jump to navigation

Market Meets Resistance May 19, 2018

Posted by Tom in Thoughts.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

May 18, 2018 – The market (as measured by the broad NASDAQ Composite Index) met resistance near the 7421 level (blue line).  All week long it hovered around that level and just couldn’t break through it decisively. Remember that this level is determined as a (Wyckoff) “Significant Bar” on a weekly scale; that’s the weekly high where selling last appeared.  Since the market “balked” the last time it was there it is significant to note and monitor.

This is not a bad omen, it just means that in an average market one would expect the price action to slow before breaking one way or the other.  The short term indicators remain positive from Market Sentiment to the Money & Volume Flows.  In order for the market to move higher we’d like to see a Sign of Strength (SOS) which would be a daily bar with a wide range, closing near the top on increasing volume.  That would indicate buyers stepping in.  Attention is given to the fact that as we approach summer it is a typical slow / weak season.  I don’t subscribe to the phrase “Sell in May and Go Away”, but summer is usually slow.  We could just bounce around in this range for a few months; that would not be surprising.

Looking at the market health from a different perspective, we note the number (i.e. percent of) stocks in the S&P 1500 Index that have strong price action and those in an Accumulation, Distribution or just Neutral phase.

Price Strength –In Accumulation / Distribution –Sectors that are doing well include Energy (Oil & Services), US Small Cap Index, China, Internet and Basic Materials.  Latin America is one of the weakest areas,  That’s about it for now.  Have a good week.          …………  Tom  ……….

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

Breakout Up, but One More Hurtle May 13, 2018

Posted by Tom in Thoughts.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

May 11, 2018 – A quick look at the chart below confirms an upward breakout.  Sentiment, Money Flow, Volume Flow and Price Strength are all positive.  But more important are the closes above previous Support levels.  But . . one more hoop to jump through is the 7405 level, just above Fridays bar (light green line).

The 7405 level was the last level were Buying Stopped on a weekly basis.  That level was generated back in late March.  With that small caveat I’m “comfortably long”; that’s “invested but not aggressively so”.  The thing I’m looking for is where the market leadership is located.  During the post election run upwards Technology, Semiconductors and Consumer Goods were the darlings.  Tech and Oil have returned to leadership but I sense some hesitation.  Banks, Financials and Small Cap stocks in general are showing signs of strength and that would help maintain confidence in any continued upward movement.

Earnings have been good, but with the massive corporate tax cut they should be.  For now the market is looking way past this reporting period.  A run in Basic Materials would signal a longer term bullish look for the world economies.  For now here’s how sectors are looking in the short term:

Looking for leaders in the “green sectors” at the moment.  Also of note is the recent strength in China stocks.  Have a good week.  ….  Tom  ….

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

Looking for Market Follow Through Next May 5, 2018

Posted by Tom in Thoughts.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

May 4, 2018 – The markets were generally lower this week until Friday; that’s when the jobs report came out.  Everyone found what they wanted in it.  Unemployment dropped to 3.9% (low) and wage growth was minimal (low inflation pressures).  So Friday was a recovery day.

I had a small hedge in place to protect our portfolios in this environment, but took them off (according to plan) on Friday.  That market model is now in 100% cash waiting for confirmation of a trend . . . in either direction.  I’ve placed Wyckoff key bar labels on the chart to signify a possible structure scenario.  Of note is the low on Thursday as a potential LPS (last point of supply).  Such a structure is Bullish and (theoretically) the market should take off higher very soon.  What does concern me is the rather low volume on Friday, indicating a lack of sellers and mostly low volume buyers that pushed prices.  Covering shorts it appears to me.

Of note also is the close very near the 7205 level (red line).  That was our resistance level short term.  I need to see a break above 7332 to feel more comfortable though.  Sentiment is positive but Money and Volume Flows are pretty neutral right now.  Price Strength is neutral to bearish as well.  Let’s see how the stocks in the broad S&P 1500 Index are fairing:

% of Stocks, Price Strength –

% of Stocks in Accumulation / Distribution –

Both pie charts are fairly even and that’s usually a healthy sign.  I’m still looking at more defensive sectors like Rising Dollar, Japan, Oil and Utilities now, but that could change quickly next week IF the market goes higher.  That’s it for this week.  The coming week should provide us some clues for the next move,  but uncertainty remains with earnings and geo-political issues in play.     ………..  Tom  ………..

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

Low Volume – Dull Market April 29, 2018

Posted by Tom in Thoughts.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

April 27, 2018 – There is an old saying, “Never Short a Dull Market” and that’s what may be happening.  Next week is another round of earnings reports from the first quarter and this market just wants to wait and see what they are.  Granted that the earnings have been very good (generally), but the guidance going forward has been “luke warm”.  The tax benefits have long since been anticipated and reflected in prices.  It’s the future that concerns Wall Street right now.

I’ve placed some Wyckoff labels on the chart above and the notable one is a possible “LPS ?” in red.  That is the “Last Point of Support” where this market would break upwards IF a major Sign of Strength bar develops.  Low volume, so not much Supply; what we would need is increased demand.  That demand (SOS bar) would be a high volume bar with a wide daily range and a Close near the top.  In short, a break out bar.

Interesting to also note was how the NASDAQ Composite Index stopped right at the previous Support level of 7205 on Friday morning then headed down.  A significant break above 7205 on high volume would lend validity to a SOS bar, but for now that’s just a scenario.  Breaking above 7332 would be a big confirmation.

The table below shows what sectors are currently doing well –

Interesting to see Technology and Emerging Markets still in the basement along with Banks and Finance.  We’ll need to see some leadership in major sectors such as these for any sustained rally.  That’s about all for now.  Have a good week.    ………..  Tom  ………

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

At a Make or Break Point April 22, 2018

Posted by Tom in Thoughts.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

April 20, 2018 – This market appears to be at a “Make or Break” point, in that it stopped at a resistance point (near 7332; NASDAQ Composite Index) and my Wyckoff “bar strength” indicator has (finally) given a strong bullish reading.  The resistance point goes back to early February where we had a “significant weekly bar” which is where buying last came into this market (blue line).

While Volume & Money Flow indicators are now looking more bullish but I think we need a confirmation before we get too optimistic.  A close comfortably above 7332, especially on increased volume, would help.  While I’m cautiously invested now, I still have cash to deploy and I’m thinking that we’re close to putting both feet back into the water.

This is a big week for earnings announcements so that will have a large bearing on how the market moves from here.  I am “in” Oil & Oil Services and well as Precious & Basic Metals.  Both Japan and European sectors merit attention.  While the US Technology sectors have improved, there still remains concerns especially in the Semiconductor sector.

So this week should provide us with a sign of breaking out above this resistance or a failure which would usher in concerns and lower prices.  We shall see.  Have a good week.  ………….  Tom  ………….

chart by MetaStock; used with permission

At the “Spring Level”, due for a Bounce (up) April 7, 2018

Posted by Tom in Thoughts.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

April 6, 2018 –  OK, I’m going way out on a limb and predicting (oh, I hate that word) that this market will react higher next week.  Why? Because we’re at an important price level that Richard Wyckoff would call a “spring”.  And the other reason is that I’m seeing early signs of volume coming back into the market on “up bars”.  Now, that is by no means a guarantee, and a true Wyckoffian would wait for a “Sign of Strength” (SOS).  That SOS would be a wide range bar, with a close near the top of the range, on above average volume.  That SOS bar may take a few days to develop, but that’s what I’m watching for.  It’s kind of my “clear” to start selective buying; but not yet.

The chart above shows Sentiment, Volume & Money Flows negative, but the glimmer of hope is that the Price Strength has moved out of the Bearish range into Neutral.  That’s NOT an “all clear”, just the possible beginning of one.

This market is weak.  Just look how it is reacting to any news item.  It doesn’t take much to push it in any direction.  And as such, my idea of a possible recovery could easily get blown out or only short lived.  Earnings for the first quarter are just around the corner so there is plenty of opportunities for market moving news, let alone what comes out of the White House.  This is not an easy market to trade and make money in unless you’re very short term focused.

The pie chart below shows the current damage with a fair amount of red.

S&P 1500 stocks; Price Strength:

S&P 1500 stocks in Accumulation / Distribution:

Here are the strong sectors (in the short term):

No surprises since most are defensive in nature.  Let’s carefully watch for our SOS confirmation next week before we take any significant positions or take off a hedge.  Have a good week.       ……………  Tom  ………….

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

Volitility Returns; at Important Level March 30, 2018

Posted by Tom in Thoughts.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

March 29, 2018 – A short week this week but at seen below, price volatility is back and we’re at / close to my “spring level”.  This “spring level” (6880) is important because that’s the nearest price where buyers “came into the market” on a weekly basis.  It’s the low price of a Wyckoff “significant bar”.  IF this is an Accumulation structure, this price level would be logical for the price to bounce off of and head higher.

That remains to be seen as next week is a holiday week and volumes are expected to be light.  If this level does not hold, then we could very likely be headed lower and the whole price structure scenario would have to change.  The big wild card is the news.  And with that, anything could happen to spook investors.  It would take much in this weak market environment.  The damage was done, now the market has to prove itself.  Earnings season is just around the corner.

Many major sectors remain “bearish”, but I’m playing it safe with only a small position short Latin America and short Japan.  It won’t take much on Monday to close these positions out; any hint of strength would do it.

Happy Easter & Happy Passover to all.  Have a good week.     ……….  Tom  ……….

Chart courtesy of MetaStock; used with permission.

A Change of Character March 3, 2018

Posted by Tom in Thoughts.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

Mar. 2, 2018 – Years ago I took a 6 week course in evaluating mutual funds from Michael Price; a very nice and knowledgeable fellow.  One thing (of many) that stood out during his instruction was the comment “markets will react poorly to news in weak markets, but shrug off bad news during strong markets.”  As Yogi Bera said, “You can tell a lot just by looking.”  What we’ve seen is the reaction to an event (the VIX rotation debacle) in an over bought market, but with a foundational shift.  That shift is (I believe) concern about this administration; what it is doing and what it has done.  Case in point is the +400 point drop in the Dow over Trump’s comments about tariffs.  Markets don’t like uncertainty, and now we’ve got it over a multitude of fronts; and it’s not likely to stop soon.

It appears that the reaction after the peak in late January signals a change in character for this market.  That doesn’t mean that we’re in a Bear market, but it could mean that we certainly can’t expect advances like we’ve had over the past year.  Corporate earnings will be strong; the tax cut has nearly assured that, but that’s “old news” now.  I think that any significant bad news will likely shake this market again.  The analogy is “2 steps forward & one step back”.  We’ll make progress, but it will be slow, selective and choppy.  We’re entering into a stock pickers market.

OK, enough editorializing. Sentiment has turned positive, Money and Volume Flow indicators are lethargic at best, so I’ll call them neutral.  We’re currently bouncing off that blue Resistance level around 7332, with the Price Strength indicator very lightly Bullish.

I’m selectively buying positions in Technology and leading Internet companies.  My sector model does not show enough strength to jump in with any more funds at the moment, so I’ll stay mainly in Cash in that model.

The pie chart below should give you an overall view of the health of this market:

Stocks in the broad S&P 1500 Index that are positioned in relation to their 52 Week High price.

Stocks in the S&P 1500 Index that are currently in Accumulation (buying), Distribution (selling) or Neutral.

That’s all for now.  I’m being careful and selective and “expecting the unexpected” in this environment.  Have a good week.   ….  Tom  ….

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

Selling Begets Selling February 10, 2018

Posted by Tom in Thoughts.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

Feb. 9, 2018 – A week ago Friday was just the beginning, and then came this past week.  That’s when the wheels came off and the computer “algo” selling programs kicked in.  The swiftness of all of this was the surprise, and not that it happened.  This market was well over bought.  Note the chart below that the short term trend channel is standing up compared to the long term channel.  Now we’ve corrected back to the bottom of the long term channel, and that may be a good place to pause and consolidate.

Both price support level were violated as were both the Money Flow and Volume Flow indicators.  I’ve added one additional indicator, that of (short term) Price Strength.  My goal was to provide an early warning indicator.  It oscillates from neutral, moderate, to very strong status.  Something to watch in the future; since this is new, I’ll do some back testing with it.

No surprises about the overall market strength.  The percentage of stocks in the S&P 1500 Index are shown in the pie charts below.

Price Strength –

Accumulation / Distribution –

There’s a lot of red up there, the damage has been done.  I’ll wait for a base to form and then a show of strength before I drop my hedged position (i.e. cash neutral).  I’ve liquidated 90% of my sector rotation positions (only high risk shorts are showing now; I’ll pass).  Truly weak stocks were sold and the remaining positions are hedged out.  Watch out for Monday morning retail selling though.  We need buyer not seller in the coming days, and the pro will lead the way.

I really thing that volatility is back and the time frames are shortened by computer trading.  It’s getting hard to NOT to get caught with your “pants down”, but we try.  Have a good week.        ………..  Tom  ……….

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

Along The Watch Tower February 3, 2018

Posted by Tom in Thoughts.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

Feb. 2, 2018 – The big question on everyone’s mind this weekend is whether or not “this” is the beginning of the long awaited correction.  I’ll cut to the bottom line:  Yes, it certainly could be.  First let’s look at how weak this market is:

SP 1500 Price Strength

The pie chart above shows the percent of stocks within the broad S&P 1500 Index (1500 of them) that are in a short term (20 day) trend.  Obviously, more than half are “weak” with only a small amount that are considered “strong” (i.e. green).

The chart of the NASDAQ Composite Index (another broad index) is shown below:

NSADAQ

I note that the first level of price support at 7332 has been broken and the next level is 7111.  The significance of these price levels is derived from what Wyckoff called “significant weekly bars”.  That is the low price of the week where significant buying came into the market.  The other way to look at it is this is where money started to flow into the market, thus it’s low price is important.  Also in the chart above are the Money and Volume Flow indicators, which confirm price and volume “outflows”.  Sentiment is neutral.

OK, back to the correction question.  Is this the start?  We’ll know more early next week.  Will buyers come in and “buy the dip” or will additional selling happen?  Right now, no one knows.  But we do know that investors cash levels are at an all time low; and who will be the next incremental buyer to push prices higher?  The market has been over extended by being at the upper trend channel, so a pause / minor correction is not unusual.  Time to shake the market out?  Looks like it.

What is “the cause”?  Fear of higher interest rates?  Problems at the Trump Whitehouse?  Does it really matter?  Since the volume on Friday was only slightly higher, it really looks like “lack of buyers” and “extra sellers”.  That is a position of caution, thus not to get overly concerned about it just yet.

Overall, the S&P 1500 stocks look more like this:

SP 1500 A-D

With those in Accumulation and Distribution about equal (though this indicator is a slow to react one).

Let’s watch both the price and volume action on Monday and perhaps on Tuesday for indications about the seriousness of this (so far) 3 day event.  Corrections are OK, as long as we don’t get whip sawed by them.  I lighted up on just about everything on Friday afternoon, but if it gets ugly, I’ll buy a Bear Fund to hedge positions.  That gives me time to make an orderly withdrawal should that become necessary.

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

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

%d bloggers like this: