S&P 500 is the Latest Coronavirus ‘Casualty’

The ‘death cross’ has struck again, demanding the next ‘casualty,’ the S&P 500.

Yesterday, the S&P 500’s 50-day SMA crossed below the 200-day SMA, commonly – and ominously – considered the ‘death cross.’

Something with such a dire name has got to be bearish, right?

There were 5 other S&P 500 death crosses in the last decade (red lines, chart below). None of them was particularly bearish. But, all of those happened during one of the greatest bull markets of all time.

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Let’s expand the look-back period to 50 years and apply the following two filters to get the most similar precedents:

  1. First crossover (50-day SMA below 200-day SMA) in at least 10 months
  2. Crossover preceded by a 5% decline over the prior 4 weeks

Here are the signals: 2/1984, 11/1987, 4/1994, 7/2010, 8/2011, 8/2015, 12/2018.

The chart below shows the performance of each signal 40 trading days before the crossover and 250 trading days (1 year) thereafter. 

Short-term, the performance was rocky, but long-term performance was solid:

  • 1 month later: S&P 500 down 5 of 7 times (average loss: 1.47%)
  • 2 month later: S&P 500 up 6 of 7 times (average gain: 2.29%)
  • 3 month later: S&P 500 up 7 of 7 times (average gain: 4.58)
  • 6 month later: S&P 500 up 6 of 7 times (average gain: 7.00%)
  • 12 month later: S&P 500 up 7 of 7 times (average gain: 16.06%)

The chart below shows the S&P 500 performance for the past 40 days and the average forward performance of the past 7 signals projected forward.

Based on the past 50 years of history, the death cross has not been a bearish signal. The caveat is that the 2020 stock market has already defied many historic patterns.

Some of those historic extremes along with the short-term S&P 500 forecast are available here.

Continued updates, projections, buy/sell recommendations 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 evaluation 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, 24.52% in 2015, 52.26% in 2016, and 23.39% in 2017.

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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.

 

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.

VIX Analysis – The Misleading Message of the Golden Cross

Things aren’t always what they seem. That’s certainly true with the golden VIX cross. It sports an absolutely flawless record since 2008. However, digging deeper reveals the flaws of this seemingly flawless indicator.

Golden crosses or ominous death crosses tend to grab Wall Street’s attention. The CBOE Volatility Index or VIX just saw a golden cross.

A golden cross occurs when the 50-day simple moving average (SMA) crosses above the 200-day SMA (a death cross occurs when the 50-day SMA drops below the 200-day SMA).

A golden cross for stocks, indexes or ETFs is generally considered a bullish development. Since the VIX serves as a fear barometer (the higher the VIX, the more fear), a golden VIX cross is actually considered bearish for stocks.

The Bi-Polar VIX Golden Cross

Since 2008 a golden VIX cross has foreshadowed lower stock prices 100% of the time. As the chart illustrates, the 50-day VIX SMA crossed the 200-day SMA on 9-17-2008, 5-26-2010 and 7-26-2011.

One month later the S&P 500 traded lower every time. In 2008 and 2011 the S&P 500 losses easily reached double digits. Based on analysis going back to 2008 the golden VIX cross is a definite negative for stocks.

There were 24 golden VIX crosses from 1987 – 2007. Unfortunately, that’s too long of a time span to easily illustrate via a chart.

Nevertheless, a thorough examination of those 24 instances reveals no bearish implications for stocks. In fact, buying the VIX (or selling the S&P 500) based on the signals prior to 2008 would have racked up more losses than gains.

Such a poor track record is not surprising. After all the VIX is mean-reverting, so betting on the continuation of a trend suggested by a long-term moving average is counter intuitive.

While I don’t base my analysis on the VIX golden cross, the general behavior of the VIX, the S&P 500 and Treasuries may suggest that the nature of the market is changing and that lower lows are still ahead for stocks.

The June 18, Profit Radar Reported plainly recommended that: “We will go short with a move below S&P 1,635. We will also go short the Nasdaq-100 with a move below 2,970.”

>> click here to test drive the Profit Radar Report.