The Markets Fell To Key Technical Levels (Technically Speaking For 4/21)

Apr. 21, 2022 5:31 PM ETSPY, QQQ, DIA, IWM7 Comments
Hale Stewart profile picture
Hale Stewart


  • The Fed released the latest Beige Book yesterday.
  • The yield curve has become much flatter over the last four months.
  • The markets returned to the technical knife edge.

Bull and Bear Symbol with Stock Market Concept.

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The Fed released the latest Beige Book, which contained the following comments describing inflation:

Inflationary pressures remained strong since the last report, with firms continuing to pass swiftly rising input costs through to customers.... Strong demand generally allowed firms to pass through input cost increases to customers, for example, via fuel surcharges for freight and airline fares.

This is the type of news that makes the Fed pay attention. When firms have the ability to pass through higher prices, central bankers take note. However, they noted:

However, contacts in a few Districts noted negative sales impacts from rising prices.

This is the first time negative comments like this have appeared in the Book. This may spark the beginning of a negative price feedback loop, which would be a welcome development.

Here is the description of overall, macroeconomic activity:

Consumer spending accelerated among retail and non-financial service firms, as COVID-19 cases tapered across the country. Manufacturing activity was solid overall across most Districts, but supply chain backlogs, labor market tightness, and elevated input costs continued to pose challenges on firms' abilities to meet demand. Vehicle sales remained largely constrained by low inventories. Commercial real estate activity accelerated modestly as office occupancy and retail activity increased. Districts' contacts reported continued strong demand for residential real estate but limited supply.

Regarding expectations, the Book commented:

Outlooks for future growth were clouded by the uncertainty created by recent geopolitical developments and rising prices.

As with the negative price feedback loop, this is the first time expectations have been "clouded."

Fed Chair Powell is on board for a 50 basis point hike at the next meeting:

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell blessed a half-point interest-rate hike next month and signaled support for further aggressive tightening to curb inflation by noting that he saw merit in "front-end loading" policy moves.

"I would say that 50 basis points will be on the table for the May meeting," Powell told an IMF-hosted panel on Thursday in Washington that he shared with European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde and other officials. "We really are committed to using our tools to get 2% inflation back," he said, referring to the Fed's target for annual price increases.

I believe he's the fourth Fed President to support this move.

The yield curve has flattened substantially since the end of last year:

Yield curve on 12/30/21

Yield curve on 12/30/21 (

At the end of last year, the yield curve was a classic curve with long rates continually higher.

Yield curve on 4/21/22

Yield curve on 4/21/22 (

Now, starting at the 2-year, the curve is nearly straight.

Let's take a look at two sets of charts.

1-day SPY, QQQ, DIA, and IWM

1-day SPY, QQQ, DIA, and IWM (Stockcharts)

This is a classic sell-off pattern, with prices moving from the northwest to the southeast. Prices kept moving lower throughout the day, ending near a session low.

1-day SPY, QQQ, DIA, and IWM

1-day SPY, QQQ, DIA, and IWM (Stockcharts)

Prices have now returned to key technical levels. The SPY is at the 200d-ay EMA; the QQQ and IWM are both at key support levels.

I'll be back over the weekend with a weekly summation.

This article was written by

Hale Stewart profile picture
Hale Stewart spent 5 years as a bond broker in the late 1990s before returning to law school in the early 2000s. He is currently a tax lawyer in Houston, Texas. He has an LLM in domestic and international taxation (MagnaCumLaude). He is the author of the book The Lifetime Income Security Solution. Follow me on Twitter at @originalbonddadYou can read his legal analysis on his law office's blog.

Disclosure: I/we have no stock, option or similar derivative position in any of the companies mentioned, and no plans to initiate any such positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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