February Mini Meltdown: Warning Signal or Buying Opportunity

What caused the February meltdown? If you are looking for another strong opinion, sorry, you won’t find it here.

Before we address the more important issue – whether now is the time to buy or sell – here is one tell-tale sign (of what contributed to the ‘meltdown’) brought out by the January 29 Profit Radar Report.

On Friday, the S&P 500 jumped more than 1% to a new all-time high with less than 55% of stocks advancing, another one of those unusual events. The only other times this happened was once in 1987 and thrice in 1999. All four events were followed by minor 2-8% immediate corrections, and eventually big corrections and bear markets.”

Barron’s rates iSPYETF as “trader with a good track record” and Investor’s Business Daily says: “When Simon says, the market listens.” Find out why Barron’s and IBD endorse Simon Maierhofer’s Profit Radar Report.

The correction sure was immediate, and it didn’t stop at 2-8%.

Buy or Sell?

Since much of the recent market action happened overnight, we’ll first be looking at the S&P 500 futures chart, which includes overnight trading activity.

The February 5 and 6 Profit Radar Reports published the chart below and stated: “Based on the extremely oversold readings, a bounce is becoming highly likely. S&P 500 futures tested the 200-day SMA and 38.2% Fibonacci. From high to low, the S&P 500 futures lost 12.14%. This is already more than the 5-10% correction we anticipated and close to the 14.38% loss (on average based on the last 4 cycles) leading into the mid-term low (see 2018 S&P 500 Forecast).”

The S&P 500 cash index looks a little different, as the pullback was ‘only’ 9.74%.

Here is one reason why we expect eventual all-time highs: RSI-2 was overbought, which suggested risk, but RSI-35 confirmed the January 26 all-time high.

RSI-35 also confirmed the December 2016 and March 2017 highs. As we mentioned many times in recent years, stocks rarely ever carve out a major top at peek momentum.

Conclusion

This clearly is a market that plays by its own rules (the rules are: there are no rules). Nevertheless, nearly all our studies and indicators suggest a resumption of the bull market once this correction is over.

S&P 500 futures already met our down side target, the S&P 500 cash index not yet. Ideally we’ll see a test of the panic low with a bullish divergence for a higher probability buy signal.

Either way, we consider this a buy the dip market. Continued updates and trade recommendation 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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S&P 500 Update

2017 was one of the most unique years ever, not just for the stock market, also in terms of world events and natural catastrophes.

An almost unprecedented phenomenon was that of strong stock market momentum.

The November 19, 2017 Profit Radar Report pointed out that:

The S&P 500 was higher 8 of the first 9 months of 2017. This has only happened 8 other times (1936, 1950, 1954, 1958, 1964, 1995, 1996, 2006). 2, 3, 6, and 12 month later the S&P was higher every time but one (0.7% loss 2 month later in 1964). Such strong momentum readings (and they are seen across all time frames) are extremely rare. As mentioned back in December 2016 and March 2017, stocks rarely ever top at peek momentum. We have to go back to 1995/96 to find similarly strong and persistent up side momentum.”

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.

Diametrically Opposed

Strong momentum was in direct contrast to some of the oddest breadth readings ever, also mentioned by the November 19, 2017 PRR:

Despite stocks hovering near all-time highs, there have almost been as many stocks with bearish extremes (new 52-week lows or oversold RSI) as bullish extremes (52-week highs or overbought RSI). This happened on multiple days. For example:

Last week more than 8% of stocks had a RSI reading above 70 (overbought). At the same time more than 8% of stocks had a RSI reading below 30 (oversold).

The week before last week saw a lot of buying and selling climaxes at the same time.

At some point last week, 4% of stocks registered new 52-week lows while 30% of S&P 500 stocks fell below their 200-day SMA. That’s dispite stocks being near their all-time high.

This kind of split market is rare (when it occurs near all-time highs) and historically unhealthy (it triggered a cluster of Hindenburg signals). Similar (bad) breadth readings existed 11 other times since 1998. 1, 2 and 3 month later the S&P 500 was down 76% of the time.”

Reconciling Conflicting Indicators

There was no easy way to reconcile the conflict among indicators, but the November 19 PRR concluded that: “Therefore it seems more likely that momentum (supported by seasonality) will trump breadth and push prices higher in coming weeks.”

At times like these, it’s often best to use simple trend lines as arbitrator. The November 28, 2017 Profit Radar Report pointed out a Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) breakout (see chart) and stated:

The DJIA closed for the first time above the (now) green trend line going back to April 2016 (blue circle). As long as trade remains above the trend line, we’ll allow for further gains.”

On December 15, the S&P 500 closed above its respective trend line, and the Profit Radar Report stated: “The S&P 500 closed above the red trend line for the first time (similar to the DJIA on November 28). While above this trend line, gains may continue (even accelerate).”

An up side target in the low to mid 2,700s was given (and already exceeded).

Outlook

Stocks are now at a position similar to December 13, 2016, and March 2017, when the PRR pointed out that: “Stocks rarely ever top at peak momentum.”

Of course, stocks are now also overbought and have become over-loved. This means there is a fair amount of short-term risk. However, it will take some down side ‘escape velocity’ to break the up side momentum and spook investors.

If and once this happens, we anticipate a 5-10% pullback.

Continuous 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.

 

S&P 500 Update: End of Growth Spurt?

Since the presidential election (November, 2016), the S&P 500 enjoyed three distinctive ‘growth spurts’ (chart below, green arrows).

The first one ended on December 12, 2016, the second one ended on March 1. What about the third one?

End of Growth Spurt?

The December 14, 2016 PRR and the March 5, 2017 Profit Radar Reports stated that: “Stocks rarely ever top at peak momentum. Any pullback should be temporary in nature. The question is how temporary.”

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

The December 14 and March 5 peak momentum highs were followed by sideways corrections and eventually new highs.

The latest all-time high (July 27), however, did not occur on peak momentum. RSI-35 (momentum indicator) is now obviously lagging. The reverse conclusion is that risk of a top is higher today than it was in December and March.

However, our ‘secret sauce’ liquidity indicator (more details about ‘secret sauce’ is available here) is at new all-time highs.

Several times since the 2016 low, the Profit Radar Report stated that: “Our liquidity indicator is already at new all-time highs, it’s just a matter of time until the S&P 500 will follow.”

Short-term vs Long-term

In general, RSI divergences tend to be more short-term (weeks) in nature, while ‘secret sauce’ is longer-term (months). This would translate into shorter-term risk, but longer-term gains.

Up Side Target

For the past year, the Profit Radar Report’s S&P 500 up side target has been around 2,500 (more details here), and a ‘melt up alert’ was issued in 2016.

Now that the S&P 500 as good as reached our up side target, we are using (ascending) short-term trend lines/channels to help narrow down the final squiggles.

So far, the low end of our target was missed by one point. This may have been enough, but for now we are allowing for another stab higher.

Continued analysis along with up-and down side targets and trading 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 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.

 

Are Stocks Quietly Deteriorating or Revving up for More Gains?

Every major market index has been marching to the beat of their own drum.

The Nasdaq-100 just slid to the lowest level since May 18, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) set a new all-time (intraday) high just on Monday. The S&P 500 is about a percent below its all-time high.

Some reason that there’s no longer enough liquidity to buoy the whole market.

This begs the question, if all this range bound churning is a sign of internal deterioration (and the ‘inevitable’ drop) or if stocks are just taking a breather and revving up for the next spurt higher?

KISS – Bottom Line

The May 29, 2017 Profit Radar Report already observed this: “There are times when indicators line up and we discuss (high) probabilities, and there are times when indicators conflict, and we are forced to discuss possibilities. Unfortunately the later is the case right now.

Each of the major indexes is tracing out a different EWT pattern, breadth measures, seasonality and investor sentiment do not offer a clear message. Therefore we are reduced to dealing with possibilities.

The weight of evidence suggests that in the not so distant future stocks will run into some trouble. The up side target for the S&P 500 is 2,450 – 2,530. The S&P 500, Russell 2000, DJIA and Nasdaq-100 are all overbought, but above short-term support. As long as this support holds, more gains are likely.”

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.

Not Exciting, but Effective

Ever since we’ve been watching support (which has been at 2,420 for the S&P 500) as stocks have gone nowhere. It should be noted that the 2,420 support level is becoming too obvious and therefore less important. The June 25 Profit Radar Report stated that: “A move below 2,420 (especially 2,400) would increase the odds that a multi-week/month top is in.”

Watching support (and resistance) is not the most exciting approach to market forecasting, but there are times where it’s best to realize there are no clear signals (such as in May), and simply wait for the market to offer the next actionable clue.

This approach protects against overtrading or the anxiety associated with a non-performing (or worse, losing) trade. In short, it provides a measure of peace of mind, a rare commodity in this market.

Summary

Mid-and long-term, our comprehensive S&P 500 forecast remains on track.

Short-term, we are waiting if the S&P pushes deeper into the 2,450 – 2,530 target zone, or if the June 19 high at 2,454 was the beginning of a more protracted (but temporary correction).

Whichever direction the market breaks, it will eventually be reversed. Ideally, we are looking to sell the rips (above 2,454 if we get it) and buy the eventual dip (although this dip may last longer than many expect).

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.

September is Here, Could it Make Sense to Buy Stocks in Worst Month of Year?

The July 4, 2016 Profit Radar Report featured the following S&P 500 projection.

Based on this projection, the S&P was to rally to about 2,195 followed by a pullback to about 2,155.

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

Despite a prolonged trading range, the S&P followed this projection very closely. It rallied as high as 2,193.81 and subsequently slid as low as 2,157.09 (see ‘are we here’ arrow).

Does that mean that the next leg higher us about to launch?

The Big Question

It could be. The question is whether stocks will correct further before the next rally or not.

Under normal condition, stocks should pull back further. However, we’ve seen one of the longest and tightest trading ranges in history (July 14 until today).

This trading range was enough to digest over bought readings caused by the post-Brexit spike. We may have just seen a correction in time rather than price.

However, in terms of seasonality, September is the worst month of the year. Buying in September is less than ideal.

October, on the other hand, has often served as launching pad, most recently in 2014 and 2015.

Best Setup

Further weakness with targets around 2,150 – 2,130 and 2,130 – 2,070 reached later in September or in October would certainly set up a much better buying opportunity than chasing price around 2,200 in September.

We consider any pullback into the above ranges a gift. Life is always more pleasant if you receive a present. If we’ll get it, we’ll certainly accept it (buy stocks), but we can’t bank on it.

If the market moves higher soon without noteworthy pullback, we’ll have to deal with it, and determine whether it’s a temporary or a sustainable move higher.

Short-term, the S&P has broken outside of the descending black trend channel and butting against minor resistance (see chart above). Based on the put/call ratio and short-term RSI, the S&P is nearing overbought, but as long as trade remains above the black trend channel, the S&P may venture higher.

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.

 

How Stocks Escaped from 3 ‘Unavoidable’ Bear Markets

This bull market has been counted out many times. Just over the past few years, stocks faced three – allegedly – unavoidable bear markets … and escaped all of them.

Here are the three ‘unavoidable’ bear markets, and why stocks escaped:

Unavoidable Rate Hike Bear Market

Starting in 2015, the Federal Reserve let it be known that interest rates will be rising.

According to the pros, rising rates would sink stocks. After all, that’s why the Fed kept them near zero for so long.

However, history simply doesn’t agree with this conclusion. The April 26, 2015 Profit Radar Report used the chart below to illustrated that rising rates are not bearish.

In fact, 9 of the 13 periods of falling rates (since 1954) saw stocks rally. That’s why the Profit Radar Report concluded that: “A rate hike disclosed at the April, June, July or even September or October FOMC meetings is unlikely to coincide with a major S&P 500 top.”

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

Unavoidable Oil Slump Bear Market

Falling oil prices were the hot topic as prices dropped 50% from June – December 2014.

The general opinion was that falling oil prices would send stocks lower, like in 2008.

The December 14, 2014 Profit Radar Report ousted this bogus reasoning with the chart and commentary below:

This year’s oil price collapse differs from the 2008 collapse relative to the S&P 500. In 2008, the S&P 500 topped before oil did. In fact, the S&P 500 recorded its all-time high in October 2007 and was already down 21% by the time oil topped on July 11, 2008. In 2014, the S&P 500 recorded new all-time highs five months after oil started to decline.

The chart below plots oil against the S&P 500 and shows that falling oil prices are not consistently bearish for stocks. If history can be used as a guide, stocks are likely to hold up despite the oil meltdown.”

Unavoidable QE Bear Market

In 2008, the Federal Reserve unleashed it’s first round of Quantitative Easing (QE). A couple trillion dollars later, QE came to an end in October 2014.

Investors feared the withdrawal of QE would sink stocks (just like a junkie will crash without new fix).

The simplified logic (QE started this bull market, the end of QE will finish the bull market) seemed logical, but it wasn’t factual.

The October 5, 2015 Profit Radar Report plotted the QE money flow against the S&P 500 and concluded that: “We expect new bull market highs in 2015.”

Why?

The correlation between QE and stocks (at least in 2013/2014) did not support the notion of a bull market end. More importantly, our major market top indicator said the bull market is not over.

2016 Bear Market?

At the beginning of the year, when the S&P traded near 1,900, the media found countless of reasons why the bear market is finally here (many of them are listed here).

About six months and a 15% rally later, it’s obvious that the bull market is alive and well.

Short-term, the S&P has reached the lower end of our up side target range, so a pullback becomes more likely (more details here). However, any pullback should serve as a buying opportunity.

If you are looking for common sense, out-of-the-box analysis, check out the Profit Radar Report. It may just make you the best-informed investor you know.

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.