S&P 500 Update – Curveball

On June 6, I published a bigger picture S&P 500 outlook. Since this update builds on the June 6 outlook, you may find it helpful to first read the June 6 bigger picture S&P 500 outlook.

For the past few months we’ve been looking to buy the S&P 500 on dips. We bought the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) on April 3 and May 31.

As mentioned in the June 6 outlook, the May 29 shakeout and May 30 recovery (see chart below) increased the odds that either a low is in place or that a more significant rally is developing. Our upside target mentioned in the June 13 PRR was 2,800 – 2,830.

There was one caveat mentioned in the June 6 outlook (and May 30 Profit Radar Report): “Since the S&P still remains in its larger trading range, it is impossible to confirm for certain that wave 4 is indeed complete. Nevertheless, unless the S&P drops back below 2,700 (and the May 29 low), we will assume that a low is in. Additional support worth watching is around 2,740.”

This week support at 2,740 failed, and the S&P swiftly dropped to 2,700.

Not profitable, but Successful

Our SPY sell limit was waiting at 280.50 (S&P 2,810), but SPY reversed before, and Profit Radar Report subscribers got stopped out of SPY at breakeven (271.25, which correlates to 2,710 for the S&P 500). Although the SPY trade was not profitable, it was a success! Why?

Barron’s rates iSPYETF as “trader with a good track record” and Investor’s Business Daily says: “When Simon says, the market listens.”

When the S&P 500 rallied more than 100 points from the May 31 low, we did not feel the need to chase price, because we bought near the low, and had skin in the game. Based on various sentiment readings, many investors suffered from FOMO (= fear of missing out) and bought near the high.

Back to square one. Pause and reset.

The break below 2,740 opens various short-term (and longer-term) possibilities, many of which point to a choppy market.

Evaluate and Cross-check

The chart below outlines 5 possible scenarios based on Elliott Wave Theory (the chart below makes more sense when read in context with the bigger picture S&P 500 outlook). They range from immediately bullish (dark green) to short- and long-term bearish (blue, orange and red).

The Profit Radar Report tends to monitor multiple scenarios and cross-checks them against other indicators (technicals, sentiment, liquidity, seasonality/cycles, etc.) to assess each scenarios viability and probability.

For example, our trusted liquidity indictor already eliminated 2 of the 5 scenarios illustrated above.

In short, we remain in “buy the dip mode,” the question is just how big of a dip we’ll get. For someone who just got stopped out at 2,710, worst case scenario would be a strong, immediate rally (dark green scenario above).

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, 24.52% in 2015, 52.26% in 2016, and 23.39% in 2017.

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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S&P 500 Update – Know What to Expect

It’s said that we shouldn’t blame others for disappointing us, but to blame ourselves for expecting too much. The same is true for the stock market.

Expect the Unexpected

Many investors have become disenchanted as stocks are stuck in a rut. But the market always does what it does, it’s our job to manage what we have control over; our expectations. Thanks to the media and their sensationalistic headlines, investors have been waiting for either a crash or the next rally. For example:

CNBC: Market volatility is reminiscent of the 1987 crash – April 5
CNBC: Stock market looks ‘pretty fantastic’ – April 23

Headlines like: “Correction will continue,” simply don’t capture eyeballs or sell newspapers. The Profit Radar Report’s job is to give subscribers an idea of what’s ahead, not to wow them with catchy (but unrealistic) predictions.

Boring Truth

Back on February 11, the Profit Radar Report warned of extended sideways action. In fact, a multi-month range-bound chop fest was the most logical scenario (why was explained in detail here). This turned out to be the boring truth.

In early April, the S&P 500 got close to our ideal requirements for a sustainable low. Although the Profit Radar Report recommended to buy the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) on April 3 (when the S&P traded around 2,580), we didn’t fully trust that low (the actual Profit Radar Report updates surrounding the April 2 low have been made available for review here).

Following the April 2 low, the S&P 500 rallied more than 250 points, but there were still doubts about the rally’s longevity. The April 15 Profit Radar Report stated that:

Price continues to grind higher, but it’s doing so without real conviction. The chart below shows the 3 most likely scenarios going forward:
1) Drop towards (and below) 2,533, followed by the next rally leg (red).
2) Blue diagonal: Grind above S&P 2,700 followed by another pullback and next rally leg.
3) Purple triangle: Continued range racing and eventually the next rally leg.”

Although the exact path was unknown, all 3 scenarios had one thing in common:

S&P 500 pullback into a (hopefully) more sustainable low. That’s why the Profit Radar Report stated: “We want to buy into weakness rather than chasing stocks.”

The weakness materialized. The question is how much more weakness we’ll see.

At this point we are assessing the odds of each scenario, but one thing is for certain:

The lower the S&P drops, the better the risk/reward potential investors going into the next rally leg.

Short-term, the S&P 500 is nearing trend channel support while oversold.

Continuous S&P 500 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.

 

Short-term S&P 500 Outlook

Tunnel vision is almost always a risky approach to investing, however, this is one of those rare times where tunnel vision is actually the best way to go.

With tunnel vision I mean focusing on the (only) indicator that’s been working, and tuning out all other indicators.

Elliott Wave Theory (EWT) has been the indicator deserving of investors’ focus. EWT (interpreted correctly) has persistently pointed to higher prices.

Months before the Trump rally, EWT strongly suggested a S&P 500 rally into the mid 2,300s and higher (original price projection was published here: S&P 500 Update – Expect the Abnormal).

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.

Short-term Outlook

The December 14, 2016 Profit Radar Report expected a prolonged period of sideways trading, and after over a month of ‘go nowhere’ action, the January 29 Profit Radar Report stated that:

The sideways trading since Wednesday looks to be wave 4 with a possible down side target of 2,280 – 2,290 (open gap at 2,284.63). Based on the bearish divergences the S&P may peel lower, but based on EWT there’s a good chance the S&P will find support in the 2,280 – 2,290 range and rally into the low-mid 2,300s.”

We now know that EWT prevailed over bearish divergences and rallied into the EWT-based up side target mentioned in February 5 Profit Radar Report:

The S&P 500 moved above 2,290 on Friday. Measured EWT-based up side targets are in the 2,320 – 2,370 zone. Various bearish divergences (RSI-35, stocks above 50-day SMA) and near oversold condition still suggest some caution.”

No Can Do Tunnel Vision

To maintain a diversified research and forecasting approach, the Profit Radar Report looks at the most potent indicators and never relies solely on any one indicator.

Today’s push to new all-time highs erased (almost) all larger bearish divergences, and synchronizes EWT more with many other indicators (only cycles are short-term bearish).

The weight of evidence points to more strength ahead (2 steps forward, 1 step back, as outlined by the January 4 Profit Radar Report). Any pauses caused by overbought conditions or investors sentiment should be short-term in nature.

Next resistance (and chance for a pullback/pause) is around 2,342. Support is at 2,320, 2,300 and 2,285 (see chart).

At some point in 2017 however, we should see either a major market top or a 15% correction. More detail is available in the multiple-indicator based 2017 S&P 500 Forecast.

Popular S&P 500 ETFs include:

  • SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY)
  • iShares S&P 500 ETF (IVV)
  • Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO)

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.

S&P 500 and Nasdaq Reveal Priceless Clues

For the past couple of months we’ve stuck to our short-term bearish and mid-term bullish outlook (the mid-term bullishness may morph into long-term bullishness).

This means, we’ve been buying dips, but refusing to chase trade to the up side.

We got the first buyable dip on September 9. Between September 9 -13 we bought the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM), and VelocityShares Short-term VIX ETN (XIV).

1st Tell Tale Sign

However, the September 20 Profit Radar Report warned that: “In February and June stocks produced a breadth thrust from their low. Thus far however, the S&P 500 hasn’t shown any convincing follow through to the up side. The odds of soaring without a prior test or break of the lows have diminished. We are taking some chips off the table.

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.

Over the next few days, we sold IWM and XIV for gains of 2.33% – 14.46%. We continued to hold SPY in case stocks move higher, but closed that position at breakeven on October 4.

The chart below, initially published in the September 11 Profit Radar Report, shows the potential down side targets based on Fibonacci retracement levels.

Ultimately, the scope of this correction depends on whether stocks will retrace the gains since the February low (S&P: 1810) or June low (S&P: 1,992).

We believe the retracement will be more on the shallow side, that’s why we bought the first buyable dip in September.

2nd Tell Tale Sign

The October 2 Profit Radar Report highlighted a concerning Nasdaq constellation: “The Nasdaq-100 and QQQ ETF are near trend channel resistance, and perhaps more importantly, near Fibonacci resistance and the 2000 all-time high (RSI and Nasdaq stocks above their 50-day SMA did not confirm this high). We expect new all-time highs later this year, but if QQQ is going to take a breather, it could be around 120+/-.”

Yesterday (Monday), QQQ matched the September 22 all-time closing high at 119.48, but RSI deteriorated even further, a bearish omen.

3rd Tell Tale Sign

Although the S&P 500 was stuck in a triangle with lower highs and higher lows, internal strength was wilting (the McClellan Oscillator and Summation Index made lower lows – see bottom graphs). The chart below was published in the October 9 Profit Radar Report.

Summary

It seems like stocks want to correct further before moving higher. This correction could stop in the 2,120 – 2,100 zone, but it could also go quite a bit lower.

We will be looking to buy the dip, because a number of indicators suggest a strong rally following this correction.

When we buy, depends on the structure of the decline, bearish sentiment extremes, and whether we see bullish divergences. The Profit Radar Report already identified a beaten down low-risk value ETF and an aggressive high octane ETN with a built in safety cushion to take advantage of the year-end rally.

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.

 

S&P 500 Update – Refocus on What Matters

Brexit! What Brexit? The Brexit reaction doesn’t even register on the monthly S&P 500 chart. ‘A tempest in the teapot’ as the British would say. This is yet another example why we do not focus (and sometimes ignore) news events.

The Brexit vote did cause undeniable ripple effects, but only temporarily. It’s time to tune out the noise and stop using Brexit as excuse or cause for everything that happens.

As the headlines below show, Brexit can’t be savior and scapegoat at the same time:

  • Morningstar: Stocks Climb as Investors Shake off Brexit Concerns
  • MarketWatch: US Stocks Open Lower as Brexit-Inspired Selloff Continues
  • MarketWatch: Dow Ends up 270 Points as Brexit Fears Abate
  • Morningstar: Stocks fall as Brexit Worries Resurface

Chart Analysis

The June 19 Profit Radar Report expected a temporary drop to 2,002 – 1,928 followed by a resumption of the rally. The ideal down side target was 1,970 – 1,925 (original chart is available here).

Barron’s rates iSPYETF as a “trader with a good track record.” Click here for Barron’s assessment of the Profit Radar Report.

The structure of the post-Brexit selloff confirmed that the decline would turn out to be temporary. In a section titled “Chart Gaps and Major Market Tops” the June 26 Profit Radar Report noted open chart gaps and stated the following:

Following a tumultuous night, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) opened Friday 3.42% lower than Thursday’s close (see chart). Since the inception of SPY (1/22/1993), there’ve only been 7 bigger gap down opens, and a total of 11 opening gaps with losses in excess of 3%. Five days later, the S&P traded higher 10 out of 11 times with an average post gap gain of 4.96%.

One of the reasons we continuously anticipated new all-time highs in recent years were open chart gaps left near the top. This is again the case now. There are open gaps at 2,104.57 and 2,117.96”

On June 27, the S&P fell as low as 1,991.68. This was in the general target zone, but short of our ideal target zone at 1,970 – 1,925. Nevertheless, the June 27 Profit Radar Report stated that: “two separate price patterns suggest a bounce is brewing.”

Initially, we anticipated this bounce to be choppy and relapse into the ideal 1,970 – 1,925 zone, but as the June 29 Profit Radar Report brought out, “this bounce has been stronger (in terms of breadth) than it was ‘supposed’ to be. Preliminary data suggests that the S&P may be experiencing a breadth thrust similar to what we saw in mid-February (see February 21 PRR). Based on the strong kick off from Monday’s low, we must consider the possibility that a more lasting low is already in.”

The February kickoff analysis, originally published in the February 21 Profit Radar Report, is available here: 2016 Bear Market Risk is Zero Based on this Rare but Consistent Pattern

Summary

Last week’s kickoff rally suggested a short-term digestive lull (with initial support near 2,070) followed by higher prices eventually. However, we never put all our eggs in our basket. No matter how compelling last week’s breadth thrust is, we are waiting for price to meet our parameters (buy triggers) before going long.

Until this happens, we may see more choppiness, and even more down side (although unlikely). 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.

 

Can the Nasdaq QQQ ETF Break out of a Bull Flag Pattern and Rally 10%?

A bull flag is described as a consolidation period that interrupts a sharp, almost vertical rally. QQQ had a sharp rally from the October low and a pro-longed consolidation period thereafter. The classic bull flag breakout target projects a 10% rally.

The Nasdaq QQQ ETF (Nasdaq: QQQ) chart is simple, but packed with information.

QQQ has been consolidating for 2 ½ months. The consolidation range is defined by a parallel channel with a slant to the down side.

Channel resistance is at 104.  Resistance created by the January 23 and November 29 highs is at 104.58 and 105.25.

There’s also a Fibonacci projection level, going back to the October 2002 low, at 105.29.

I’ve read some articles that describe the channel consolidation as a bull flag.

What is a bull flag?

As the name implies, this pattern looks like a flag. A bull flag represents a digestive period after a sharp rise.

In a bull market, the flag is usually formed with a slight down trend and tends to separate two halves of a steep rally.

If this is indeed a bull flag, a breakout above 104 projects a target around 120.

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Is this a bull flag?

  • Duration: In their technical analysis books, authors Pring, Edwards and Magee state that flags can form for a period as short as 5 days or as long as 3 – 5 weeks. But a formation that lasts longer than 4 weeks should be treated with caution.

    This particular flag pattern is already 10 weeks old.

  • Trading volume: Trading volume should diminish appreciably and constantly during the pattern’s construction and continue to decline until prices break away from it.

    Trading activity dried up in February, but saw significant volume spikes early in the pattern.

In summary, the 10-week long QQQ consolidation pattern looks like a bull flag, but it does not meet the qualifications of a bull flag.

Nevertheless, certain measures of sentiment show above average pessimism for the Nasdaq QQQ ETF, which could support further up side.

Here is a bit more context: The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) is gnawing on similar resistance, and the SPDR S&P MidCap 400 ETF (NYSEArca: MDY)  just broke to new all-time highs. The 104 – 106.25 QQQ range appears pretty significant for the next big move.

I’ve taken a pretty bold stand regarding the next S&P 500 move, and am watching the QQQ ETF carefully for clues.

My bold S&P 500 call is available here with the latest update posted here.

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.

Once Largest ETF in the World Drops Out of Top 10

At one point in history, the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) was the world’s largest ETF.

Courtesy of a massive gold bull market and the accompanying hysteria, GLD’s assets mushroomed to $77.5 billion. That was in August 2011.

Back than, the S&P 500 traded around 1,100. Gold traded near 1,900. How the roles have reversed (Gold at 1,100, S&P at 2,050).

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) is now $205 billion strong, while GLD amounts to ‘only’ $27 billion, the 12th largest ETF in the world.

This data may be of some use to contrarians on gold bugs.

In fact, back in December 2013 I used official data from iShares and State Street on the SPDR Gold Shares, iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) and iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) for very insightful sentiment analysis.

The data (tons of gold/silver held, and trading volume) helped me come to the conclusion that gold and silver were still miles away from a major low (view original  SLV analysis or GLD analysis).

Unfortunately iShares does not offer that data anymore (I send an e-mail every month to bug them, but it hasn’t helped).

Other sentiment data and technical analysis triggered a buy signal (sent to subscribers of the Profit Radar Report) for gold in November 2014 at 1,140 (111 for GLD).

We’ve been holding on ever since, but gold needs to surpass strong overhead resistance to give the preferred bullish scenario some teeth.

The fact that GLD has fallen out of favor with investors is a check mark on the bullish side of the ledger.

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.