Bullish or Bearish? Week of Aug. 19, 2019

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

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

S&P 500 one-month trend: SPX broke its uptrend and is in a downtrend. The algos are going to have to bring the indexes back to the 50-day to save this market.

RSI: (S&P 500) @ = 44.87 = Neutral

MACD: Below Zero Line and below Signal Line and pointing lower = Bearish

Daily Intraday Volatility: 18.47 (Neutral). The algos are doing everything in their power to suppress volatility. Nevertheless, volatility has increased.

Comment: For the first time in years, many pundits were talking about a recession over the weekend, so the White House pushed back on Sunday (“I don’t see a recession at all,” Larry Kudlow proclaimed). As I wrote several weeks ago, the signs of a recession are coming closer, and for many, it was the inverted yield curve that confirmed the economy is struggling. The only thing holding the economy up are consumers, who are still buying online, and jobs (there haven’t been massive job losses). 

Last week was a wild and ugly week. If it wasn’t for the buy on the dip algos, it could have been a whole lot worse. The trend was broken as SPX dropped below its 50-day and 100-day moving averages. The 800-point Dow shellacking last week made a lot of people nervous (this is the second major one-day selloff in two weeks), and the indexes only recovered some of its losses. And yet, there is still no panic. This tells me there is plenty of room for the indexes to fall as we enter September and October. 

With all of the danger signs swirling about, do not forget that the Fed, the White House, and the buy on the dip algos will do almost anything to keep this market propped up by any means possible. If it means a presidential tweet in the middle of the day, a tax cut, a 50 basis point cut by the Fed, or QE, it will be done. With a presidential election coming in a year and a half, there is no doubt that the three amigos above will work to keep volatility low and the markets high. 

We are going through very, very dangerous and unprecedented times. The tug of war between the algos and the government vs nervous sellers will continue into the fall. The good news: Retail investors are still holding tight and are not panicked at this time. 

For the next three or four months, you must be on high alert for some very crazy times. If you make money with puts (or shorting), take profits fast. For the last 11 years, the buy and hold strategy has been a winner. In my opinion, in the future this strategy will not work like it did before (perhaps for years, but this is pure speculation on my part). 

Keep in mind that Jerome Powell is in Jackson Hole this week and will be speaking next Friday at 10:00 a.m. ET, so prepare for occasional volatility spikes all week, and especially on Friday.

If you want to read some very thoughtful but scary analysis, click on the following links. These analysts say it a lot better than me (be sure to also read the links from Wolf Street and Lance Roberts below) for additional insights. This is not the time to panic, but to get educated.

From Northman Trader: https://bit.ly/2Z095jT

From Victor Dergunov (Seeking Alpha): https://bit.ly/30gedN5

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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 Aug. 12, 2019

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

S&P 500 is below its 50-day moving average = Bearish

S&P 500 one-month trend: SPX broke its uptrend during the week, a bearish signal. However, there should be attempts to bring SPX back above its 50-day moving average.

RSI: (S&P 500) @ = 44.73 = Neutral

MACD: Below Zero Line and below Signal Line = Bearish

Daily Intraday Volatility: 17.97 (Neutral). The algos are doing everything in their power to suppress volatility. Nevertheless, volatility has been spiking.

Comment: What a wild week! To refresh your memory, Monday started off with a 700 point Dow shellacking, followed by rallies and selloffs the rest of the week. On Wednesday, the indexes were crashing when the algos came in for a rescue, and turned the indexes positive in the afternoon.

The volatility should continue as we enter the volatile months of September and October. It will give investors indigestion (but so far there has been little panic) as the indexes gyrate. Traders can do well but it’s extremely dangerous, especially if buying puts. Why? Because the algos constantly pounce to keep volatility low and run the market higher. The reality is that buyers were mostly absent, but the algos were ready and waiting to bring the market higher at every opportunity. That is one of the reasons it’s so risky to buy puts, so if you do make a profit, sell quickly.

Expect volatile days in the coming days and weeks. There are many signs of a recession except that consumers are still buying (mostly online), and there haven’t been job losses. If these two take a hit, then the recession will have arrived.

Bottom line: Navigating this market is very difficult right now, and there are many crosscurrents. Investors would be wise to increase cash (but not sell everything). There is a chance the indexes could rally strongly from here, but the odds are not good right now. As I wrote last week, every bull market is followed by a bear market. After the longest bull market in history, what do you think is going to happen next? Unfortunately, based on stock market history, individual retail investors will hold their darlings right until the bitter end.

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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 Aug. 5, 2019

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

S&P 500 is equal to its 50-day moving average = Neutral

S&P 500 one-month trend: SPX fell back to its 50-day moving average = SPY hit all-time highs and reversed direction.

RSI: (S&P 500) @39 = Oversold

MACD: Above Zero Line but below Signal Line and pointing lower (Neutral to Bearish)

Daily Intraday Volatility: 17.61 (Neutral). Volatility spiked last week, as expected. It was in the basement for far too long.

Comment: If you’ve been following my blog for the last few weeks, you know that last week’s pullback was expected. With RSI so high, the VIX so low, sentiment so bullish, and SPX at all-time highs, a pullback was bound to happen, and it did. Wall Street wasn’t pleased with the quarter point cut, nor was the President, who fueled the downside with additional tariff threats against China.

As I wrote several weeks ago, there are signs we are in or headed towards a recession. There are so many warning signs and indicators it’s hard to keep track. At the moment, the only positive sign is that consumers are still buying, and job losses are minimal. Keep an eye out for clues, because if there are layoffs, it will confirm what many other indicators are reflecting.

Because we went down so hard and fast last week, a bounce is expected this week, but it may not last long. We are coming into the volatile months of September and October with a confused Fed, trade wars, overall nervousness, and near all-time highs in the stock market. A lot could go wrong.

What to do? Let me pass the baton to Lance Roberts’ latest piece, which gives excellent advice plus sobering statistics. Here is his latest: https://bit.ly/31g6FtT

In addition, read Wolf Richter’s latest (click on link below) for a frightening look at heavy truck sale orders (they have plunged by 81%).

Bottom line: Expect a more volatile few weeks and months as nervous investors hope for the best in a very difficult market environment. After a 11-year bull market, does anyone really expect it to continue indefinitely? Those who have never experienced a bear market are going to get a wakeup call and many lessons. Knowing investors the way I do, they won’t be selling their favorite stocks anytime soon no matter how low the market goes.

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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 July 29, 2019

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

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

S&P 500 one-month trend: SPX is at all-time highs = The trend is up but it could reverse depending on what the Fed says and does this week.

RSI: (S&P 500) @64.29 = Slightly Overbought

MACD: Above Zero Line and below Signal Line (Neutral)

Daily Intraday Volatility: 12.16 (Extremely Low). Volatility is in the basement, which cannot last for too long.

Comment: This week it’s all about the Fed, in particular, on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. ET. That’s when we’ll find out if the Fed will cut interest rates by .50% (unlikely), .25% (likely), or not at all (unlikely).

The strange part is that, if the Fed cuts, it will be the Fed’s first rate cut in over a decade, at the same time that the S&P just hit an all-time high. You almost have to read that twice: The Fed is cutting interest rates while the indexes are at all-time highs. Either the Fed knows something we don’t, or they are succumbing to political pressure, or both.

All I know is that when, not if, the next recession comes (and there are signs it’s getting closer), the Fed will have less tools than in the past to reduce the pain. I imagine they will cut to 0% if they panic.

Although the Fed may or may not give the markets a boost this week depending on what they do, with indexes at all-time highs, with VIX in the basement, and RSI climbing towards 70 again, a major pullback is coming soon (no one can predict when but it’s coming). Add in the fact that because September and October are typically rough months for the market, a dislocation is extremely likely.

Bottom line: The Fed controls the market this week, so follow the leader. Even if the Fed gives Wall Street what it wants, a pullback is coming. The unknown question is how overbought we’ll get before we reverse direction.

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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 July 22, 2019

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

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

S&P 500 one-month trend: SPX stalled and reversed at all-time highs. The indexes are hitting major resistance at all-time highs.

RSI: (S&P 500) @55.81 = Neutral

MACD: Above Zero Line and below Signal Line (Neutral)

Daily Intraday Volatility: 14.45 (Subdued). Volatility is still extremely low.

Comment: Unless there is an unexpected geopolitical or financial catastrophe, the only game in town is the July 30-31 Fed meeting. The market is expecting a 50 basis point cut (.50%), and anything less will be a disappointment to Wall Street. The word on the Street is a .25% cut is the most probable.

For the Fed to lower interest rates when the market is at all time highs means either the economy is in much worse shape than they are letting on, or they are succumbing to political pressure. Neither scenario is bullish for the market.

Investors are hoping the Fed can prevent a recession or bear market by lowering interest rates. The Fed can distract investors, and perhaps delay the inevitable, but when the next bear market arrives, it’s going to be vicious. It will also damage millions of investors’ portfolios.

After looking at the clues and indicators, I am convinced that a short-term pullback is extremely likely. In addition, a bear market is drawing ever closer. And yet, the best advice I can give you is to sit tight and do nothing…for now. I went back and re-read the writings of an expert on bear markets, Jesse Livermore, who lost several fortunes by shorting too early. He finally got it right in 1929 but before then he was always plunging on the short side too early and losing money. None of us want to make that mistake.

Bottom line: A huge dislocation is coming but do not act too early. There is plenty of time to profit from a falling market. Now is the time to learn about buying put options (less risky than shorting individual stocks). And if you are new to buying puts or shorting, start small, very very small. Trading a bear market is extremely challenging, and for many, moving primarily (not all) to cash is the easiest and most prudent solution in these uncertain times.

Caveat: There is always the chance that Jerome Powell will please Wall Street with a .50% cut next week, so in that case, the bubble will grow even larger, and get even more dangerous.

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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 July 15, 2019

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

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

S&P 500 one-month trend: “V” Shaped Rally and Triple Top (one year) at Resistance. It could go in either direction but is hitting major resistance at all-time highs.

RSI: (S&P 500) @70.86 = Overbought

MACD: Above Zero Line and above Signal Line (Bullish)

Daily Intraday Volatility: 12.28 (Subdued). Volatility is still in the basement, which cannot last forever.

Comment: It’s been a while since I’ve seen such an overbought market (over 70 RSI is overbought and it could still go higher), and the VIX so low (at 12.28, volatility is crushed).

Last week, the market was headed lower early in the week, that is, until Fed Chair Jerome Powell gave the market hints that a rate cut is coming (he didn’t actually say that, but the market believes he will cut rates).

Something doesn’t make sense: On one hand, the indexes have just reached all-time highs (SPX 3000), and yet, the Fed wants to cut rates due to the trade wars and other disturbing data (my opinion: such as the hints a recession is looming, and less than spectacular earnings). Nevertheless, something has to give, and if not, this market bubble is going to expand even more. If Powell cuts rates, and the market zooms even higher, be prepared for the short of the year (if not the decade in the intermediate) before the end of the year.

As I said last week, do not short while the market screams higher (as no one knows how high a bubble can expand), but if I’m right, there should be fantastic shorting opportunities in the near future.

In two weeks, the Fed has their formal meeting, and they better not disappoint, or look out below. Although all of the indicators are bullish (with RSI the only exception), it wouldn’t take much for the market to plunge. And yet, although the Fed is playing with fire, it’s very possible they can keep the bull party going a bit longer.

With the VIX so low, it’s difficult for most traders to make money. On the other hand, buy-and-hold investors in indexes are pleased with their profits, and believe the Fed will save them if there is a sudden reversal. Although volatility has been suppressed over the last four months (thanks to the algos), it can’t last forever.

Bottom line: It’s a confused and dangerous market that looks pretty on the outside and weak on the inside. With the RSI so high, a dislocation would not be surprising, but the Fed will do whatever it can to support the indexes. Be alert to any possibility this week and beyond.

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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 July 8, 2019

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

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

S&P 500 one-month trend: “V” Shaped Rally and Triple Top (one year) at Resistance. It could go in either direction but is hitting major resistance at all-time highs.

RSI: (S&P 500) @69.13 = Overbought

MACD: Above Zero Line and above Signal Line (Bullish)

Daily Intraday Volatility: 13.28 (Subdued). Volatility is in the basement, which will not last forever.

Comment: The shortened holiday week is disorientating, but now it’s back to business. The algos were able to keep volatility subdued last week, in fact, the VIX is ridiculously low once again. Also, RSI is in the overbought zone (over 70 is overbought). Investors are feeling giddy right now but I get the feeling there could be sand beneath their feet.

Although the market could squeak higher this week, with an overbought market, sky-high investor sentiment, and extremely low volatility, the odds are good we are headed lower. Sunday night futures aren’t telling us much (slightly lower), but do not be surprised if there is a selloff this week. It’s not a prediction, but based on the clues and indicators above, a selloff is likely. The real question is how fast it bounces back if I’m right.

Bottom line: The algos will try to keep the party going longer but the indicators and clues are pointing to trouble ahead. Be prepared for any scenario, and if you are shorting, do it AFTER the market breaks, not before. Look and see if the algos save the day once again. One thing for sure: Until investors feel true fear, the algos remain in control.

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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 July 1, 2019

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

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

S&P 500 one-month trend: “V” Shaped Rally and Triple Top (one year) at Resistance. It could go in either direction but the odds are higher based on Sunday night futures.

RSI: (S&P 500) @62.37 = Slightly overbought

MACD: Above Zero Line and above Signal Line (Bullish)

Daily Intraday Volatility: 15.08 (Subdued). Volatility remains on the low side.

Last week, I thought it was going to be a wild and unpredictable week, but it was subdued with low volatility. This holiday week is starting off with a bang as the market attempts to hit its all time highs. It might do it this week, but next week could be a different story. I’ll be looking to see if the opening rally holds all day, which would be bullish.

Bottom line: Don’t fight a strong rally, and although we are overbought and in a market bubble, it can get bigger before it eventually pops. That’s why you never short a rally while it’s moving higher.

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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 June 24, 2019

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

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

S&P 500 one-month trend: “V” Shaped Rally and Triple Top (one year) at Resistance. It could go in either direction.

RSI: (S&P 500) @67.53 = Overbought (Bearish)

MACD: Above Zero Line and above Signal Line (Bullish)

Daily Intraday Volatility: 15.40 (Subdued). Volatility is still on the low side.

Comment: As expected, Fed Chair Powell did not cut rates but gave hope to the bulls by insinuating that he might cut rates. The bulls ran with it, running the market higher on low volume. The Dow just had the best June in 80 years. Unfortunately, we are also overbought on the indexes as SPX hit resistance, creating a V-shaped rally and triple top (one year). What could possibly go wrong?

Well, a lot of things could go wrong, which is why this is going to be an interesting week. Powell speaks on Tuesday, and the Group of Seven meet on Friday and Saturday, with the highlight being the Trump-Xi meeting. There is pressure from all sides for Powell to cut rates, although he never promised anything. The algos will try to keep the markets calm but there will be a lot of cross currents, and volatility should increase (it might even explode one day). Powell has the power to disappoint the markets if he so desires, and obviously everyone will be watching the Trump-Xi meeting closely.

Bottom line: It should be a wild and unpredictable week. The market is overbought so if something goes wrong, the markets will fall swiftly. The market is at resistance so it will need a strong push to surpass the all-time highs. Get out the popcorn because we could go in either direction, and more than likely, we will!

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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 June 17, 2019

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

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

S&P 500 one-month trend = Multiple Short-term Trend Reversals (Inconclusive)

RSI: (S&P 500) @57.65 = Neutral

MACD: Below zero line but slightly above signal line (Neutral)

Daily Intraday Volatility: 15.28 (Subdued). Volatility is still on the low side.

Comment: The Fed has their two-day FOMC meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. The consensus is there will be NO rate cut at this meeting, but Powell’s words will be closely scrutinized. No one can predict what Powell is going to say, or how the market will react. It really could go either way, so expect volatility during the week, and especially after he speaks.

My prediction: He won’t cut rates but he will say that he will in the future depending on market conditions.

Meanwhile, the best analysis I’ve seen on how to manage the current market environment comes from a piece that Lance Roberts wrote: https://bit.ly/2WIp3cq

Bottom line: It is going to be a tricky week for traders and investors, so stay alert, or wait until the dust clears. Wall Street really wants Powell to cut rates, and if he doesn’t deliver now or in the future, Wall Street won’t be pleased.

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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