Financial conditions will soon begin tightening again
S&P 500 futures are trading 3.4% lower from their high last week touching the 200-day moving average before rolling over again. Sentiment has shifted as the market is slowly pricing less rate cuts for next year with Fed Funds futures curve on Friday (the blue line) has shifted lower compared to a week ago (the purple line) as inflationary pressures are expected to ease as much as betted on by the market over the past month.
Fed member Bullard recently said that he was leaning towards 75 basis points rate hike at the September FOMC meeting to cool the economy further. If the Fed goes with 75 basis points while the real economy is seeing lower activity it will mean that financial conditions will begin tightening more relative to the economic backdrop. Financial conditions have been loosening since June but expectation is that we will see another leg of tightening to levels eclipsing the prior high and with that US equities will likely roll over.
S&P 500 futures are now well below the 4,200 level and currently in the congestion zone from before the last leg higher. The next gravitational point to the downside is the 4,100 and below that just above 4,000. December put options on the S&P 500 are currently bid around $208 which roughly a 5% premium for getting three-month downside protection at-the-money.