Bullish or Bearish? Week of March 30, 2020

Mid-term: S&P 500 is still well below its 200-day moving average = Bearish. The longer it remains below its 200-day MA, the more bearish it is for the stock market. Until SPX rallies back above, assume we are in a bear market.

One-month trend = Bearish. After a strong downtrend, SPX and the other indexes bounced back last week the fastest since 1931. Consider it a bear market rally until SPX rises above its 200-day moving average.

RSI: (S&P 500) @ 43.58 = Slightly oversold. The market could go in either direction this week so be careful.

MACD: MACD is below its Zero Line but rose slightly above its 9-day Signal Line) = Bearish to Neutral

Daily Intraday Volatility (VIX): 65.54 (Extremely High) = Volatility has skyrocketed as fears increased. Expect volatile trading days until panic and fear subsides.

Comment: It’s going to be another volatile week as the Fed’s infusion of capital into the market competes with bad news about the virus and economy. Even with the rally, we are still oversold (the crash was the fastest and strongest in history).

In a typical bear market, the markets will have a severe plunge like we just experienced, then rally strongly, followed by a longer, more severe pullback that can last months if not years. No one can predict if we will follow this model, but it’s possible.

Unfortunately, many people are still in denial, and are hoping we will return to the old time highs (one financial publication even proclaimed that the bear market was over). Don’t be surprised if we rally strongly on some days but be suspicious.

If you are trading or investing, you must be brutally honest. You may have noticed that many traders are “selling the rally,” which is typical in a bear market. In a bull market, investors and traders will “buy the dip,” but do the opposite in a bear market. Again, the bear market rally could continue into this week (it’s possible although the futures are lower on Sunday night).

Bottom line: No one can predict what is going to happen so all you can do is sit back and be ready for any scenario. With the virus taking up all of the news coverage, which will soon be followed by dreadful employment news, it’s going to be a struggle in the near future. Expect rough times before we see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Bottom line: These are difficult times for everyone. It’s distressing how quickly the economy collapsed, and how so many jobs were lost. I truly hope that the Fed knows what it is doing.

Read the excellent analysis below for a more detailed take on the future.

Sven Henrich (Northman Trader) on the future of the stock market: https://bit.ly/3acjfiH . Be sure to watch the video at the end of the commentary.

Lance Roberts, money manager at (realinvestmentadvice.com), on how the bear market may play out: https://bit.ly/33UPTmE

Finally, although the following video is not related to the stock market, it is worth watching (57 minutes). It’s from a New York doctor who tells exactly how to protect you and your family from the virus by following some basic rules. It will actually reduce your fears as he tells the facts.

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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 March 23, 2020

Mid-term: S&P 500 is well below its 200-day moving average = Bearish. The longer it remains below its 200-day MA, the more bearish it is for the stock market. Until SPX rallies back, assume we are in a bear market.

One-month trend = Bearish. We are in a strong downtrend due to a pandemic, which has decimated our economy in the short-term.

RSI: (S&P 500) @ 31.57 = Extremely Oversold. Unfortunately, there is still room for the market to fall more before another dead-cat bounce.

MACD: MACD still in a free-fall. (MACD plunged below its Zero Line and plunged below its 9-day Signal Line) = Bearish

Daily Intraday Volatility (VIX): 60.54 (Extremely High) = Volatility has skyrocketed as fears increased. Expect volatile trading days until panic and fear subsides.

Comment: Futures are plunging again on Sunday night as investors watch their 401k profits disappear. Eventually, the selling stops and there’s a tradeable bottom. These are not easy times.

We are in uncharted territory as the virus takes a physical and financial toll on the world. Last week was particularly brutal, especially last Monday when the Dow fell by over 3,000 points. I’ve never seen numbers that large, which reflects the fear and panic many investors are feeling.

I can’t prove it but I believe a lot of the selling is due to forced liquidations and margin calls by hedge funds, at least five that blew up last week. From anecdotal evidence, it appears as if many buy and hold investors are sitting tight with their stocks and mutual funds, perhaps because they remember how quickly the market bounced back after 2008.

At this time, I do not know which model the market will follow. If it’s the 1987 bear market model, we will bounce back fairly quickly, within months. The 2008 bear market model was longer and more painful, but the market bounced back after a year or so. The worst case example is the 1929 crash and bear market. I truly hope we don’t follow that model, when the market not only crashed, but continued to fall for the next three years. No one can predict when the current market will “bounce back,” so until then, selling stocks on rallies is not a bad strategy (Lance Roberts has specific advice in the link below).

These are scary times but you must remain calm and clear-headed. Hopefully, you have a sizable amount in cash that will allow you to buy at the “bottom.” Do not be fooled into buying too early, however, as many have tried and failed. Trying to time the “dip” is nearly impossible, so be patient and wait to see how this plays out.

Unfortunately, we are in for rough times ahead in the coming days, weeks, and months. If you can afford it, it would not be wrong to sit this out and wait until the selling stops. Those who want to trade can find opportunities, but trade small.

Bottom line: No one can predict the future, especially during times like this. Your money can always be replaced, but not your lives. Take steps to protect you and your family. Once this virus is eradicated, and our economy is repaired, there should be excellent opportunities to buy stocks at low prices in the future.

Read the following pieces from two analysts who have been warning us of the dangers for months. They continue to give excellent advice:

Sven Henrich (Northman Trader) on stock market fears: https://bit.ly/3acjfiH

Lance Roberts, money manager at (realinvestmentadvice.com), on how the bear market will be with us for a while: https://bit.ly/2U9Fz6Y

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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 March 16, 2020

Mid-term: S&P 500 is well below its 200-day moving average = Bearish. The longer it remains below its 200-day MA, the more bearish it is for the stock market.

One-month trend = Bearish. We are in a strong downtrend and it’s still as ugly as I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure what the Fed can do to reverse this crash-like plunge.

RSI: (S&P 500) @ 37.67 = Oversold. Unfortunately, there is still room for the market to fall more before another dead-cat bounce.

MACD: MACD in a free-fall. (MACD plunged below its Zero Line and plunged below its 9-day Signal Line) = Bearish

Daily Intraday Volatility (VIX): 57.83 (High) = Volatility has skyrocketed as fears over the virus and the market plunges have increased. Eventually, fear subsides, but for now, VIX is at extreme levels = Bearish.

Comment: Sunday night, futures are limit down after the Fed cut interest rates to near 0. I don’t ever remember a situation like this. Although the futures will likely plunge at the open, there is a chance there could be a reversal in the near future, but I wouldn’t bet on when it will happen. Beginners should stay far away from this dangerous market.

This is a trader’s market, and in the short-term, buy and holders could get crushed. I only hope you aren’t on margin, or didn’t bet everything on a dip. Although I don’t make predictions, I do study market history. As long as the indexes are below the 200-day moving average, it’s a bear market, and I will treat it as such.

Bear markets are not easy to trade. One day you’re plunging, the next day there’s a rally. As you can tell from the extreme volatility, you have a confused market with the added uncertainty of a pandemic ravaging the globe. It could get worse before it gets better, financially as well as physically. This is the time to study bear markets, and to make a trading or investment plan not only for the stock market but also for you and your family.

You can grit your teeth and hold, which I’m sure many will do, knowing that after 2008 we started a 10-year bull market. There is no evidence that will be repeated, however. You can also reduce what you own on every bounce. It would not be wrong to increase cash positions on rallies.

No one can tell you what is going to happen in the near future, but at the moment, it doesn’t look good. How long the bear market and coming recession lasts is unknown. One day the virus will be eradicated, and when that happens, we will focus on building our economy again. Until then, it could be a very rough road.

Bottom line: This is not the time to panic, but to prepare and plan for the future. Although I’m not surprised that the market bubble popped, I am surprised by the actions of the Fed, which have increased uncertainty and confusion. I truly hope they know what they are doing.

Read the following pieces from two analysts who have been warning us of the dangers for months. They continue to give excellent advice:

Sven Henrich (Northman Trader) on the most recent market collapse: https://bit.ly/39ReACQ

Lance Roberts, a money manager at (realinvestmentadvice.com), on how to invest during a bear market: https://bit.ly/2Qyg6Cj

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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 March 9, 2020

Mid-term: S&P 500 remains below its 200-day moving average = Bearish. The longer it remains below its 200-day MA, the more bearish it is for the stock market.

One-month trend = Bearish. We are in a strong downtrend and it’s about as ugly as I’ve seen since 2008.

RSI: (S&P 500) @ 35.62 = Oversold. Unfortunately, there is still room for the market to fall more before another dead-cat bounce.

MACD: MACD in a free-fall. (MACD plunged below its Zero Line and plunged below its 9-day Signal Line) = Bearish

Daily Intraday Volatility: 41.94 (High) = Volatility skyrocketed to as high as 54 before pulling back = Bearish. Although fear and volatility doesn’t last forever, the extreme volatility the markets are experiencing is similar to a car traveling at 100 miles an hour while falling apart. Sven Henrich explains it better than me (link at end of this piece).

Comment: The Sunday night futures are plunging to extreme levels at this writing. I don’t remember seeing the market plunge this often since 2008. As long as the SPX remains below the 200-day moving average, we are in a correction, and perhaps a bear market (we will have to see how low the markets go).

As I wrote a few weeks ago, although we still have a ways to go before we bottom, for many stockholders, it will feel like a crash. As you probably know, oil is crashing along with airlines and the travel industry. The Black Swan was the virus, and it is just getting started in the U.S.

If we do enter a bear market, remember that there are often strong one-day rallies like last week that can blow your socks off. If you’ve been following my advice for the last few months, you’ve built up a cash position and will be ready to buy when we hit bottom.

One thing for sure: Trading in a bear market is not easy. For many, it’s easier to diversify into cash and wait (it doesn’t mean to sell all in a panic). I interviewed Peter Lynch a few years ago and when I asked him how he handled bear markets, he said that although they are not fun, you grit your teeth and wait until it’s over. He said if you know what stocks you own, then you should be in good shape when the bear market ends.

We are going through rough times and there is no playbook right now. One day they will make a vaccine for the virus, and we will all celebrate. The market, unfortunately, may feel the effects of a popped bubble for many years. There will be a lot of blame to go around. The Fed gets a lot of the blame for cutting interest rates during the good times (after being pressured by President Trump). Now that we need emergency measures, the Fed has limited tools. In other words, it’s a perfect storm.

I hope a bottom is reached soon, but you cannot trade or invest based on hope. Keep your eye on the 200-day moving average. If we’re fortunate, and the central bankers devise a coordinated response, the markets will recover in the near future. Unfortunately, added to the economy’s woes are oil, which is crashing to $30 a barrel on Sunday night.

If this is truly a bear market, and it’s too early to proclaim it is, the old strategies won’t work. Buying on the dip will be difficult, and although there will be dead cat bounces, the market will keep falling until it hits bottom. The good news, as investors have repeatedly said, is that the “market always comes back.” That is true, but if you own the wrong stocks, your portfolio might not.

Note: I wish that everyone stays safe as this virus spreads across the world. We are in uncharted times right now so trying to predict what will happen in the future is useless. Stay calm and make plans for yourself, your family, and your portfolio.

Read the following excellent pieces from two analysts who have been warning us of the dangers for months:

Sven Henrich (Northman Trader) on the spiking VIX, which is telling us the worse is yet to come: https://bit.ly/3340Kdr

Lance Roberts, a money manager at (realinvestmentadvice.com), on navigating the unknown: https://bit.ly/333xTX2

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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 March 2, 2020

Mid-term: S&P 500 fell below its 200-day moving average = Bearish  

Short-term: S&P 500 sliced below its 50-day MA early in the week = Bearish

One-month trend: Uptrend has been broken and SPX is below its 200-day moving average. The Fed will step in with lower interest rates and perhaps QE4. Will that be enough to bring the indexes above the 200-day moving average? No one knows.

RSI: (S&P 500) @ 19.16= Extremely Oversold. I don’t ever remember seeing the RSI this low. Expect a snap-back rally, and soon.

MACD: MACD plunged below its Zero Line and plunged below its 9-day Signal Line = Bearish

Daily Intraday Volatility: 40.11 = Volatility skyrocketed = Bullish (Fear doesn’t last forever).

Comment: In retrospect, the warnings were everywhere. For example:

  1. A few weeks ago, the number of call buyers skyrocketed (i.e. they went long the SPX), the most call contracts in history.
  2. Market made all time highs a few weeks ago.
  3. Brokerage commissions went to $0, causing retail investors to pile into the market during the last month.
  4. Long-time bears that I knew threw in the towel and went long.
  5. Speculative stocks like SPCE and TSLA made all time highs while FAANG stocks struggled.

Now that the market plunged the most in a week in history, it’s easy to look back and see the signs. In retrospect, it really was a melt-up top, and retail investors,, as well as many pros, got caught holding the bag. It was a brutal week, and although I expected a pullback, I didn’t believe it would plunge that much.

And now, the market went from being overbought to oversold. At this writing, Sunday night, the futures are falling. I remember in December 2018 when the indexes plunged, and by January 2019 the Fed entered with their tools and brought the market higher and higher all year long.

The difference this time is the virus. That is the black swan that no one expected. Half the country is scared, the other half doesn’t seem to care. Because of the virus, the Chinese economy looks bleak, but the United States nor the rest of the world will be able to avoid financial damage.

However, the market is so oversold right now that I do expect the Fed to enter at some point on Monday or Tuesday and cut interest rates. I’d be shocked if they didn’t do something. That is why I expect a bounce that could last at least a day, and likely longer. Volatility has returned to the market and the Fed is going to do their best to calm the markets down.

Unfortunately, if the virus spreads to other states (in the U.S.) and to more countries, all bets are off. I do know that fear and panic don’t usually last long, but these are unusual times.

Sadly, there are too many unknowns right now, mostly dealing with the virus. That is why making predictions right now is difficult if not impossible. If we do rally, observe how long it lasts. If that rally fails, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Investors remember the previous pullbacks and know how fast the market recovered, and even went higher. “I’m in it for the long haul,” I have heard. “The market always comes back.” I truly hope they are right.

I also am a student of stock market history, and I know that the market doesn’t always follow the script. After 11 years of the greatest bull market in history, the market once again taught investors and traders a very hard lesson. It does that every 10 years or so.

Bottom line: We are in uncharted territory right now with a virus looming in the air. Although I expect a snap-back rally (we are obscenely oversold right now), I have no idea how long the rally will last. Keep your eye on the 200-day moving average. In the past, the market bounced back quickly from rough times, but this time we have a black swan, so anything is possible. Take care and good luck, we are in for a rough ride.

Read the following excellent pieces from two analysts who had been warning us of the dangers:

Sven Henrich (Northman Trader), who has been spot on with his analysis the last few months. He discusses the 2020 crash: https://bit.ly/38fMnnv

Lance Roberts (realinvestmentadvice.com), who has warned for months to take money off the table and increase cash. Lance discusses what to do next: https://bit.ly/39h7Ttw

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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