S&P 500 – Strong but Ugly

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Let’s face it, S&P 500 performance has been strong but ugly … and downright boring to watch. Despite the yawn environment, I just discovered a historic pattern that played out 90% of the time (see below).

Yes, while markets are grinding I’m running dozens of screens to gain an edge for the next move.

For example, the last S&P 500 all-time high (last Thursday) also saw:

– Cumulative NY Composite a/d lines at all-time highs

– 88% of S&P 500 stocks above their 50-day SMA

– 95% of S&P 500 stocks above their 200-day SMA

– Only 58% of volume flowing in advancing stocks (10-day SMA)

Running a screen based on the above parameters yields no hits, which means it never happened before.

We can’t learn much from a sample size of 1, but lowering the threshold gives as more precedents to work with.

The yellow lines highlight when less restrictive criteria (see chart) were met. Unfortunately the sample size couldn’t be more conflicting (don’t shoot the messenger). We have some signals right before the 2007 and 2020 crash and others during the 2013 and 2020 melt-up.

Let’s take a different approach. Instead of scanning for similar past occurrences based on breadth we’ll look at performance.

Here is our baseline:

  1. From January – April 2021, the S&P 500 was up 11.32%
  2. In 2020 (prior year), the S&P 500 recorded a 16.26% gain
  3. 2021 was a post election year

Going back to 1970, we now identify the following:

– Years S&P 500 was up more than 10% on April 30

It happened 14 other years

– Years S&P 500 gained 16% +/-5% the year before

It happened 5 other years

– Years that were a post election year (like 2021)

It happened 1 other year

– Years with a similar chart trajectory (correlation)

Based on the above criteria, the gray graphs reflect the January – April performance of the 10 years most similar to 2021 (in red).

The logical next step is to chart the forward performance of the 10 most similar years, which is exactly what I did. After doing that, I look for common themes.

This study revealed an interesting commonality: 3 month later (which corresponds to August 1), the S&P 500 had the same directional bias 90% of the time. The full study was published in yesterday’s Profit Radar Report.

Even dull markets can offer clues about future performance … if you look hard enough … or have someone who does the searching for you.

Continued updates, out-of-the box analysis and forward performance based on historic precedents are available via the Profit Radar Report.

Barron’s rates iSPYETF a “trader with a good track record,” and Investor’s Business Daily writes “Simon says and the market is playing along.”SPX

US Stocks: 5 Intriguing Charts, 1 Conclusion

Here is a look at the 5 (in my humble opinion) most intriguing and important charts right now. As you will notice, not all charts point in the same direction. Nevertheless, I will conclude with a weight of evidence-based conclusion.

1) S&P 500 Tug of War

The July 15 Profit Radar Report introduced subscribers to a massively bullish S&P 500 chart pattern with an up side target of 3,000+.

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.

The chart insert shows price since July 15. Thus far, triangle support has held, the pattern has not been invalidated, but also not confirmed.

Short-term, as brought out by the August 8 Profit Radar Report, sellers have a window of opportunity due to triple resistance around 2,860.

2) Nasdaq Resistance

The Nasdaq-100 QQQ is up against double resistance comprised of the red trend line and a Fibonacci projection level going back to its 2002 low. As long as resistance holds, bears have a window of opportunity to take QQQ lower.

3) Bear’s Best Friend

All major indexes (S&P 500, Dow Jones, Nasdaq, Russell 2000) have been dancing to the beat of their own drum.

For a broader assessment of US stock’s health, some look at the NY Composite (NYC), which includes some 2000 stocks.

The NYC thus far only retraced 61.8% of the decline from the January high. 61.8 is a Fibonacci number, in fact, it is the ideal retracement of a counter trend rally, a dead cat bounce. That’s what makes the NYC “bear’s best friend” right now.

A look under the hood however, reveals two important facts:

  • More stocks have been advancing than declining (blue graph)
  • The ratio of advancing stocks has slowed significantly (gray graph)

Based on the NYC advance/decline line and ratio, the most likely outcome is short-term weakness followed by longer-term strength.

4) VIX

The August 1 Profit Radar Report published the chart below, which plots the VIX against hedgers’ (smart money) exposure and seasonality. Based on those factors, a spike to 17 (red trend line) seemed likely.

This week, the VIX spiked from 10.17 to 15.02, a 47% move. Higher readings are still possible.

5) Doom-and-Gloom Hurray

Investors loved doom-and-gloom stories a couple weeks ago. I took a screenshot of most popular MarketWatch articles on July 31. The top two were:

  • Prepare for the biggest stock-market selloff in months, Morgan Stanley warns
  • This ‘prophet of doom’ predicts stock market will plunge more than 50%

Admittedly that’s anecdotal evidence, but heavily bearish investors tend to get burnt first. The early August rally did just that.

Conclusion

If you want to be bullish, there’s plenty of data to support your view.

If you want to be bearish, there’s plenty of data to support your view, too.

Looking at the data objectively, my conclusion (based on the weight of evidence) is that short-term weakness will provide at least one more buying opportunity.

Weakness may not materialize if the S&P 500, Nasdaq, NY Composite move above their respective resistance levels.

Support levels, up side targets and continuous updates are available in the Profit Radar Report.

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.

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, 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 Newsletter to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.

S&P 500 Update

The February 11 Profit Radar Report featured the chart below and stated that: “Based on Elliott Wave Theory, wave 3 is followed by wave 4, which is where we are currently at. Waves 4 are generally choppy, range-bound, long-winded, unpredictable corrections that retrace ideally 38.2% of the preceding wave 3. The 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level is at 2,536 (reached on Friday). In terms of price, wave 4 has already reached its down side target. In terms of time, wave 4 would be unusually short.”

After hitting 2,536 on February 9, the S&P 500 rallied as projected by this chart shown in the February 8 Profit Radar Report (Tuesday’s high at 2,789 was a bit higher than outlined in the last S&P 500 update).

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.

It is possible to count 5 waves up from the February 9 low to the February 27 high.

A 5-wave rally is always followed by a pullback, that’s why the February 25 Profit Radar Report mentioned the possibility of a ‘false breakout.’ The chart below shows the wave labels and common Fibonacci retracement support levels (particularly applicable for scenario #1).

Bigger Picture

The two charts below outline how the rally from the February 9 low and the decline from the February 27 high may fit into the bigger picture.

Scenario #1 assumes that wave 4 completed on February 9. The rally from February 9 – 27 is wave 1 of wave 5. Wave 2 of wave 5 is now underway (see hourly chart for common retracement levels for waves 2).

Scenario #2 projects an ongoing, choppy wave 4 correction and eventual retest of the February panic low.

Both scenarios have a common denominator: New highs once the correction is complete. The shape of the decline should tell us which scenario we’re dealing with.

Summary

Barring a low-odd waterfall decline, the weight of evidence suggests a buy the dip approach.

Continued updates with down side targets 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.

 

Stock Market Update: This is the Clearest Chart Right Now

There’s never been a time when articles on iSPYETF.com have been posted at the snail-pace of about one per month … until now.

Unless you are a stock picker, there’s simply been nothing worthwhile to write about.

The October 1 Profit Radar Report warned of just such a period of inactivity:

The bullish Elliott Wave Theory count would see stocks grind higher for a number of weeks in a 2 steps forward, 1 step back pattern. A real unexciting, unstimulating and uninspiring grind higher to 2,600+/-. Unless the S&P drops below 2,500, this is now the most likely outcome.

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

This ‘real unexciting, unstimulating and uninspiring grind higher to 2,600+/-‘ has already lasted more than 7 weeks.

The Clearest Chart Right Now

One of the best tell-tale since during this 7-week period came from the Russell 2000. The chart and commentary below were published in the November 15 Profit Radar Report:

The Russell 2000 is leaking lower. RSI-2 is now oversold with support around 1,452. The correction since the October 5 high looks like a wave 4. The 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level (a common target for waves 4) is at 1,451.35 (just 3 points below today’s low). The R2K appears to be nearing a bounce, there’s even a possibility today’s low was a more sizeable low.”

Below is an updated Russell 2000 chart. Trade touched support around 1,450 on November 15, and rallied strongly. The minimum requirement for wave 5 is to reach new highs (which it already did), but the convergence of resistance levels around 1,542 (red oval) is the next most logical up side target (higher is also possible).

S&P 500 Update

The S&P 500 has basically reached our up side target around 2,600. The post-Thanksgiving week is seasonally weak, but as long as trade stays above 2,590, the S&P is likely to move towards the next resistance cluster around 2,650.

Continued analysis for the S&P 500, Russell 2000, gold, silver, euro, dollar and other equity indexes is provided 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.

S&P 500 Update: Is This Rally Leg Over?

The September 5, 2016 Profit Radar Report published the chart below along with the following commentary:

The chart below shows the long-term up side target purely based on projected symmetry. Based on the 1997 – 2013 trading range, the measured up side target is S&P 2,330 – 2,485, which is in the general vicinity of the 2,290 – 2,342 Fibonacci levels mentioned in the 2016 S&P 500 Forecast. Higher targets are possible, but we’ll reassess once we get there.”

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

The second chart shows the trading activity over the past year along with short-term bars and trend lines we used to narrow down the up side target (the latest up side target was 2,494).

Short-term X-Ray

A special August 7 Profit Radar Report update featured this potent warning:

The S&P 500 ETF (SPY) closed at a new all-time high at the lowest volume of the year. For the first time in a while, there is a bearish divergence between the S&P 500 and the NY Composite a/d lines. The ideal scenario (and tempting setup to go short) would be a spike to 2,495+ followed by an intraday reversal.”

This is almost exactly what happened. The S&P 500 spiked as high as 2,490.87 before falling 52 points.

However, this drop quickly caused an oversold condition.

A special August 10 Profit Radar Report update featured this chart and stated that:

The CBOE equity putt call ratio (last chart) spiked to the highest reading (0.88) since April. The VIX is overbought. The VIX/VXV ratio jumped and contango fell. Both are near levels that have been seen at VIX highs. Stocks are oversold and ready to bounce. Based on the wave structure, we anticipate this bounce to be brief (2-6 days) and stay below the prior all-time highs (although the extent of the oversold condition would allow for a stronger bounce).”

Conclusion

The August 28, 2016 Profit Radar Report featured a bullish Elliott Wave Theory count with a projected up side target around S&P 2,500 (more details here: S&P 500 Update – Expect the Abnormal).

One of the images featured was a conceptual “We are here” chart (shown below). The green dots mark where we were in August 2016 (along with probability scores).

The red circles highlight where we are at today. The upcoming correction should be a choppy and frustrating wave 4 decline to be followed by another rally to new all-time highs. It then remains to be seen whether that high will be a major top or not.

Since the S&P did not quite reach our up side target, there is an alternate interpretation, which allows for continued gains almost immediately. However, that remains only an alternate unless the market tells us otherwise.

Continued analysis, with down side targets and buy/sell signals are provided 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.

 

Oil and Gold Update

Oil Update

The February 21 Profit Radar Report said the following about crude oil:

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.

The problem with this trade is that oil has had massive daily swings, which makes identifying an effective stop-loss level nearly impossible. One of the goals of the Profit Radar Report is to keep risk at a minimum.

There is much up side to oil. Investors who don’t mind short-term drawdowns in exchange for potentially sizeable profits, this is a trade worth taking. However, since we cannot effectively limit risk, this won’t be an official trade.”

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The updated chart below shows that oil soared higher until it hit resistance near 38.

This resistance paused the rally and generated a bearish RSI divergence. More weakness is possibly, but ultimately higher prices are likely.

Gold Update

The March 2, Profit Radar Report pointed out a potential triangle formation for gold, and stated:

Gold appears to be carving out a triangle. Upon completion, triangles often lead to strong, but temporary breakouts. A quick spike to 1,300 +/- could mark the end of the initial up leg from the December low. Such a quickly reversed spike higher followed by a multi-week/months correction (see yellow projection) would harmonize to a satisfactory degree with seasonality and sentiment. A break above 1,255 would be the first steps towards a post-triangle spike.”

The chart below was published via the same update.

The second chart provides more long-term context. The purple lines outline the triangle formation. The initial post triangle thrust stopped at trend line resistance (ascending red line), and created a bearish RSI divergence. Gold found support today, and rallied higher. This keeps the potential of a move to 1,300+/- alive, but chasing this move would take impeccable timing.

Continuous updates for oil, gold, silver, S&P 500 and other assets classes are available via the Profit Radar Report.

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, 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 Worst Januaries Since 1970 and How the S&P 500 Fared Thereafter

The S&P 500 ended January with a 5.07% loss. This is only the 8th time the S&P got hit with a January loss of 5% or more (since 1970).

The table below shows all 5%+ January losses and the corresponding full-year performance.

The chart below shows each individual year’s exact path from January – December.

The next chart shows the average performance of the ‘worst Januaries.’ It might be worth noting that the initial low happened after 20 trading days. A brief bounce was followed by a more sustainable low around trading day 45.

Not to fudge the numbers, but one could argue that 2008 was an outlier year. Taking 2008 out of the equation, the year-end loss shrinks from 6.4% to 1.1%.

The pattern of a lower low after 45 days followed by a sizeable rally remains in tact.

Patterns like this don’t come with a predictive guarantee, but they provide some insight on how traders tend to react to certain events. Such patterns are one of many components that go into the Profit Radar Report forecasts and trading recommendation.

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 Analysis – The Next Turn

On June 15, I noticed (and wrote) that 2015 is Shaping up to Look a lot Like 2011.

In 2011, the S&P 500 fell 20% in July/August. 18% of that loss happened within a 3-week meltdown.

The rearview mirror shows a similar ‘crash’ in August 2015. Will the 2011/2015 analogy continue?

I suspect it will. Not tick for tick, nothing every does, but reasonably close.

The chart below plots the S&P 500 of 2011 (black line) against the S&P 500 of 2015 (blue line).

In 2011, the initial low (August 9 at 1,101.54) was followed by a multi-week consolidation and another new low (October 4 at 1,074.77).

According to Elliott Wave Theory (EWT), the 2011 decline followed a 5-wave format (see black numerical labels). Elliott Wave Theory is an exotic indicator, and should not be followed blindly, but there are times when EWT can be very helpful.

Now appears to be such a time.

A complete 5-wave decline, as happened in 2011, usually means two things:

  1. A bounce (or rally to new highs) is next
  2. A longer-term trend change may have occurred (this was not the case in 2011).

Regardless, a rally was to be expected after the initial (wave 3) low.

I noted via the August 24 Profit Radar Report that: “It looks like today’s low (1,867 for the S&P 500) marks the end of wave 3. Next should be a choppy and potentially violent wave 4 rebound.”

There are a number of other possibilities, but at this point there is no reason to complicate matters. If the next moves don’t match our parameters (many of which were already shared with Profit Radar Report subscribers), we’ll adjust.

For now, the likely path is the one outlined by the 2011 template: Perhaps more choppy sideways action, and a new low followed by a Q4 rally.

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.

 

The Missing Ingredient for A Major Bull Market Top

This article reveals the single most powerful stock market indicator in recent history. It not only protected investors from many past bear markets, it also predicted higher stock market prices throughout this bull market.

I am in a predicament. I want you to know about the one indicator that will be more useful in the year ahead than any other stock market related indicator (you’ll see why this indicator is essential for any investor in a moment).

But (and that’s a big but), I want to be fair to my subscribers. Since it wouldn’t be right to share research reserved for paying subscribers, I came up with this solution:

You will see the indicator in its full power and glory, but I won’t disclose the name of the indicator. It will simply be dubbed ‘secret sauce.’

I’ve been following secret sauce for many years. What makes this indicator unique is that it has protected those ‘listening’ from many bear markets, while keeping investors on the right side of the trade (long and strong) throughout this bull market.

Although I wasn’t aware of it when I first learned about secret sauce, my research shows that secret sauce correctly telegraphed the 1987, 2000 and 2007 market tops.

How it Works

Secret sauce reveals a terminal condition often hidden by price action: Internal stock market deterioration (for a detailed description go here).

The charts below show how the market lost steam internally (black line) even though the S&P 500 (blue line) continued higher … right until it hit the ceiling in 1987 and 2000.

The same thing happened prior to the 2007 top. Secret sauce stopped confirming the S&P 500 highs on June 4 (dashed red line). The market topped on October 11 and rolled over.

The dashed green lines in the above chart show that secret sauce confirmed every new S&P 500 high since the bull market took off in 2009, telegraphing that every correction was eventually to be succeeded by new highs.

Obviously, secret sauce isn’t necessarily a short-term indicator, but the advance notice of the market’s intention is invaluable to almost every type of investor.

Knowing whether short-term draw downs will eventually be recovered is incredible insight not offered by any other indicator.

Secret sauce is the main reason why the Profit Radar Report has continually looked for new highs, even in April/May 2014 when the media strongly advertised a market crash.

At some point secret sauce will not confirm new S&P 500 highs and send a warning signal. In fact, there is a fledgling bearish non-confirmation right now.

The Profit Radar Report continuously monitors and updates secret sauce. Sunday’s special Profit Radar Report includes a detailed analysis of this fledgling bearish divergence and how it should affect the S&P 500 for the remainder of 2014.

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.

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 is Suffering From Most Unique Conundrum Ever! 3 Charts Why

The S&P 500 is not only stuck in a trading range. It’s also stuck in a conundrum of historical proportions. Analysis paralysis suffered by a variety of investors has rarely widespread. Why and what does it mean?

The S&P 500 is incapacitated by a sentiment tug of war.

Every trading day awakens to doomsday prophets, spreading their bearish gospel.

Ironically, doomsday prophets are right. Many trustworthy indicators have indeed pointed to a sizeable correction … and yet they’ve been so wrong.

When Will This ‘Broken Clock’ Be Right?

Even a broken clock is right twice a day, but the S&P 500 headline chart below shows that the media at large has been wrong, very wrong, for very long.

Fear the Fear Mongers, Not the VIX

One of the reasons many have been expecting a market crash is because of the VIX, which was recently at an 88-month low. The ‘original VIX’ even dropped to an all-time low. The chart below plots VXO against the S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY).

The original VIX – VXO – is now known as the CBOE S&P 100 Volatility Index. In 2003, the original VIX was renamed VXO and replaced by the VIX as we know it today. VXO is essentially the VIX for the biggest large cap stocks.

By now every novice investor and their grandma ‘knows’ that a low VIX leads to major market tops. But that reasoning couldn’t be more flawed.

On June 16, the Profit Radar Report ousted this false line of reasoning with three powerful charts in a controversial report: “The VIX is too LOW for a major market top”.

Regardless of the VIX implications for the S&P 500, it reflects a level of complacency that contradicts the financial press’ pessimism.

Sentiment Divergence

Investor sentiment is a powerful contrarian indicator, but current sentiment gauges are all over the map.

The image below quantifies the level of analysis paralysis among investors better than any other chart.

It plots the S&P 500 against the spread between two different sentiment polls. The Investors Intelligence (II) survey of investment advisors and the American Association for Individual Investors (AAII) survey of retail investors.

Advisors are predominantly bullish, investors neutral to bearish. The divergence between both opinions has rarely been more visible and is more persistent than at any other time in recent history.

Who should we trust? The media? Investment advisors? Retail investors?

Conclusion

No doubt, hindsight will bring the answer. Based on the current fragmentation, both bulls and bears will likely have a tough time to stage a sustainable move.

It will probably take a ‘tiebreaker’ to unlodge the trading range. A break of support should give bears the upper hand in this struggle (otherwise expect a grind higher).

The Profit Radar Report used an unconventional indicator to identify key support more than two weeks ago. Since then it’s been tested (and proven correct) five times.

Here’s a free look at key support and the analysis usually reserved for subscribers of the Profit Radar Report.

S&P 500 Outlook: S&P Bounces from Support

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.

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