S&P 500 Forecast for Remainder of 2016

The full year S&P 500 forecast is my biggest project of the year, and quite frankly it’s kind of a thankless job. Why? It gives every critic a documented, black and white foundation for criticism.

It is impossible to predict a full year of stock market future, that’s why market forecasts are loaded with ‘ifs,’ “buts,’ and other ambiguities. Anyone attempting to predict the unpredictable is doomed to miss the mark.

That’s why no other newsletter (at least not that I’m aware of) publishes an actual full year S&P 500 chart projection. Accountability is an underrated (if not entirely ignored) concept on Wall Street. But, what’s the purpose of following many time-tested indicators if we don’t put them to work?

The 2016 S&P 500 Forecast was published on January 31, 2016 and is available to subscribers of the Profit Radar Report. Below is an excerpt of the 2016 S&P 500 Forecast (with some minor edits in consideration of paying subscribers).

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

At the time of publication, the S&P 500 traded in the mid 1,800s. One of the key questions addressed by the forecast was whether the May 2015 all-time high at S&P 2,134 marked the end of the bull market.

The S&P 500 Forecast is based on the four most powerful market-moving forces:

  • Supply & Demand
  • Technical Analysis
  • Investor Sentiment
  • Seasonality & Cycles

Supply & Demand

Technical Analysis – Support/Resistance Levels

There is Fibonacci support at 1,855 (Fibonacci projection level going back to 2002).

There is an open chart gap at 2,043.62 (just above Fibonacci resistance at 2,041). This is the bare minimum target for a Q1/Q2 rally.

Technical Analysis – Elliott Wave Theory

Investor Sentiment

Bull markets die of starvation. Just as a fire needs wood to burn, the stock market needs fresh buyers to move higher. Fully invested investors can only do one of two things: hold or sell. Neither action buoys price any higher.

Excessive optimism is an indication that buyers have become rare (because everyone who wants to buy has already bought). That’s why excessive optimism usually precedes a new bear market or sizeable correction. However, investor sentiment near the May 2015 all-time highs was not as euphoric as at prior tops.

Historically, sentiment around May 2015 was not bullish enough for a major market top.

What about current sentiment? Sentiment dropped towards extreme pessimism in January (some indicators triggered panic readings), which should provide a bullish tailwind for the weeks/months ahead.

Summary

The 2016 S&P 500 Forecast did not expect much down side following the January meltdown, but anticipated a market comeback with a ‘bare minimum up side target of 2,043.’

This target was already captured. What’s next? A short-term outlook is available here.

Continued updates are available via the Profit Radar Report. Barron’s graded iSPYETF (and the Profit Radar Report) a “trader with a good track record.”

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 Analysis: The ‘Chopping Zone’ Explained

S&P 500 analysis: Since late 2013, the S&P 500 has been ‘boxed in’ by well-defined support/resistance levels. This explains 4-months of range bound trading activity. Here is the S&P 500 ‘chopping box zone’ along with key near-term support and resistance.

Buy-and hold investors know that the S&P 500 (SNP: ^GSPC) hasn’t gone anywhere since the beginning of 2014. Why and when will this aimless back and forth stop?

Here are four charts that will progressively shed some light on the issue:

The first chart is a plain weekly S&P 500 bar chart. At the top we see an index that has stalled.

The second chart is the same S&P 500 chart with some simple annotations.

  1. Solid black trend channel going back to March 2009
  2. Dashed black trend channel going back to October 2011
  3. Green support/resistance line going back to April 2010
  4. Green support line going back to November 2012
  5. Fibonacci projection level going back to 2002

The third chart is a daily bar chart going back to October 2011.

The fourth chart zooms in on the most recent market action in correlation to the various support/resistance (S/R) levels mentioned above.

The blue lines show an S&P 500 that has been boxed in by its own S/R levels.

Each blue circle represents a tidbit of ‘insider information’ available to investors familiar with such levels.

S/R conscious investors didn’t chase the S&P 500 when it touched the upper resistance rim and didn’t sell when it touched the lower boundary.

The Profit Radar Report combines those simple S/R levels with technical analysis, seasonality patterns and sentiment analysis.

Here’s an actual recent example of sentiment analysis combined with S/R levels and seasonality:

In the beginning of May, the financial media delivered a wave of bearish headlines, such as:

“Why investors expect to sell in May and go away” – Investors Business Daily
“This Chart Says we’re in for a 20% correction” – CNBC
“I’m worried about a crisis bigger than 2008: Dr Doom” – CNBC
“Risk of 20% correction highest until October” – MarketWatch

Merely based on those headlines, it became clear that the market will shake out premature bears with a drop and pop punch. Via the May 4 Profit Radar Report, I shared this outlook:

“The ‘chart detective’ inside of me favors a shallow dip (1,874 – 1,850) followed by a pop to 1,900 or 1,915 before we see a 10%+ correction. This bold prediction is mainly based on what the ‘chart detective’ thinks will fool the maximum number of investors.”

Resistance at 1,900 was composed of short-term pivots and a long-term Fibonacci projection level. The brief pop above 1,900 no doubt stopped out all the weak bears that followed the media’s doom-and gloom talk. Was it enough of a pop?

Thus far the S&P 500 has followed our script, however it continues to trade within the ‘blue box chopping zone’ and above double trend line support.

This week’s high and today’s low are now the new short-term support/resistance box for the S&P 500.

I often get asked: “But what about valuations?”

Do valuations matter? Quite possibly. But how do you determine whether stocks are cheap or expensive? Not even the so-called pros can agree on valuations. Here’s an objective look at three objective valuation metrics and why the pros passionately disagree about valuations.

Are Stocks Cheap or Overpriced? Here’s why Analysts Passionately Disagree

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.

How S&P 500 ‘Puppet Master’ Covertly Pulls Strings

Many believe the market is rigged as high frequency trading (HFT) and the Federal Reserve have become major driving forces. However, there is another age old ‘force’ that often pulls the strings in plain sight, yet undetected by many.

A puppet master is a person, group or force that covertly controls a matter. Wielding this kind of covert power is also known as pulling the strings behind the scenes.

We know that the Federal Reserve is openly pulling strings, but that’s not what this article about.

It’s about a different kind of ‘force’ that drives the S&P 500. It doesn’t drive the S&P 500 every single day, but often enough to be considered a valid force.

To recognize, oust, and ultimately profit from this force, please join me in a little experiment.

Experiment: Stage 1 (do not peek)

Below is a chart of the S&P 500. Please take a moment to look at the chart and see if you can observe certain patterns (do not peek ahead to the second chart).

Experiment: Stage 2

Below is the same chart with three very simple annotations.

  1. A blue trend channel going back to the March 2009 low.
  2. A black trend channel going back to the October 2011 low.
  3. Fibonacci projection (red line) going back to the March 2009 low.

Please keep in mind that I didn’t create those lines. The market did. I only connected the dots.

Experiment: Stage 3

The third chart shows the same two channels and Fibonacci resistance, but shows daily bars to allow for a closer examination of the more recent price action.

Here is what we see:

  1. The S&P 500 was repelled by the black channel in January, March and April (red dots).
    On April 2 (green arrow), the S&P 500 staged a technical breakout to new all-time highs, but the Profit Radar Report pointed out resistance at 1,898 (created by a short-term channel) and 1,900 and warned that this looked like a false breakout.
  2. The S&P 500 found support around the blue channel three times in March and April (green dots).
  3. The S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY) essentially treaded water in an expanding range wedge created by two powerful long-term trend channels.
  4. Yesterday, the S&P 500 sliced below the blue channel. Support is like thin ice, if broken it gets investors wet. Trend lines like that make great guidelines for stop-loss levels.

Please Mock Me

Usually when I write articles about trend lines, readers post comments like this one:

“More BS from the techies. I can take any chart and draw these lines and call it a trend.”

Ironically, those kinds of comments are a good sign. A puppet master ousted as puppet master is no longer able to covertly influence others.

In order for trend lines to continue working, there need to be enough doubters, mockers, hecklers, and investors simply unaware of the power of this simple tool.

So please, go ahead and disregard trend channels and allow the rest of us to enjoy their full benefit.

Even before the channel was broken, a number of indicators suggested lower prices. The April 7 Profit Radar Report reported an MACD sell signal and bearish seasonality and concluded that:

“Today’s decline looks like an important building block for a multi-week bearish structure.”

We’ve all heard about MACD, but this particular MACD signal is especially unique and potent. The reason why it’s discussed here:

MACD Triggers the Year’s Most Infamous Sell Signal

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.

 

Nasdaq Reaches Long-Term Double Fibonacci Target – Now What?

In May the Profit Radar Report highlighted a long-term price target for the Nasdaq-100 made up of two Fibonacci levels. This week the Nasdaq reached this target. Is this bullish or bearish?

As a market forecaster, I’m obsessed with finding the next resistance cluster that will serve as target for the next rally.

This resistance cluster for the Nasdaq-100 (Nasdaq: QQQ) was fairly easy to spot as it was made up of two long-term Fibonacci levels.

The May 19, Profit Radar Report said this about the double Fibonacci target:

Real serious overhead resistance doesn’t come into play until 3,266 – 3,280. That’s 8% away and it should take at least one noteable correction and several more months to get there.”

Several months (and a few minor corrections) later the Nasdaq 100 has arrived and slightly exceeded 3,280.

The Nasdaq-100 chart below shows the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement of the points lost from 2000 to 2002 (at 3,280.29) and a Fibonacci projection level originating from the 2002 low is at 3,266.

Now What?

Quite frankly, I thought that the odds of a major market top once the Nasdaq reaches 3,280 were greater than 50%. But I may have to reconsider this expectation or at least put it on hold for now.

A close above such key resistance is generally bullish. Unfortunately, I have a hard time finding another resistance cluster for the Nasdaq. The 78.6% Fibonacci retracement is still 20% away and premature.

De-Isolating the Nasdaq

The Nasdaq doesn’t trade in a vacuum and it often helps to see what other indexes are doing.

The S&P 500 (SNP: ^GSPC), which sports a well-defined trend channel right now, is considerably closer to its trend channel resistance than the Nasdaq-100 to its 78.6% Fibonacci resistance.

The Dow Jones (DJI: ^DJI) is almost trading in its own world right now. A big earnings disappointment by IBM – the biggest Dow component – sent the Dow marginally lower on Thursday while the S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY) and Nasdaq closed higher.

Summary

For now the Nasdaq is above support (prior resistance) and the trend is up. In fact, the Federal Reserve and Washington politicians have created a ‘chaos environment’ that could keep prices buoyant for significantly longer.

However, not everything is hunky-dory. The S&P 500 is about to hit resistance that may reject this advance. Two long-term cycles, which predicted the 2000 and 2007 tops, project another market top in 2013/2014. Click here for more details on the S&P 500 cycles.

My take on the market along with a forecast based on technical analysis, sentiment and seasonality is available via the Profit Radar Report.

Simon Maierhofer is the publisher of the Profit Radar Report.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE Newsletter.