Little Known ‘Indicator’ Trumps Banking Crisis, War, Debt Ceiling, etc.

Subscribers to iSPYETF’s free e-mail newsletter receive a market outlook, usually once a week. The market outlook below was sent out on May 11, 2023. If you’d like to sign up for the free e-newsletter, you may do so here (we will never share your e-mail with anyone, just as we don’t accept advertising).

Wow, it’s already been a month since my last free Market Outlook e-mail. So, what’s new?

Not much. The market is stuck in a range, which is what we expected as per the 2023 S&P 500 Forecast.

I feel kind of bad for not posting more free updates, but unlike most online outlets that need eyeballs to drive their marketing revenue, I don’t just post (or send) catchy stuff for the sake of getting readers’ attention. My job is to inform, not to unnecessarily rile up. That’s also why iSPYETF is an ad-free zone.

Think about it, how much time have you spent (and wasted?) the last few months reading market analysis and getting your portfolio ready for the ‘next big move’?

You didn’t waste that time on iSPYETF. When there’s no change to my outlook, I don’t want to divert your attention from more important or more fun stuff to do (of course subscribers still get updates twice a week, but there hasn’t been much new to say either).

The March 3 Market Outlook (What Nobody Wants to Say) reiterated the odds of more sideways churning. Within that churning-mania, the April 2 Profit Radar Report forecast is still playing out:

It is possible that stocks will suffer a smaller pullback starting next week, recover and grind towards 4,200 – 4,300.”

The grind to 4,200 – 4,300 is just that: A grind. Here is why 4,200 – 4,300 is a must watch zone:

– Since 2009, the S&P has closed every single down side chart gap. As mentioned in prior Profit Radar Reports (i.e. August 24, 2022: “Regardless of how much lower the S&P goes immediately, we can almost be certain that the open gap at 4,218.70 will be closed.”) we assume that at minimum the chart gap at 4,218.70 (dashed purple line) will be closed before a potentially persistent leg lower. This little-know ‘indicator’ has been more helpful in navigating the market than any other news development.

– The 61.8% Fibonacci retracement is at 4,311.29. Wave 2 counter trend rallies (bear market rallies) commonly relapse around the 61.8% level.

– There is natural resistance around the August 2022 high at 4,325.28.

The weight of evidence does not favor a major reversal (from up to down) in the 4,218.70 – 4,325.28 zone, but it remains nonetheless an inflection zone that comes with risk of a reversal. In other words, if a reversal is going to occur, it would likely be in that zone.

What About?

But what about narrow leadership? That’s been a concern for weeks. At the end of April, the entire YTD S&P 500 gain came from 8 mega cap companies. This isn’t the most healthy environment, but it’s also not consistently bearish.

One way to provide context of mega cap outperformance is to compare the cap weighted Nasdaq-100 ETF (QQQ) to the equal weighted Nasdaq-100 ETF (QQQE, data goes back to 2012). 

The chart below plots QQQ against the QQQ/QQQE ratio. The ratio soared in 2023 (= mega cap strength). As the dashed lines show, ratio highs coincided with stock market highs in 2020 and 2021, but not every time.

It’s easy to pinpoint a ratio high in hind sight, but we don’t have that luxury in real time and we don’t know if we are at a ratio high or not. While it would be better to see broad market participation, mega cap strength does not have to be an immediate negative for stocks.

But what about the debt ceiling? Invoking the 14th amendment (I don’t comment on the legal or ethical merits of political decisions, just the potential impact on markets) could further deteriorate investors’ faith in the US government and intensify the move from public assets (I.e. government bonds) into private assets (i.e. stocks).

This mega trend continues to be one big reason why I’ve not turned outright bearish, even in 2022.

Short-term, nothing is obviously happening while the S&P 500 remains within the blue zone. Even when it finally breaks out (yes, at some point it will), I doubt that the direction of the break will be the next dominant direction.

Gold and Silver have been on the verge of a breakout, but as long as the below shown resistance levels remain in place, the breakout is on hold. Notice that silver also dropped back to support today.

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Technical Support Buoys Nasdaq … For Now

Friday’s market action was unusual as stocks didn’t rally into the close to cap the week with a happy end. Despite a rough week for stocks though, the Nasdaq Indexes and Nasdaq ETF stayed above important short-term technical support.

On Friday I tweeted a picture of an important technical support shelf for the Nasdaq-100.

Here’s a closer look at important near-term support for the Nasdaq Composite, Nasdaq-100, and Nasdaq QQQ ETF (Nasdaq: QQQ).

Nasdaq-100 Support

The chart shows support around the January 22 high (which is also the March 3 low) and the October 2000 monthly candle high (lower green line).

Nasdaq QQQ ETF

Technical support for the Nasdaq QQQ ETF is around 88.90.

Nasdaq Composite

The Nasdaq Composite found support exactly at the January 22 high (which is also the March 3 low).

The 78.6% Fibonacci retracement of all points lost from 2000 to 2002 is at 4,271.

Rising trend channel support is at 4,222 and the 50-day SMA at 4,207.

We don’t draw those support levels, the market does (we just connect the dots).

In addition to the subtle Nasdaq clues, there’s been one ‘tip off indicator’ that’s kept investors on the right side of the trade, and it’s not one often talked about:

Leading Indicator: What the Yen Carry Trade Predicts for Stocks

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.

Will Apple’s Breakout Stick?

Apple has staged six unsuccessful breakout attempts in the last eight months. Each time AAPL rallied more than 10% just to roll back over. Now Apple is teasing investors with higher prices again. Will this rally stick?

Since its September 2012 all-time high at 705, AAPL has rallied more than 10% seven times … and failed every time.

An Apple a day may keep the Doctor away, but an AAPL a day certainly hasn’t kept the bear away.

In fact, AAPL (Nasdaq: AAPL) is trading 35% below its all-time high (it was down as much as 45%). Yes, somebody really upset the apple cart (ok, that’s the last apple/AAPL pun).

Bottom line questions: Does this bounce have sticking power?

The Apple chart below compares this rally with the prior six failed rallies (gray circles). Three differences are easily noticeable:

  1. Most prior rallies were unable to overcome resistance (red circle). Current trade is above two trend lines.
  2. Once the high was in place, the market rolled over quickly. Current trade is lingering above support.
  3. RSI is higher (although marginally) than at any other rally attempt (grey circle).

Prolonged price coiling, or consolidation, above trend line support at 447 (and 457) increases the odds of higher prices. Like a coiled up snake, AAPL may actually jump higher.

A drop below 447, 434 and 418, on the other hand, would point to new lows.

A look at Apple seasonality (ebbs and flows created by seasonal forces) provides additional clues about Apple’s next move.

Apple seasonality is worth investigating, because it doesn’t only affect AAPL. AAPL is a major component of the Nasdaq Index (Nasdaq: ^IXIC), Nasdaq ETF (Nasdaq: QQQ), Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEArca: XLK), and S&P 500 (SNP: ^GSPC), so the ripple effects of AAPL seasonality can draw wide circles.

“Sell in May and go away” is a well-known (and accurate in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012) seasonal piece of wisdom usually applied to the S&P 500.

As per the Apple seasonality chart, the moniker for AAPL should be “Sell in September and go away” and perhaps buy in August?

AAPL seasonality chartsuggested the steepest decline of the year starting on September 16. In fact, the September 16, 2012 issue of the Profit Radar Report recommended to: “short AAPL (or buy puts, or sell calls) above 700,”

Right on queue with seasonality, AAPL’s all-time high occurred on September 21.

This AAPL seasonality chart shows Apple at the cusp of the next seasonal signal.