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Yellow Flag – Caution July 20, 2019

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July 19, 2019 – First off, there are a couple of sensitive indicators that are showing caution and a possible down turn here (started on Friday).  Some are price based and a few are more general based on indications of weakness driven by a lack of continued buying.  In any case it’s not necessarily time to bail out or hedge, but a time to be more observant.  (click on chart to enlarge it)

IF price on the NASDAQ Composite Index closes below the low on Friday, I’ll consider putting my Index model into Cash.  If it continues to drop below the support level at 7915 I would consider putting on a “light hedge” for protection.  Further weakness would increase the hedge to protect the rest of the portfolio.  On the stock and ETF side I’m looking for signs of weakness, especially in reference to the broad market.  The idea is to detect Distribution of shares; i.e. liquidation / selling.  Price weakness on increasing volume is not a good sign.

A lack of buying (Accumulation) doesn’t necessarily mean selling, but it could lead into that.  I’ll watch the VIX Index, which shows the ratio of call volume to put volume.  If these option traders are getting concerned, that’s usually a good sign that I should be too.  The question is always just how far.  The bottom line is no one really knows until buying resumes.  Remember, prices only go higher if there are more buyers than sellers.  Buyers need to see the possibility of even higher prices to buy now.  Earnings continue next week and we’ll see what effects they will have on the overall market.  Microsoft was good; Netflix not so much.  So far, a mixed bag.  Momentum is slowing; that much is known.

Right now Technology, Consumer Goods and Banks are in the lead in the short term.

That’s about it for this week.  Yellow flag is flying . . . watch for Red.  Have a good week.  ……  Tom  ……

Price chart by MetaStock; pie chart & table by http://www.HighGrowthStock.com. Used with permission.

Continuation (higher) July 13, 2019

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July 12, 2019 – Not much new to talk about as you can see below this market just continues to grind higher (click to enlarge chart).

All of the chart indicators confirm a positive market & environment, so the next most important thing is what sectors are moving and performing best.  That table is below.  (I should note that the performance metrics are near / short term and can change quickly.)

We’re beginning to enter into the 2nd quarter earnings reporting season.  This market is priced for good to great news, so any significant disappointments, especially from major bellwether stocks in consumer retail, technology or transports would put a damper on things.  As always, a major news item could tip the scales lower.  We’re at / near new highs so caution is warranted (i.e. topping & distribution).

Have a good week.        ………….  Tom  ……….

Price chart by MetaStock; pie chart & table by http://www.HighGrowthStock.com. Used with permission.

The Summer “Doldrums” Setting In July 6, 2019

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July 5, 2019 – It appears that the Summer Doldrums are setting in, which is rather typical for this time of year.  That could change quickly with a significant news item; China trade, Mueller testimony, Iran conflict(s), etc.  No doubt the trend is generally up, but once again we’re at the top of a trading range.  Stocks will need some fuel to go higher and since the valuation is pretty much fully reflected in prices we’ll need something to push higher.  Nothing is “cheap” out there.  This will be a “stock pickers market”, so one must be selective as not everything will necessarily go up.  I’m doubting that not much will happen until the Fall.


This was a shorten week of trading in the US with many folks on vacation.  Activity is slow this time of year.  Of note is the strength in Technology issues (electronics, software, semiconductors, even Biotech).  Telecom and Banks jumped up a few notches this past week too.  Mid Cap stocks continue to show the most strength in the near term.  Sector strength table is shown below.  (click on any graphic to enlarge it for easier viewing)

That’s it for this holiday week.  Take Care & Good Trading.    ………..  Tom  ………..

Price chart by MetaStock; pie chart & table by http://www.HighGrowthStock.com. Used with permission.

Hovering Near The Highs June 30, 2019

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June 28, 2019 – First a few housekeeping items:  If you want to enlarge any graph or table in this blog, please click (or double click) on it and it should open up for easier viewing.  Second, just a reminder that I update over the weekend; it could be Saturday or Sunday.  Lastly, let me know if you’d like to see or hear about something different.  I’ll try to oblige.


Not a whole lot of movement this past week.  A bunch of narrow bars seem to indicate indecision.  The big volume spike on Friday is nothing more than end of the quarter rebalancing, since it all happened in the last half hour on Friday and there was little price movement (i.e. it was reporting volume, not buying/selling volume).  Indicators are positive with the first level of support at 7812.  Since this is a holiday week there will likely not be a lot of activity.  Reports are that Trump & China have called a truce on tariffs; kind of neutral news.  The market was hoping for something more positive.

Looking at overall market health via stocks in the S&P 1500 Index below:

Price Strength –Accumulation / Distribution –

Overall, fairly positive with many stocks significantly above their 20 day moving average and good Accumulation without too much buying.

Sector Strength –

Again we see Tech sectors and Energy near the top with Precious Metals still showing strength.  I remind folks that this table is short term strength and not an indicator of long term movements or trends.

That’s it for this week.  I’m doing selective buys but not in a hurry to be completely invested.   ……..  Tom  …….

Price chart by MetaStock; pie chart & table by http://www.HighGrowthStock.com. Used with permission.

Right at (price) Support Level May 25, 2019

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May 24, 2019 – Once again a up & down week, but of note is that we’re right at the 7645 price support level on the broad NASDAQ Composite Index.  This is a “logical” level to spring upward, but also a level to be concerned about if it closes below that.  That break below doesn’t mean a crash, but just validates market weakness and a likelihood of further decline.

It’s rough to keep up with the quick moves; mostly driven by news & “tweets”.  Looking at a longer term perspective the McClellan (volume) Summation Index shows that over the past months there has been roughly 5.5% more downside volume than upside volume.  Also the chart above shows most indicators are negative or at best, neutral.  It’s looking like the “Sell in May & Go Away” idea has caught on this year.  It could be a long summer of back and forth.

Earnings season is wrapping up and it has been generally “OK”, with a few cautions going forward.  The trade war with China is beginning to weigh on an increasing number of businesses, and that will likely affect the next earnings reports over the summer.  I haven’t shown the SP 1500 Index pie charts for awhile so let’s take a look:

Price Strength – % of Stocks in S&P 1500 Index:

No surprise that most stocks in significantly below their 20 day moving averages (red shades above).

Accumulation / Distribution – % of stocks in S&P 1500 Index –
The 3 sections above are about equal (roughly 1/3 each), so not a whole lot of selling just yet.

As far as sector strength (in the short term), there is strength in defensive issues; Telecom, Wireless, Government Bonds, Utilities, Real Estate.  Weakness in Emerging Markets, especially China.  Semiconductors continue their weakness with Technology not far behind.  I remain modestly invested and modestly “hedged” to protect the portfolio.  Since the economy is fairly strong, a rebound in prices could happen at any time depending on news.  A time for caution and to keep an eye on the exit door, but not to run toward it.  (IMHO)

Have a Good memorial Day (in the U.S.) and a great week.     …………  Tom  ………..

Price chart by MetaStock; pie chart & table by http://www.HighGrowthStock.com. Used with permission.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place May 18, 2019

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May 17, 2019 – I was temped to title this “Between Iraq and China”, but decided to drop the idea of a pun.  This market continues to be majorly influenced by news.  To be bouncing between a trade war and a fighting war is not a recipe for a stable investing environment.  Nuff said.  But the real “Rock” is the 7645 level (green dashed line; price support) and the “Hard Place” is 7965 (red dashed line; price resistance); note chart below (NASDAQ Composite Index).

The indicators are mixed: Money & Volume Flow are negative, Price Strength positive and Sentiment negative.  I find it interesting that prices did stop near the 7645 area, that’s where the last “buying” occurred, and that was drawn in quite awhile ago.  The same for the 7965 level, where selling came into the market.  These are “weekly significant bars”; not true Wyckoff, but inspired by his work.  This is a fairly narrow range in between these levels so we won’t have to wait very long for something to happen.  I should point out that on an intraday basis, we should be on the lookout for a “shake out” if market makers try to do a “head fake” at either level and then head the other way.

The table below shows where the market is strongest in the short term.  Namely Telecom, Wireless, US Treasurer Bonds, Real Estate Utilities, etc.  The trend I see here is that these are generally speaking, defensive sectors.  Sure, Tech and Internet stocks have recovered, but so far they are not registering.  Note how low the Semiconductor sector ranks.  Major weakness continues in Latin America, China and Emerging Markets.

Currently I have a light hedge on portfolios as a defensive tactic, but that will come off if I see a strong close above 7965 & then go to Cash while I wait for an “all clear” signal.  Time to get ready for a possible break, the question is which way, but it seems most are thinking defensive right now.

Have a good week.   ………………  Tom  ……………….

Price chart by MetaStock; pie chart & table by http://www.HighGrowthStock.com. Used with permission.

At an Important Level May 11, 2019

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May 19, 2019 –  This will be rather short, but that’s O.K. since we’re at an important level.  That support level being 7965 (close to it).  Note on the chart below that every “heads up” indicator has turned negative in the short term, and we’re resting just a small bit below the 7965 level.

While it sounds like we’re in bad shape from news reports, the price action has really not been that bad.  Volume is up just a little, so people are not rushing for the exits and the lows for many bars (days) were made in the morning with a strong close at the end of the day.  People are on edge with all of this trade talk but so far no panic.

Looking at the stocks in the broad S&P 1500 Index we note that there remains a health, near equal, split between the number in Accumulation, Distribution and Neutral.

But I have seen a shift in the sector strength table (below).  The technology stocks have been hit hard while the rotation has been toward “safer” Treasury Bonds, Real Estate, Healthcare and Pharmaceutical sectors.

Of note is that Banks and Financials are hanging in there for now.  Gas/Oil, China and Emerging Markets join Tech at the bottom.

Right now I’m moderately “hedged” via purchase of a “Bear Fund” that will go up when the market goes down.  I look at this as a synthetic Cash position / portfolio insurance that can be added or removed quickly.  Next week will be interesting to see who or what will push this market in one direction or another.  I’m watching bar price action and volume for clues, but right now things look OK for the time being.

Have a good week.    …………..  Tom  …………………

The Grind Higher May 4, 2019

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May 3, 2019 – With all the news about the (US) economy, jobs and new market highs, it’s easy to get caught up in a near euphoric state of mind.  But as some have pointed out, a market correction starts at the top, not the bottom.  This week started slow then got hit on Thursday only to recover on Friday.  Not much movement really.

We see on the chart above how we were about to get indicators to rollover in sync and then they recovered.  Money Flow and Market Sentiment showed weakness only to barely recover.  I note that Price Strength did go from “strong” to “neutral”.  Earnings have been pretty good but stocks are fairly well valued.  We’ll need added buyers coming into this market to drive prices higher; earnings alone won’t do it at these prices.  I’m looking at the 7965 level on the NASDAQ Composite Index as a near term support level.  So where does the incremental buyer come from?  The chart below shows that “Dumb Money” (small retail buyers) are approaching a high and “Smart Money” buyers (intuitions) are getting cautious & less confident.

This data along with the number of stocks advancing vs. declining and the number of new highs vs. new lows shows that the upward momentum is slowing and the participation in the moves is getting smaller.  (my Thanks to SentimentTrader.com for this chart)

Another factor is the issue of sector rotation.  We’re seeing Tech slow down and Internet stocks really slowing, while Banks and Financials are finally showing leadership.  Healthcare and Pharmaceutical are recovering from the “social medicine” scare a few weeks ago.  The table below shows the current strength of the major sectors.

That’s about it for this week.  The market loves low interest rates and high consumer confidence so the grind higher continues, but it’s beginning to shows signs of being tired.  Bad news could be a trigger and if it comes (when it comes) it will be quick.  Have a good week.        ………….  Tom  …………

Price chart by MetaStock; pie chart & table by http://www.HighGrowthStock.com. Used with permission.

Rally Continues, but Narrows April 28, 2019

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April 26, 2109 – The march higher for this market continues, but it’s beginning to narrow down to fewer and fewer stocks.  More on that shortly.  Looking at the chart below it’s clear that all basic indicators are positive and now we’ve broken to new highs.  Earnings drive the market and generally they have been fairly good so far.  Next week will bring more reports, especially from the big name companies.

So . . . what’s to worry about?  Well, not to worry so much as to be concerned.  I thought it would be interesting to see just how many stocks (in the S&P 1500 Index) are at or near their 52 week high (price).  After all, most should be up there since the market indexes are . .  right?

The pie chart above shows that nearly half of the stocks in the index are actually more than 20% below their previous 52 week high (pink).  And, only about 25% are within 5% of their high (darker green colors).  What this means is that the climb in the index value is being fueled by fewer and fewer stocks.  The general term for this is “market breath”; i.e. how broad is the actual market and how many are participating in the rally.

Since many indexes are weighted by either the size of the company (S&P 500) or the stock price (Dow Jones Industrials) or by industry (NASDAQ 100 – technology) we sometimes forget about the “other guys”.  This doesn’t mean that “all Hell is breaking loose”, but it does bear watching.  If this narrowing continues into the major indexes and only the “big guys” (Apple, Amazon, Google, etc.) are participating, then we have a problem.  For the time being we just have to go where the price strength is and monitor the rest.

Speaking of price strength, here are the sectors that show it (in the short term):
In the same vein, no surprise that Tech, Internet, Consumer Services continue their leadership roles while Banks and Financials are catching up now. I continue to be long this market but I’m seeing fewer good opportunities.  Is it time for “Sell in May & Go Away”?  Could be, but in this 4 year election cycle it probably will be a minor correction that will be short lived.  We’ll see.  Nothing is promised, that’s for sure.

Have a good week.    ………  Tom  ……….

Price chart by MetaStock; pie chart & table by http://www.HighGrowthStock.com. Used with permission.

Market on “Hold” April 20, 2019

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April 18, 2019 – Another lack luster week.  The S&P 500 (large cap index) down 0.08% and the broad NASDAQ Composite Index up 0.17%; in other words a flat week (though only 4 days long).  It just appears that this market is on “Hold” . . waiting for more earnings data . .  waiting for the reaction to the Mueller Report . . . waiting for direction.  Next week we will begin to see some major corporate earnings coming out and that will likely provide some reason to move in one direction or the other.  A few major banks reported last week and though it was mixed, it was better than expected and banks rallied.

Of note is the sentiment indicator that turned down this week, while other indicators remain positive.  Prices remain within the Short Term Channel (purple lines) and above the 7777 Support level but below the 8107 Resistance level.  That 8107 level is important because it was the last significant high price way back in September.

Looking at sectors we see short term strength in Semiconductor stocks, Technology, Banks, etc.  I note (again) that China has slipped down to mid pack levels.  Concerns about the trade negotiations?  Also of note were the Healthcare and Pharma sectors stocks that took a major beating this week.

I remain nearly fully invested but getting a little concerned about the momentum slow down and the overall value of stocks in the US.  In order to move much higher there will need to be signs of profit or growth or both.  Until then I’m watching for signs of Distribution . . . none yet, but I’m watching.

Happy Easter & Happy Passover to those who celebrate them.  Take Care and Good Trading.        ………… Tom ……….

Price chart by MetaStock; pie chart & table by http://www.HighGrowthStock.com. Used with permission.

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