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.

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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Russell 2000 and Transports at Crossroads?

The Russell 2000 (RUT) and Dow Jones Transportation Average (DJT) racked up some pretty significant losses since their 2015 all-time highs.

From the 2015 peak to the 2016 trough, the RUT lost as much as 27.23%, DJT as much as 31.22%. The S&P 500 lost ‘only’ 15.20%.

It was the prevailing opinion for much of 2015 and early 2016 that the RUT and DJT would lead U.S. stocks into the next bear market.

It is correct that small cap underperformance is one of the stages of an aging bull market, and in line with our analysis (view 3 Stages of a ‘Dying’ Bull Market). However, the timing for an immediate bear market didn’t seem right.

The February 11 Profit Radar Report listed six reasons why stocks are likely to rally. The ‘six reason buy signal’ is also discussed here.

After almost three weeks of rising prices (RUT up 11%, DJT up 17%), the RUT and DJT have arrived at their first inflection point.

Russell 2000 (RUT)

The RUT is back-testing the ascending green trend line (currently at 1,045), which originates at the March 2009 low. Sustained trade above this trend line is bullish until the signal is reversed.

Dow Jones Transportation Average (DJT)

The DJT is threatening to break above the 7,400 – 7,500 zone. This zone served as support a few months ago.

This is not only price resistance for DJT, it’s also momentum resistance as DJT’s prior rallies failed at similar RSI readings.

Conclusion

When the Profit Radar Report issued a buy signal at S&P 1,828, it wasn’t clear whether this rally would only move to the initial up side target at 1,950 or beyond.

Based on investor sentiment, there was a distinct chance that a runaway rally (with higher targets) would develop.

The S&P is not in the clear yet, but the RUT and DJT charts may help gauge the broad market’s prospects. RUT and DJT above their respective resistance levels is a positive for the S&P and other indexes.

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, 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.

Watch RSI for a Possible S&P 500 Breakout

Here is a chart frequently seen in recent Profit Radar Report updates.

In my humble opinion, it is the best visual nutshell summary of the stock market right now. Here is what we see:

  1. The S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY) is at the top of its trading range, just below key resistance. The bold red trend line goes back almost two decades. No wonder the S&P has stalled here.
  2. The percentage of stocks above their 50-day SMA has been lagging significantly. Buyers are obviously getting picky.

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  3. RSI (Relative Strength Indicator) is bumping against its very own trend line resistance. Every attempt to move above has been repelled, thus far.

Summary: The S&P 500 and RSI are at key resistance. A breakout here should reel in more buyers. However, the lack of participation (indicated by the % of stocks > 50-day SMA) cautions that buyer’s remorse will set in eventually and limit up side potential. Failure to break out may lead to lower prices.

Detailed target levels for a breakout (if it occurs), and continued out-of-the-box analysis are available via the Profit Radar Report.

Some recent sentiment readings increased the odds of a (temporary?) ‘pop.’

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.

 

Under the Hood: S&P 500 Deteriorating

We observed on April 21, that the stock market was actually stronger than the S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY) chart led to believe (Article: Under the Hood is more Strength than the S&P 500 Chart Shows).

Subsequently, the S&P 500 moved to a new all-time high on April 27 (2,126.92).

However, this condition of underlying strength quickly morphed into underlying weakness.

The April 26 Profit Radar Report observed this: “Interesting, 1-2 weeks ago, the percentage of NYSE stocks above their 50-day SMA was actually higher than the S&P 500 chart would suggest. Now, the percentage of NYSE (and S&P 500) stocks above their 50-day SMA is visibly lagging the new all-time highs. RSI is also lagging.”

The chart below shows that bearish divergences between the S&P 500 and the percentage of NYSE stocks above their 50-day SMA tend to lead to weakness (only 2 out of 8 corrections since 2014 were not preceded by this divergence).

Although the Nasdaq-100, QQQ and AAPL (Nasdaq: AAPL) staged a bullish breakout (as reported here: Nasdaq QQQ ETF Break out of Bull Flag and here: Fascinating AAPL Formation Telegraphed Bullish Breakout), the Profit Radar Report did not issue an official buy signal for the following reason:

Based on breadth and seasonality, this rally is not built on a solid foundation. Also, the Nasdaq-100 has gapped up 1% to at least a once-year high 50 other times besides Friday. Over the next three sessions, it added to its gains only 38% of the time, averaging a return of 0.6%. Its maximum gain during the next three days averaged +1.3%, the maximum loss -3.2%.”

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The above-mentioned articles warned that: “The trend is up, but lagging breadth and the open chart gap suggest an eventual pullback is likely,” and “In terms of Elliott Wave Theory, any new AAPL high could complete a 5-wave move and result in a larger-scale reversal.

AAPL spiked to a new all-time high on Tuesday (April 28) and has fallen 10 points since.

This week’s down side reversal of the S&P 500, Nasdaq and AAPL after a bullish breakout (according to technical analysis) emphasize why it is helpful to monitor multiple indicators.

That’s why the Profit Radar Report looks at supply & demand, technical analysis, investor sentiment, seasonality and price patterns for a comprehensive outlook.

How a combination of the above indicators is used to spot high probability trades is shown here (with an actual recent example): How to Spot High Probability Setups

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.

 

Is the Russell 2000 Forming a Bearish Wedge?

The Russell 2000 sports an interesting chart.

Here is what Wednesday’s (April 15) Profit Radar Report observed:

The Russell 2000 rallied to a new all-time high today. The chart shows a wedge, which is generally considered a bearish formation. RSI did not confirm today’s high and MACD is barely positive (blue bubble). The 2-day RSI is short-term overbought at 96. The Russell 2000 also touched the upper Bollinger Band today.

History suggests a pullback, sooner or later. Aggressive investors may short the S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY) or Russell 2000 (NYSEArca: IWM) against today’s high.”

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Well, the Russell 2000 pullback happened sooner rather than later.

However, the Russell 2000 is still within the rising wedge formation (and above wedge support). There are two ways to draw wedge support (solid and dashed green line).

Notice also the open chart gap created by today’s massive gap down. Such chart gaps have a tendency to be closed – sooner or later.

In summary, while today’s drop comes at the right time to start the initial validation process of the bearish rising wedge, the Russell 2000 still needs a break below support (on increased volume) to unlock the potential for much lower targets.

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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4 Iconic U.S. Stocks that Lost 49% While You Were Sleeping

Overnight, four iconic U.S. companies lost 49%. One of them, a reputable blue chip Dow component, wiped out four years worth of gains while investors were sleeping. What does this performance mean and can it be detected/avoided?

The biggest danger is one you are not aware of or can’t predict. For individual stock investors that’s gap down opens. Such overnight losses leave big chart gaps that often by-pass stop-loss orders.

October has been a particularly treacherous month as four iconic U.S. companies lost a combined 49% while shareholders were sleeping. Talk about a financial overnight coronary event.

In the night(s) from October 17 (Friday) to October 20, IBM (NYSE: IBM) lost 8.35% and wiped out four years of gains.

In the night from October 20 to 21, Coca Cola (NYSE: KO) lost 5.75%.

In the night from October 23 to 24, Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) lost 9.10%.

In the night from October 15 to 16, Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) lost 25.83%.

Is there a common trigger for all those coronary events?

Is it possible to detect and prevent owning stocks before an overnight collapse? 

The chart below shows IBM, KO, AMZN and NFLX side by side.

Trading volume spiked every time on the day of the coronary, but there was no consistent pattern the day before (which was the last day to get out in time).

A look at commonly used technical indicators – such as moving averages, MACD, RSI, percentR – also shows no consistent pattern.

Netflix and Amazon were unable to overcome their 20-day SMAs the days prior to the gap down, but Coca Cola ‘slept’ above the 20-day SMA the night before it fell out of bed.

Amazon triggered an MACD buy signal the day before it tumbled.

The only way to avoid individual meltdowns is to invest in baskets of stocks via ETFs or other index-based vehicles. The link below discusses which type of ETFs are best in this stage of a bull market.

The One Common Denominator

There is, however, one common denominator, indicated by the little telephone icon. All companies reported their earnings just before the big gap down (either after the close or before the bell).

Do Gap Downs Foreshadow a Major Market Top?

Excessive amounts of selling pressure are a reflection of investor psychology.

Gap ups on the way up are a vote of confidence; gap downs show that investors’ confidence is eroding.

Erosion of confidence is one of the tell tale signs of an aging bull market. This doesn’t mean the bull market is over, but it shows that investors are becoming more selective.

The number of outperforming stocks shrinks as more and more individual stocks fall into their very own bear market. In fact, currently 31% of all NYSE stocks are trading 20% or more below their highs.

In other words, a third of all stocks are already in their own individual bear market.

A historic analysis of major market tops puts this deterioration into perspective and shows how close (or far off) we are from a major market top. It also shows which sector is the best to invest in right now.

Here is a detailed look at the 3 stages of a dying bull market.

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.

Stocks Approach Bullish Springboard – Is There Enough Energy to Pop Higher?

The stock market is approaching a potentially bullish springboard. Price action has been very positive, but a look ‘under the hood’ shows that confidence in the rally is lacking. Will the market have enough energy to jump higher?

“Here is where the rubber meets the road.”
“The proof is in the pudding.”
“It’s do or die time.”

Any of the above phrases describe the market’s current position. Stocks have arrived at an inflection point or fork in the road.

How the market got here is interesting and provides a clue to the next move.

Just a month ago tech and small cap stocks dared to fall a ‘stunning’ 10%. Disregarding the fact that the Dow Jones and S&P 500 remained within striking distance of their all-time highs, investors turned bearish.

The market wanted investors to believe it will fall further and they obliged and fell for the bluff. In early May, 71.3% of retail investors polled by AAII were bearish or neutral. Being short or in cash was crowed fashionable.

Via the May 4 Profit Radar Report I asked: “How will the market fool the crowded trade? The ‘chart detective’ inside of me favors a shallow dip (1,874 – 1,850) followed by a pop to 1,915.”

A pop was needed to fool the premature bears. Mission accomplished!

The S&P 500 popped to 1,915 and beyond. In fact, on the chart the bounce looks so convincing that we need to ask if it’s more than just fake out break out. Is it?

Price Up – Confidence Down

I follow many different gauges and indicators, one of them is a proprietary measure of supply and demand.

The basic ingredients to this complex breadth formula are trading volume, points gained/lost, and advancing/declining issues. All figures are calculated on a raw, ratio and percentage basis over multiple time periods.

Since 2009 these forces of supply and demand have persistently foreshadowed continued gains, even during the 2010, 2011 and 2012 corrections.

Buying power actually decreased and selling pressure increased since May 22, when the S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY) broke out. The lack of demand suggests that buyers are not convinced. The absence of many new sellers suggests that stock owners don’t feel compelled to sell.

Albeit not as reliable as supply/demand measure, RSI aptly illustrates the divergence between price and momentum. RSI broke above trend line resistance on May 24, but is significantly below prior highs.

Approaching a Hill With an Empty Gas Talk

With lagging breadth, the four major indexes (Dow Jones, S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite and Russell 2000) are also approaching key resistance levels.

This is akin to a car approaching a hill with the gas tank on “E”, or a gymnast being out of breath near the springboard. It takes force to overcome obstacles. At this point it’s questionable if the market has enough force to overcome resistance.

However, if the various indexes can overtake their respective resistance level it should act as a springboard it propel stocks higher.

Sunday’s Profit Radar Report identified the key resistance levels for all major indexes along with the most likely outcome.

One way to gauge a possible outcome is to analyse the ‘intent’ of the current rally. What ‘intent’?

You’ll know what I mean once you take a look at this article:

Hey Bears! Where is the Promised Correction?

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.