The S&P 500 Index (SPX) is starting to paint a pattern that often leads to instability and a quick drop lower. Look at the chart below and you’ll see wide quick swings going in both directions. This indicates uncertainty by market participants. It is a pattern we haven’t seen for a very long time which makes it more important.
Another thing I’m seeing is perceptions of risk rising. Three of four components of our market risk indicator are warning at the moment. We still have one hold out, but it is dropping rapidly.
As I’ve mentioned over and over again I don’t think the market can have a substantial correction until breadth breaks down. One measure that is getting close to warning is the percent of stocks above their 200 day moving average. I get concerned when it falls below 60%.
Add it all together and we’ve got a market with a shaky foundation. Caution is warranted.