Daily Market Color November 20, 2018Risk Assets Continue to Feel the Pain Tech Stocks Pull S&P 500 into Negative Territory on the Year The S&P 500 was down over 1% at the open and kept grinding lower- ending the day down 1.82%. The sell-off was led by technology stocks, echoing the theme of the past few sessions. Unlike last week, the VIX or “Fear Gauge” did respond to the move in cash equity markets, moving up 2.5 points to 22.72- its highest close of the month. The VIX has now spent three and a half months above 16 in 2018, after momentarily peaking at that level in 2017. Crude Oil Breaks Below $55/Barrel US Crude Oil broke through an important resistance level, falling below $55/barrel for the first time since October 2017. A supply cut by OPEC seems less likely now that President Trump voiced his support for Saudi Arabia, saying “they’ve been very responsive to my requests to keeping oil prices at reasonable levels”. Despite the decreased likelihood of a production cut, the December OPEC meeting still looms as the next major catalyst for price movement. Housing Market Struggles Persist The Commerce Department’s report on US homebuilding released this morning continued to paint a mixed picture of the housing market heading into year end. While overall housing starts increased by 1.5% during October to a 1.228 million seasonally-adjusted pace, much of the rise could be attributed to the volatile multi-family component. Single-family homebuilding declined for a second straight month (-865,000), as rising mortgage rates and home prices weighed on market sentiment. Building permits, often a forward-looking gauge to homebuilding, declined by 0.6% in October to a 1.263 million pace.