Bullish or Bearish? (Week of June 8, 2015)

Each weekend, I study market behavior using sentiment and technical indicators. My goal is to use clues, observation, and indicators to analyze underlying market conditions. If you can determine the current market environment, it may help you to create profitable trading strategies.

RELEASED: Understanding Options (McGraw-Hill, 2E), Understanding Stocks (McGraw-Hill, 2E), Start Day Trading Now (Adams Media), and Predict the Next Bull or Bear Market and Win (Adams Media): http://bit.ly/1bl0ZNk

My latest book (eBook) has been released: Prepare Now and Survive the Coming Bear Market. Amazon: http://goo.gl/2wWC8X Nook: http://goo.gl/VQstmr  Smashwords: http://goo.gl/eBpYBT 

 

AAII survey (6/3/2015)

27.3% Bullish. 48.0% Neutral. 24.6% Bearish. 

Bearish: If sentiment is over 50% bullish.

Bullish: If sentiment is over 50% bearish.

 

Investors Intelligence (6/2/2015)

51.5% Bullish.  15.8% Bearish.

Bearish: If sentiment is over 60% bullish. (Note: Percent of bears is still at historic lows. 13.3 % is the 1987 low.)

Bullish: If sentiment is over 60% bearish.

 

VIX: 14.21 (on 6/5/2015)

Bearish: Less than or near 12.

Bullish: Greater than or near 40.

 

RSI (S&P 500): RSI is at 43.49 (on 6/5/2015)

Overbought (i.e. Bearish): When RSI rises to 70 or above.

Oversold (i.e. Bullish): When RSI falls to 30 or below.

Note: RSI can remain overbought or oversold for extended time periods.

 

Moving Averages (daily): The S&P is below its 50-day moving average (but above its 100- and 200-day MA), and pointing down

Bearish (Short-term Downtrend): Index crosses under 50-day, 100-day, or 200-day MA.

Bullish (Short-term Uptrend): Index crosses over 50-day, 100-day, and 200-day MA.

 

MACD (S&P 500): MACD is above its zero line but below its red 9-day signal line and pointing down. (Note: I’m using the settings, 19,39,9, recommended by Gerald Appel, MACD’s creator.)

Bearish: MACD line crosses below 9-day (red or gray) signal line. MACD line (black line) crosses below zero line.

Bullish: MACD line crosses above zero line. MACD line crosses above 9-day signal line. 

 

Bonds: U.S. 10-year yield is at 2.40% (on 6/5/2015).

Note: 3.0% or higher is significant (consider selling bond funds as yield rises). 3.5% or higher and risk increases (for bondholders). Note: Ouch! Bonds got smacked last week. 

 

Analysis: It will take an unexpected disaster to shake the confidence of the financial media, who are overwhelmingly bullish along with most on Wall Street. Complacency describes how most pros feel, which has helped to push NYSE margin debt to all-time highs. On the other hand, many retail investors are neutral (and unsure of market direction). Sideways markets are confusing, and that is why we are getting mixed signals. On the technical side, the major indexes fell below their 50-day moving averages last week. This is significant but it might be temporary. Observe whether the indexes can eventually claw their way back higher (with the Fed’s help, of course).

Opinion: Last week I said we could be in for a wild week and we were, but it was mostly in the bond market. Bonds got smashed last week while stocks retreated only a little.

As a result of the world’s central banks actions, interest rates have been kept artificially low. As you may know, in some countries interest rates are negative. One day we will look back at these times and wonder how it got so ridiculous.

The amazing part is that a majority of people believes this is “normal” and that low interest rates and high stock markets will continue indefinitely. I have news for people who don’t study history: One day the financial fantasy will end, and it won’t be pretty. Unfortunately, no one can predict when reality will return to the market, but it’s going to happen. 

It’s not easy being a realist today. Savers are punished while debtors are rewarded. The more you borrow and the more margin you accumulate, the bigger your reward. This works beautifully in a bull market but when the party ends, it gets ugly fast. It is not easy to stay on the sidelines while other people are making money, but sometimes that is the most prudent action.

If the market plunges, it is guaranteed the Fed will not raise interest rates no matter what the data says. The world has become so addicted to low interest rates that any move to raise rates will be upsetting, to put it mildly. Add in the Greek drama, world conflicts, and confusing economic data and you have a very dangerous market. Nevertheless, most bulls (which is the majority) believe in the power of the Fed to keep the party going no matter how bad things get.

Bottom line: This is another important week. The market could go in either direction although it’s leaning south. The dangers are increasing but few seem to be care. This is the time to be alert.

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