Comprehensive S&P 500 Update

Short-term S&P 500 Analysis

In the April 7 Profit Radar Report I introduced a very simple approach to analyzing the S&P 500. See chart and commentary below:

Red trend line resistance has held thus far, and has not become main stream enough to be negated. Green trend line is near-term support. An immediate break above trend line resistance may lead to closure of the open chart gap (2,921.36).”

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Troughout April, the S&P has been clinging to the red trend line like a tourist hooked to a zip line. Chart gaps are not reversal levels, but they are like magnets, and once that gap was filled on April 17, there was one less reason for the S&P to move higher.

The April 14 Profit Radar Report warned that: “Technicals do not indicate an immediate break down, and trade may continue to grind higher. However, any gains are likely to be slow and choppy, and risk of a drop lower – where a one-day drop can erase days or weeks of gains – exists.”

Longer-term S&P Analysis

The first few trading days of May basically almost all of April’s gains. But more importantly, prior to the May drop, the S&P 500 actually reached a new all-time high.

This new high was the minimum requirement outlined in my 2019 S&P 500 Projection (published in the 2019 S&P 500 Forecast, see below).

Why was a new all-time high ‘required?’ As explained in the 2019 S&P 500 Forecast, there were not enough bearish divergences for a major market top at the September 2018 high, and no bullish divergences at the December 2018 low.

New all-time highs – as projected – were the only possible way to reconcile those indicators.

Even though the S&P has reached the minimum requirement before a larger (and quite possibly nasty) pullback, the yellow projection carries the S&P 500 to trend line resistance around 3,000.

My preferred scenario was featured in the May 1 Profit Radar Report (see below). Based on this scenario, the S&P would drop to 2,890 – 2,865 (in wave 4) and rally towards 3,000 (in wave 5).

Why is this my preferred scenario? Because waves 4 (especially when comparatively long-winded) tend to drag down high breadth and momentum readings (seen at wave 3 highs), which creates the bearish divergences usually seen at the wave 5 top (although the upcoming top should be noteworthy, I don’t expect this to be a major market top).

There was a bearish RSI divergence at the April 30 closing high, which could be enough for a sizeable drop, but a more pronounced set of divergences at higher prices would be a clearer signal.

Summary

The expected down side risk became reality, and the S&P may continue lower, but the 2,890 – 2,865 zone is where a rally to about 3,000 may start. How big is the eventual down side risk is one of many questions answered in continuous Profit Radar Report updates. You may take the Profit Radar Report for a ‘test drive’ here.

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 evaluation 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, 24.52% in 2015, 52.26% in 2016, and 23.39% in 2017.

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

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S&P 500 Update – Outrageous Projection

The S&P 500 is following closely my projection (in yellow) published in the Profit Radar Report’s 2019 S&P 500 Forecast.

Barron’s rates iSPYETF as “trader with a good track record” and Investor’s Business Daily says: “When Simon says, the market listens.” Find out why Barron’s and IBD endorse Simon Maierhofer’s Profit Radar Report.

Unfortunately we never got the pullback expected in Q1 2019, but the new all-time highs are right ‘on schedule.’

This doesn’t mean there wasn’t any uncertainty on the way up. The Profit Radar Report always looks at the market from different angles, and at the beginning of April there were enough conflicting indicators and signals to cause analysis paralysis.

Instead of further exploring the various cross currents, and burdening subscribers with information overload, I decided to take the approach described in the April 7 Profit Radar Report:

Perhaps a simplified approach will help navigate this environment. Red trend line resistance has held thus far, and has not become main stream enough to be negated. Green trend line is near-term support. An immediate break above trend line resistance may lead to closure of the open chart gap at 2,921.36.”

Below is an updated version of the chart published on April 7. Instead of breaking above the red trend line to close the gap at 2,921, the S&P 500 has been inching higher like pulled on a zip line.

Regardless of how, the gap has been closed, and the S&P 500 has now one less reason to continue higher without interruption (chart gaps act as magnets).

I wouldn’t be surprised to the see the S&P 500 grind a little higher, but then we should see whether the remainder of my S&P 500 projection – which is quite outrageous – will also prove correct.

Based on investor sentiment, a nasty decline is possible and becoming more likely, but based on liquidity any drop is probably only temporary. According to Elliott Wave Theory, an upcoming drop (once smaller waves 4 and 5 are complete) could be a steep wave C or wave 2, but as long as the S&P stays above 2,900, it can grind higher.

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 evaluation 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, 24.52% in 2015, 52.26% in 2016, and 23.39% in 2017.

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

Volatility Ratio Shows Dangerous Complacency

At the end of last week we saw some excessive pessimism (reported here), now we are seeing signs of complacency.

The May 8 Profit Radar Report stated the following: “As long as the bullish RSI divergence and support near 2,040 hold, odds favor either a bounce or rally to new recovery highs. We will be watching the open S&P chart gap at 2,079.12. Once/if the gap is closed, we’ll have to determine if this bounce has legs (new recovery highs) or if it is just a small bounce within a deeper correction.”

The S&P 500 rallied and closed the open chart gap on Tuesday (May 10). This open gap was our minimum up side target, and the fact that the S&P turned lower immediately after reaching the target indicates persuasive selling pressure.

On the same day, the VIX:VXV ratio dropped to 0.79. Wednesday’s (May 11) Profit Radar Report explained what this means.

MW 2

 

The chart above plots the S&P 500 against the VIX:VXV ratio. The VIX measures implied volatility for the next 30 days, VXV for the next 90 days. Readings below 1 mean that option traders anticipate 90-day volatility to exceed 30-day volatility. Readings below 0.80 indicate extreme complacency towards short-term volatility. Yesterday’s reading was 0.79.

As the dashed red lines indicate, sub 0.80 readings have consistently led to a pullback, although the scope of any pullback varies. This indicator was the reason we did not want to chase yesterday’s spirited rally.

Today’s S&P 500 reversal after closing the open chart gap yesterday neutralizes (and reverses) the bullish edge discussed on Sunday.  The S&P remains in the chop-zone with 2,065 being the likely ‘line in the sand’ between short-term bullish and bearish moves.

Failure to move back above 2,065 favors further down side. Potential near-term target: below 2,040.”

Once the S&P reaches the initial down side target, we’ll evaluate our dashboard of indicators to see what’s next. Continued S&P 500 analysis is 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.

Some Investor Sentiment Indicators Show Excessive Pessimism

There hasn’t been a truly noteworthy investor sentiment extreme since the January/February lows, when the Profit Radar Report recommended buying.

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

Last week saw some unusual sentiment readings.

Sunday’s (May 8) Profit Radar Report published the chart below and pointed out the following:

Some measures of sentiment are in unusually bearish territory. Unusual considering that the S&P just traded only 1% away from its all-time high! Shown below are the % of bullish investors (polled by AAII) and the CBOE equity put/call ratio.

The put/call ratio doesn’t have a perfect track record, but as the dashed red lines show, high readings mark some sort of low more often than not.”

In addition to these ‘odd’ sentiment readings, various indexes reached support levels.

This constellation led to the summary offered by the same Profit Radar Report:

As long as the bullish RSI divergence and support near 2,040 hold, odds favor either a bounce or rally to new recovery highs. We will be watching the open S&P chart gap at 2,079.12. Once/if the gap is closed, we’ll have to determine if this bounce has legs (new recovery highs) or if it is just a small bounce within a deeper correction.”

The S&P 500 is within striking distance of the open chart gap (2,079.12), we we’ll have to evaluate if this bounce ‘has legs’ or not.

Continued S&P 500 analysis is 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.

The Obvious Yet Simple QQQ Clue

Sometimes, investing can be so simple … if we don’t complicate things.

Here is the most basic of ‘indicators’. It has a 100% accuracy rate since the start of the 2009 bull market. In fact, it’s so basic, calling it an indicator is probably overkill.

Open chart gaps. The gaps we’re talking about are price gaps caused by overnight losses.

Our March 7, 2013 article “QQQ – Open Chart Gap Magnets” noted that: “Open chart gaps have acted as a magnet for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, 100% of the time since 2010. The 2010, 2011, and 2012 declines all left open chart gaps … and all of them got filled.“

Over three years later, the accuracy rate is still 100%.

Various market indexes – including the S&P 500, Nasdaq-100 and Nasdaq Composite – left a massive open chart gap on January 4, the first trading day of the year (see chart).

This open chart gap (at S&P 2,043.62) was one of six reasons why the Profit Radar Report issued a buy signal on February 11 at S&P 1,828. This chart gap also served as our up side target.

The S&P closed the open chart gap on March 17.

The Cohort Went Short

According to an April 5 Bloomberg article, investors were short $1 trillion worth of stocks (the highest short interest since 2008).

Looks like bears got trapped again. One reason the Profit Radar Report didn’t recommend shorting stocks is the open PowerShares QQQ ETF (Nasdaq: QQQ) chart gap; in fact, there are two chart gaps.

One at 111.84, another at 113.25. The gap at 111.84 is massive. History has taught us that shorting against chart gaps tends to be a losing proposition.

QQQ has now come within striking distance of the lower gap. There are some bearish breadth divergences already, but once the gaps are closed, the magnetic force pulling stocks higher diminishes, and the odds for a pullback increase.

A temporary pullback after (even before) closing the first gap followed by another bull leg to close the second gap is possible.

Continuous S&P 500 analysis/forecasts are available via the Profit Radar Report, which was just profiled by Barron’s.

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.

 

6 Reasons for a (Deceptive?) Stock Market Rally

On Thursday, February 11, the S&P 500 dropped to new lows, which was our minimum down side target outlined in the January 27 Profit Radar Report: “We are looking for some short-term up side followed by new lows, followed by a more sustainable rally.”

Thursday’s (Feb. 11) special Profit Radar Report update recommended to buy at S&P 1,828 and listed six reasons for a rally. Below is an excerpt from Thursday’s Profit Radar Report.

Forrest Gump would probably describe this market as a ‘box of chocolate.’ Let’s open the box and look what we’ve got.

Obviously, momentum is to the down side. Betting against momentum is always a risky proposition. Having said that, there are a number or tell-tale signs hinting of a (temporary?) momentum shift.

1) Today’s open left another chart gap (first and second S&P 500 chart, dashed purple lines).

2) There’s a bullish RSI divergence on the hourly chart (first chart).

3) There’s a bullish RSI divergence on the daily chart (second chart).

4) Some investor sentiment gauges are nearing pessimistic extremes (third chart). Longer-term sentiment readings (such as the II and AAII polls shown below) suggest a bullish bias for the coming months. Short-term sentiment readings (such as the CBOE equity/put call ratio – fourth chart) are not yet in nosebleed territory and allow for further losses.

5) Today’s low could be the spring board for the updated projection shown in Wednesday’s PRR.

6) Based on correlations between asset classes, investors are piling into the ‘fear trade’ (buying gold and Treasuries when stocks are down). 30-year Treasury prices and gold are up more than 10% in recent weeks. This combination (gold and Treasuries up more than 10% in a couple of weeks) has only occurred three other times since 1975 (according to SentimenTrader). Chart #5 captures the November 2008 and August 2011 occurrences. In 1982 (not shown), the S&P bottomed closely thereafter, and rallied 44% over the next year.

Summary: Although we anticipate an eventual drop below S&P 1,800, today’s lows increase the odds of at least a temporary rally. The risk/reward ratio is now attractive. Buy S&P 500 around 1,828 or SPY around 183.”

Although this rally may relapse eventually, Thursday’s dip provided a low-risk entry, to get some ‘skin in the game’ in case this turns into a runaway rally with higher than anticipated targets.

The S&P 500 has been tracking our yellow projection (see chart below) – initially published in the January 13 and 24 Profit Radar Report updates – very well, and may continue to do so.

Please keep in mind that the yellow projection was adjusted via the Wednesday, February 10, Profit Radar Report to show only a marginal low followed by a less dynamic bounce.

The updated projection with target levels is available to Profit Radar Report subscribers. Test drive the Profit Radar Report here.

Simon Maierhofer is the publisher of the Profit Radar ReportThe 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 and 17.59% in 2014.

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: The Tug of War Between the Need of New Lows and ‘Magnet’ Highs

Stocks are caught between a rock and a hard place.

On one hand, there’s the ‘need’ for a new low (more about why this is a ‘need’ in a moment). On the other hand, there’s a bullish reversal (selling climax), a breadth thrust, and an open chart gap (about 7% higher) that needs to get filled.

Who will win this tug of war? Bulls or bears?

Bullish Factors

Reversal Week: The S&P 500 painted a weekly reversal candle on January 22. The January 24 Profit Radar Report pointed out that: “All but one weekly reversals since mid-2013 were followed by at least another week of gains.”

Last week’s strong performance locked in the second week of gains. More details about the significance of weekly reversals (especially after a 52-week low) is available here: Spike in Selling Climaxes Leads to S&P 500 Reversal Week

Chart Gap: There is an open chart gap at 2,043. Since 2009, all open chart gaps have been closed. This one is unlikely to be different. At some point in 2016, the S&P will take care of this unfinished business.

Breadth Thrust: Last Friday (January 29), the S&P 500 soared 2.42%. 92% of S&P 500 stocks ended that day with gains. This was the strongest up day since September 8, 2015.

In theory, 90% up days, are an indication that buyers are ready to step up and drive price higher. But theory is not always reality.

The chart below marks all recent 92% up days. The two 92% up days during the V-shaped recoveries of 2014 led to new all-time highs. The two 92% up days in August/September 2015 were followed by a retest of the prior low.

The January 24 Profit Radar Report outlined this path for the S&P 500 (solid yellow projection more likely, dashed yellow projection less likely).

Thus far, the S&P is following the projection quite closely.

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Does the January 29 breadth thrust conflict with the solid yellow projection? No.

Bearish Factors

As the chart below shows, there were numerous 92%+ breadth thrusts in August/September 2011, which closely resembles the yellow projected show above. The S&P eventual dipped below its initial panic low.

Why are we looking at the 2011 chart?

  1. This was the last 10%+ correction.
  2. It’s been more than three years since the S&P had a 2011-style correction (2012 was the last time), where the initial panic low is broken after weeks of sideways W action.

Throught 2013 and 2014 we’ve only seen V-shaped recoveries. The August/September 2015 correction was W-shaped without break of the initial panic low.

This doesn’t mean a 2011 correction (W-shaped with break of the initial panic low) has to happen now, but based on the principal of alternation (the stock market rarely delivers the same pattern over and over), the odds of a 2011-style correction are higher than before.

New lows against bullish divergences would likely be a good opportunity to buy. We are always looking for low-risk entry levels, thus the ‘need’ for new lows.

The 2016 S&P 500 Forecast has just been published. It includes a detailed analysis of supply & demand, technicals, investor sentiment, seasonality, cycles & patterns. The forecast answers whether a major top is in or not, and shows the maximum up-and down side for 2016. Numerous unique data points are combined to craft an actual 2016 S&P 500 performance projection chart. The 2016 S&P 500 Forecast is available to subscribers of the Profit Radar Report. Subscribe now and become the best-informed investor you know.

Simon Maierhofer is the publisher 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 and 17.59% in 2014.

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