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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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Bouncing Around

170210MarketHealth

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.

 
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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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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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Another Try

160923spxew

Last week, I highlighted the ratio between the S&P 500 Equal Weight Index (SPXEW) and the S&P 500 Index (SPX). In that post I mentioned that a move below its 20 week moving average usually means a choppy market as money moves out of large cap stocks and into mega caps. This week, the ratio recovered. That suggests that SPX will make another attempt at a new high. Keep an eye on this indicator because a move back below the line should signal a failure and suggest we’re headed back to a choppy market at the least. My core market health indicators bounced around a bit, but my measures of market strength and quality fell further. This isn’t a good sign during a small consolidation. I prefer to see them strengthen. Conclusion Weakness in my core indicators, but strength in the ratio between SPXEW and SPX. It feels like the market wants to make another attempt at new highs, but doesn’t have the technical underpinnings to succeed.

 
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Choppy Market Ahead

160916SPXEW

Over the past few weeks the market has shown some rotation out of big cap stocks and into mega cap stocks. When this occurs it generally causes choppy sideways consolidation, at the least, or a short term top with a modest consolidation (5% to 15%). I like to use a dip below the 20 week moving average in the ratio between the S&P 500 Equal Weight Index (SPXEW) and the S&P 500 index (SPX) as a warning sign. This week, we’ve got that warning so we should expect a choppy market ahead. Only time will tell if this is normal rotation or a flight to safety so keep an eye on this indicator over the next few weeks. My core market health indicators showed weakness this week too, with the exception of market quality. It managed to improve which is a minor hint that the rotation we’re seeing is more likely profit taking and re-positioning rather than a flight to quality/safety. Conclusion It looks like we should expect some choppy

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Broad Participation

160819NYAD

It’s been a while since I highlighted some breadth indicators so here we go. First is the NYSE Advance / Decline line (NYAD). All I can say is Wow! NYAD is telling us that small cap stocks were the place to be coming out of the February low. Comparing the S&P 500 Equal Weight Index (SPXEW) against the S&P 500 (SPX) shows us how big cap stocks have performed against mega cap stocks. The move out of the February low showed widespread buying of big cap stocks, while mega caps lagged. This was a rotation out of the safety trade. Then we got a bit of consolidation in SPX as investors took some profit in big caps and re-allocated it to mega caps. Now it looks like the market is getting ready to run again, fueled by big caps. The percent of SPX stocks above their 200 day moving average (SPX200) shows the same picture as SPXEW. Widespread buying of big caps, followed by some consolidation, then renewed widespread buying.

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Adding Exposure

160805MarketHealth

Over the past week the majority of my core market health indicators improved. Most notably is the market strength category. It has finally pushed above zero, resulting in a change to the core portfolios. The new allocations are as follows. Long / Cash portfolio: 80% long and 20% cash Long / Short portfolio: 90% long high beta stocks and 10% short Volatility Hedged portfolio: 100% long (since 7/1/2016) In early July, I highlighted some problems with leadership in the market. Most of those problems have been resolved. As you know, I’ve been watching the ratio between the Nasdaq 100 (NDX) and the S&P 500 (SPX). It made a good break higher two weeks ago and is currently fueling the rally as NDX plays catch up to SPX. One thing that hasn’t fully resolved itself is the ratio between the S&P 500 Equal Weight index (SPXEW) and SPX. The current rally has this ratio moving sideways, which shows lackluster participation from the “smaller” big cap stocks in SPX. If the ratio

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Leadership Waning

160708BPSPX

Over the past couple of months, I’ve highlighted some encouraging signs that had accompanied price strength in the market. Unfortunately, most of those signs of strength haven’t persisted as the market is moving close to all time highs. First lets look at the Bullish Percent Index (BPSPX). It finally got above the 2015 highs in March and April of this year, but the subsequent consolidation in the market did serious damage to this indicator. It is still below 60% which is a big drag on the market (and adds the risk of a big decline). Basically, a lot of point and figure charts turned bearish during the last consolidation and haven’t righted themselves. Next is small caps stocks compared to big caps. They have lagged during the last rally. I like to see them lead as a sign of investors taking risk in their portfolios. Money flowed into mega cap stocks faster than big cap stocks during the last rally too. Another poor sign for a sustained rally. It looks

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Leadership

160603spxew

One thing I like to see during market rallies is strong leadership from three areas of the market at the same time; big cap stocks, small cap stocks (RUT), and the Nasdaq 100 (NDX). For big cap leadership, I like to see broad participation from a majority of stocks in the S&P 500 index (SPX). One way to measure large cap breadth is from indicators like the Bullish Percent Index or percent of stocks above their 200 day moving average. A few weeks ago, I highlighted their recent strength. Another way to measures large cap breadth is by comparing mega cap stocks to large cap stocks. I do this by comparing the S&P 500 Equal Weight index (SPXEW) against SPX. Long time readers know that I use a dip below the 20 week moving average in the SPXEW v. SPX ratio as a warning sign that some chop is ahead (and possibly danger). When this occurs it signals that money is rotating out of big cap stocks and into mega

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