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Measures of Trend and Strength Fall

170120MarketHealth

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.

 
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Back to Full Exposure

170113MarketHealth

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)  

 
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Another Year of Whipsaws

170102DowTheoryLong

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

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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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Adding Exposure Amid Weak Breadth

161202MarketHealth

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

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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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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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Danger Signs

161028MarketHealth

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

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Continued Strength

161021MarketHealth

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.  

 
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Make or Break Time… Kinda

161014BPSPX

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

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