How Stocks Escaped from 3 ‘Unavoidable’ Bear Markets

This bull market has been counted out many times. Just over the past few years, stocks faced three – allegedly – unavoidable bear markets … and escaped all of them.

Here are the three ‘unavoidable’ bear markets, and why stocks escaped:

Unavoidable Rate Hike Bear Market

Starting in 2015, the Federal Reserve let it be known that interest rates will be rising.

According to the pros, rising rates would sink stocks. After all, that’s why the Fed kept them near zero for so long.

However, history simply doesn’t agree with this conclusion. The April 26, 2015 Profit Radar Report used the chart below to illustrated that rising rates are not bearish.

In fact, 9 of the 13 periods of falling rates (since 1954) saw stocks rally. That’s why the Profit Radar Report concluded that: “A rate hike disclosed at the April, June, July or even September or October FOMC meetings is unlikely to coincide with a major S&P 500 top.”

Barron’s rates iSPYETF as a “trader with a good track record.” Click here for Barron’s assessment of the Profit Radar Report.

Unavoidable Oil Slump Bear Market

Falling oil prices were the hot topic as prices dropped 50% from June – December 2014.

The general opinion was that falling oil prices would send stocks lower, like in 2008.

The December 14, 2014 Profit Radar Report ousted this bogus reasoning with the chart and commentary below:

This year’s oil price collapse differs from the 2008 collapse relative to the S&P 500. In 2008, the S&P 500 topped before oil did. In fact, the S&P 500 recorded its all-time high in October 2007 and was already down 21% by the time oil topped on July 11, 2008. In 2014, the S&P 500 recorded new all-time highs five months after oil started to decline.

The chart below plots oil against the S&P 500 and shows that falling oil prices are not consistently bearish for stocks. If history can be used as a guide, stocks are likely to hold up despite the oil meltdown.”

Unavoidable QE Bear Market

In 2008, the Federal Reserve unleashed it’s first round of Quantitative Easing (QE). A couple trillion dollars later, QE came to an end in October 2014.

Investors feared the withdrawal of QE would sink stocks (just like a junkie will crash without new fix).

The simplified logic (QE started this bull market, the end of QE will finish the bull market) seemed logical, but it wasn’t factual.

The October 5, 2015 Profit Radar Report plotted the QE money flow against the S&P 500 and concluded that: “We expect new bull market highs in 2015.”

Why?

The correlation between QE and stocks (at least in 2013/2014) did not support the notion of a bull market end. More importantly, our major market top indicator said the bull market is not over.

2016 Bear Market?

At the beginning of the year, when the S&P traded near 1,900, the media found countless of reasons why the bear market is finally here (many of them are listed here).

About six months and a 15% rally later, it’s obvious that the bull market is alive and well.

Short-term, the S&P has reached the lower end of our up side target range, so a pullback becomes more likely (more details here). However, any pullback should serve as a buying opportunity.

If you are looking for common sense, out-of-the-box analysis, check out the Profit Radar Report. It may just make you the best-informed investor you know.

Simon Maierhofer is the founder of iSPYETF and the publisher of the Profit Radar Report. Barron’s rated iSPYETF as a “trader with a good track record” (click here for Barron’s profile of the Profit Radar Report). The Profit Radar Report presents complex market analysis (S&P 500, Dow Jones, gold, silver, euro and bonds) in an easy format. Technical analysis, sentiment indicators, seasonal patterns and common sense are all wrapped up into two or more easy-to-read weekly updates. All Profit Radar Report recommendations resulted in a 59.51% net gain in 2013, 17.59% in 2014, and 24.52% in 2015.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE iSPYETF Newsletter to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.

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Is the Crude Oil Rally Over?

Déjà vu. Crude oil prices dropped as much as 24% over the past two months. Does this mean the oil rally is over?

Here is a look at various timeframes and indicators to help answer this question.

Longer-term Analysis

The April 24 Profit Radar Report showed the long-term chart below, and stated:

Barron’s rates iSPYETF as a “trader with a good track record.” Click here for Barron’s assessment of the Profit Radar Report.

Based on long-term Elliott Wave Theory, a rally to 50+/- followed by a significant relapse (perhaps even below this year’s low) is a real possibility.”

Over the next six weeks oil tried to move above 50, but ultimately failed.

The July 7 Profit Radar Report noted that: “Seasonality shows a bearish window for the second half of July. Near-term as long as trade remains below 50, and if trade falls below 45.80, bears are in charge. It then remains to be seen whether short-term weakness will turn into a longer-term selloff.”

Shorter-term Analysis

Oil broke (and remains below) 45.80. To better assess the recent selloff, it helps to analyze the rally from the February 2016 low at 26.05.

On February 12, a few days after oil’s bottom at 26.05, the Profit Radar Report stated that: “Crude oil filled the massive gap left by Wednesday spike and is sitting right atop trend line support. Seasonality is strongly bullish until late April. For anyone interested in trading oil, this is a tempting setup to go long.”

At that time, sentiment, seasonality and technicals suggested a strong rally for oil. However, we did not know if this rally would be a new bull market or just a counter trend rally.

Unfortunately, we still don’t know for sure.

Based on Elliott Wave Theory, the rally from the February low is likely a corrective wave 4 rally. Once complete, all the wave 4 gains should be completely erased (which means new lows eventually).

However, a deeply bearish posture may be premature for a number of reasons:

  • Waves 4 are notoriously choppy and difficult to predict.
  • Oil seasonality is strong until late September.
  • The rally from the February low appears shallow (retracing less than 38.2% of the prior decline). The red lines show additional resistance levels.

Summary

Oil is likely to relapse to new lows eventually. The key word is eventually. Seasonality doesn’t turn bearish until the fourth quarter.

Near-term resistance is around 44. If trade can break above 44, it may continue to move higher, perhaps even to new recovery highs, before turning down for a multi-month decline.

Not every Profit Radar Report update features oil price analysis, but when indicators align, we try to point out some of the larger turning points.

Simon Maierhofer is the founder of iSPYETF and the publisher of the Profit Radar Report. Barron’s rated iSPYETF as a “trader with a good track record” (click here for Barron’s profile of the Profit Radar Report). The Profit Radar Report presents complex market analysis (S&P 500, Dow Jones, gold, silver, euro and bonds) in an easy format. Technical analysis, sentiment indicators, seasonal patterns and common sense are all wrapped up into two or more easy-to-read weekly updates. All Profit Radar Report recommendations resulted in a 59.51% net gain in 2013, 17.59% in 2014, and 24.52% in 2015.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE iSPYETF Newsletter to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.

 

S&P 500 Update

On July 12, the S&P 500 became overbought and has been wrapped in a tight trading cocoon ever since.

In fact, for 13 trading days, the S&P didn’t move more than 22.5 points. That’s one of the tightest trading ranges in history.

The chart below, published in the July 31 Profit Radar Report, highlights similar trading ranges in recent history and concluded the following:

The blue boxes below highlight the last four similarly tight trading ranges. Each one of them was followed by a pullback, sometimes after a post-trading range spike.

This harmonizes with the notion that most trading ranges occur in the position of wave 4 corrections.

On Friday, the S&P eked out another all-time high at 2,177. This could be all of, or the beginning of, the post-trading range spike. A sustained break above 2,176 would unlock the next up side target at 2,xxx – 2,xxx (target levels reserved for subscribers).

The bearish divergences discussed previously persist and suggest that we’ll see an eventually pullback, similar to prior post-range patterns.”

No Change … but New Developments 

Although the S&P hasn’t gone anywhere for weeks (the last longer-term S&P 500 outlook remains valid), two noteworthy developments happened ‘under the hood:’

  1. The trading range digested the overbought condition present on July 12.
  2. The trading range created bearish divergences.

Unfortunately, these two developments are in conflict with each other. This means we need to be extra alert for curveballs.

Nevertheless, based on the majority of our indicators, we should see an up/down sequence before the next sustainable rally leg.

Short-term pullbacks should turn out to be longer-term buying opportunities.

Target levels, buy triggers and continued updates are available via the Profit Radar Report.

Simon Maierhofer is the founder of iSPYETF and the publisher of the Profit Radar Report. Barron’s rated iSPYETF as a “trader with a good track record” (click here for Barron’s profile of the Profit Radar Report). The Profit Radar Report presents complex market analysis (S&P 500, Dow Jones, gold, silver, euro and bonds) in an easy format. Technical analysis, sentiment indicators, seasonal patterns and common sense are all wrapped up into two or more easy-to-read weekly updates. All Profit Radar Report recommendations resulted in a 59.51% net gain in 2013, 17.59% in 2014, and 24.52% in 2015.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE iSPYETF Newsletter to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.