Stock Market Stagnates to End February


Joseph Rangel

Feb 28th 2023  .  3 min read

Stock Market Stagnates to End February

Another grind higher throughout the overnight futures session led into the early pre-market. A slow move toward the psychological level of 4,000 took place in a controlled manner. Another failure to break about 4,000 in the S&P 500 futures was an early tell of how the market wanted to move in the session to end the month. By the time the opening bell would be heard, selling pressure began to mount, breaking below the Volume Weighted Average Price (VWAP)

Today’s Session

As the opening bell rang, the Dow Jones index faced significant selling pressure, while the Nasdaq index displayed early signs of divergence by remaining relatively strong compared to other indices. One of the reasons behind this divergence was the robust performance of large-cap tech stocks such as Apple Inc. (AAPL), Google (GOOGL), and Nvidia (NVDA). These stocks continued to exhibit strength despite the market’s vulnerability, and their resilience was an indication of the market’s potential direction.

However, the market faced a volatile and choppy environment, with the Dow Jones futures creeping lower and the Nasdaq futures grinding higher while the S&P 500 futures remained range-bound within a 20-point range. Eventually, the Dow Jones futures provided enough relief for the market to move closer to the crucial psychological level of 4,000. But, as expected, the market reencountered resistance, leading to a prolonged consolidation period that ultimately broke lower, pushing the market down.

The most significant moment in the trading session was the battle near the 4,000 level, indicating who holds the reins of the market. The inability of the S&P 500 futures to establish themselves above this level suggests that the path of least resistance continues to appear lower.

To end the trading session, the market once again held the previous Low of the Day (LOD) at 3,975, creating a small zone that needs to break in either direction for a more significant move to take place. If the market fails to break above the 4,000 level, a quality target for the downside is the 200-day Simple Moving Average (SMA) at the 3,950 level. However, if the market can clear the 4,000 level, the 21-day Exponential Moving Average is the next target at 4,050.

Markets respected the battleground level of 4,000 on S&P 500 Futures (/ES)

ISM and Tesla Lead Events for Tomorrow 

Tomorrow the most prominent economic event to be aware of is the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing report on Wednesday at 10 a.m. Eastern. 

Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) will host the Teslo 2023 Investor Day at 4 p.m. Eastern. Planned announcements include long-term expansion plans, capital allocations, and other subjects with the Tesla leadership team. This event will potentially affect the price of TSLA stock and can also weigh on the Nasdaq. 

Market Falls Short In Efforts to Close Green

The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 were negative to close the session. The S&P 500 futures closed down 0.21%, declining 8.5 points, while the Nasdaq futures closed down 0.04%, losing 4.75 points. The Dow Jones futures led the charge, closing up 0.65%, a loss of 214 points.