStop (GME), Camber Energy (CEI), and Vinco Ventures (BBIG) posted big declines.
Again - another sign that speculative money is coming out of the market.
Travel Stocks Take BIG Hits
As you might expect with increased COVID-19 fears, travel stocks are down big.
The US Global Jets ETF (JETS), which tracks airline stocks, is down 20% in the past month:
The cruise liners like Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) are in even worse shape.
Now let's talk about... salads?
The Stench of Sweetgreen
Salad chain Sweetgreen (SG) looked like one of the hottest IPOs of 2021.
On November 18, its IPO priced at $28 a share. The stock then opened at $52 and immediately hit a high of $56.20 for a 101% first day gain.
Now? Sweetgreen closed at $24.82 Friday, 56% off the highs:
Talk about your pop and drops...
Energy Is Surprisingly Resilient
Oil prices are well off the highs, but the energy sector hasn't been all that bad.
XLE is only 5.6% off its highs, even with crude oil down 20% from the October peak.
Fun fact: XLE is the #1 performing major ETF in 2021, up 45.5% year-to-date.
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