We’re watching emerging markets closely here looking for signs that the world economy is strengthening. EEM is a good instrument to watch for clues to the economy because it is heavily weighted to financials, information technology (chips), energy, and materials. These are all sectors that do well when the economy is growing. In addition, EEM is weighted to Asia and Brazil, two areas that are sensitive to world economic conditions. EEM has been in a down trend for well over a year even as SPX has worked its way higher. In March as SPX was breaking above the 2011 highs, EEM tested its down trend line. It was a failure that signaled the world economy was weakening. It appears that EEM will test the down trend line again if SPX makes new highs above 1422. We’re watching EEM closely because a break above the trend line would be one sign the economy has some underlying strength. Another failure or non confirmation by EEM would point to a continued stall in
Our Twitter Sentiment Indicator for the S&P 500 Index continues to compress and paint a triangle pattern as the market moves higher. Based on the smoothed average of sentiment, twitter users still don’t quite believe this rally. It can’t get above zero and is painting lower highs even as SPX is painting higher highs. On the positive side sentiment is painting higher lows as well. We’ll have to see if the market follows the direction of sentiment once the triangle pattern breaks to the upside or down side. Our Twitter Support and Resistance numbers for SPX are starting to show some life to the upside again. People are talking about 1500, the old highs at 1422, and 1400. On the down side 1267 and 1300 are being mentioned, but less frequently. There continues to be clusters of people tweeting the recent lows around 1330.
In an up trending market HDGE an actively managed bear fund, and SH an inverse of the S&P 500, tend to move together and paint similar chart patterns. HDGE, however, under performs in an up trending market. During the rally from last October’s low to early February HDGE was down roughly 30% while SH was down only about 21%. In mid February as the S&P 500 was continuing to rally, HDGE started to out perform SH. Both bear positions were still falling, however HDGE slowed it’s decline. Then at the first of April as the market began to fall both securities started to rise. The small rally into the the first of May brought the arrival of big divergence between HDGE and SH that has continued until today. This isn’t a good sign for the markets as it signals to us that market participants are separating the good stocks from the bad. It is often one of the first signs of a weakening market so we’re watching this carefully. What makes
It’s always a little disconcerting when the Russell 2000 doesn’t confirm an up move in the S&P 500. It tells us that risk isn’t really back on yet and that this might just be a correction of the move down from the early April high. Looking at the chart you could see RUT stalling in March and now it appears to be stalling again. We’d like to see the Russell break back above 818 on the next move up. Over the next few weeks we want to see it hold the 50 and 200 day moving averages. A break below could give us early clues that the move down from April is under way again. If it breaks the next stop for the S&P 500 is probably 1200. But hey, if we get to 1200 SPX the good news will be more QE.
The S&P 500 closed virtually unchanged today (7/30/20120), however, our Twitter Sentiment Indicator for the S&P 500 index fell sharply. The last time this happened was on 7/5/2012. The next morning the June jobs report was released which caused the market to fall for the next several days. What will tomorrow bring? Just an update on 7/31. The sentiment indicator is even lower this morning at -.33 which is where it was at the first of June when the market was making new lows and after a few weeks of intense selling. Meanwhile the market is waiting for tomorrow’s Fed statement. Is sentiment anticipating a lack of a QE3 announcement at 2:15?
There is a lot of talk (actually hopes and dreams) of QE3 coming soon due to the signs of a weakening economy. I’m of the opinion that the economy isn’t what the fed is trying to help. The fed (and the European Central Bank) is trying to keep financial institutions solvent and sure up confidence in financial markets. Their actions over the past 3 years have not been targeting the economy and won’t be over the next few years. The economy is simply their justification for action. What the fed fears most is a loss of confidence that results in falling markets that destroy the balance sheets of financial institutions and even governments (can you say Greece, Italy, and Spain). While they’re standing back and watching the ECB and EU participants try to save European banks and countries, they are also implementing policies that make it easy for banks in the US to recapitalize through high earnings (ZIRP). They’re not implementing policies that help consumers…that would then strengthening the economy.
Twitter resistance is falling for SPX with people only talking about 1380, 1390, and 1400. Coming out of the early June bottom people were more optimistic with the old highs as their target. It appears that the volatile nature of this up move is reducing expectations. While there are fewer people talking about the June lows as a target or support they have lowered their target to between 1320 and 1330.
The Downside Hedge Twitter Sentiment Indicator for the S&P 500 continues to paint a triangle pattern showing uncertainty in the market. As the market moves higher twitter sentiment is compressing and showing a negative divergence with price. It continues to stay below zero which is net negative for market prospects going forward. On the positive side sentiment rose today even as the market sold off hard.