Bullish or Bearish? Week of Oct. 21, 2019

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

S&P 500 is above its 50-day MA = Bullish

S&P 500 one-month trend: There is no clear trend at this time. SPX retested 3,000 but failed to seal the deal on Friday.

RSI: (S&P 500) @ 54.93 = Neutral

MACD: At Zero Line and at Signal Line = Neutral

Daily Intraday Volatility: 14.25 = Low (Bearish)

Look at the awful charts of a few of the stocks I’ve been following: JNJ, NOW, COUP, AYX, WDAY, BA

Comment: I had been waiting for a failed rally all week and it came true on Friday. Many individual stocks got crushed as the day wore on, and even the indexes slowly succumbed to the selling pressure. Looking at the bigger picture, however, the indexes are holding up while certain stocks (look at the list above) are getting savaged.

As Lance Roberts wrote in his latest piece (link to his site at bottom), the bulls got everything they wanted, but they still couldn’t bring SPX above 3000 for long. According to Lance, here is the bull’s wish list (paraphrased), which has been fulfilled:

  1. ECB announced more QE
  2. Fed reduced capital requirements on banks
  3. Fed initiated QE of $60 billion in monthly Treasury purchases (but they are not calling it QE).
  4. The Fed is cutting rates.
  5. There are hints we could be exiting the China trade war
  6. Economic data is improving in the short term.

Even with all that help from the Fed, there is also a lot of negative news, as listed by Doug Kass (paraphrased):

  1. Untenable debt loads
  2. Unresolved trade war with China
  3. Global manufacturing recession is seeping into services sector
  4. Market structure is “frightening”
  5. We are in an earnings recession
  6. Valuations on traditional metrics are sky high (i.e. it’s bearish)
  7. Few expect the market to “undergo a meaningful drawdown”
  8. Private equity market crashing and burning
  9. WeWork’s problems are contagious

So there you have the bull and the bear case, which leaves us stuck in the middle again (surrounded by clowns and jokers, as the song says). The SPX rose above 3000 for a few minutes during the week before retreating, so if the bulls want to win this battle, they will have to find a way to move well above SPX 3000, and stay there.

The bears, on the other hand, have had multiple chances to take control, but they failed every time. The bulls are still in control and until proven otherwise, the ball is in their court. In fact, every time there was a meaningful selloff, the algos jumped in to either suppress volatility, or spike the market higher (or both).

That leaves us with this week, when we should have a better idea who will win. SPX must be watched closely to see if the bulls can finally rally the market for a final blow off top, or whether the bears can finally take control. Another worry for the bulls: a double top has formed on the SPX.

Bottom line: We could go either way this week, but the clues and indicators are still not clear enough to predict which direction. Just watch and react quickly when one side or the other takes control. Otherwise, we could continue with this tug of war for a while longer until someone is victorious.

Here is a link from Sven Henrich (Northman Trader), which includes an excellent video of the current state of the market: https://bit.ly/31Ct5Wg

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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


I will notify you of my posts via twitter@michaelsincere

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