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A Softer Market May 15, 2020

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May 15, 2020 – The markets were down lightly this week. I’m seeing some increasing volume coming in on down bars. Now that doesn’t mean that we’re headed for a correction, it just indicates softening for the time being. I continue to watch other market breath indicators for weakness. IF they appear & confirm I’ll move to a more defensive position.

It seems that everyone has been so conditioned to “buy the dips” for the past (many) years that it will take a significant issue to break that habit. Jerome Power of the FED had an effect on the market, but so far not that much has become of it.

A follow up on last weeks commentary about how just a few (primarily tech) stocks have driven the indexes higher. Here’s another perspective on it courtesy of Goldman Sachs.

The darker line plots the average of the top 5 tech stocks in the S&P 500 Index, while the lighter line plots the remaining 495 stocks. Since Tech has been in the lead now for quite sometime it is important to watch the top 5 for signs of weakness. Tech is a “crowded trade” and then it starts to turn sour watch out. The rest of the market will follow.

click on chart to enlarge

As you can see we just touched the lower channel trend line so things are intact for now. I’ve move my warning level up to 8705; that’s the first line of support.

The major technology sectors remain high on the short term sector strength list. With everything being so focused in that area I’m getting more concerned that the markets are venerable. I’ve cut back some exposure in that group.

That’s it for now. Take Care & have a good week. ……. Tom …….

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

Tale of Two Markets May 9, 2020

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May 8, 2020 – There is a fair amount of speculation that we are looong overdue for at least a modest correction. Last week I showed two possible scenarios. So why haven’t these played out? Well the chart below pretty much answers that question:

click to enlarge chart

The result, especially this week, is that “the market” is being lead higher by Technology stocks and the large cap stocks really haven’t moved all that much (note dashed arrows).

Two things I’ve read this week:  new account openings are at a high at retail on-line brokers & the number of shares (outstanding) for the SPY ETF has decreased significantly over the last 2 weeks.   Now . . . . I’m not drawing conclusions, but one has to wonder if this rally is being fueled by “stay at home” amateurs and that the SPY ETF is in redemption.   (note: search for redemption / creation of ETF’s for more information). Hummmm. I am watching market breath very closely for signs that the big guys are selling.  So far no, but the Up/Down volume is getting “light”.

click on chart to enlarge

I note that “money Flow” has turned lower, but other than that the NASDAQ Composite Index (the super set of the top 100) is holding up well. I’ll keep my support & resistance levels where they are. I remain concerned that stocks are venerable to bad news, either on the virus side or earnings side.

The short term sector strength table is shown below –

We see Tech sectors at or near the top and also Energy. With oil demand low and supply high I’d be very careful with that sector right now. Small positions & short term only (IMHO). I’m “passing” on it.

I’m “dancing close to the door” in case “the parties over”. That about it for now. Have a good week. ………… Tom …………

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

Volitility Continues, No Clear Direction March 29, 2020

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March 27, 2020 – Sorry about being late last week.  The post was completed but only in Draft form.  It took until mid-week before I found that out.  I’m now back to using the “classical editor” and should happen again (I hope).

Yes, back to volatile up and down swings.  Each move seems to begin with news, then gets amplified by computer algos.  And so it goes, back and forth.  I’ve laid out two possible scenarios.  The first is “bullish” and is shown via dashed green line.  The logic is the NASDAQ Composite Index retreats back to roughly a 7194 “mid point”, then rallies higher nexy week.  This puts in a “higher low” price swing, which is positive.  The “bearish” version is shown with a dashed red line.  It just continues back to the previous low.  At that point it just oscillates between Resistance & Support areas or, worse yet, heads even lower.

It all depends on virus and corporate news.  Which in this environment is not a surprise.  The markets are weak and nervous, and just about anything will send them off in any direction.  No value in trying to predict but knowing key price patterns can help decipher overall directions; if only for the short term.

The table below tries to show short term sector strength.  Though it’s hard to read too much into these right now.  (Who would have thought Utilities / Defensive would be right near Semiconductors – Aggressive?)

That’s about it for now.  I’m trying to avoid jumping into things too quickly, but also trying to remain optimistic as well.  Have a good week.   ……….  Tom  ………

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

The Three Scenarios March 7, 2020

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March 6, 2020 – Another volatile week in the world markets.  But the question is always, “What Next?”  Right now there are 3 scenarios / possibilities.

1) Could we just rally from here go back up?  Sure, but not likely.  There has been a lot of damage done; a lot of money has been pulled out of the markets.  Just look at the volume on down bars.  2) Could we fall down even further?  Again, that’s possible and it all depends on news and the revenue streams coming into companies.  Thus, a time to be extra careful and watching price and volume.

3) Could we just remain in a trading range going back and forth with blips in the headlines?  In my opinion that’s the most likely direction; bouncing between 9070 at the top end and 8438 at the low end.

It looks like the markets are building a base / in consolidation.  But then again . .  it all depends on how badly business are feeling the virus effects on their revenue stream.  The virus scare impacts both supply of goods (manufacturing) and demand (will consumers buy?).  The virus effects on people is terrible and unfortunate, but one thing is fairly certain: the markets will recover.  The only question is when.  I’m watching for the results on consumer confidence & company revenue guidance for clues.  If there is a close below 8264, then more downside is likely.

The pie charts below tell the story of how the sell off has effected the stocks in the broad S&P 1500 index.

% in Accumulation / Distribution –% Price Strength –

BTW, what stocks were considered “Strong” in the S&P 1500 Index?  Only six.  Those six below –

The table below paints a lot of red as far as short term sector strength is concerned:

I am heavy in Cash with the remaining mutual fund holding completely hedged.  Have a good week and try to be patient.  Likely this is not going to get resolved soon or quickly.   …  Tom  …

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

Buy the Dip ? (or not) February 22, 2020

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Feb. 21, 2020 – The S&P 500 lost 1.25% for the week, which is not very dramatic since it’s had such a terrific run up over the past 6 weeks.  The rate of increase is really not sustainable so this downward “correction” is not a surprise.  These “corrections” have typically been where buyers begin to step back in for the anticipated run higher.  At some point, this will not happen.  Then things get interesting in that, does panic set in or just a wait and see type of back and forth consolidation.  In the long term, earnings (or the hope of increased earnings) drive the market.  What effects the Corona Virus has on Chinese and World economic growth is still TBD, but market makers will anticipate the direction no matter which way it goes.

The 9493 level on the NASDAQ Composite Index (red line) is where some concern begins to get generated.  (click on chart to enlarge)  It is the low of a previous important up bar and it is at the low end of the price channel (purple lines).  The earnings guidance from some tech companies (like Apple) have been muted, and thus the growth rate is a cause of near term concern.  So far the volume has increased on down bars, but not to an alarming level.  Money Flow remains neutral and the Price Strength indicator has come off of a “Strong” level.  Time to be extra watchful next week.

No surprise that Gold & Silver have risen along with other more defensive sectors.  The ranking in this table is sensitive and short term, so it can turn quickly in either directions.  But in any case it may be time to take some money off the table.  As of Friday, I backed off to being 50% Long, and will put a hedge on early next week IF the weakness continues.

Like anything else, whatever went up quickly seems to fall back quickly. Time to be careful and nimble.   Have a good week.        ………. Tom  ………..

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

Still “Lightly Long”. . . For Now February 1, 2020

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Jan. 31, 2020 –  My master timing model (not shown) remains “lightly long” for now, but it is very close to switching to Bearish.  A close below the 9088 level (the low last Monday) on the NASDAQ Composite Index will be the confirmation that there is a “change of character” in this market.  I note on the chart below that the Sentiment indicator is now Neutral, Money Flow is Bearish and Volume Flow is basically neutral.   (click on chart to enlarge it)

For some insight, let’s look at what the stocks in the S&P 1500 Index are showing us.

First off, Price Strength

Not a surprise that nearly 65% are weak and only a few (big name tech and defensive stocks) are strong.

Next the number in Accumulation or Distribution of shares (i.e. buying / selling)

Here is where we see a more “balanced market” where there is a near equal number of stocks in Accumulation (showing buying), Neutral and Distribution (selling pressure).  My conclusion is that prices are certainly weak, but there has not been a rush to sell stocks as a whole.  Perhaps many are in the mode of “buy the dip” which has worked out well for the past several years.

The Sector Strength table is shown below –

No surprises that the top sectors are generally considered to be “defensive” in nature.  Note that this table shows where sectors “are” and not necessarily where they are “going”.

So I’m “lightly Long” and “significantly in Cash” for the time being.  Watching IF we close below 9088, and what the volume signature tells us about the level of selling.  Have a good week.  …………….  Tom  …………….

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

Back Within the Channel January 25, 2020

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Jan. 25, 2020 – The price action on Friday afternoon took out all of the gains for the week.  We could kind of see it coming . .  narrow range bars that have overshot the top of the price channel.  A narrow bar shows that buying is being absorbed by selling and that they are nearly equal.  Bringing prices back within the channel can be considered a healthy sign.  I’m thinking that short term traders were nervous holding positions over the weekend, plus it’s always nice to “ring the cash register” every so often.  A little move was likely amplified by computer programs (a.k.a. “algos”) which instantly jump on a price move in either direction for a quick profit.  In & out.

Also of note is that the Money Flow indicator turn (barely) bearish and Sentiment has gone from Bullish to Neutral.  We’ll need to wait until Monday to see if there is any follow through past the first hour of trading.  We could go back to “buy the dips” mentality in short order.  So this test is a good one to gage the overall health of this market.  Sure, the virus and impeachment scare could be factors, but I’m hesitant to accept all of that right now.  (click on chart to enlarge it)

Broadly the 1500 stocks in the S&P 1500 looks like this . . .

Price Strength –

Accumulation/Distribution –Price Strength has weakened, but stocks in general have not succumbed to broad based selling (i.e. distribution) at this time.

Sector Strength –

I do note that some defensive sectors (Utilities and Real Estate) have moved up towards the top, though select Technology issues return strong (so far).  This correction is OK as long as it stabilizes at / near the support level of 9193 (red dashed line on the price chart) and it was expected.  We will know the actual strength early next week by observing the price bar spread (difference between high & low prices) plus the volume being traded.  Wide down bars on higher than average volume would confirm weakness.

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

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

Keeps Going and Going and Going . . . . January 18, 2020

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Jan. 17, 2020 – This market is like the TV “Every Ready Bunny” (a battery commercial).  It just keeps going higher and higher.  But . .  we know from experience that it WILL stop.  The only question is when.  So, for all practical purposes, there really is not much new to talk about.  A few earnings report last week (mixed) with the real activity starting next week.  All eyes will be on Consumer stocks earnings.  Nearly everyone is looking for the first signs that consumer spending is slowing.  Oh yes, the impeachment “wild card”; who knows?

What is of concern is that the price bars are hugging that upper trend channel line (purple).  The daily spread on those price bars are fairly narrow, indicating seller and buyers are about equal with the bias toward the buyer demand, thus prices increase.  Volume is back to “average”, so not much of a clue there.  (click on chart to enlarge for easy viewing)

Let’s look at the stocks in the broad S&P 1500 Index and see where they are in comparison to each other.

% of those in Accumulation / Distribution% of those with Price Strength

Yes, lots and lots of “green” in both pie charts.  The market IS strong with the majority of stocks participating in the move.  But (again) this is unusual in that it can not last for extended periods of time.  So, we must be careful.  Bad news of any kind will likely re-rail or at least  cause a cause / correction in this rally.  For now, we can only stay the course and closely monitor.  Looking for selling . . . .  wide range down bars on high volume.  Ouch !

Sector Strength

That’s it for now.  Have a good week.   ………  Tom  ……..

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

Pushing Higher January 11, 2020

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Jan 10, 2020 – Wow, has this market been resilient or what?  In the face of bad news both domestic and geo-political, it just keeps going.  General concern is the timing of the overall business cycle.  The basic idea is that a capitalistic economy goes through cycles of expansion and contraction.  Expansion and growth are the result of a recession and a contracting economy (pent up demand).  The contraction occurs with things get “so good” that speculation gets out of control.  Read into that the recent mortgage “melt down”.

Next week, Tuesday I believe, we start the 4th quarter earnings reports.  Concern is that with all of the expansion and good news over the past 8 or so years are we in for a let down?  This market is priced for near perfection and broad disappointing earnings reports will catch up to the current “fear of missing out” philosophy.  Now that may not happen . .  yet, but it will eventually.  The key figure in the US is consumer spending which makes up about 70% of the overall economy.  Watch that for signs.

From the chart above we only see a positive trend, and we’re trend followers.  But I note that prices remain near the upper trend channel line and while wonderful, can lead to disappointment.  (click on chart to enlarge it)  The first level of support is 8934 on the NASDAQ Composite Index, next lower is 8790.  So I’ll get cautious with a close below 8934, and if it’s on high volume (significant selling), I’ll get very concerned.  In reality a bounce down to 8790 would be “healthy” and set things up for a run even higher IF earnings are reasonably healthy.

The (short term) sector strength table is shown below.  Not much changed but I note that Heath Care is showing recent strength.

Not much else to say.  So far in this climate one must be in the market . . . .  I just get concerned when everything and everyone is so complacent.

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

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

Continuation (for now) January 4, 2020

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January 3, 2020 – First off, I wish everyone a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

With a shortened and ultra low volume week, this posting will be short.  Overall, not much has changed.  The chart below shows that we remain in an upward trending price channel (purple lines).  Money Flow is showing some signs of weakness, though that’s preliminary.  All other indicators remain strongly positive.

One item that caught my attention was the significant volume increase on Thursday and Friday last week.  The activity significantly above a regular trading day (the red line is +30% above average volume). . . unusual for a holiday period.  Perhaps early signs of investment shift in the new (tax) year?  Not to get ahead of ourselves, but something to watch closely next week . . .  rotation, either by sector our to cash.  (click on chart to enlarge)

The sector strength table is below.  Again, little changed, Oil, Technology and China remain strongest for now.

 

Have a good week and keep an eye on volume confirming price (direction).  That will be a pre-cursor to strength or weakness.       …………  Tom  ………

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

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