Russell 2000 and Transports at Crossroads?

The Russell 2000 (RUT) and Dow Jones Transportation Average (DJT) racked up some pretty significant losses since their 2015 all-time highs.

From the 2015 peak to the 2016 trough, the RUT lost as much as 27.23%, DJT as much as 31.22%. The S&P 500 lost ‘only’ 15.20%.

It was the prevailing opinion for much of 2015 and early 2016 that the RUT and DJT would lead U.S. stocks into the next bear market.

It is correct that small cap underperformance is one of the stages of an aging bull market, and in line with our analysis (view 3 Stages of a ‘Dying’ Bull Market). However, the timing for an immediate bear market didn’t seem right.

The February 11 Profit Radar Report listed six reasons why stocks are likely to rally. The ‘six reason buy signal’ is also discussed here.

After almost three weeks of rising prices (RUT up 11%, DJT up 17%), the RUT and DJT have arrived at their first inflection point.

Russell 2000 (RUT)

The RUT is back-testing the ascending green trend line (currently at 1,045), which originates at the March 2009 low. Sustained trade above this trend line is bullish until the signal is reversed.

Dow Jones Transportation Average (DJT)

The DJT is threatening to break above the 7,400 – 7,500 zone. This zone served as support a few months ago.

This is not only price resistance for DJT, it’s also momentum resistance as DJT’s prior rallies failed at similar RSI readings.

Conclusion

When the Profit Radar Report issued a buy signal at S&P 1,828, it wasn’t clear whether this rally would only move to the initial up side target at 1,950 or beyond.

Based on investor sentiment, there was a distinct chance that a runaway rally (with higher targets) would develop.

The S&P is not in the clear yet, but the RUT and DJT charts may help gauge the broad market’s prospects. RUT and DJT above their respective resistance levels is a positive for the S&P and other indexes.

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.

Advertisements

Tell Tale Signs from the Dow Jones Averages

Sunday’s Profit Radar Report featured the following charts and analysis for the Dow Jones Averages:

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI):

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) appears to offer the most clues at this moment. The weekly bar chart shows double support (trend line and prior September high) right around 17,350 – 17,300. The 20-month SMA is at 17,198. This is not must hold support, but it’s a general zone worth watching for a potential bounce.”

Dow Jones Transportation Average (DJT):

The Dow Jones Transportation Average (DJT) broke above double trend line resistance (green circle) on July 29, but didn’t produce the ‘escape velocity’ needed to continue moving higher. In fact, the DJT has now returned to its original breakout trend line (blue circle). This kind of back test often serves of launch pad for the next spike. We’ve seen a few failures of a similar launch pad lately, but this is still one of the more reliable technical patterns.”

If you enjoy quality, hand-crafted research, >> Sign up for the FREE iSPYETF Newsletter

Summary:

We don’t want to ignore some credible indicators pointing towards a correction, but based on sentiment (in particular the equity put/call ratio), it is hard to believe that stocks will drop hard. A bounce is more likely.”

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.

 

Is the Dow Jones Transportation Average Forming a Bull Flag?

The Dow Jones Transportation Average (DJT) has been on fire, since late 2012.

A V-shaped correction, and a prolonged period of sideways trading interrupted the parabolic up trend and there’s been no net gain since September 2014.

Trading action since the November 28 all-time high has been contained by a parallel channel, that looks like a flag.

In fact, the DJT may have formed a bullish flag formation.

A bull flag is described as a consolidation period that interrupts a sharp, almost vertical rally. The consolidation range is defined by a parallel channel with a slant to the down side, and tends to separate two halves of a steep rally.

A break above the upper boundary (around 9,150) would be the first step of a bullish breakout, with a measured up side target around 10,000.

Buying against support (around 8,500) is a low-risk buying opportunity to get in on the ground floor. It’s low-risk because the nearby support level provides a clear point of ruin (stop-loss).

Never Miss a Beat! >> Sign up for the FREE iSPYETF e-Newsletter

A break below 8,450 would void the bull flag and allow for much lower prices.

I doubt there’s enough buying power to lift the DJT to 10,000, but trade around 8,500 (or breakout above 9,150) offers some low-risk setups.

The iShares Transportation Average ETF (NYSEArca: IYT) is the most widely traded transportation sector ETF.

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.

Weekly ETF SPY: Dow Jones Transportation Average & Dow Theory

Dow Theory has been around for many decades and just triggered a confirmed buy signal. However, Dow Theory has had its struggle in the Fed manipulated market and the buy signal may not be as strong as it appears.

On Thursday the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and the Dow Jones Transportation Average (DJT) reached an all-time high. According to Dow Theory, that’s a bullish confirmation.

Dow Theory has been around so long that it’s considered antiquated and outdated by many. Its roots go back as far as 1889 and start with a man named Charles Dow.

Dow started his career as an investigative reporter focused on business and finance. In 1885 Dow became a member of the New York Stock Exchange. In 1889 Dow began publishing a newspaper called the Wall Street Journal.

From 1899 to 1902 Dow published a series of editorials in his Wall Street Journal. Many asked him to compose a book made up of his editorials, but he didn’t. It was left up to others to continue Dow’s Theory and legacy.

Dow Theory students such as William Hamilton, Robert Rhea, George Schaefer, and Richard Russell kept the Dow Theory alive after Dow’s death. They were able to call the Great Depression market bottom in 1932, the turn to the downside in 1937, the 1949 market bottom and the 1966 top.

There are six basic tenets to the Dow Theory. One of which is that the averages must confirm each other. A bull market in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEArca: DIA) for example, could not occur unless the Dow Jones Transportation Average (NYSEArca: IYT) rallies as well.

Why? Only produced goods that are shipped to and paid for by the consumer confirm a strong economy (production without delivery would only inflate inventory).

Dow Theory was born in a free market and proved its worth many times in decades past. However, the Dow Theory track record in a Fed manipulated market is less than stellar.

For most of 2012 the Dow Jones was ‘doomed’ by a bearish non-confirmation as the Transports failed to confirm the Dow’s new high (dashed red box).

It wasn’t until March 2013 when both averages (industrials and transport) rallied to all-time highs, confirming the rally.

There have been some ups and downs since March, but the DJI and DJT both recorded all-time highs yesterday (July 18, 2013). This means that goods are manufactured and shipped.

Well, that’s what it used to mean anyway. Today it merely means that there’s enough liquidity to buoy different industry sectors.

This is a bullish development, although I’m not buying into the rationale that the stock market is up because the economy is healthy and that the economy is healthy because the transportation sector is confirming the industrial sector.

As the chart above shows, both averages are currently above their respective longer-term parallel channel. A move below the channel wouldn’t suffocate the bullish undertones, but as long as prices remain above, both indexes are ‘safe.’

>> Sign up for the FREE ETF NEWSLETTER and get the ETF SPY delivered to you.

Will the Persistently Wrong Dow Theory Sell Signal Finally Come True?

No other technical indicator has been around as long as the Dow Theory. Dow Theory started out more as an economic theory, which Charles Dow published in the Wall Street Journal around the turn of the 20th century.

Dow’s theory focused on two key economic sectors: manufacturing (industrials) and transportation. If goods were being produced and moving through the economy, it should show up in the price action of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and Dow Jones Transportation Average (DJT). A strong economy would buoy both averages.

The corresponding ETFs for the DJIA and DJT are the SPDR Dow Jones Diamonds (DIA) and SPDR Dow Jones Transportation Average (IYT).

Despite a rather decent century long track record, the Dow Theory sell signal has been dead wrong for well over a year. Why is that, and will the sell signal finally kick in late September/October?

The chart below plots the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) against the Dow Jones Transportation Average (DJT). There are a number of bearish divergences, but none of them have hindered the DJIA from breaking to new recovery highs.

The Dow’s trend is clearly up while the Transport’s trend is clearly down. The Dow is above resistance while the Transport is below support. Something’s gotta give, will the Dow break down or the DJT catch up?

Historical Performance & Seasonality

An examination of the historical significance of the current divergences doesn’t reveal a bearish bias. In fact, the performance of the Dow has been positive after instances where the Dow traded close to a 52-week high, while the DJT was nearly 10% below its 52-week high.

October is also the beginning of a historically favorable season for the Transports (perhaps due to the upcoming holidays). However, the week after September triple witching and October in general, has a bearish bias for the Dow Industrials.

Technicals

As if the bearish divergence wasn’t enough, the DJIA is now above resistance. The DJT is below support. Technically it will take a move above what’s now resistance to unlock more bullish potential for the Transports, but historical performance and seasonality suggest the risk for Transports is limited. Exactly the opposite is true for the Dow Industrials.

Intangibles

QE3 is here and the massive inflow of liquidity tends to buoy all asset classes including oil. High oil prices in turn cut into the profit margin of transportation companies like FedEx, UPS, Union Pacific, etc.

FedEx has already cut its fiscal 2013 forecast. Chief Financial Officer Alan Graf blamed weak global economic conditions. But that’s old news and already priced into the Transports recent slide.

It is obvious that the Transports refuse to confirm the Dow’s rosy picture, but the bearish omen hasn’t hurt the Dow’s performance either.

I follow and respect Dow Theory, but have learned not to be dogmatic about any one single indicator. The Dow Theory sell signal will be right eventually, but the weight of evidence of technicals, seasonality, and sentiment suggests some weakness for stocks over the near-term followed by year-end strength.

Simon Maierhofer shares his market analysis and points out high probability, low risk buy/sell recommendations via the Profit Radar Report. Click here for a free trial to Simon’s Profit Radar Report.