Bullish or Bearish? Week of April 27, 2020

Mid-term: S&P 500 is still below its 200-day moving average = BearishThe longer it remains below its 200-day MA, the more bearish it is for the market. Nevertheless, SPX did make it to its 50-day moving average, so it’s best to stand back and see how high (or low) it can go this week.

One-month trend = Bullish. SPX has worked hard, with the Fed’s help, to rally back to its 50-day moving average. Let’s see if it’s a bear market rally (most likely) or a continuation of the bull market (unlikely).

RSI: (S&P 500) @ 55.01 = Neutral. The market could go in either direction this week. The Fed is meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, so anything is possible.

MACD: MACD is even with its zero line and even with its 9-day Signal Line) = Neutral

Daily Intraday Volatility (VIX): 35.93 = Relatively High. Volatility remains elevated. Expect volatile trading days. 

Comment: The Fed meets this week so there should a number of crosscurrents. The market has made a brave attempt to rally back to its 200-day moving average (SPX 3007). With the Fed throwing gobs of money at the stock market, anything is possible.

However, the bad news keeps piling up. Unemployment is at all-time highs, the virus is still swirling around, most businesses are closed, the economy is in shambles, and most people are still hunkered down in their homes.

Maybe the Fed can pull a rabbit out of a hat and convince people that all is well, but I have my doubts. Unless there is a vaccine or some other good virus news, the bears could take control. However, the Fed will do anything possible to keep the market levitated.

Bottom line: Expect a tug-of-war this week between the bulls and the bears.

The two pieces below are brilliantly written. Sven Henrich approaches the market from a technical perspective, while Lance Roberts discusses the fundamental case (with some technical analysis). Be sure to watch the videos in the Henrich blog. Highly recommended:

Sven Henrich @ Northman Trader on the current market environment. He is leaning bearish: https://bit.ly/2Ya47iK

Lance Roberts @ realinvestmentadvice.com on whether the bear market is over: https://bit.ly/2KB6Vxx

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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 April 20, 2020

Mid-term: S&P 500 is still below its 200-day moving average = BearishThe longer it remains below its 200-day MA, the more bearish it is for the stock market. The strong rally continued last week as SPX attempts to reach the 200-day moving average.

One-month trend = Bearish. After a strong downtrend, SPX bounced back strongly. It could be a typical bear market rally, but let’s wait and see if the rally fails.

RSI: (S&P 500) @ 57.36 = Neutral. The market could go in either direction this week so be careful. 

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

Daily Intraday Volatility (VIX): 38.15 = High. Volatility remains elevated. Expect volatile trading days. 

The market has rallied so quickly and strongly that it surprised almost everyone. A number of bullish investors have proclaimed that the bear market is already over. Hmmm.

There is a disconnect between the stock market and the economy. As I’ve often said, the market is the news, and that is true. With the Fed’s help, the market has recovered much of its losses, and is acting as if the economy is strong and all is well.

Unfortunately, reality is going to smack the market like a 2 x 4 in the face. I would be very very cautious about being long at these elevated levels. With the economy in shambles, with millions out of work, with the virus still ravaging the world, and with bad news as far as the eye can see, eventually reality will win.

I wish I had better news but in the short-term, we are going to be in a world of pain. Eventually many of our problems will be solved, but not quickly. Many people are too impatient. They want the bear market to end, for the economy to recover, and for everyone to return back to work. In reality, we are in for a longer term process that will take time a lot of time to play out.

My advice: Be very cautious and defensive in these dangerous times. I would not be surprised to see the indexes fall well below the March lows in the next few weeks or months. It might be hard to believe we could crash again but that is typical of a failed bear market rally.

Once again, here are two pieces that I recommend reading:

Sven Henrich @ Northman Trader on how you should look at one chart to see the truth about the current market: https://bit.ly/2VmnmnB

Lance Roberts, money manager @ realinvestmentadvice.com on how the market has moved into the resistance zone: https://bit.ly/2XMyM5p

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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 April 13, 2020

Mid-term: S&P 500 is below its 200-day moving average = BearishThe longer it remains below its 200-day MA, the more bearish it is for the stock market. Last week was the strongest rally in 45 years but it wasn’t enough to bring the indexes above the 200-day.

One-month trend = Bearish. After a strong downtrend, SPX bounced back strongly. It could be a typical bear market rally, but let’s wait and see.

RSI: (S&P 500) @ 54.62 = Neutral. The market could go in either direction this week so be careful. 

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

Daily Intraday Volatility (VIX): 41.67 = High. Volatility remains elevated. Expect volatile trading days.

Comment: Last week was the strongest rally in 45 years. I wish we could celebrate but the odds are good it is a bear market rally, which typically doesn’t last for long. The futures are lower on Sunday night and so is oil.

The Fed has thrown huge sums of money at every asset class, including the stock market. Meanwhile, the real economy is in deep, deep trouble.

Until the indexes rise above their 200-day moving averages, I would treat every rally with deep suspicion. And until I see evidence of a strong uptrend, I will treat this is a bear market.

Wall Street and Main Street want the bear market to be over quickly, but it’s going to take time to repair the damage. Sadly, we are still suffering from the effects of the virus, and most businesses are still shuttered. Until that changes, I would not be in a rush to be going long right now.

I wish I had more positive news but bear markets are not fun for most people, and this is going to be a bad one. I don’t believe the cheerleaders on TV, or those who proclaim the bear market is over, or those who say we’re going to bounce back soon. I hope they’re right, but I doubt it.

Cash is not a bad place to be until we start solving our financial and health problems. It’s heartbreaking to see the thousands of people lining up to get food from the food banks. A lot of people are hurting.

I can’t remember where I read this but I’m paraphrasing: When things are going good, they go really good. And when things are going bad, they go really bad. Be prepared for some very tough times ahead.

The good news is that one day they will find a cure for the virus, the economy will recover, and the bear market will end. The key is surviving the tough times in the short term, which will be challenging for almost everyone.

I have an article coming out on Tuesday on MarketWatch on the bear market.

The following are much more detailed analysis of the current stock market:

Sven Henrich @ Northman Trader on how the Fed cannot buy its way out of this crisis: https://bit.ly/3cewCzD

Lance Roberts, money manager @ realinvestmentadvice.com on how the bear market is still prowling: https://bit.ly/2VlYhYI

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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 April 6, 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 above, assume we are in a bear market.

One-month trend = Bearish. After a strong downtrend, SPX recently bounced back, but only briefly.

RSI: (S&P 500) @ 42.92 = Slightly oversold. The market could go in either direction this week so be careful.

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

Daily Intraday Volatility (VIX): 46.80 = High. Volatility has skyrocketed as fears increased, but fell last week. Expect volatile trading days until fear subsides.

Comment: It has been hard for many people to believe how quickly our lives, and the world, has changed. Those who can adjust to the changes even under adverse conditions will ultimately thrive. I am hoping that the millions of people whose lives have been upended will find a way to succeed. It will take time, but I am really hoping for the best.

Meanwhile, as long as the indexes are below their 200-day moving averages, I will treat this as a bear market. This is going to be very hard for many people to believe, especially on the days the market rallies.

For over 10 years, we were in a strong bull market, and now it’s over. Many are hoping the bear market will end quickly, and some actually think it already ended. The reality is that if this bear market follows a traditional path, the bear will last anywhere from 6 to 18 months. Judging by the economy and the impact of the virus, I believe it could last longer than most investors realize.

Therefore, if you want to face reality, then rallies should be viewed with suspicion. Although there will be amazing, mind-blowing rallies on occasion, as the bear market continues, the indexes will ultimately grind lower. Those who don’t want to believe or don’t see will keep buying on the dip as the indexes fall. Traders call it “trying to catch a falling knife.” Because the market will drop so slowly at first, bullish investors will feel like a frog being boiled in hot water.

Yes, some stocks will outperform, and if you continue to have a bullish mindset, you might find stocks that are going up. But if this is a traditional bear market, many stocks will continue to drop until the last ones, the Generals, remain. The Generals, the so-called FAANG stocks, will be the last to fall. This will not play out over weeks but over months if not a year or longer.

It’s possible that there will be a cure for the virus in a few months and the economy will come back strong. I hope that happens for the world’s sake. But as long as the indexes are below the 200-day moving average, then it is too risky to go long.

If you are unable to devote the time to trade in a bear market or are frozen in fear, you have several choices. For example, you can hold what stocks or indexes you own until the worst is over. If you own excellent stocks, they may come back in the future. That’s what happened in 2008.

You can also move some or a portion of your money to cash (hopefully on rallies). And finally, you can trade, but trading a bear market is difficult, so trade small if you choose this route. I do not recommend shorting individual stocks if you are a beginner.

Bottom line: It’s a tug of war between an awful economy and the Fed. As a result, each day is a new surprise. If I am right and this is a true bear market, selling into rallies is the strategy of choice. Warning: This is not easy to do! Most important, follow the market. Right now, Mr. Market is confused and injured, so anything is possible. Please be careful out there.

Note: Futures are screaming higher on Sunday night. Let’s see how long the rally lasts. Remember, this is a four-day trading week.

Finally, this is worth reading: Lance Roberts, money manager at (realinvestmentadvice.com), gives an excellent analysis on how the odds are good this is a bear market: https://bit.ly/3aLhZ6H

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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