Since the US election in November, the market has had broad participation as evidenced by a strong relationship between the S&P 500 Equal Weight Index (SPXEW) and the S&P 500 Index (SPX). During the month of December, however, SPXEW didn’t keep up with SPX. The ratio between the two fell sharply as both small and large cap stocks stalled, while at the same time mega cap stocks gained support. Now, the ratio is turning back up in an apparent resumption of the widespread buying. We can dig a little deeper into what stocks are getting the most attention by looking at the most bullish stocks on Twitter over the last two months, one month, and one week. Since the US election the most bullish stocks are across several industries. During December, the list gravitated toward more technology and health care. Over the past week, the list is once again widening in the number of industries listed. This is a condition we want to see going forward as evidence of widespread
2015 was a year of intermediate term whipsaws. 2016 saw longer term indicators whipsawing. The longest term indicator I follow is Dow Theory. It looks for trends that last from one to three years (or longer). As a result, Dow Theory gives a lot of leeway to counter trend moves. It’s common to have a 10% or 15% correction during a long term bull market that doesn’t change Dow Theory’s long term trend. You can see some examples during the long term uptrend from mid 2009 to early 2016 in the chart below. Zooming in to the last few years, you can see what appeared to be a long term trend change according to Dow Theory. In August of 2015, both the industrials (DJIA) and the transports (DJTA) had large enough corrections to mark Dow Theory secondary lows. In December of that year, DJTA broke below its secondary low point and created a bearish non-confirmation in the indexes. In February 2016, DJTA broke its secondary low point. This created a
Over the past week my core market health indicators continued to fall. Most notably was the measures of market quality, which fell below zero. This changes the core portfolio allocations as follows: Long / Cash portfolio: 80% long and 20% cash Long / Short Hedged portfolio: 90% long high beta stocks and 10% short the S&P 500 Index (or use the ETF with symbol SH) Volatility Hedged portfolio: 100% long (since 11/11/2016)
Over the past week, all of my core market indicators drifted slightly lower. Most notably are the measures of market quality. They bounced back and forth across the zero line this week. That category is positive at the moment, but it won’t take much to go negative. Market quality often leads the other indicators by several weeks so, at the moment, we don’t know if it is signaling a intermediate term trend change or noise that won’t be reinforced by other indicators for several weeks.
Over the past week, all of my core market health indicators fell slightly. However, none of them weakened enough to change any portfolio allocations. Measures of market quality continue to inch toward the zero line and will likely need a rally next week tor remain positive.
Last week, I mentioned that I’d be watching breadth and measures of market quality closely due to the fact that they were lagging the market. This week, breadth as measured by the NYSE Advance / Decline line (NYAD) has improved and cleared the divergence that had been in place. As mentioned in the post, divergences under 13 weeks are often noise… which ended up being the case this time. NYAD making new highs as the market breaks out is the type of action I like to see. My measures of market quality ticked up slightly this week, but they aren’t showing the strength I’d like to see in the intermediate term. This isn’t too concerning in the overall scheme of things, but the lack of strength could cause them to fall below zero in the next week or two if their intermediate term trend isn’t righted. This would have us raising cash or adding hedges amid a rising market if the price trend continues. Conclusion Breadth measures are confirming
Over the past week, my core market health indicators continued to bounce around with some moving up and others falling. Most notably, my core measures of risk moved above zero. This changes the core portfolio allocations as follows: Long / Short Hedged portfolio: 100% long high beta stocks Long / Cash portfolio: 100% long Volatility Hedged portfolio: 100% Long (since 11/11/2016) Another thing of note this week is that my measures of trend are now in overbought territory. This occurred as my measures of market quality fell. It’s not a situation I like to see happen. This adds some doubt to the current market, but some of the other measures I watch are simply showing normal bullish rotation. So the question is, bullish rotation or the start of a larger decline? We’ll have to wait and see. Another thing that is somewhat concerning is that measures of breadth suffered more than expected this week. Take a look at the percent of stocks in the S&P 500 Index above their 200
As the market rallied this past week, my core market health indicators bounced around a bit. Most notably, my measures of trend surged to nearly over bought conditions. Core measures of risk continue to lag the market and look like they’ll need another week or two of sideways or upward movement (probably some backing and filling near new highs) in the S&P 500 Index (SPX) to go positive. One sign that the market is recovering from a breadth perspective comes from the Bullish Percent Index (BPSPX). The damage done to point and figure charts is being repaired and has brought BPSPX back above 60%. That takes a lot of pressure off from a risk perspective. Conclusion Market internals are repairing themselves in anticipation of a rally to new highs, however, we may need a bit of backing a filling before moving higher.
The strong rally this week cleared the warning from my market risk indicator. In addition, my core measures of market health shot strongly upward. The fear evidenced last week has been replaced by expectations of new highs going into the end of the year. One item of note is that my core measures of market risk are still negative. They will probably take another week or two to clear. That puts the new portfolio allocations as follows: Volatility Hedged portfolio: 100% long 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 with symbol SH) Conclusion Nervousness ahead of the election caused enough fear in the market that my market risk indicator warned last week. We hedged with that fear against the chance that it turned to panic. The panic didn’t materialize and now the market is trying to normalize itself. As a result, we go back to normal portfolio allocations