Is FAANG Weakness Bearish for Stocks?

The spotlight has been on FAANG stocks (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google) for much of this bull market, but lately it’s gotten kind of quiet around them. Perhaps that’s because they are actually under-performing the Nasdaq-100.

Is FAANG weakness bearish for stocks?

FAANG vs Nasdaq-100

The chart below plots an equal weighted FAANG index against the Nasdaq-100. The dashed lines highlight non-confirmations.

The black lines mark times where new Nasdaq-100 highs were unconfirmed by FAANG (as currently the case), the blue lines mark times where new FAANG highs were unconfirmed by the Nasdaq-100.

Since 2014, there have been 7 similar non-confirmations, where FAANG were lagging the Nasdaq-100. The last 4 very followed by micro pullbacks and renewed strength for both. The first 3 saw slightly larger pullbacks before renewed strength.

It was actually more of a warning sign when the Nasdaq-100 failed to confirm new FAANG highs (August and December, 2015 – blue lines).

Based on the short available history, FAANG under-performance is not bearish for stocks in general.

Nasdaq-100

The Nasdaq-100 QQQ ETF chart looks more bullish than bearish, as trade is above long-term Fibonacci resistance at 181.80, and on the verge of breaking out of a triangle formation.

Above analysis was initially published in the August 26 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.

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Post AAPL Earnings – What’s Next for the Nasdaq?

It’s been a remarkable couple of weeks for the Nasdaq, not just in terms of performance, also in terms of ‘market oddities.’

On Friday, the Nasdaq QQQ ETF literally jumped higher, propelled by Google’s 13% gain.

However, Google’s massive rally covered up internal Nasdaq weakness. On that day more Nasdaq-100 components were actually down than up.

New highs on negative breadth is a rare feat. Nevertheless, the Nasdaq managed to do the same thing again on Monday.

The Nasdaq Composite is made up of about 3,000 stocks (compared to 100 for the Nasdaq-100). On Monday, there were 940 more stocks down than up.

Here’s another breadth measure, illustrated visually via the chart below. The upper bars represent the PowerShares QQQ ETF, the lower graph the number of Nasdaq Composite stocks at new 52-week highs.

The number of stocks at new highs fell from 189 on Friday to 97 on Tuesday, a 49% drop.

My most recent Profit Radar Report highlighted lagging breadth and bearish divergences and warned of a pullback.

Regarding AAPL earnings, the Profit Radar Report said Sunday that: “AAPL is butting against minor resistance and AAPL seasonality shows some weakness in the middle of July. AAPL’s move is likely to be more subdued than GOOG.”

AAPL (Nasdaq: AAPL) dropped as much as 7% in post-earnings after market trading and gapped below support this morning. Click here for detailed AAPL analysis.

What’s next for the Nasdaq?

The bottom line, based on a number of indicators, is this: The potential for a nasty Nasdaq selloff exists, but another rally leg to new highs seems more likely. The green lines (around 111 and 106) should provide support for the QQQ. If they don’t, watch out.

A more detailed analysis for the S&P 500 is available here: S&P 500 Analysis

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.

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The Amazon-Google-Nasdaq Mini Crash Explained

It’s been a bad couple of days for the stock market in general and technology stocks in particular. A gradual decline has turned into the quickest loss since 2012. Here’s what predicted this mini meltdown weeks in advance.

Gradualism is a slow change, and changes in slow stages are less shocking than sudden changes.

Case in point, today’s and Friday’s big Nasdaq drop is getting a lot more attention than last month’s slow Nasdaq deterioration.

The gradual stair-step lower has now accelerated into a 6%+ correction for the Nasdaq QQQ ETF (Nasdaq: QQQ).

But the warning signs started as early as January. On January 5, the Profit Radar Report featured this warning commentary:

Trivia: Which high-flying tech leader has a P/E ratio of 1,403? Tip: This stock is the fourth biggest component of the Nasdaq-100. Answer: Amazon (AMZN). Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is a true visionary and Amazon is working on amazing technology, but ultimately earnings are more important than pure vision. Near-term support is around 380. A close below 380 would open the door for much lower targets.”

The February 2 Profit Radar Report included the following update on Amazon and a shocking new warning for Google.

Here’s the Amazon update: “Amazon gapped below support at 380 on Friday, unlocking a potential target around 340 or 320. Resistance is not at 380, which would be a low-risk entry to go short for aggressive investors.”

Here’s the shocking (at the time) February 2 Google warning:

Better than expected Google earnings propelled the stock to trend line resistance. This may be the end of the rope for Google and an opportunity to leg into a strategy that profits from lower prices (short GOOG, buy GOOG puts or sell GOOG calls). Support is around 1090.

Fishing for tops of high-flying tech companies is risky business, but can pay off big (i.e. short AAPL, see recommendation in Sep. 12, 2012 Profit Radar Report). GOOG is over-loved (the timing to issue lower-priced shares could be indicative of a top), cycles point lower and RSI is lagging prices. Nevertheless, strong momentum can overwrite bearish forces for a while. Legging into short positions at various prices reduces the risk of catching a falling knife.”

The recommended Amazon and Google put options are up 100 – 300%, but more importantly Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) account for over 10% of the Nasdaq-100 and therefore foreshadowed a period of Nasdaq underperformance.

A March 31 examination of the Nasdaq VIX (VXN) compared to the S&P 500 VIX (VIX) showed increased fear about Nasdaq stocks (see chart below published on March 31).

This fear of holding the hottest tech names became more obvious in early April when ‘old tech’ names like Microsoft, Oracle, CSCO and Intel smoked ‘new hot tech’ names like Facebook, Tesla, Netflix and Priceline (click here for April 2 article: “Why ‘Hot New Tech’ is Getting Crushed by ‘Old Tech’).

Although it may seem like it, the Profit Radar Report is not a stock picking service. The Profit Radar Report’s focus is forecasting movements for the S&P 500 (and at times Nasdaq and Dow Jones).

But sometimes certain stocks get too ‘bubblelicious’ to ignore (and serve as early warning indicators for broad indexes).

As far as the S&P 500 is concerned, one deceptively simple chart that warned of an S&P 500 top around 1,900 was published here on April 1 (important detail: The chart also highlights key support).

S&P 500 Stuck Between Triple Top and Triple Bottom

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.

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

Why ‘Hot New Tech’ is Getting Crushed by ‘Old Tech’

Until recently, the Nasdaq was driven higher by hot new tech names like Facebook, Priceline and Tesla. Now, ‘hot new tech’ is cooling down while tech dinosaurs are rallying higher. What does this rotation mean?

Priceline, Netflix, Facebook and Tesla are the driving force behind a ‘new and improved’ technology boom.

Those companies are cutting edge, hip, and until recently hot.

But something changed in March. Hip wasn’t hot anymore. PCLN, NFLX, FB and TSLA are all of a sudden 10 – 20% below their highs.

It seems like the money left ‘Hot Tech’ and moved into ‘Old Tech.’

Dinosaurs like Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco and Intel just got a vitamin M shot and boost (M as in Money).

What does this ‘changing of the guards’ mean?

Here’s one possible reason: Stocks in general and the Nasdaq in particular have gotten pricey.

Investors don’t want to go into cash (yet), but they are taking some risk off the table by rotating from high beta tech into ‘tried and true’ low beta tech.

As the third chart illustrates, the Nasdaq (Nasdaq: ^IXIC) has also started to underperform the S&P 500.

The S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY) is now top dog and just spiked to a new all-time high this morning. Is this a technical breakout or just another fake out?

Here are two charts that may well change your expectations for the S&P 500:

S&P 500 – Stuck Between Triple Top and Triple Bottom – What’s Next?

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.

Four Tech Giants Fight the Secret Battle of Web Domination

Talk about high stakes. Four young technology giants are fighting for the most important and valuable commodity in the world. The bigger your slice of this commodity, the closer you get to ultimate web domination.

This man has a dream. A big dream. His dream is to make a ‘vital’ resource available to everyone in the world.

His mission website – internet.org – makes his dream seem philanthropic. His dream is to help farmers, students, patients, everyone on the planet. To help them share knowledge.

His dream is internet access for everyone. The man with the dream is Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

The true intention behind his dream is stated on internet.org’s home page: “Making internet access available to the two thirds of the world not yet connected.”

Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) wants to increase its subscriber base and inch closer towards web domination.

Facebook knows that only 1 billion of the earth’s 7 billion people currently have mobile phones, but 80% of the rest of the population lives within areas covered by 2G or 3G mobile web access.

Every tech company knows that data means power.

Facebook purchased WhatsApp for $19 billion not because of its 55 employees, but because of its 450 million (older or aging) users.

Facebook just celebrated its 10-year anniversary and may feel too old, too old for the future. According to Zuckerberg, WhatsApp will make Facebook more attractive for younger users.

WhatsApp is the biggest acquisition since AOL and Time-Warner in 2001. To put this into perspective, Facebook paid $345 million per WhatsApp employees and $42 per WhatsApp user.

That’s a lot of money, but to add one more perspective, Facebook shareholders currently pay $141 per registered Facebook user.

Facebook sent a clear message: It wants to dominate the internet, but it is not alone.

Google’s Race for Web Domination

Google’s Android is the world’s most popular smart-phone/table OS. Google wants to extend the reach of Android into other areas, like home, auto and healthcare as the acquisitions of Nest and Boston Dynamics (producer of military robots).

No other tech company is as diversified as Google (Nasdaq: GOOG).

Apple’s Race for Web Domination

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) used to be known for devices like the Mac and iPad. It briefly dominated the digital market with apps, but that’s no longer enough for web domination.

Apple is looking for the next big hit. Possibly in cooperation with Tesla?

Amazon’s Race for Web Domination

Amazon started in 1995 as an online bookstore. Today Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) is a specialist for everything bought and sold digitally.

Like its competitors, Amazon wants to tie users to its platform. Kindle, its own brand of cell phone and packages delivered via drones. Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos is a visionary without borders.

Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon make up 27% of the Nasdaq 100 and Nasdaq 100 ETF (Nasdaq: QQQ), so their successes and failures certainly stand to impact the investing masses.

What About Internet for Everybody?

Pre-internet customs such as having dinner with family, talking (actually speaking) to the person standing next to you, and being able to enjoy your favorite pastime without getting interrupted by your boss weren’t such a bad thing either.

But, according to Zuckerberg, “the problem is that those people, who have never accessed the web, don’t know why it might be useful to them.”

Yes, the internet is useful, but it’s not a life-changing force for the better as internet.org would want you to believe.

How will the battle for web-domination effect the stock market in general?

Here is a full 2014 forecast for the S&P 500 NYSEArca: (SPY): S&P 500 2014 Full-year Forecast

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.

AAPL, GOOG, AMZN and MSFT – Tech Sector Giants Turn Laggards

It’s said that a fractured market is an unhealthy market. The reverse is true and based on the recent string of index highs the market appears healthy. However, some former tech giant leaders are starting to wane. What does this mean?

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones eeked out a new all-time high this morning, the S&P MidCap 400 recorded a new all-time high last Thursday. The Russell 2000 came within 0.08% of a new all-time high. The Nasdaq Composite recorded a new recovery high on Thursday while the Nasdaq-100 remains below last years recovery high.

On the surface the string of new highs/recovery highs is bullish and shows that the major indexes are firing on all cylinders. A humming engine is less likely to stall. However, there are some early issues that may soon illuminate the “check (stock market) engine light”.

While broad indexes remain strong (with the exception of the Nasdaq-100), individual stocks are showing signs of fatigue. In fact, prior tech giant leaders are turning into laggards.

Google (GOOG)

The February 12 article “Will Google Continue to Climb?” highlighted the dashed green support line and support at 760 and stated that the rally will continue as long as prices remain above 760 or dashed green trend line support.

Google broke below support in mid-March and now trades nearly 5% below its all-time high. The 50-day SMA is at 788 and should offer some support.

Apple (AAPL)

We all know about AAPL’s historic ascent and decline, but last week it appeared as if AAPL could stage a small comeback. The log chart shows a brief break out above the down hill parallel channel followed by a bearish relapse. A close below the 20-day SMA at 442 could unlock much lower prices (a shockingly low possible target was just revealed in last night’s Profit Radar Report).

Amazon (AMZN)

Amazon’s chart doesn’t offer any particular insight from a technical analysis perspective, but we take note that AMZN is more than 6% below its all-time high already.

Microsoft (MSFT)

Microsoft has been stuck in a 13-year trading range. MSFT just hit a year-to-date high, but is well below its 2012 high, which incidentally occurred in April.

Summary

It’s said that a fractured market is an unhealthy market. Aside from the lagging Nasdaq (primarily caused by Apple), there are no obvious fractures on the broad market index level.

The waning leadership within the large cap sector though is an early warning sign. The S&P 500 is not far away from key resistance (price target) and key support. A move to hit resistance or below support will be a sell (as in go short) signal.

Last night’s Profit Radar Report featured a specific rally target and the must hold support.

Technical Analysis – Will Google Continue To Climb?

Google is trading at an all-time high but momentum is vanishing and RSI is showing two bearish divergences. This alone isn’t a sell signal, but a break below support should be.

A stock that’s trading at all-time highs has little overhead resistance and an unobstructed view to even higher prices targets.

After a truly nasty 18% selloff in October/November 2012, Google soared to new all-time highs. What’s next from here?

Like any other momentum move, Google’s momentum run will eventually take a breather. A number of indicators suggest that any upcoming correction may be more on the shallow side.

But there’s no law that says you need to suffer through corrections hoping that it remains fleeting and short-lived.

The chart below shows a dashed green trend line. A break below would be a first warning sign. A close below the horizontal support line at 760 would open the door to further losses.

Our last Google update (Will Google’s Fumble Take Down the Entire Technology Sector) was posted on October 19 (dashed vertical gray line) and said:

GOOG trading volume was through the roof as prices tumbled below the 20 and 50-day SMA and a couple of trend lines. Prices generally stabilize somewhat after large sell offs like this before falling a bit further. A new low parallel to a bullish price/RSI divergence would be a near-term positive for Google.”

The down side risk for Google and the entire tech sector was limited as the article pointed out that: “Next support for GOOG is around 660 and 630. The Nasdaq Indexes and the Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) has been much weaker than the Dow Jones and S&P 500 as of late. There were no bearish divergences at the recent S&P and Dow highs. This lack of indicators pinpointing a major top limits the down side of the tech sector.”

The lower green lines represent support at 660 and 630. Following a period of stabilization in late October, Google fell as low as 636 against a bullish RSI divergence and has been rallying ever since.

There’s no solid evidence that Google’s run is over, but RSI at the bottom of the chart is showing signs of fatigue and bearish divergences on multiple timeframes.

Bearish divergences can go on for a while and in itself are no reason to sell, but the bearish divergences combined with a close below 760 would point towards more weakness and could be used as a signal to go short for aggressive investors.

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