Over the past week, my core market health indicators collapsed. They are all moving quickly toward zero. Most notably, is my core measures of risk. They are very close to going negative. In addition to my core measures, breadth measures are starting to warn as well. The bullish percent index (BPSPX), which tracks the percent of stocks in the S&P 500 Index (SPX) that have bullish point and figure charts, has fallen below 60%. When this occurs the odds of a 10% decline (from current levels) increases substantially. Especially if my market risk indicator signals. Currently, two of four components of that indicator are warning. However, the other two are a long way away from a signal. I suspect it would take a quick fall through 2100 on SPX to create a warning. Another breadth indicator that is warning is the percent of stocks in SPX that are below their 200 day moving average. It is also below 60%. I’m sure you’ve all noticed that small cap stocks have broken
Over the past week, my core market health indicators mostly strengthened as the market bounced around. It continues to look like the market wants to go higher, it just needs a reason. The bullish percent index (BPSPX) is still holding above 60%. As long as it stays that way the odds favor a mild decline over a 10% or more from here. If BPSPX falls below 60%, I suspect it will be as the S&P 500 Index (SPX) falls below 2100, which is a major support level. Conclusion Waiting and watching as core indicators strengthen. It looks like the market wants to go higher. But, the range between 2100 and 2200 on SPX represents significant support and resistance so a break should point the next intermediate term direction.
It’s looking like make or break time for the market. So far, it looks like we’re seeing normal consolidation with healthy market internals. But, we’re getting close to a point where the risk of a 10% correction rises substantially. Long time readers know that when the bullish percent index (BPSPX) gets below 60% the odds of a large decline rises. We’re getting close to that warning level. Looking at a daily closing price chart of the S&P 500 Index (SPX) it appears that we’re painting a bull flag. Once the consolidation is over, this pattern should resolve upward. One positive thing that indicates we may have seen the worst comes from support and resistance levels tweeted by traders on Twitter (from Trade Followers). Yesterday, SPX caught at the first support level near 2120 then rallied sharply. This goes into the plus column, but SPX is still pretty far above its 200 day moving average. I wouldn’t be surprised if the current rally fizzles and takes the market down to the
Over the past week, my core measures of market quality moved back above zero. During the same period my measures of market trend and strength surged higher as well. The strength in these indicators suggest that the market will rally into year end. Earning season could change the market’s opinion, but without major problems during the first few weeks I suspect we’ll be off to the races. The move in market quality changes the current core portfolio allocations as follows: Long / Cash portfolio: 80% long and 20% cash Long / Short portfolio: 90% long high beta stocks and 10% short the S&P 500 Index (or use the ETF SH) Volatility Hedged portfolio: 100% long (since 7/5/2016) Here is a chart that shows the core portfolio allocations over the past year. Green lines represent adding long exposure. Yellow is raising cash or adding hedges. Red is an aggressive hedge using mid term volatility. Another sign that market participants are expecting a year end rally comes from the ratio between the
Today at the close Dow Theory signaled a bull market is underway. Bull markets are expected to last from one to three years. The current signal comes after what I consider a bad bear market call in February. On a side note, almost all of my core market health indicators surged strongly higher this week. They are also indicating that the market is preparing for a year end rally. The most notable change is that my measures of market quality have now moved above zero. If that holds, the core portfolios will be adding more exposure and reducing hedges.
The Dow Jones Transportation Average (DJTA) is once again bumping up against its last secondary high. It has failed to surpass it on the last two occasions. If it can clear the 8110 level on a daily closing basis it will signal that we’re in a long term bull market. If that occurs, I’ll consider the bear market call from Dow Theory last February a bad signal that resulted in a whip saw. Although the last signal might be a bad one, Dow Theory has a long track record keeping us on the right side of the market for long term trends.