The S&P 500 Index triggered a beautiful ‘kiss good bye’ signal on Tuesday, before Bernanke spoke and sunk stocks. Interestingly, the sell signal for the S&P 500 could not be seen in the chart of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY).
SPY S&P 500 ETF or S&P 500 Index. What’s the difference? It’s like tomato or tomato (imagine the second ‘tomato’ spoken with a British accent).
I always try to base my analysis on the purest representation of any given index or asset class. When it comes to the S&P 500, the purest representation is the actual S&P 500 Index you always see quoted.
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) tracks the S&P 500 very closely, but even minor variations can make a major difference.
For example: The June 18 Profit Radar Report (released the night before Bernanke opened his mouth and buried the market) noted that the S&P 500 is at an important inflection point and warned:
“There is a parallel channel going back to the October 2011 low. Indexes often touch a previously broken support (in this case the black October 2011 parallel channel at 1,655) before dropping to a new low. The S&P touched this channel today and failure to move above could spell trouble.”
The first chart below shows the S&P 500 parallel channel referred to in the Profit Radar Report (if you aren’t a subscriber, I tweeted a close up picture of this channel on Tuesday).
I have often observed the S&P 500 (and other indexes) double back a broken support before letting go and peeling away for good. This upper line of the parallel channel was a key ingredient to the bearish forecast (the recommendation of the Profit Radar Report was to go short at S&P 1,635 and Nasdaq-100 2,970). I call it the ‘kiss good bye.’
Drawn in the second chart is the exact same parallel channel for the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY). However, unlike the S&P 500 Index, SPY’s channel is placed differently. There was no kiss good bye for the SPY ETF.
Key support (red line) was broken for both, when prices dropped below the June 6 low (160.25 for SPY and 1,598.23 for the S&P 500).
The SPY chart allows us to draw a support trend line (green line) that’s unique to SPY. I wouldn’t say there is a clear winner in the SPY vs S&P 500 debate, but I prefer to base my S&P 500 technical analysis on the S&P 500 chart. It’s as pure as it gets.
Why further down side is still ahead, what the down side is, and why stocks will rally again when this is all over is discussed in Thursday’s special Profit Radar Report.