With the Fed on Hold, Santa Just Revved Up the Sled; Think Value

The Santa Claus rally has left the station and is barreling down the tracks, as the Federal Reserve is on hold. 

Before I took a week off from writing this column for the Thanksgiving holiday, I wrote: “Regular readers of this column were not surprised by the rally, given the multiple alerts I posted noting the likelihood of a meaningful market bottom emerging due to the extraordinary technical picture which had developed in the bond market, and the ensuing gloom and doom in stocks as early as September 2023. And although there are no guarantees, the ongoing rally in both stocks and bonds has a great chance of continuing, due to the bullish seasonality which kicks into high gear with the traditional Thanksgiving rally.”

Here’s why we’re rallying. At least three voting members of the FOMC, including Chairman Powell, have made the following clear:

  • No easing in in the cards for now;
  • The Fed is prepared to tighten further if needed; but
  • Unless inflation data worsens, the interest rate hiking cycle is likely over.

All of which adds up to stocks moving higher in the short term, unless something bad happens that derails the bullish sentiment; think CPI, PPI, and the FOMC meeting, which are all approaching. Moreover, there is some evidence that overbought sectors of the market, such as technology, are starting to struggle, which means that some sort of sector rotation is well overdue.

So far, so good; but what’s next?

Bond Yields and Mortgages Continue Bullish Decline

The first part of the answer to the above question lies in the bond market, where rates continue to fall and seem headed lower at a rapid clip. The U.S. Ten Year Note yield (TNX) is now well below 4.5% and its 50-day moving average. Moreover, it just broke below the 4.3%-4.4% support area, and looks headed for 4%.

Even more impressive is the move down in mortgage rates (MORTGAGE), which looks set to test the 7% area and may move as low as 6.8%, the 50-day moving average for this series.

As expected, amongst the major beneficiaries of the lower interest rates have been the homebuilders, as reflected in the recent price action for the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB), which broke out to a new high on the latest decline in TNX.

In addition, the long-term fundamentals of supply and demand in the housing market remain in favor of the homebuilders and related sectors. These include real estate investment trusts (REITs), which specialize in home rentals and related businesses.

You can see the bullish influence of lower interest rates on Nuveen Short Term REIT ETF (NURE) which is now testing its 200-day moving average. This ETF specializes in rental properties. A move above $30 in REZ is likely to deliver higher prices.

Sector Rotation is Likely

The REIT sector is certainly a place where value investors can find excellent ways to put money to work. But it’s not the only area that has been overlooked by the market lately, and which should benefit from a sector rotation.

Over the last few weeks in this space, I’ve been focusing on value investing, a topic in which I recently expanded in my latest Your Daily Five video, which you can catch here. That’s because growth stocks have become overbought and are due for a pause, while there are still plenty of investors and money managers who missed the October bottom and are being forced to play catchup before the year ends.

You can see this dynamic playing out by comparing the action in the S&P 500 Citigroup Pure Growth Index (SPXPG) to the trend in the S&P 500 Citigroup Pure Growth Index (SPXPV) index.

The growth index has been trading ahead of the value index for the past several weeks, but is now struggling near the 15800 chart point. Meanwhile, the value index has extended its move with greater momentum. You can appreciate the differences in the strengths of the move via the Pure Price Momentum indicators (PMO) for both where the PMO for SPXPV is much stronger.

All of this suggests that the next leg up in the market, barring something bad happening, will likely be led by value stocks.

For more on homebuilder stocks, click here.

The Unloved Energy Sector

After the amazing summer rally in the oil markets, things have cooled off dramatically. At the center of the decline in crude and the fossil fuel sector has been an oversupply of product. On the one hand, higher well efficiency in the U.S. shale sector has increased supply. On the other hand, as usual, OPEC + has not fully stuck to its highly publicized production cuts.

Yet the recent collapse in the clean energy stocks puts a different emphasis on the traditional energy sector, which is why it’s worth looking at the action in the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE), where big oil and gas companies are aggregated.

What stands out the most is that even as crude oil prices (WTIC) have come well off their recent top, XLE’s decline has been a lot gentler. In fact, XLE is still trading above its 200-day moving average, which puts it technically in a bullish trend. In addition, the ETF is starting to show signs of moving away (to the upside) from a large VBP bar near $85. Above, there is more resistance from the 50-day moving average and a cluster of VBP bars all the way to $89.

Nevertheless, with components such as BP Plc (BP) trading at seven times earnings while yielding 4.81%, you have to wonder how long before value investors come a-knocking at the door of this sector.

Aside from recommending multiple big winners in the homebuilder and technology sectors, I recently recommended an energy stock which likely to move decidedly higher regardless of what the price of oil does. Join the smart money at Joe Duarte in the Money Options.com, where you can have access to this ETF and a wide variety of bullish stock picks FREE with a two week trial subscription

Market Breadth is Now Bullish

The NYSE Advance Decline line (NYAD) is back in bullish territory, coursing above its 50- and 200-day moving averages. So, while there is improvement, we don’t have a definitively bullish long-term signal for the market’s trend, yet. If there is a downside, it’s that the RSI indicator is nearing an overbought situation. However, at this stage of the rally, NYAD’s rate of climb may slow, but does not look as if it will fully reverse in the short term.

The Nasdaq 100 Index (NDX) looks a bit tired and needs a rest. The index has struggled to move above 16,000. Both ADI and OBV are flattening out as profit-taking increases.

The S&P 500 (SPX) remained above 4500 and could well move above 4600. This is not surprising, as many value stocks are now pushing SPX higher.

VIX is Back Below 20

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) continues to fall, closing below 15 last week. This is bullish.

A rising VIX means traders are buying large volumes of put options. Rising put option volume from leads market makers to sell stock index futures, hedging their risk. A fall in VIX is bullish, as it means less put option buying, and it eventually leads to call buying. This causes market makers to hedge by buying stock index futures, raising the odds of higher stock prices.


To get the latest information on options trading, check out Options Trading for Dummies, now in its 4th Edition—Get Your Copy Now! Now also available in Audible audiobook format!

#1 New Release on Options Trading!

Good news! I’ve made my NYAD-Complexity – Chaos chart (featured on my YD5 videos) and a few other favorites public. You can find them here.

Joe Duarte

In The Money Options


Joe Duarte is a former money manager, an active trader, and a widely recognized independent stock market analyst since 1987. He is author of eight investment books, including the best-selling Trading Options for Dummies, rated a TOP Options Book for 2018 by Benzinga.com and now in its third edition, plus The Everything Investing in Your 20s and 30s Book and six other trading books.

The Everything Investing in Your 20s and 30s Book is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It has also been recommended as a Washington Post Color of Money Book of the Month.

To receive Joe’s exclusive stock, option and ETF recommendations, in your mailbox every week visit https://joeduarteinthemoneyoptions.com/secure/order_email.asp.

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#Fed #Hold #Santa #Revved #Sled

In Bullish Trends, Seek Value and Momentum; Three Sectors to Watch as Year-End Rally Progresses

The combination of a pause in the Fed’s rate hikes and strong year-end seasonal tendencies have created an opportunity for investors to end the year on a positive note. The fly in the ointment, in the short term, could be a bad set of readings on the upcoming Consumer (CPI) and Producer (PPI) price gauges. Aside from that, the negative sentiment on Wall Street is still thick enough to push prices higher.

As I noted last week, “The stock market seems to have bottomed, as short sellers panicked and recently frightened buyers rushed back into the markets. It’s about time, as the signs of a pending reversal have been in place for the past two months, namely a slowing economy and fears about the Fed’s rate hike cycle, which have been mounting as investor’s pessimism rose to a fever pitch.”

On the other hand, Fed Chairman Powell proved once again that a few words can kill any rally, when he noted the central bank was “not confident” that inflation was fully vanquished on 11/9/23 and stocks sank. Whether that was just tough talk or a sign that he knows what the CPI and PPI numbers will show is anyone’s guess. Thankfully, the market recovered, although, as I discuss below, breadth remains weaker than one would hope for.

That said, there is no substitute for being prepared for any eventuality. For now, the trend is bullish, so here are three groups that should move higher, barring any unpleasant surprises.

It’s What’s Inside That Matters; Three Sectors Worth Watching as the Year End Rally Develops

Most investors focus on areas of the market which are exhibiting strength. That’s because, in bull markets, strength usually leads to further strength. This, of course, is the essence of momentum investing.

At the same time, it’s also useful to review the action in weak sectors, as underperformers are often future areas of value. Moreover, it’s important to know what you’re buying. Here is what I mean.

The software sector encompasses a wide swath of companies ranging from security companies to app developers, along with those in the increasingly popular AI sector. With so many companies, it’s often more practical to buy into a diversified portfolio, such as an ETF.

One such ETF is the Invesco Dynamic Software ETF (IGPT), recently renamed Invesco AI and Next Gen Software ETF, which is closing in on what could be a major breakout. But don’t let the title fool you; this ETF holds the usual large-cap tech stocks that typically rally when the tech sector moves into a rising trend, such as what is currently developing and is evident in the price chart for the Invesco QQQ Trust ETF (QQQ). QQQ holds many of the same companies, but currently trades at ten times the price of IGPT.

So, you can pay ten times more for QQQ, or get the same general market exposure via IGPT for a fraction of the price. Consider that IGPT is currently trading below $40 per share, which means you can own shares in Meta (META), Alphabet (GOOGL), Adobe (ADBE), and even NVDIA (NVDA) for a fraction of the price of each of these blue chips.

And here’s what the price chart is telling us regarding IGPT:

  • The ETF is back in bullish territory, as it just crossed above its 200-day moving average;
  • Accumulation/Distribution (ADI) is moving higher after a recent consolidation as short sellers leave the scene;
  • On Balance Volume (OBV) is in an established uptrend, as buyers come in; and
  • A move above $36 will likely take this ETF higher, as long as the bullish trend in the technology sector remains in place.

Another bullish sector which remains undervalued is the uranium mining sector, as in the Global X Uranium ETF (URA), in which I own shares and which is a core holding at Joe Duarte in the Money Options.com. Nuclear power is slowly becoming an option for areas of the world which are trying to find a compromise between clean fuels and reliable power generation.

URA’s appeal has been boosted by the demise of the renewable power sector over the last few months, due to the expense burden and supply chain challenges required to build wind turbines. Note the difference in the performance of URA versus the First Trust ISE Global Wind Energy ETF (FAN).

For one, URA is in a bullish consolidation pattern after its recent breakout. Note the excellent support at $26, where the 50-day moving average and a large Volume-by-Price (VBP) bar continue to attract buyers. Moreover, note the bullish uptrend in OBV as buyers sneak into the shares.

Certainly, FAN is in a consolidation pattern of its own after its recent collapse. Note, however, that neither ADI or OBV have turned up yet, which means that there is currently little interest in these shares from bullish investors. On the other hand, from a contrarian standpoint, it’s not a bad idea to keep an eye on this ETF as the cycle works itself out. All it would take for this sector to bottom out would be something like a large infusion of government cash, such as what may be materializing in Europe, according to reports.

I recently recommended an ETF which is now breaking out in a big way. Join the smart money at Joe Duarte in the Money Options.com, where you can have access to this ETF and a wide variety of bullish stock picks FREE with a two-week trial subscription.

Bonds Retain Bullish Tone Ahead of Inflation Numbers

As I noted last week, bond yields have made at least a short-term top. In fact, just three weeks ago, the U.S. Ten Year note yield (TNX) hit the 5% point, an event that unhinged both stock and bond traders.

Since then, things have quieted down and TNX has settled into a trading range, with 4.5% and the 50-day moving average as the floor.

If the inflation numbers are bullish, and TNX breaks below 4.5%, expect a big move up in stocks.

Keep an eye on the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB), specially the $78-$80 area. If CPI and PPI are bullish and bond yields fall, XHB should rise as short sellers get squeezed. Note the improvement in ADI, as the shorts cover their bets, while OBV is still holding steady, as buyers remain patient.

I’ve recently posted several detailed articles on mortgage rates, bonds, and homebuilders at my Buy Me a Coffee page. You can access them here. For the perfect price chart set up, check out my latest Your Daily Five video here.

Market Breadth Lags Rally as Indexes Outperform

The NYSE Advance Decline line (NYAD) has bottomed out, but has yet to cross above its 50- or 200-day moving averages. So, for now, NYAD is neutral to slightly positive. If it doesn’t show a bit more pop in the next few weeks, it may signal that the rally will have short legs.

In contrast, the Nasdaq 100 Index (NDX) is nearing a breakout after rallying above its 50-day moving average. Both ADI and OBV turned higher as short sellers cover (ADI) and buyers move in (OBV). A move above 15,800-16,000 would likely extend the rally further.

The S&P 500 (SPX) is also lagging NDX, but has delivered a minor breakout above 4400. SPX is well above its 200-day moving average, returning to bullish territory after its recent dip below 4150. Moreover, it has now survived a test of the 4350 support area.

VIX is Back Below 20

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is well below 20. This is bullish.

A rising VIX means traders are buying large volumes of put options. Rising put option volume from leads market makers to sell stock index futures, hedging their risk. A fall in VIX is bullish, as it means less put option buying, and it eventually leads to call buying. This causes market makers to hedge by buying stock index futures, raising the odds of higher stock prices.


To get the latest information on options trading, check out Options Trading for Dummies, now in its 4th Edition—Get Your Copy Now! Now also available in Audible audiobook format!

#1 New Release on Options Trading!

Good news! I’ve made my NYAD-Complexity – Chaos chart (featured on my YD5 videos) and a few other favorites public. You can find them here.

Joe Duarte

In The Money Options


Joe Duarte is a former money manager, an active trader, and a widely recognized independent stock market analyst since 1987. He is author of eight investment books, including the best-selling Trading Options for Dummies, rated a TOP Options Book for 2018 by Benzinga.com and now in its third edition, plus The Everything Investing in Your 20s and 30s Book and six other trading books.

The Everything Investing in Your 20s and 30s Book is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It has also been recommended as a Washington Post Color of Money Book of the Month.

To receive Joe’s exclusive stock, option and ETF recommendations, in your mailbox every week visit https://joeduarteinthemoneyoptions.com/secure/order_email.asp.

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#Bullish #Trends #Seek #Momentum #Sectors #Watch #YearEnd #Rally #Progresses

S&P 500 Turnaround: 3 Charts You Need To Watch

KEY

TAKEAWAYS

  • Rising Treasury yields have hurt growth stocks but buying opportunities could lie ahead
  • The stock market could bottom at the end of September and present buying opportunities
  • Watch Fibonacci levels, Equal Weighted S&P 500 Index, and market breadth for a reversal

Last week wasn’t the most optimistic on Wall Street. Even though the US economy is growing,  Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments after the Fed meeting weren’t what investors wanted to hear. 

The Federal Reserve’s decision to keep interest rates steady at 5.25–5.50% wasn’t a surprise, but the possibility of higher rates for longer than expected could have caused the sell-off in the stock market following Chairman Powell’s comments. The broader equity indexes ended lower for the week, with the Nasdaq Composite ($COMPQ) hit the hardest—down 3.6%. 

Based on Powell’s comments, we can expect one more rate hike in 2023 and maybe only two rate cuts in 2024. In other words, it’ll take longer to lower rates, given that the GDP is projected to grow and the labor market remains tight. The lower-than-expected jobless claims number last week supports the possibility of inflation continuing for longer. 

Higher Interest Rates

Higher interest rates aren’t great for growth stocks. If Treasury yields continue to rise or remain high, future earnings of companies that tend to borrow money become less attractive. Higher borrowing costs hurt future cash flows, which could result in lower stock prices.

It’s worth watching the chart of the 10-Year Treasury Yield Index ($TNX). The chart below shows that yields have been on a relatively steep ascent and are continuing to move higher. The 10-year Treasury yield is above 4.5%, a level not seen since 2007. If yields continue to move higher, stocks could fall even further, especially the large-cap growth stocks.

CHART 1: TREASURY YIELDS CONTINUE TO RISE. Rising Treasury yields can be a headwind for growth stocks. Chart source: StockCharts.com. For educational purposes.

If you look at the weekly chart of the Nasdaq Composite with the $TNX overlay, it’s interesting to see that from March 2020 to November 2021, the index was moving higher with the $TNX. In November 2021, a few months before the Fed started raising interest rates, the two started diverging. The Nasdaq Composite has dropped below its 100-day moving average. If it breaks below this support and takes out the August low of 13,162, the September pullback could become a reality. 

The good news? It could present a buying opportunity. In a recent StockCharts TV episode of Charting Forward, three well-known technical analysts expressed their thoughts on how Q4 would unfold. All three agreed that the fourth quarter tends to be strong, with some sectors, such as Consumer Discretionary, Communication Services, Technology, Industrials, and Financials, likely to outperform. Commodities may also be coming off their base.

If you look at the markets now, your first thought might be it doesn’t seem like that’s likely to happen after a week. But it’s the stock market and it can turn on a dime. And given that this type of price action is typical in September, there’s a chance that the stock market could take off. All the more reason to watch the charts.

Charting Your Course With 3 Charts

Turning to the S&P 500, the weekly chart below displays that the index is at a critical support level at the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level (using the January 2022 high and October 2022 low) and struggling to stay there. The 50% retracement level is an interesting one since it closely aligns with the support of the 100- and 50-week moving average. 

CHART 2: WATCH THE 61.8% AND 50% FIBONACCI RETRACEMENT LEVELS. Depending on how low the S&P 500 index goes, the Fibonacci retracement levels could be reversal points. The S&P 500 is struggling to hold the 61.8% level. The next few days should tell more about the index’s directional move. Chart source: StockCharts.com. For educational purposes.

If the S&P 500 breaks below the 61.8% Fib retracement level, the index could likely hit that 50% level of 4160. A reversal from either of these Fibonacci levels could present buying opportunities. 

Another chart to pay attention to is the S&P 500 Equal Weighted Index ($SPXEW). The index has been trending lower since the end of July. The chart below of $SPXEW is overlaid with the Invesco S&P 500 Top 50 ETF (XLG), a fund with pretty strong exposure to the Magnificent Seven stocks. The chart gives you a pretty good idea of how much the two diverge.  You can see that the two sometimes move closely, but other times, there’s a significant gap between the two. A reversal in $SPXEW or a narrowing of the gap between the two would be encouraging as we head into the end of September.

CHART 3: S&P 500 EQUAL WEIGHTED INDEX ($SPXEW) VS. INVESCO S&P 500 TOP 50 ETF (XLG). The gap between the two is pretty wide. Look for the gap between the two to narrow and a reversal in $SPXEW. Chart source: StockCharts.com. For educational purposes.

It’s worth viewing the market breadth indicators such as the Advance-Decline Line, the percentage of stocks trading above their 200-day moving average, and the Bullish Percent Index. The chart below displays that market breadth indicators are trending to the downside, meaning market breadth is narrowing. 

CHART 4: MARKET BREADTH INDICATORS SHOW THAT BREADTH IS NARROWING. The indicators need to reverse before confirming a turnaround in the broader market. Chart source: StockCharts.com. For educational purposes.

Final Thoughts

Let’s hope the stock market turns around in October and ends strongly in Q4. According to the Stock Trader’s Almanac 2023, October is a “jinx” month, but overall, especially in a pre-election year, October tends to start reversing after a terrible September and can be a great time to buy. The potential headwinds the stock market could face are rising interest rates, rising oil prices, and a possible government shutdown.


Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as financial advice. The ideas and strategies should never be used without first assessing your own personal and financial situation, or without consulting a financial professional.

Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan

About the author:
Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan is Director of Site Content at StockCharts.com. She spends her time coming up with content strategies, delivering content to educate traders and investors, and finding ways to make technical analysis fun. Jayanthi was Managing Editor at T3 Custom, a content marketing agency for financial brands. Prior to that, she was Managing Editor of Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities magazine for 15+ years.
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#Turnaround #Charts #Watch

Which is More Likely — SPX Over 4600 or Below 4200?

KEY

TAKEAWAYS

  • Top investors use probabilistic analysis to think through different scenarios to determine which appears the most likely.
  • By thinking through each of four potential future paths for the S&P 500, we can be better prepared for whichever scenario actually plays out in the coming weeks.

We are now in the seasonally weakest part of the calendar year. The summer doldrums often lead to a meaningful pullback in the third quarter, and 2023 has, so far, not disappointed by following the seasonal tendencies quite well.

The month of August saw leading names like Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) pull back from new highs, causing many investors to rethink the “2023 is going to go up all year” thesis. So now that we’ve experienced an initial drop, what’s next for the S&P 500?

Today we’ll revisit the concept of “probabilistic analysis”, where we lay out four different potential scenarios for the S&P 500. There are three things I hope you take away from this exercise.

  1. It’s important to have a thesis as to what you think will come next for stocks. This should be based on a meaningful combination of four key pillars: fundamental, technical, macroeconomic, and behavioral. And your portfolio should be positioned to reflect what you see as the most likely outcome.
  2. It’s also important to consider alternative scenarios. What if the market is way more bullish than you’d expect? What if some five-standard-deviation event pops up, and stocks suddenly drop 20 percent? The best way to break out of your predetermined biases is to actively consider alternative points of view.
  3. It’s incredibly important to think about how you would adapt to one of those alternate scenarios. How would your portfolio perform in a risk-off environment in the coming months? Are you prepared for a sudden spike in risk assets, and at what point would you need to change your positions to match this new reality?

I have found that the most successful investors don’t know all the answers, but they ask the best questions. So let’s broaden our horizons a bit, and consider four potential future paths for the S&P 500 over the next six to eight weeks. But first, we’ll review the recent pullback for the major equity averages.

A brief seasonality check on the S&P 500 will show that August and September tend to be quite weak for the main US equity benchmark. So the drop we saw in early August actually follows the seasonal playbook quite well, as would further weakness in September.

We’ve been thinking about the possibility of a much deeper correction for risk assets, and it’s a distinct possibility that we’re now in an A-B-C pullback, which would take us to a new swing low right around options expiration in the third week of September. But at the same time that charts like LVS are displaying classic topping patterns, we can’t help but notice that stocks like Alphabet (GOOGL) appear to be firmly entrenched in a protracted bullish phase.

An uptrend is defined by a persistent pattern of higher highs and higher lows, and GOOGL certainly seems to be displaying that classic bullish phase quite well. How bearish do you want to be when Alphabet is just pounding higher month after month?

With our benchmarks pulling back and breadth conditions deteriorating, as well as key growth stocks like GOOGL still holding above support, let’s lay out four potential scenarios for the S&P 500 over the next six-to-eight weeks. And remember the point of this exercise is threefold:

  1. Consider all four potential future paths for the index, think about what would cause each scenario to unfold in terms of the macro drivers, and review what signals/patterns/indicators would confirm the scenario.
  2. Decide which scenario you feel is most likely, and why you think that’s the case. Don’t forget to drop me a comment and let me know your vote!
  3. Think about each of the four scenarios would impact your current portfolio. How would you manage risk in each case? How and when would you take action to adapt to this new reality?

Let’s start with the most optimistic scenario, involving a strong summer push for stocks.

Scenario #1: The Very Bullish Scenario

What if the pullback of the next five weeks is over, and the market goes right back to a full risk-on mode? Stocks like AAPL and MSFT would most likely return back to test new highs and interest rates would probably come down enough, as economic data continues to show at the Fed’s efforts have successfully slowed down the economy.

This Very Bullish Scenario would mean a break above 4600, and when we revisit the chart in late September, we’re talking about the possibility of new all-time highs for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq in October.

Scenario #2: The Mildly Bullish Scenario

Markets can correct in two ways: price and time. A price correction (see February 2023) involves the chart moving lower quickly as the market quickly sheds value. A time correction (see April-May 2023) means there’s not much of a price drop, and the “correction” is more of a pause of the uptrend.

There’s a possibility that the July high around 4600 still holds as resistance, and a time correction keeps the S&P 500 in the 4300-4600 range. Keep in mind that there are plenty of opportunities for sectors like Energy to thrive in a sideways market, but the major indexes don’t make any headway in either direction.

Scenario #3: The Mildly Bearish Scenario

What if the A-B-C correction outlined above plays out, and the S&P 500 index pushes lower to retest the 200-day moving average? If interest rates remain elevated, and growth stocks continue to pull back, this would be a very reasonable outcome for the equity markets.

One of my mentors used to say, “Nothing good happens below the 200-day moving average.” The good news is the Mildly Bearish Scenario means we drop further from current levels, but still manage to find support at this important long-term barometer.

Scenario #4: The Super Bearish Scenario

This is where things could get really nasty. What if the market goes full risk-off, interest rates push higher, economic data comes in hotter than expected, and the Fed is forced to consider further rate hikes instead of debating when to ease monetary conditions?

This Super Bearish Scenario would mean the S&P 500 breaks down through 4300 and 4200, leaving the 200-day moving average in the rearview mirror, and in late September we’re debating whether the S&P 500 and Nasdaq will make a new low before year-end 2023.

Have you decided which of these four potential scenarios is most likely based on your analysis? Head over to my YouTube channel and drop a comment with your vote and why you see that as the most likely outcome.

Also, we did a similar analysis back on the S&P 500 back in June. The “mildly bullish” scenario ending up matching the market action pretty closely. Which scenario did you vote for?

Only by expanding our thinking through probabilistic analysis can we be best prepared for whatever the future may hold!

RR#6,

Dave

P.S. Ready to upgrade your investment process? Check out my free behavioral investing course!


David Keller, CMT

Chief Market Strategist

StockCharts.com


Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as financial advice. The ideas and strategies should never be used without first assessing your own personal and financial situation, or without consulting a financial professional.

The author does not have a position in mentioned securities at the time of publication. Any opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views or opinions of any other person or entity.

David Keller

About the author:
David Keller, CMT is Chief Market Strategist at StockCharts.com, where he helps investors minimize behavioral biases through technical analysis. He is a frequent host on StockCharts TV, and he relates mindfulness techniques to investor decision making in his blog, The Mindful Investor.

David is also President and Chief Strategist at Sierra Alpha Research LLC, a boutique investment research firm focused on managing risk through market awareness. He combines the strengths of technical analysis, behavioral finance, and data visualization to identify investment opportunities and enrich relationships between advisors and clients.
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Market Breadth Continues Recovery; Watching the NVDA Effect on QQQ as Oil Heats Up

The dog days of August are mercifully over. And as Wall Street gets back to work, new trends are emerging which could influence what the stock market does for the rest of the year.

Here are the macro crosscurrents to sort through:

  • The Fed is on the bubble as some Fed governors want to pause the rate hikes, while others want to push rates higher;
  • The jobs market seems to be cooling;
  • The bond market is focused on inflation, but is off its worse levels as it ponders what the Fed will do next, whether the job market is going to get weaker, and whether the price of oil will upset the apple cart;
  • Stocks are working on putting in a credible bottom; and
  • The oil market looks set to erupt.

Altogether, these variables suggest the fourth quarter has the potential to be a potentially profitable quarter for investors who can discern where the smart money is flowing and successfully follow it.

Bond Volatility Increases as Data Shifts Rapidly

The bond market’s inflation fears eased over the last few weeks ,but the most recent round of purchasing manager data (ISM and PMI), suggesting festering inflation in the manufacturing sector, erased the glee generated by the apparent cooling of the jobs market via lower-than-expected JOLTS and ADP data, which was boosted by the rise in the unemployment rate and a tame payrolls report.

The U.S. Ten Year Note Yield (TNX) reversed its downward move toward 4% in response to the purchasing manager’s data, which was interpreted as a picture of stagflation. The yield is nervously trading between its 20- and 50-day moving averages.

Smart Money Roundup: Watching NVDA Effect on QQQ

Calls for the death of the so-called AI bubble may have been premature, although the jury is still out for the sector in the short-term. Certainly, the action in AI bellwether Nvidia’s shares (NVDA) is an important metric to keep an eye on.

The stock’s recent volatility suggests that investors are thinking about what comes next, although the company continues with its bullish guidance. On the other hand, the slowly developing downslope in the Accumulation/Distribution (ADI) line is cautionary, as it suggests short sellers are starting to bet on lower prices for the stock.  

On Balance Volume (OBV) is in better shape, which suggests that a sideways pattern or a steady uptrend is the most likely path for the stock after the consolidation. You can see the NVDA effect reflected in the shares of the Invesco Nasdaq 100 Trust (QQQ) which is also consolidating. Support for QQQ is at $370.

Oil is Getting Hot

Tech is consolidating, but the smart money is moving into oil. You can see that in the bullish breakout of West Texas Intermediate Crude (WTIC), which is now above $85. Recall my May 2023 article, titled “Never Short a Dull Market,”, where I predicted that tight oil supplies were in the works and that the odds of higher prices were better than even.

And that’s exactly what’s happened. In the last three weeks, the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) has reported a nearly 30 million barrel drawdown in U.S. oil inventories. Moreover, there are two coincident developments unfolding, which are likely to further decrease supplies:

  • OPEC + is likely to maintain its current production cuts in place for at least another month; and
  • The U.S. is quietly refilling its Strategic Petroleum Reserves.

These two factors, combined with stable-to-possibly-rising consumer demand for gasoline, and perhaps a rise in demand for heating oil as the weather turns cooler, are likely to keep prices on an upward trajectory for the next few weeks to months, and perhaps longer.

Expressed in more investor-accessible terms, you can see the shares of the U.S. Oil Fund ETF (USO) have broken out above the $75 resistance level, with excellent confirmation from a rise in the Accumulation/Distribution (ADI) and On Balance Volume (OBV) indicators as short sellers step aside (ADI) and buyers move in (OBV).

The bullish sentiment in oil also includes the oil stocks including the Van Eck Oil Services ETF (OIH), which is nearing its own breakout. This is due to the rise in global exploration, which has been steadily developing over the last twelve months, but which the market has mostly ignored, despite CEO comments of an oil service “super cycle” unfolding.

Things are happening fast. Oil, tech, housing, bonds, are all making their move. What’s your plan of action in this market? Join the smart money at Joe Duarte in the Money Options.com. You can have a look at my latest recommendations FREE with a two week trial subscription. You can also review the supply demand balance in the oil market and what the future may hold here. And if you’re a Tesla (TSLA) fan, I’m reviewing some interesting developments in the stock, which you can review free of charge here.

Breadth Recovery Shows Staying Power

Last week, I noted the worst may be over in the short term for stocks, as the market’s breadth is showing signs of resilience. This bullish trend is showing some staying power, as the New York Stock Exchange Advance Decline line moved above its 50-day moving average while maintaining its position above the 200-day moving averages. Another bullish sign is that RSI is nowhere near overbought, which means the rally still has legs.

On the other hand, the Nasdaq 100 Index (NDX) ran into resistance at the 15,600 area, where there is a moderate size cluster of Volume-by-Price bars (VBP) offering a bit of turbulence, as investors who bought the recent top are trying to get out “even”. Accumulation/Distribution (ADI) and On Balance Volume (OBV), may have bottomed out, but are showing some short-term weakness.

The S&P 500 (SPX) is acting in a similar way, although it remained above 4500, but above 4350, and it its 20-day and its 50-day moving averages. ADI is flat, but OBV is improving as investors put money to work in the oil and related sectors.

VIX Remains Below 20

VIX has been a bright point in the market for the last couple of weeks, as it has failed to rally above the 20 area. This is good news, as a move above 20 would be very negative, signaling that the big money is finally throwing in the towel on the uptrend.

When the VIX rises, stocks tend to fall, as rising put volume is a sign that market makers are selling stock index futures to hedge their put sales to the public. A fall in VIX is bullish, as it means less put option buying, and it eventually leads to call buying, which causes market makers to hedge by buying stock index futures. This raises the odds of higher stock prices.

Liquidity Remains Stable

Liquidity is stable. The Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR), which recently replaced the Eurodollar Index (XED) but is an approximate sign of the market’s liquidity, just broke to a new high in response to the Fed’s move. A move below 5.0 would be more bullish. A move above 5.5% would signal that monetary conditions are tightening beyond the Fed’s intentions; that would be very bearish.


To get the latest information on options trading, check out Options Trading for Dummies, now in its 4th Edition—Get Your Copy Now! Now also available in Audible audiobook format!

#1 New Release on Options Trading!

Good news! I’ve made my NYAD-Complexity – Chaos chart (featured on my YD5 videos) and a few other favorites public. You can find them here.

Joe Duarte

In The Money Options


Joe Duarte is a former money manager, an active trader, and a widely recognized independent stock market analyst since 1987. He is author of eight investment books, including the best-selling Trading Options for Dummies, rated a TOP Options Book for 2018 by Benzinga.com and now in its third edition, plus The Everything Investing in Your 20s and 30s Book and six other trading books.

The Everything Investing in Your 20s and 30s Book is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It has also been recommended as a Washington Post Color of Money Book of the Month.

To receive Joe’s exclusive stock, option and ETF recommendations, in your mailbox every week visit https://joeduarteinthemoneyoptions.com/secure/order_email.asp.

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Momentum is Back, Breadth Rallies; It’s Truth Time for OPEC and Crude Oil

The week of June 5 should be momentous as the bears who have been left behind consider whether to fully capitulate.

The stock market is back in rally mode as seasonal tendencies for a summer rally, especially in the third year of the presidential cycle, assert their influence. Especially comforting is the recovery in the market’s breadth, as measured by the NYSE Advance Decline line (see below). The US economy is showing signs of slowing, as the rate of rise in inflation is flattening.

Of course, things could change instantly, especially if, as I discuss below, OPEC does something dramatic at its June 3–4 meeting. Moreover, it’s all about whether the Fed leaves rates unchanged in June in order to see if the current flattening out of inflationary pressures is a prelude to an actual decline and what that does to bond yields.  

I’ll have more on bonds below. First, a few words about the oil market.

OPEC’s Credibility is on the Line

Last week, I suggested that shorting a dull market is not a good idea. I was referring to the nearly complete lack of bulls in the oil market and suggested the energy sector was ripe for a bounce.

As I went to press on this post, rumors were circulating that OPEC was considering a 1 million barrel per day production cut, to be announced at the conclusion of its June 3–4 meeting. This cut, if it happens, will be in addition to production cuts previously announced, which are starting to make their way through the system and could reduce global oil supply meaningfully.

Crude oil ($WTIC) rallied on June 2, 2023, on the OPEC rumors and signs that oil production is already being reduced. For example, the US Rig count fell for the fifth consecutive week. Meanwhile, Canada’s oil sands giant Suncor announced 1500 job cuts. There are also rumors that job cuts are coming in the fracking sector in the US, as the number of active crews finishing wells is also shrinking. 

Here’s the bottom line:

  • The US oil industry is dialing back production, and OPEC seems to be on a similar course.
  • If OPEC flakes out, they risk losing their ability to influence the price of oil, at least for the foreseeable future.

Watch the market’s response to OPEC’s announcement. If WTIC’s price rises above $75 decisively, then current market relationships, especially bond yields, stock prices, and what the Fed does at its upcoming FOMC meeting (June 13–14), will likely be affected.

I’ve recently recommended several energy sector picks. You can look at them with a free trial of my service. In addition, I’ve posted a Special Report on the oil market, which you can access here.

Bond Yields Test Resistance

The latest monthly payroll numbers were well above expectations, but the bond market is focusing on other signs that the economy is slowing. As I noted last week, bond yields are likely to fall once the economy shows signs of slowing and the Fed admits that it must at least stop raising rates. Here are some signs that perhaps we’re not too far from that point:

  • Dallas Fed Survey crashes, falling for the 13th consecutive month; one respondent noted: “There is nothing encouraging on the horizon.” Other notable quotes: “orders canceled,” “order volume has stalled recently,” and “seeing a massive slowdown.”
  • Dallas Fed services survey fell for the 12th straight month. Comments worth noting: “Businesses are preparing for a recession by looking for ways to cut back, which in some ways, works to create a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
  • Chicago PMI Collapses—new orders, prices paid, production, inventories, and employment fell.
  • China manufacturing PMI fell below 50, signaling contraction.
  • U.S. PMI and ISM surveys fell again.
  • China’s economy is showing signs of slowing.

Beige Book Confirms Slowing U.S. Growth

Confirming the negative news above, the Fed’s most recent Beige Book offered the following:

  • Prices are rising but are doing so more slowly.
  • New York and Philadelphia registered slowing economic activity.
  • Boston, Cleveland, Richmond, Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City reported flat activity.
  • San Francisco, Dallas, and Minneapolis reported slight growth.

The bottom line is that inflation seems to be rising at a slower pace and that the US economy is slowing, as eight of eleven Fed districts reported slowing or flat economic activity. The three that reported growth described it as slight to moderate.

Bond Yields Test Resistance. Mortgages Follow. Homebuilders Perk Up.

The most predictable relationship in the stock market currently is the one that connects bond yields, mortgage rates, and homebuilder stocks. When bond yields fall, mortgage rates follow. Increases in home sales register and homebuilder stocks rally.

The crucial point on the 10-Year US Treasury Yield ($TNX) is 3.85%. If yields remain below this level, the environment should remain stable.

Moreover, if I’m right and the economy continues to slow, bond yields will roll over, and mortgage rates will drop as demand for new homes again picks up.

As things stood last week, the S&P 500 Homebuilding Subindustry Index ($SPHB) seems to have made a short-term bottom as traders begin to factor in the scenario above. 

If $TNX remains below 3.7%, it’s a sign that bond traders are less worried about inflation. This should be bullish for homebuilder stocks.

For an in-depth comprehensive outlook on the homebuilder sector, click here.

NYAD Rallies; SPX Joins NDX’s Breakout; Liquidity is Stable; VIX Hits New Low.

It was quite the week for the market’s technical picture.

The New York Stock Exchange Advance Decline line ($NYAD) rallied back above its 50-day moving average, signaling stocks are back in an uptrend.

The Nasdaq 100 Index ($NDX) extended its recent breakout, closing the week well above 14,500. The current move is unsustainable, so some pullback and consolidation are likely over the next few days to weeks. On the other hand, it could take some time for a consolidation or pullback to develop, as both accumulation distribution line and On Balance Volume (OBV) are in solid uptrends, signaling lots of upward momentum.

The S&P 500 index ($SPX) finally broke out above the 4100–4200 trading range, decisively confirming the trend in $NDX. OBV continues to improve, while the Accumulation Distribution line remained in an upward trend.

VIX Breaks to New Lows

The Cboe Volatility Index ($VIX) broke to a new low as call option buyers overwhelmed the market. This is probably a little too much bullishness all at once, so we’ll see how long it lasts.

When the VIX rises, stocks tend to fall, as rising put volume is a sign that market makers are selling stock index futures to hedge their put sales to the public. A fall in VIX is bullish, as it means less put option buying, and it eventually leads to call buying, which causes market makers to hedge by buying stock index futures. This raises the odds of higher stock prices.

Liquidity is Still Limited

The market’s liquidity may have bottomed out, but it’s not particularly bullish. The Eurodollar Index ($XED) failed to rally above 94.50, a bearish development. For now, it’s good enough to keep the rally from imploding. A move below 94 would be very bearish.

A move above 95 will be a bullish development. Usually, a stable or rising XED is very bullish for stocks.


To get the latest up-to-date information on options trading, check out Options Trading for Dummies, now in its 4th Edition—Get Your Copy Now! Now also available in Audible audiobook format!

#1 New Release on Options Trading!

Good news! I’ve made my NYAD-Complexity – Chaos chart (featured on my YD5 videos) and a few other favorites public. You can find them here.

Joe Duarte

In The Money Options


Joe Duarte is a former money manager, an active trader, and a widely recognized independent stock market analyst since 1987. He is author of eight investment books, including the best-selling Trading Options for Dummies, rated a TOP Options Book for 2018 by Benzinga.com and now in its third edition, plus The Everything Investing in Your 20s and 30s Book and six other trading books.

The Everything Investing in Your 20s and 30s Book is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It has also been recommended as a Washington Post Color of Money Book of the Month.

To receive Joe’s exclusive stock, option and ETF recommendations, in your mailbox every week visit https://joeduarteinthemoneyoptions.com/secure/order_email.asp.

Joe Duarte

About the author:
Joe Duarte is a former money manager, an active trader and a widely recognized independent stock market analyst going back to 1987. His books include the best selling Trading Options for Dummies, a TOP Options Book for 2018, 2019, and 2020 by Benzinga.com, Trading Review.Net 2020 and Market Timing for Dummies. His latest best-selling book, The Everything Investing Guide in your 20’s & 30’s, is a Washington Post Color of Money Book of the Month. To receive Joe’s exclusive stock, option and ETF recommendations in your mailbox every week, visit the Joe Duarte In The Money Options website.
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