Are Stocks Quietly Deteriorating or Revving up for More Gains?

Every major market index has been marching to the beat of their own drum.

The Nasdaq-100 just slid to the lowest level since May 18, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) set a new all-time (intraday) high just on Monday. The S&P 500 is about a percent below its all-time high.

Some reason that there’s no longer enough liquidity to buoy the whole market.

This begs the question, if all this range bound churning is a sign of internal deterioration (and the ‘inevitable’ drop) or if stocks are just taking a breather and revving up for the next spurt higher?

KISS – Bottom Line

The May 29, 2017 Profit Radar Report already observed this: “There are times when indicators line up and we discuss (high) probabilities, and there are times when indicators conflict, and we are forced to discuss possibilities. Unfortunately the later is the case right now.

Each of the major indexes is tracing out a different EWT pattern, breadth measures, seasonality and investor sentiment do not offer a clear message. Therefore we are reduced to dealing with possibilities.

The weight of evidence suggests that in the not so distant future stocks will run into some trouble. The up side target for the S&P 500 is 2,450 – 2,530. The S&P 500, Russell 2000, DJIA and Nasdaq-100 are all overbought, but above short-term support. As long as this support holds, more gains are likely.”

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.

Not Exciting, but Effective

Ever since we’ve been watching support (which has been at 2,420 for the S&P 500) as stocks have gone nowhere. It should be noted that the 2,420 support level is becoming too obvious and therefore less important. The June 25 Profit Radar Report stated that: “A move below 2,420 (especially 2,400) would increase the odds that a multi-week/month top is in.”

Watching support (and resistance) is not the most exciting approach to market forecasting, but there are times where it’s best to realize there are no clear signals (such as in May), and simply wait for the market to offer the next actionable clue.

This approach protects against overtrading or the anxiety associated with a non-performing (or worse, losing) trade. In short, it provides a measure of peace of mind, a rare commodity in this market.

Summary

Mid-and long-term, our comprehensive S&P 500 forecast remains on track.

Short-term, we are waiting if the S&P pushes deeper into the 2,450 – 2,530 target zone, or if the June 19 high at 2,454 was the beginning of a more protracted (but temporary correction).

Whichever direction the market breaks, it will eventually be reversed. Ideally, we are looking to sell the rips (above 2,454 if we get it) and buy the eventual dip (although this dip may last longer than many expect).

Continued 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.

Is Big Tech Underperformance Bearish for Stocks?

Large cap technology stocks – the notorious US stock market ‘alpha male’ – is trailing behind.

The chart below plots the Nasdaq-100 (represented by the QQQ ETF – right graph) against the S&P 500 and NYSE Composite.

QQQ has been stuck in neutral, while the S&P 500 and NYSE move ahead in second and third gear.

What does this mean for the stock market in general?

We’ve probably been conditioned to believe that large tech underperformance is bad for the broad market. And over the short-term (1-4 weeks), historical performance numbers support this conclusion.

Over the long-term (3-12 months) however, large tech underperformance is actually positive for the overall market. How come?

There are probably several plausible explanations, here is mine:

‘Bullish Ointment’

Since the very beginning of this rally, the Profit Radar Report pointed out the remarkable strength of the post February 11 meltup:

February 17 PRR: “The rally of last Thursday’s low at 1,810 has been very strong. Historically, this kind of ‘escape velocity’ can potentially carry stocks higher for months.”

February 21 PRR: “From February 12 – 17, the S&P 500 gained more than 1.5% a day for three days in a row. Since 1970, this has happened only eight other times. One year later, the S&P 500 traded higher every time, with an average gain of 19.16%.”

March 20, PRR: “Although the S&P 500 is still 3.16% below its November 3, 2015 intraday high at 2,116.48 (and 4% below its all-time high), the NY Composite a/d line already surpassed its November 3, 2015 high. While the S&P retraced only 78.6% of its prior losses, the NYC a/d line already retraced 117.83%. This data suggests that the rally from the February 11, 2016 low is stronger than the rallies from the September 2015 and October 2014 lows.”

A strong rally is like the proverbial tide that lifts all boats. Unlike other rallies in 2014 and 2015, which were more selective, this rally is actually ‘lifting all boats.’

The NYSE Composite Index consists of some 1,900 stocks (large, mid, small-cap stocks). The Nasdaq-100 of only 100 large cap tech stocks.

The fact that the NYSE Composite started to outperform the QQQs shows that liquidity is penetrating all corners of the market. That’s a good long-term sign.

Fly in the Ointment

However, there is a bearish fly in the bullish ointment. The second chart plots the S&P 500 against the percentage of S&P 500 and NYSE stocks above their 50-day SMA.

The percentage of NYSE stocks above their 50-day SMA has been stronger than the percentage of S&P 500 stocks, which confirms the strength of the broader, more diversified NYSE composite.

As of Wednesday’s close, the percentage of NYSE stocks failed to confirm the new S&P 500 (and NYSE Composite) recovery highs (short red line). The percentage of S&P 500 stocks above their 50-day SMA has been lagging since March 30 (longer red line).

All the strong breadth reading throughout this rally confirmed our February 11 buy signal.

Although we anticipated a temporary pullback, the April 3 Profit Radar Report stated that a break below 2,040 is needed as the first step towards confirming further weakness.

Staying above support, combined with the long-term bullish developments registered in recent weeks/months has buoyed the S&P 500 higher (the rally from the February low looks like a micro copy of the 2013 rally).

Unless the bearish divergences mentioned above are erased, the S&P 500 is nearing another inflection zone that may rebuff stocks for a little while.

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.

 

The Obvious Yet Simple QQQ Clue

Sometimes, investing can be so simple … if we don’t complicate things.

Here is the most basic of ‘indicators’. It has a 100% accuracy rate since the start of the 2009 bull market. In fact, it’s so basic, calling it an indicator is probably overkill.

Open chart gaps. The gaps we’re talking about are price gaps caused by overnight losses.

Our March 7, 2013 article “QQQ – Open Chart Gap Magnets” noted that: “Open chart gaps have acted as a magnet for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, 100% of the time since 2010. The 2010, 2011, and 2012 declines all left open chart gaps … and all of them got filled.“

Over three years later, the accuracy rate is still 100%.

Various market indexes – including the S&P 500, Nasdaq-100 and Nasdaq Composite – left a massive open chart gap on January 4, the first trading day of the year (see chart).

This open chart gap (at S&P 2,043.62) was one of six reasons why the Profit Radar Report issued a buy signal on February 11 at S&P 1,828. This chart gap also served as our up side target.

The S&P closed the open chart gap on March 17.

The Cohort Went Short

According to an April 5 Bloomberg article, investors were short $1 trillion worth of stocks (the highest short interest since 2008).

Looks like bears got trapped again. One reason the Profit Radar Report didn’t recommend shorting stocks is the open PowerShares QQQ ETF (Nasdaq: QQQ) chart gap; in fact, there are two chart gaps.

One at 111.84, another at 113.25. The gap at 111.84 is massive. History has taught us that shorting against chart gaps tends to be a losing proposition.

QQQ has now come within striking distance of the lower gap. There are some bearish breadth divergences already, but once the gaps are closed, the magnetic force pulling stocks higher diminishes, and the odds for a pullback increase.

A temporary pullback after (even before) closing the first gap followed by another bull leg to close the second gap is possible.

Continuous S&P 500 analysis/forecasts are available via the Profit Radar Report, which was just profiled by Barron’s.

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.

 

Nasdaq QQQ ETF Breaks out of Bull Flag

The April 22 Profit Radar Report showed this chart of the Nasdaq-100 and stated:

There are similarities between AAPL and the Nasdaq-100, which is forming a potential bull flag. A break above 4,465 – 4,485 (corresponding level for QQQ = 109.10) could drive the Nasdaq-100 to next resistance around 4,600. Aggressive investors may buy QQQ with a break above 109.10.”

The bullish breakout materialized, but how legitimate is it?

 

Below is an update chart of the Nasdaq QQQ ETF.

  • The breakout occurred on elevated volume. Bullish.
  • There’s on open chart gap at 109.55, which will probably get filled.
  • There’s a long-term bearish RSI divergence. Potentially bearish.
  • RSI may be about to close above trend line resistance. Potentially bullish.
  • Next resistance at 111.50 – 112.20.
  • Ideal bull flag target is around 112.50.

The trend is up, but lagging breadth and the open chart gap suggest an eventual pullback is likely.

AAPL, the MVP of the Nasdaq and most important stock in the world, shows one of the most fascinating chart formations. More detail here: Fascinating AAPL Chart Formation Telegraphed Bullish Breakout

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.

 

Nasdaq-100 ‘Stuck on an Island’

The Nasdaq-100 bars painted a bearish reversal pattern in early December. We’ve just seen the effects of this reversal pattern, but as long as trade remains about this support, there’s no reason to worry.

On December 3, the Profit Radar Report took a closer look at the Nasdaq-100 and stated:

The Nasdaq-100 bars are painting a picture (almost looking like an island reversal) that’s similar to prior reversal patterns (see blue circles). This is a potential red flag, but unless support at 4,285 and 4,210 is broken, it’s premature to worry.”

The reversal pattern delivered again, like it did a couple of times earlier this year.

Thus far, the Nasdaq-100 found support at 4,216, so there’s no reason to worry.

Support at 4,209 is backed up by 4,180. Only a move below 4,180 may draw trade towards the open chart gaps.

The biggest open chart gap for the QQQ ETF (Nasdaq: QQQ) is at 100.26. We may not get there, but if we were, it likely would be a good buying opportunity. Overall, I expect new highs later this year or early next.

Recent Profit Radar Report analysis for the S&P 500 is available here: S&P 500 Suffers from Lack of Participation

Recent Profit Radar Report analysis for the Dow Jones is available here: Dow Jones Repelled by 12-year ‘Insider’ Resistance

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 to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.

 

What the Seasonality Chart Predicts for Apple (AAPL)

Many forces affect the market and individual stocks. Seasonality is one of them. In fact, AAPL seasonality shows a distinct drop in September, which is when AAPL started its 45% decline. Here’s the full seasonality chart.

In September 2012, Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL) accounted for 20% of the Nasdaq-100 and 5% of the S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY).

AAPL was the single most influential stock in the financial universe, the MVP of the Nasdaq and S&P 500.

It was back then when I decided to put together an Apple seasonality chart for Profit Radar Report subscribers. Apple seasonality is based on daily price action going back to 1998, which is the year Steve Jobs came back to U-turn Apple from near bankruptcy to profitability.

Since 1998, AAPL has gone from $1 to $100, so the seasonal bias is distinctively bullish in most months. The biggest exception is September.

AAPL seasonality was one of the reasons why the Profit Radar Report turned bearish on Apple and issued this, at the time shocking recommendation, on September 12, 2012:

“Aggressive investors may short Apple (or buy puts or sell calls) above 700 or with a close below 660.”

AAPL seasonality shows some weakness in mid-July, but projects higher prices from early August to mid-September.

The interesting thing about AAPL seasonality is that it doesn’t really match up with S&P 500 seasonality. The 2012/2013 AAPL bear market has shown that the S&P 500 (SNP: ^GSPC) doesn’t have to move in the same direction as AAPL.

Although AAPL is only 5% away from its all-time high, AAPL lost its dominance. Today AAPL makes up ‘only’ 13.24% of the Nasdaq-100 and only 3.22% of the S&P 500.

That’s because other stocks like Google, Microsoft and Amazon have rallied, while AAPL is trying to recover from its bear market.

Obviously, seasonality is only one factor that affects stocks. Here are five other things to consider about Apple:

3 Reasons Why Apple is a Buy – and 2 Reasons Why Not

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.

Did the Nasdaq Just Start a Prolonged Head-and Shoulder Decline?

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. This could be trouble, because the Nasdaq looks like it’s at the beginning stages of a bearish head-and shoulders pattern.

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.

If it looks like a head-and shoulders pattern …

Unlike a duck, a head-and shoulders pattern is never fully confirmed until it’s completed. Nevertheless, the  Nadsaq-100 and Nasdaq Composite (Nasdaq: ^IXIC) charts show a near perfect setup for a head-and shoulders top.

The April 20 Profit Radar Report, which featured a forecast for the week ahead, saw the potential for a head-and shoulders pattern when it wrote that: “Up side looks to be limited. The Nasdaq might be carving out a bearish head-and shoulders pattern.”

As the blue oval highlights, yesterday’s (Thursday) pop carried the Nasdaq right against double resistance, forming a potential right shoulder.

According to technical analysis rules it will take a drop below the neckline at 3,415 to trigger the actual pattern and down side target, but Thursday’s Profit Radar Report published the chart above and noted that: “This is a low-risk setup to go short the Nasdaq-100.”

Continued market forecasts are available via the Profit Radar Report.

Bearish seasonality compounds the potential danger for the Nasdaq and S&P 500. Here’s another revealing chart:

Historic S&P 500 Seasonality is About to Turn Ugly

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.