S&P 500 Update – Churning for a Burning?

The S&P 500 reached our minimum down side target and rallied strongly. Is this rally for real or are stocks just ‘churning for another burning’?

Bullish Signals

This week’s rally is credited to the French election, but a series of solid buy signals triggered days before the news from France.

The CBOE equity put/call ratio signaled a S&P 500 rally.

Contango and the VIX/VXV ratio signal a VIX decline.

The chart below – which plots the S&P 500 against the VIX, VIX/VXV ratio, CBOE equity put/call ratio, and contango – was published in the April 16 PRR along with the following commentary:

The VIX/VXV ratio, equity put/call ratio and contango are at multi-month extremes.It appears like the amount of sellers left (needed to drive prices lower) is rather limited. The weight of evidence strongly suggests that we should focus on the upcoming buying opportunity, not on how much more down side may or may not be left.”

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 same Profit Radar Report also highlighted positive seasonality (see below).

Bearish Caveat

This bounce is in sync with seasonality and various buy signals, but will it last?

The April 9 PRR featured the yellow projection shown below. According to this scenario (based on Elliott Wave Theory), the S&P would reverse above 2,390 and fall to new lows (2,320 or below).

The S&P 500 is above 2,390 and has entered a price zone where a relapse becomes possible.

We will be watching various breadth, money flow, sentiment and technical indicators to determine whether this rally will stop here or not.

Continuous 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 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.

 

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Comprehensive S&P 500 Analysis Reveals Longevity of this Rally

The S&P 500 has soared almost 10% since Election Day. This move has been dubbed the Trump rally or Trump bump.

The media is quick to slap a label on an event (especially after the fact), but lest we forget that the media, analysts and pundits a) did not see a DJ Trump win and b) expected a market crash in the unlikely event of a DJ Trump win.

Key stock market indicators strongly suggested prior to the election that stocks would rally regardless of the election outcome (the four most powerful stock market indicators are discussed in detail here).

Here is what indicators said before the election, and what they are still telling us today:

Money Flow

The stock market is a supply and demand-based market place, that’s why money flow is one of the most important indicators. Falling demand will eventually be followed by falling prices and vice versa.

The September 25 Profit Radar Report published the chart below. The dark and light blue graphs make up our favorite money flow indicator (two versions of the same indicator). This indicator has correctly foreshadowed the 1987, 2000 and 2007 bear markets and projected higher prices since 2009 (except for a brief ‘caution’ signal in 2015). The indicator and its track record is discussed in detail here.

Out of respect for paying subscribers (who know the indicator’s real name), we will call this indicator ‘secret sauce.’

On September 22, the ‘secret sauce’ money flow indicator (blue graphs) rallied to new all-time highs even though the S&P 500 did not. This was to be longer-term bullish, because rising demand was to be followed by rising prices.

The percentage of stocks above their 50-day SMA (purple graphs) did not confirm the new ‘secret sauce’ highs. This suggested short-term weakness.

The September 25 Profit Radar Report concluded the following: “Longer-term: We are still looking for the S&P 500 to reach our long-standing up side target around 2,300. Short-term: We are waiting whether the S&P will break below 2,119 prior to moving higher.”

Investor Sentiment

Investors have been predominantly bearish throughout this bull market. Based on bearish investor sentiment (bullish for stocks), we never wavered from our position that a major market top is not visible.

For example, the Profit Radar Report’s 2016 S&P 500 Forecast stated back in January that: “Investor sentiment near the May 2015 all-time highs was not as euphoric as at prior tops and not bullish enough for a major market top.”

The January 29 Profit Radar Report, however, pointed out bearish sentiment extremes (bullish for stocks) and noted that: “The pessimistic extremes were relieved enough to allow for another drop lower in the coming days. A drop lower is not required, but would be a good buying opportunity if it happens.”

The buying opportunity appeared in February, when the S&P 500 dropped into the low 1,800s.

The most recent comprehensive sentiment update (November 27 Profit Radar Report) compared current sentiment with the 2015 S&P 500 highs (see chart below).

The conclusion: “On average, investors today are still not as bullish as one would expect at a major market top. This allows for, and suggests, further gains in the months to come.”

Technical Analysis

The August 28 Profit Radar Report showed three uber-bullish forward projections (shown here) and stated that: “At this point we don’t know the scope of any pullback, but EWT and the June breadth thrust suggest that any weakness will be bought (perhaps even furiously). We consider the longer-term up side potential to be significantly larger than the down side risk.”

The June breadth thrust is discussed in detail here: 2016 Bear Market Risk is Zero Based on this Rare but Consistent Pattern

A detailed technical analysis and Elliott Wave Theory-based outlook is available here: S&P 500 Update – Expect the Abnormal (the ‘abnormal’ refers to continuous gains despite overbought conditions).

Seasonality

S&P 500 seasonality is bullish for the entire fourth quarter into the New Year.

Conclusion

All important indicators pointed higher before the election. The question was only how much of a pullback and how deep of a shakeout move we’ll get prior to the melt up. “The question therefore is not if stocks will rally, but when they will rally” was the conclusion shared in this MarketWatch article.

An indicator-based investment approach is superior to a news-based approach.

Using multiple credible and time-tested indicators further enhances results, especially when all indicators point in the same direction (such as before the election).

The image below illustrates how the odds of a winning trade are improved by a multi-indicator approach.

This doesn’t guarantee a profitable trade, but Profit Radar Report subscribers rarely ever find themselves on the wrong side of the trade.

Short-term, the market is overbought and over-loved and may pull back, but the bullish longer-term factors present months ago (aside from sentiment) remain valid.

Continuous updates with actual buy/sell recommendation 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 Money Flow Check

Every once and a while it’s a good idea to check equity money flows, kind of like a GPS for what the money is doing.

Here’s a series of three charts to help us do just that.

1) Asset Allocation

In March, exposure to stocks (according to the American Association for Individual Investors asset allocation survey) soared to the highest level since the 2007 financial crisis.

This sounds scary, but the long-term asset allocation chart helps put things into perspective. Leading up to the 2000 market top, investors had up to 77% of their portfolio in stocks, and up to 69% in 2007.

2) Commercial Traders

The chart below shows the net S&P 500 e-mini futures contracts held by commercial traders. On balance, commercial traders are more or less neutral.

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3) VIX, Put/Call Ratio, SKEW

Chart #3 plots the S&P 500 against three different sentiment indicators:

  • CBOE SKEW: The SKEW was designed to measure the risk of a ‘Black Swan’ event. Higher SKEW = higher risk.
  • CBOE Equity Put/Call Ratio: This ratio shows to what extent option traders favor call options over put option. Lower readings = more optimism = more risk.
  • CBOE Volatility Index (VIX): The mix shows the market’s expectation of 30-day volatility. Lower VIX = Elevated risk. The VIX has lost much of its contrarian indicator mojo starting in 2012.

The CBOE SKEW (5-day SMA to smooth out daily swings) is near the lower end of a two-year range.

The CBOE equity put/call ratio dropped to 0.46 yesterday, a 1-year low. The 5-day SMA is not as low, but still at the lower end of an eight-month range.

The VIX is back to what used to be considered the ‘danger zone.’

Summary:

Money is flowing into equities, but there are no screaming investor sentiment extremes. Anyone claiming that stocks will crash because any one single sentiment gauge is at financial crisis levels is taking things out of context.

Detailed investor sentiment analysis is available to Profit Radar Report subscribers.

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.

 

Risk Off Gauge That Correctly Signaled 2000 and 2007 Top is In Freefall, But …

Twice in 2014 we looked at the XLY:XLP risk on/risk off ratio for clues about the market’s next move. Twice the XLY:XLP ratio pointed us in the right direction. Now it’s pointing lower, which contradicts an even more powerful indicator.

The ratio of two diametrically opposed asset classes often provides insightful clues about what investors are doing.

The XLY:XLP ratio is one such example.

Unlike many hypothetical indicators, the XLY:XLP ratio is an actual money flow indicator, based on what investors are doing, not saying or thinking.

XLY represents the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF. XLP represents the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF.

The XLY:XLP has offered some excellent signals and tell tale signs both long-term and short-term.

Long-term:

A breakdown of the XLY:XLP ratio correctly signaled the 2000 and 2007 market tops.

Short-term:

We looked at the XLY:XLP ratio twice this year.

The first time was on May 20, when it was at the verge of breaking down.

The conclusion back then was that there were simply to many bears to drive the S&P 500 down.

The second time was on August 7, when the XLY:XLP ratio rose despite an S&P 500 selloff (see chart below for dates).

The conclusion was that the XLY:XLP ratio rally actually reduced the risk of an immediate stock market decline. The S&P 500 rose steadily for the next 90 days or so.

This time around the picture looks different, as the ratio has broken below long-term trend line support. This suggests that the time of shallow, V-shaped corrections – so prevalent throughout 2013 and 2014 – is over.

Another 2000 or 2007-like Top?

Does this breakdown also foreshadow another bear market, like it did in 2000 and 2007.

Context may be key here. The 2000 and 2007 market tops were also preceded by an even more important sell signal (more about this signal in a moment). This signal hasn’t triggered yet convincingly.

Furthermore, a close-up look at the XLY:XLP ratio since 2008 shows two prior trend line breaks (2012 and 2013, red circles) that turn out to be false signals. Unlike the 2001 – 2007 move, the post 2009 rally has been quite choppy, testing and breaking support more frequently.

The XLY:XLP ratio by itself is telling us that there is potential for further losses, but as the 2012 and 2013 breakdown reversals show, any correction may hit rock bottom without notice.

Looking at the ‘Big Guns”

As mentioned above, another indicator that not only foreshadowed the 2000 and 2007 market tops, but also predicted that every correction since 2009 would lead to new highs, has not yet given a convincing sell signal.

The indicator is probably the most valuable gauge for any investor at this moment.

It is discussed in detail here: 3 Strike Wall Street Law – QE Bull Market Only One Strike away From Knock Out

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.

An Updated Look at The Full 2014 S&P 500 Forecast

Publishing any type of actionable market forecast always provides easy ammunition for criticism. Nevertheless, what use is there for all kinds of indicators if they aren’t used to formulate a forecast? Here’s an update to the normally exclusive 2014 S&P 500 forecast.

On January 15, I published my full and complete 2014 S&P 500 forecast for subscribers of the Profit Radar Report.

It is impossible to get a full-year forecast correct, so publishing a detailed forecast with an actual projection of the ideal S&P 500path really provides easy ammunition for ‘you were so wrong’ criticism.

But, if you can’t take criticism as a market forecaster, you are in the wrong business.

Since I follow so many indicators (technical analysis, chart patterns, Elliott Wave Theory, support/resistance levels, investor sentiment, money flows, seasonalities, cycles, etc.) it would be a cowardly waste of research not to ‘puzzle’ them together for a full-year big picture forecast.

Obviously, it wouldn’t be fair to paying subscribers to publish the entire forecast for free, but below is an interesting tidbit of the 2014 forecast.

The S&P 500 chart shows important support (green) and resistance levels (red).

The key resistance level for the first quarter of 2014 was S&P 1,855.

The January 5 Profit Radar Report stated: “Sentiment and midterm election year seasonality suggest stocks are ripe for a multi-week correction, but technicals have yet to turn bearish. Elliott Wave Theory would easily allow for another small down – up sequence and larger scale high, later on in January. Fibonacci projection resistance going back to 2002 is at S&P 1,855.”

The S&P 500 topped at 1,851 on January 15 and fell below 1,740, exactly as outlined by the yellow projection, published in the 2014 forecast. Thereafter the S&P 500 rallied to new all-time highs, also as outlined by the yellow projection.

For the past week again the S&P 500 has struggled to overcome 1,855 and now has to prove it can stay above. This particular Fibonacci resistance is a Fibonacci projection level that goes all the way back to the 2002 lows.

As you can see, the form (and corresponding price levels) of the V-shaped correction/recovery pattern has been spot on, but the timing was off.

I didn’t expect the low until around mid-March.

The eventual high could mark a major top. Why? Two monster long-term stock market cycles actually cross paths this year and suggest a strong double-whammy market top (all details and charts discussed in the 2014 forecast).

Once we get to new all-time highs, we’ll have to see if any such high sports the tell-tale signs of a major top (I’ll be looking at certain bearish divergences that have helped identify similar tops in the past).

What about the short-term?

Up until last week the S&P and Dow Jones adhered to my short-term outlook, which proposed a strong rally from S&P 1,740 to 1,830, quite well.

However, the new all-time highs required an adjustment. The original short-term projection along with the adjusted short-term outlook for the S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY) and Dow Jones is available here, for free.

A Revised Short-term S&P 500 Outlook

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.