Bullish or Bearish? Week of May 15, 2023

Short-term trend (DAILY CHART)   PULLBACK. Last week, SPX fell slightly from 4136 to 4124, a 12-point drop. Support is still at 4,000, and if it drops below that price level, and stays below, the market will be in for a world of hurt. The daily chart appears to be in a sideways pattern. Futures made a remarkable turnaround overnight due to hopes for a debt ceiling resolution: HIGHER ON MONDAY MORNING.

Long-term trend (WEEKLY CHART) – DOUBLE TOP: The short-term double top pattern still remains, which is a bearish signal. Just like the daily chart, the weekly chart is in a holding pattern.

MACD (DAILY) = MIXED. MACD is above the zero line but even with the 9-day signal line. Once again, MACD signals are mixed.

RSI: (S&P 500) @52.57 (DAILY) NEUTRAL. RSI is near neutral levels, which means that SPX is neither overbought or oversold (according to RSI).

Comment: SPX appears to have stalled out, so all we can do is wait and see. I was talking to a professional short-term trader this weekend and he gave me some interesting information. First, he trades QQQ rather than SPY right now because there is more volatility. Second, he recently sold QQQ last week after a 63-point gain (he had bought it several months ago).

The reason he is selling is that the 30-day moving average dropped below its 50-day, a bearish signal. This trader is typically very bullish but he suddenly turned bearish. Based on his very successful 50-year career as a trader, when he sells, it's significant.

Perhaps the market is waiting to see if the debt ceiling will be raised, but according to experts, if by any chance it is not raised, there will be hell to pay. It's sad it's coming down to the wire, which will add a lot of uncertainty to the market. I still believe it will be resolved in the nick of time.

In other news, data is showing that inflation is falling slightly -- that's the good news. The bad news is that the NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business) sent out a "recession alert" last week. Because of inflation, many independent business owners are extremely pessimistic, which is reflected in the NFIB surveys. This doesn't mean there will be a recession tomorrow, but it does mean to be cautious as the odds have increased that one will occur in the near future (it could take as long as a year).

Summary: The indexes have fallen for two weeks straight and inflation is still a nagging problem. Consumer sentiment is at a six-month low as Congress begins its "debt ceiling negotiations" with the president.