S&P 500 Update

On July 12, the S&P 500 became overbought and has been wrapped in a tight trading cocoon ever since.

In fact, for 13 trading days, the S&P didn’t move more than 22.5 points. That’s one of the tightest trading ranges in history.

The chart below, published in the July 31 Profit Radar Report, highlights similar trading ranges in recent history and concluded the following:

The blue boxes below highlight the last four similarly tight trading ranges. Each one of them was followed by a pullback, sometimes after a post-trading range spike.

This harmonizes with the notion that most trading ranges occur in the position of wave 4 corrections.

On Friday, the S&P eked out another all-time high at 2,177. This could be all of, or the beginning of, the post-trading range spike. A sustained break above 2,176 would unlock the next up side target at 2,xxx – 2,xxx (target levels reserved for subscribers).

The bearish divergences discussed previously persist and suggest that we’ll see an eventually pullback, similar to prior post-range patterns.”

No Change … but New Developments 

Although the S&P hasn’t gone anywhere for weeks (the last longer-term S&P 500 outlook remains valid), two noteworthy developments happened ‘under the hood:’

  1. The trading range digested the overbought condition present on July 12.
  2. The trading range created bearish divergences.

Unfortunately, these two developments are in conflict with each other. This means we need to be extra alert for curveballs.

Nevertheless, based on the majority of our indicators, we should see an up/down sequence before the next sustainable rally leg.

Short-term pullbacks should turn out to be longer-term buying opportunities.

Target levels, buy triggers and 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.

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RSI Dangerously Overbought for S&P 500, Dow Jones and NYSE Composite

As a standalone conventional indicator RSI can give some misleading signals. However, RSI has ventured into an overbought zone rarely attained. There are also other forces at work that suggest paying more than the usual attention.

Parents remember the famous words, “Are we there yet?” Investors are probably wondering, “Are we overbought yet?”

The S&P 500 has gone more than six months without a correction greater than 5%, so the question, “Are stocks overbought” is certainly a valid one.

The weekly bar chart below shows one of the most rudimentary momentum gauges – the Relative Strength Index (RSI).

RSI attempts to gauge the extent of ‘overboughtness’ by comparing the magnitude of recent gains to recent losses.

I prefer not to walk the ‘beaten path’ of technical indicators and use a 35-period RSI instead of the 14-period RSI default. The 35-period RSI spits out some signals that may go overlooked by the investing masses.

Here are the signals:

1) RSI is above 70 and overbought. In fact, RSI is at or near the highest level over the past decade. The dotted purple lines mark periods of similar RSI readings.

2) This week’s RSI high has confirmed this week’s new all-time high. There is no bearish divergence (most prior price highs occurred against a lower RSI reading).

Here are the conclusions:

1) Prices are likely to struggle moving higher or correct.

2) RSI (along with other momentum indicators) confirmed the latest price high, which suggests that any decline is unlikely to mark a major market top.

Here is RSI in context:

Various sentiment indicators have reached the ‘danger zone’ and post-election seasonality is about to turn sour.

The up trend is still intact and coming up with possible price targets or resistance levels is tougher for indexes that are trading at all-time highs. There simply is less overhead resistance.

For that reason, the Profit Radar Report has been recommending long positions in the Nasdaq-100 Index (corresponding ETF: PowerShares QQQ – QQQ).

The Nasdaq-100 has well-defined resistance and support levels. Thursday’s trade briefly poked above long-term trend line resistance and fell back below. This was a sell signal for half of our Nasdaq-100 position.

It is too early to tell if prices are ready for the seasonal summer siesta, but with sentiment heating up, seasonality cooling down and prices falling away from resistance, it’s prudent to take some profits off the table and prepare for the balancing act between milking the bullish potential and minimizing bearish risk.

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