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Wait and See

Over the past week, my core market health indicators didn’t move much. They continue to bounce around with the market.   One thing of concern is that a few measures of breadth are starting to show some weakness. Last month I highlighted the decline in the ratio between the S&P 500 Equal Weight Index (SPXEW) and the S&P 500 Index (SPX). It is still warning of a move to mega caps. The cumulative advance decline line for NYSE (NYAD) is now giving a small warning. The small dip in price for SPX caused a lot of damage to NYAD. The longer this indicator goes without making a new high the more serious the warning will become. I don’t get concerned until it diverges for two or three months so this is something to watch, not something to worry much about.   Another measure of breadth comes from Trade Followers Twitter sentiment. The count of bullish stocks diverged from price just before SPX moved to 2400. As the market tries to move higher

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Market Health Bouncing Around

Over the past week, my core market health indicators bounced around, but didn’t move enough to make any changes to the core portfolios.   I’ve started to see a lot of chatter stating that this is the start of a larger top. So far, I’m not seeing the same evidence. There is a bit of deterioration in some of my measures of breadth, but nothing drastic for a small decline in the general market. The most significant change comes from the ratio between the S&P 500 Equal Weight Index (SPXEW) and the S&P 500 Index (SPX). As I mentioned last month, when this ratio dips below its 20 week moving average we usually see some consolidation. The dip was delayed, but it seems that we’re now experiencing it.   Another measure of breadth is the percent of stocks above their 200 day moving average. Long time readers know that I don’t worry until it falls below 60%. As you can see, there are still a healthy number of stocks above

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Consolidation Possible

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

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Widespread Buying

170106spxew

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

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Raising Cash

161230MarketHealth

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)

 
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Core Indicators Fall

161216MarketHealth

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.

 
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Breadth Improves

161209NYAD

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

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Bouncing Around

161118MarketHealth

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.

 
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Off to the Races

161111MarketHealth

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

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Market Risk Warning

161104BPSPX

As I noted yesterday, my Market Risk Indicator is issuing a warning. As a result, the portfolio allocations change as follows. Long / Short portfolio: 50% long high beta stocks and 50% hedged with mid term volatility (VXZ) Long / Cash portfolio: 100% cash Volatility Hedged portfolio: 50% long and 50% hedged with mid term volatility (VXZ) As I mentioned last week, the bullish percent index is below 60% which significantly increases the risk of another 10% decline from the current level. My core measures of market health had the economy improving and moving above zero this week, while the core measures of risk fell below zero. Conclusion We have a market risk warning in place. It’s time to aggressively hedge until the current storm passes.

 
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