Nasdaq, S&P, Dow futures rebound after big selloff; rates down again

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Stock index futures point to a bounce at the open Tuesday after the S&P 500 lost the 4,000 level in broad selling yesterday.

“A fall in bond yields, a bounce for equities, a slightly softer dollar; it’s turnaround Tuesday, but not with much conviction!” SocGen’s Kit Juckes wrote.

S&P futures (SPX) +0.9%, Nasdaq 100 futures (NDX:IND) +1.3% and Dow futures (DJI) +0.7% are gaining.

But year to date, the S&P (SP500) is down 16%, the Nasdaq 100 (NDX) is off 25% and the Dow (DJI) is 11% lower.

The VIX is lower this morning, but still above 33.

“Equity markets theoretically price expectations for the economic future,” UBS chief economist Paul Donovan wrote. “Yesterday’s market volatility raises the question ‘what new economic information did we get?.'”

“The answer is ‘nothing really.’ The economic outlook has not significantly changed from last week or last month. Markets seem caught in a narrative, not objectively reacting to economic news.”

Yesterday, rates tracked stocks lower as cash moved to safety. That’s something the market hasn’t seen in a while during an equity selloff.

The 10-year Treasury yield is down 7 basis points to 3.01%, while the 2-year is down 3 basis points to 2.59%.

It “took a big yield drop yesterday for equities to find a base, and if the S&P rises further today, yields will head back up sharply,” Juckes said. “So, it could be volatile, and it’s worth keeping more than one eye on credit spreads while that happens. That particular canary is just warming up its vocal cords.”

“The price action of late has been remarkable,” ING said. “The big upside test seen for US yields has been driven overwhelmingly by rises in real rates, and that pressure remains. At the same time the big fall in US market rates late yesterday was driven by a fall in US inflation expectations.”

“The latter bit will please the Fed. They delivered 50bp, and the promise to deliver another 100bp in the next couple of months, while chunky, is still below where the market discount had been. The risk the Fed ran was that inflation expectations could have spiked. That has not happened.”

There are five Fed speakers on tap today, but it investors will likely be looking ahead to tomorrow’s CPI data.

Oppenheimer just released a stock market bottom checklist that finds only one of 10 conditions met.