Bullish or Bearish? Week of Oct. 15, 2018

Here are the latest market indicators:

S&P 500 one-month trend = Pivot Point  (The uptrend has been temporarily broken. Caution is advised.)

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

RSI: (S&P 500) @29.52 = Oversold (rally is possible)

Intraday Volatility: Moderate to Heavy (anything is possible if volatility increases) 

Comment:  Last week I saw some important clues that pointed to a trend change. For example, I correctly identified what is called a “pivot point,” which I said could be a “potential trend change.” Little did I know that it would be that severe. In fact, the Wednesday afternoon plunge took nearly everyone by surprise, including me. (FYI, “pivot point” was coined by Jesse Livermore, and is worth studying). 

There were many clues that we were hitting a short-term top. For example, investors had been bragging how much money they have made in the market. (That’s how I predicted the bitcoin top almost to the day). I was also getting emails and text messages from investor friends bragging how the market “will never go down” or if it does, “it will bounce back quickly, because the market always comes back.” 

The S&P sliced through the 50- and 100-day like it was butter. Right now, it’s a point above its 200-day moving average. If SPX drops below and stays below its 200-day moving average, that would be extremely bearish. In the past, however, the market recovered from these pullbacks and went on to even higher levels. It remains to be seen if it can do that again. Unfortunately for the bulls, interest rates are rising, and that is a huge negative for the stock market. There are other issues as well, but interest rates take center stage for now. 

Moving forward, we need to see if the indexes recover from last week’s short-term disaster. At a minimum, the S&P 500 needs to retake its 100-day and 50-day moving averages, just like it did in February and July. Investors are hoping for the best, while objective market observers know the market could go in either direction. It is still too early to proclaim that the worst is over, even after Friday’s snapback rally. 

Bottom line: If the indexes fail to rise above its moving averages, or if they continue to fall, that would be a huge warning sign. The coming weeks are important as the indexes try to repair the damage from last week.

Note: Here is my latest column on MarketWatch, about how to get started trading options: https://on.mktw.net/2Nx6inI

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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 Oct. 8, 2018

Here are the latest indicators:

S&P 500 one-month trend = Pivot (Potential trend change) 

S&P 500 is even with its 50-day moving average = Neutral  

RSI: (S&P 500) @46.16 = Neutral to Near Oversold

Intraday Volatility: Moderate

Comment:  As interest rates rose last week, the market fell. It wasn’t surprising since the indexes were overbought according to the RSI and sentiment indicators. Even with the slow selloff, there was little fear. There should be light trading on Monday, a perfect environment for the algos to run the market higher. Typically, after even a mild selloff, the algos take control. However, if interest rates keep rising, the selloff may continue into the week. That would be  a huge red warning sign that a correction is underway. 

My advice, as always: Wait and see which side is winning and join them. This week will give us important clues to see if we get a last gasp run-up into the end of the year, or if the underlying problems are so severe that the smart money is selling. If the market follows the same pattern as in the past, there will be a rally this week.

What to look for: Watch what happens if and when the SPX drops to its 50-day moving average at 2877.14. In the past, it would bounce off of it and rally. If it drops below its 50-day moving average and remains below all day or week, more pain will likely follow.

History lesson: The last time the SPX hit its 50-day MA was in July, where it bounced around that level for a few weeks before staging a strong three-month rally that ended last week.

Bottom line: This is going to be an interesting week, a “pivotal” week.

Note: Here is my latest column on MarketWatch, about how to get started trading options: https://on.mktw.net/2Nx6inI

______________________________________________________

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 Oct. 1, 2018

Here are the latest indicators:

S&P 500 one-month trend = Bullish 

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

RSI: (S&P 500) @58.99 = Neutral

Intraday Volatility: Very Low

Comment: Although the S&P 500 is still lingering near its all-time highs, it’s been unable to move past it. Therefore, for the last few weeks, we’ve been in a holding pattern near the top of the range. I’ve learned the hard way that when the indexes are between support and resistance, it’s best to sit back and wait to see which side will win.

While waiting for the winner, observe the market action. Have you noticed that the market rises quickly but sells off slowly on most days? Those darn algos are doing everything in their power to keep the market in slow motion, and it’s working. Volatility is so low it can put you to sleep on some days. Until a winner is obvious, I’m mostly on the sidelines while making quick morning day trades on occasion. This is not the time to trade with large size until the next short-term trend can be identified. 

Medium term, sentiment indicators are telling us we’re topping out. Stocks just delivered the best quarterly run in the last five years (Bloomberg). And individual investors at brokerage firms are holding the lowest amount of cash in history. This is a flashing red warning sign. 

Bottom line: Hold your fire for now until the winning side is clear. Retail investors are expecting another Santa Claus rally this year (the bulls are dreaming of SPX 3000). You’d be wise to keep an open mind as the market often fools the most number of people, especially when “everyone” is expecting the same outcome. 

______________________________________________________

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

Note: Will Post on Oct. 1, 2018

As. you may have noticed, my blog was disabled temporarily while I worked with my domain provider to increase security. Fortunately, the site is back up again. Thanks for your patience! 

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 Sept. 11, 2017

IMPORTANT NOTE: THE FOLLOWING ENTRIES ARE FROM 2017 AND BEFORE. 

Here are the latest technical and sentiment indicators:

 Technical Indicators (daily chart)

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

MACD (S&P 500; 19,39,9) is above its zero line = Bullish

MACD (S&P 500; 19,39,9) is even with its signal line  = Neutral

S&P 500 support @ 2450 and 2400

 

Sentiment Indicators (+RSI)

II survey: (August 29): 49.5% Bulls; 19.1% Bears = Neutral

AAII survey: (August 30): 25.0% Bulls; 39.9% Bears = Neutral

VIX: @ 12.12= Bearish

RSI: (S&P 500) @ 52.34 = Neutral

No comment this week because of the hurricane (I’m in the middle of it). 

Bullish or Bearish? Week of Sept. 4, 2017

Here are the latest technical and sentiment indicators:

 Technical Indicators (daily chart)

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

MACD (S&P 500; 19,39,9) is above its zero line = Bullish

MACD (S&P 500; 19,39,9) is even with its signal line  = Neutral

S&P 500 support @ 2450 and 2400

 

Sentiment Indicators (+RSI)

II survey: (August 29): 49.5% Bulls; 19.1% Bears = Neutral

AAII survey: (August 30): 25.0% Bulls; 39.9% Bears = Neutral

VIX: @ 10.13 = Bearish

RSI: (S&P 500) @ 60.13 = Neutral

Comment: As expected, the market took a hit last week, but the selloff lasted only an hour before the computer algos entered the market with buy orders, and the market went higher. Overnight, geopolitical concerns set the S&P futures back a little but it recovered. Bottom line: The bullish algos are in control. One day the uptrend will change to a downtrend and the algos will change strategies, but until that day arrives, be cautious and conservative with your trades.

Bullish or Bearish? Week of August 28, 2017

Here are the latest technical and sentiment indicators:

 Technical Indicators (daily chart)

S&P 500 is slightly below its 50-day MA = Bearish

MACD (S&P 500; 19,39,9) is below its zero line = Bearish

MACD (S&P 500; 19,39,9) is above its signal line but heading down = Neutral

S&P 500 support @ 2400, resistance @ 2450

 

Sentiment Indicators (+RSI)

II survey: (August 22): 48.1% Bulls; 18.3% Bears = Neutral

AAII survey: (August 23): 28.1% Bulls; 38.3% Bears = Neutral

VIX: @ 11.28 = Bearish

RSI: (S&P 500) @ 46.32 = Neutral

Comment: What a difference a month makes! When I left for vacation a month ago, all the technical indicators were bullish along with sentiment. A month later, the technical indicators turned sour, and market enthusiasm has cooled. We have been at a crossroads before, and here we are again. Although the market is struggling, it’s too early to proclaim the bull market over. All we can do is sit and watch to see if the S&P can retake the 50-day moving average on strength, or if it continues to retreat. I would not be surprised to see a short-term selloff this week, but then again, the market has risen from the ashes many times before. We’ll get valuable clues this week. Hint: If there is a short-term selloff, the buy on the dippers will enter at 2400. That’s when it will get very interesting. 

 

Bullish or Bearish? Week of July 24, 2017

Here are the latest technical and sentiment indicators:

Technical Indicators (daily chart)

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

MACD (S&P 500; 19,39,9) is above its zero line = Bullish

MACD (S&P 500; 19,39,9) is above its signal line = Bullish

S&P 500 support @ 2450, 2400

 

Sentiment Indicators (+RSI)

II survey: (July 18): 57.8% Bulls; 16.7% Bears = Bearish

AAII survey: (July 19): 35.5% Bulls; 25.8% Bears = Neutral

VIX: @ 9.36 = Bearish

RSI: (S&P 500) @ 66.27 = Neutral

Comment: The market drifted slightly lower last week as it retreated from all-time highs. Cash is king in my opinion but the market could break through heavy resistance. This is the time to sit and watch what happens. Investors are dreaming of 2500 and 3000 on the S&P 500, and they could get their wish. Nevertheless, the higher we go, the higher the risks. Retail investors are all in while whispers of economic problems flirt through the air. Let’s see if the market has the strength to move much higher from here. Advice: Be ready for anything. 

 

Bullish or Bearish? Week of July 17, 2017

Here are the latest technical and sentiment indicators:  

Technical Indicators (daily chart)

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

MACD (S&P 500; 19,39,9) is above its zero line = Bullish

MACD (S&P 500; 19,39,9) is even with its signal line = Neutral

S&P 500 support @ 2400

 

Sentiment Indicators (+RSI)

II survey: (July 11): 50.0% Bulls; 18.6% Bears = Bearish

AAII survey: (July 12): 28.2% Bulls; 29.76% Bears = Neutral

VIX: @ 9.51 = Bearish

RSI: (S&P 500) @ 62.46 = Neutral

Comment: Using the Darvas “box theory,” we went from the lower end of the box to the upper end within minutes, another way of saying we went from support to resistance on the S&P 500 in one day. How did this happen? Janet Yellen said in “Fed speak” that she was going to be cautious about raising interest rates. At first, the market sold off, then it rocketed to all-time highs when Janet hinted that low interest rates will continue indefinitely.

The main strategy that has worked for the last eight years is “buy on the dip,” and that continues. It won’t continue indefinitely, but as we enter this week, there is no evidence (yet) this strategy will stop working. This week is important: Most analysts are strongly bullish, but I am waiting to see if the S&P can remain above 2450. Once again, the bulls have Janet in their corner. This week, perhaps reality will appear, but I wouldn’t bet on it. 

Bottom line: Although the market can go much higher from here, which is the expectation from most pros, caution is advised. Take a wait and see attitude before committing heavily to one side or the other. Will the S&P remain above resistance? If so, the bull market continues. If not, a pullback is likely. One certainty: No one can predict which direction the market will go this week, although many have tried.

Bullish or Bearish? Week of July 10, 2017

Here are the latest technical and sentiment indicators:

 Technical Indicators (daily chart)

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

MACD (S&P 500; 19,39,9) is above its zero line but pointing down = Neutral

MACD (S&P 500; 19,39,9) is below its signal line = Bearish

S&P 500 support @ 2400

S&P 500 resistance @ 2450

 

Sentiment Indicators (+RSI)

II survey: (July 4): 52.5% Bulls; 18.8% Bears = Bearish

AAII survey: (July 5): 29.6% Bulls; 29.9% Bears = Neutral

VIX: @ 11.19 = Bearish

RSI: (S&P 500) @ 50.24 = Neutral

Comment: One book I read every year (besides the Jesse Livermore books) is “How I Made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market” by Nicolas Darvas. Although written in the 1950’s, Darvas’ ideas are still valid. He created a “box theory” that works very well during bull markets, and gives a warning when a bear market is near. The first warning signal came last week. After the S&P 500 hit an all-time high of 2,453 a few weeks ago, it was unable to move any higher. Last week, the S&P moved into a lower “box,” which is not a good sign. To be more specific, if the FANG stocks keep moving into lower boxes, that would be a warning sign. Keep in mind that Darvas only went long. In a bear market, he would move to the sidelines in cash until it was over. 

Another warning came from respected bond manager Jeffrey Gundlach, who recently said that the Fed will raise interest rates again. Gundlach suggests that stock investors pay close attention. He has previously warned that stocks may have a summer swoon. 

Bottom line: Watch this coming week closely to see if the S&P 500 can retake 2450. If it struggles to move much higher, then caution is strongly advised. After 8 years of a bull market, with the indexes and margin at all time highs in a low volatility environment, it wouldn’t be surprising if the market cracked, and soon. We will get more clues this week. (Note that the technical indicators turned from bullish to neutral, which is another clue.)