Bullish or Bearish? Week of Aug. 26, 2019

S&P 500 is above its 200-day moving average but pointing straight down = Neutral  

S&P 500 is below its 50-day and 100- day moving averages = Bearish

S&P 500 one-month trend: SPX broke its uptrend and is in a downtrend.

RSI: (S&P 500) @ = 40.78 = Slightly Oversold

MACD: Below Zero Line and below Signal Line = Bearish

Daily Intraday Volatility: 19.87 (Neutral). The algos are doing everything in their power to suppress volatility. Nevertheless, volatility has increased.

Comment: A lot of pundits and financial know-it-alls are going to tell you “why” the market went down last week. To tell you the truth, knowing “why” the market goes up or down is not helpful. What is helpful is knowing “what” the market is doing. That will be our focus today.

As I’m writing this on Sunday night, the SPX futures are lower, but there is no panic. As you know, we fell hard last week, especially on Friday, and we’re getting closer to the S&P 500 200-day moving average (at or around 2800). As SPX gets closer to this line-in-the sand support level, the algos will do anything possible to defend it. The odds are very good we will bounce at the 200-day moving average (assuming it gets there).

The only way SPX slices below the 200-day in the next few days is if there is panic selling. So far, all of the selling has been orderly and calm. In fact, if it wasn’t for the algos buying on every dip, the selloff last week would have been much worse.

But, based on the broken uptrend, the extreme negativity, the low PMI, and a struggling economy, the bull market appears to be over. However, the programmed buy-on-the-dip algos will keep defending until investors start panic selling, and that hasn’t happened yet.

This is a very dangerous market and difficult to navigate. If you’re a complacent investor, you will remind yourself that the “market always comes back,” which are dangerous words in a recession and bear market, especially if you own individual stocks. And if you are a trader, one tweet can cause the market to rocket higher or plunge. Yes, it’s dangerous for both investors and traders.

To survive, you must use hedges if you are a trader, and diversify if you are an investor. If you make an all-or-nothing bet on one side or the other, you are gambling, not trading. Nevertheless, as we enter the difficult months of September and October, the odds are with the bears (based on the indicators above and dire economic indicators such as PMI and the inverted yield curve). However, the algos will do everything in their power to run the market back to the 50-day moving averages. They might fail this time, but they will do their best.

Volatility is here to stay for a while, and no one can predict what the market will do in the near future. It’s times like these that I like to raise cash, but that is me.

Bottom line: Keep your eye on SPX 2800 and watch the algos defend it. If SPX slices below 2800 and stays below, it will get a lot uglier a lot faster. This week should be another wild ride (on some days), so be ready for anything.

Options Alert: There is a lot of option interest for the SPY October 280 put.

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For daily results of multiple indicators, read Yardeni Research: https://goo.gl/eT3fzA

For insightful analysis of the stock market, read Lance Roberts:www.realinvestmentadvice.com

For insightful analysis of economic conditions, read Wolf Richter:www.wolfstreet.com


Bullish or Bearish? Week of Aug. 19, 2019

S&P 500 is above its 200-day moving average = Bullish  

S&P 500 is below its 50-day and 100- day moving averages = Bearish

S&P 500 one-month trend: SPX broke its uptrend and is in a downtrend. The algos are going to have to bring the indexes back to the 50-day to save this market.

RSI: (S&P 500) @ = 44.87 = Neutral

MACD: Below Zero Line and below Signal Line and pointing lower = Bearish

Daily Intraday Volatility: 18.47 (Neutral). The algos are doing everything in their power to suppress volatility. Nevertheless, volatility has increased.

Comment: For the first time in years, many pundits were talking about a recession over the weekend, so the White House pushed back on Sunday. As I noted several weeks ago, the signs of a recession are coming closer, and for many, it was the inverted yield curve that confirmed the economy is struggling. The only thing holding the economy up are consumers, who are still buying online, and jobs (there haven’t been massive job losses). 

Last week was a wild and ugly week. If it wasn’t for the buy on the dip algos, it could have been a whole lot worse. The trend was broken as SPX dropped below its 50-day and 100-day moving averages. The 800-point Dow shellacking last week made a lot of people nervous (this is the second major one-day selloff in two weeks), and the indexes only recovered some of its losses. And yet, there is still no panic. This tells me there is plenty of room for the indexes to fall as we enter September and October. 

With all of the danger signs swirling about, do not forget that the buy on the dip algos will do almost anything to keep this market propped up by any means possible. If it means a tweet in the middle of the day, a tax cut, a 50 basis point cut by the Fed, or QE, it will be done.

We are going through very, very dangerous and unprecedented times. The tug of war between the algos vs nervous sellers will continue into the fall. The good news: Retail investors are still holding tight and are not panicked at this time. 

For the next three or four months, you must be on high alert for some very crazy times. If you make money with puts (or shorting), take profits fast. For the last 11 years, the buy and hold strategy has been a winner. In my opinion, in the future this strategy will not work like it did before (perhaps for years, but this is pure speculation on my part). 

Keep in mind that Jerome Powell is in Jackson Hole this week and will be speaking next Friday at 10:00 a.m. ET, so prepare for occasional volatility spikes all week, and especially on Friday.

If you want to read some very thoughtful but scary analysis, click on the following links. These analysts say it a lot better than me (be sure to also read the links from Wolf Street and Lance Roberts below) for additional insights. This is not the time to panic, but to get educated.

From Northman Trader: https://bit.ly/2Z095jT

From Victor Dergunov (Seeking Alpha): https://bit.ly/30gedN5

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For daily results of multiple indicators, read Yardeni Research: https://goo.gl/eT3fzA

For insightful analysis of the stock market, read Lance Roberts:www.realinvestmentadvice.com

For insightful analysis of economic conditions, read Wolf Richter:www.wolfstreet.com


Bullish or Bearish? Week of Aug. 12, 2019

S&P 500 is above its 200-day moving average = Bullish  

S&P 500 is below its 50-day moving average = Bearish

S&P 500 one-month trend: SPX broke its uptrend during the week, a bearish signal. However, there should be attempts to bring SPX back above its 50-day moving average.

RSI: (S&P 500) @ = 44.73 = Neutral

MACD: Below Zero Line and below Signal Line = Bearish

Daily Intraday Volatility: 17.97 (Neutral). The algos are doing everything in their power to suppress volatility. Nevertheless, volatility has been spiking.

Comment: What a wild week! To refresh your memory, Monday started off with a 700 point Dow shellacking, followed by rallies and selloffs the rest of the week. On Wednesday, the indexes were crashing when the algos came in for a rescue, and turned the indexes positive in the afternoon.

The volatility should continue as we enter the volatile months of September and October. It will give investors indigestion (but so far there has been little panic) as the indexes gyrate. Traders can do well but it’s extremely dangerous, especially if buying puts. Why? Because the algos constantly pounce to keep volatility low and run the market higher. The reality is that buyers were mostly absent, but the algos were ready and waiting to bring the market higher at every opportunity. That is one of the reasons it’s so risky to buy puts, so if you do make a profit, sell quickly.

Expect volatile days in the coming days and weeks. There are many signs of a recession except that consumers are still buying (mostly online), and there haven’t been job losses. If these two take a hit, then the recession will have arrived.

Bottom line: Navigating this market is very difficult right now, and there are many crosscurrents. Investors would be wise to increase cash (but not sell everything). There is a chance the indexes could rally strongly from here, but the odds are not good right now. As I wrote last week, every bull market is followed by a bear market. After the longest bull market in history, what do you think is going to happen next? Unfortunately, based on stock market history, individual retail investors will hold their darlings right until the bitter end.

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For daily results of multiple indicators, read Yardeni Research: https://goo.gl/eT3fzA

For insightful analysis of the stock market, read Lance Roberts:www.realinvestmentadvice.com

For insightful analysis of economic conditions, read Wolf Richter:www.wolfstreet.com


Bullish or Bearish? Week of Aug. 5, 2019

S&P 500 is above its 200-day moving average = Bullish  

S&P 500 is equal to its 50-day moving average = Neutral

S&P 500 one-month trend: SPX fell back to its 50-day moving average = SPY hit all-time highs and reversed direction.

RSI: (S&P 500) @39 = Oversold

MACD: Above Zero Line but below Signal Line and pointing lower (Neutral to Bearish)

Daily Intraday Volatility: 17.61 (Neutral). Volatility spiked last week, as expected. It was in the basement for far too long.

Comment: If you’ve been following my blog for the last few weeks, you know that last week’s pullback was expected. With RSI so high, the VIX so low, sentiment so bullish, and SPX at all-time highs, a pullback was bound to happen, and it did. Wall Street wasn’t pleased with the quarter point cut, nor was the President, who fueled the downside with additional tariff threats against China.

As I wrote several weeks ago, there are signs we are in or headed towards a recession. There are so many warning signs and indicators it’s hard to keep track. At the moment, the only positive sign is that consumers are still buying, and job losses are minimal. Keep an eye out for clues, because if there are layoffs, it will confirm what many other indicators are reflecting.

Because we went down so hard and fast last week, a bounce is expected this week, but it may not last long. We are coming into the volatile months of September and October with a confused Fed, trade wars, overall nervousness, and near all-time highs in the stock market. A lot could go wrong.

What to do? Let me pass the baton to Lance Roberts’ latest piece, which gives excellent advice plus sobering statistics. Here is his latest: https://bit.ly/31g6FtT

In addition, read Wolf Richter’s latest (click on link below) for a frightening look at heavy truck sale orders (they have plunged by 81%).

Bottom line: Expect a more volatile few weeks and months as nervous investors hope for the best in a very difficult market environment. After a 11-year bull market, does anyone really expect it to continue indefinitely? Those who have never experienced a bear market are going to get a wakeup call and many lessons. Knowing investors the way I do, they won’t be selling their favorite stocks anytime soon no matter how low the market goes.

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For daily results of multiple indicators, read Yardeni Research: https://goo.gl/eT3fzA

For insightful analysis of the stock market, read Lance Roberts:www.realinvestmentadvice.com

For insightful analysis of economic conditions, read Wolf Richter:www.wolfstreet.com