Over the past week, some serious damage has been done to my core stock market health indicators. Most notably, the measures of the economy and market strength have gone negative. The changes the portfolio allocations as follows. Long / Cash portfolio: 60% long and 40% cash Long / Short portfolio: 80% long high beta stocks and 20% short the S&p 500 Index (or use an inverse etf like SH) Volatility Hedged portfolio: 100% long (since 11/11/2016) As always, use your own risk tolerance and read on the market to guide your investment decisions.
The ratio between S&P 500 Equal Weight Index (SPXEW) and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is giving a small warning sign that, at the least, we’ll see some sideways consolidation over the next few weeks. As you can see from the chart below, a dip below the 20 week moving average generally results in consolidation. It often precedes pull backs of 5% to 15%. The reason it occurs is that “smaller” big cap stocks are being sold as money is being moved into mega cap stocks. It takes more money to push a mega cap stock higher than it does to push a “smaller” large cap stock higher. It also takes less selling to drive the smaller stocks lower. Thus, mere rotation from large to mega caps creates a drag on SPX. At this point we don’t know if the rotation is just portfolio managers rebalancing or the start of a flight to safety so stay alert. Over the past week, my core market health indicators mostly strengthened, but a few
The S&P 500 Index (SPX) finally broke out of its recent range and moved above 2300. That move didn’t bring a strong response from my core market health indicators. Instead, they bounced around this week. They’re all still positive, but some of them are showing weakness that could turn them negative without a continued rally. An example of an indicator that is barely holding on is the ratio between the SPX equal weight index (SPXEW) and SPX. When this indicator is below its 20 week moving average it tells us that money is moving into mega cap stocks (which is often a flight to safety). Healthy markets have broad based buying of the stocks in the S&P 500 Index. Right now, we’re seeing a slight increase, but not the strong move higher generally associated with big rallies. Conclusion All the indicators are still positive, but could quickly move lower if the market doesn’t continue to rally. This is a time to keep a close eye on the market.
Over the past week, all of my core market health indicators fell. Of most concern is the measures of market quality, trend, and strength. All of them are on a trajectory that could easily take them into negative territory with any further market weakness. But, for now, all of the categories are still positive so the portfolios are still 100% allocated to stocks.
All of my core market health indicator categories, with the exception of market quality, bounced back this week. With the upward momentum, the fears I had last week have been alleviated. Now, we’ve rallied to the 2300 level on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) that I mentioned last week as reistance. We want to see the indicators hold up as the market shows some weakness at resistance.
Over the past week, most of my core market health indicators fell, with the rest holding mostly flat. One thing of serious note is that the measures of trend fell sharply and the measures of strength are flagging. They are both falling fast enough that they could be negative by next week. One other thing that signals caution is Twitter sentiment for the S&P 500 Index (SPX). It is close to breaking a confirming uptrend line. If it happens, we should expect some consolidation. If the uptrend in sentiment holds, the upside will likely be limited to 2300 on SPX in the short term. The market will probably pause there for at least a day or two. Conclusion The market needs rally soon or we’re likely headed for a larger consolidation. It’s time to start paying attention.
Over the past week, all of my core market health indicators rose. Most notably, are my measures of market quality. This category of indicators went negative just two weeks ago, then flipped back to positive this week. Normally, the core indicators don’t whipsaw because they are attempting to catch intermediate term trends. In fact, there were only a handful of times in the last 16 years where a category went negative for only two weeks. This is the first occurrence of a category whipsawing without any of the other categories already in negative territory. With measures of market quality now positive the core portfolio allocations are as follows: Long / Cash portfolio: 100% long Long / Short Hedged portfolio: 100% long high beta stocks Volatility Hedged Portfolio: 100% long (since 11/11/2016)
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)