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February was a month to remember. The short-term correction (-10%) that loomed over the market finally arrived in the major averages.  After new highs in January, now there is weakness in the tape appearing more regularly.  Volatility has more than doubled based on the Volatility Index (VIX). There has been a clear loss of momentum in some technical indicators that are starting to appear. Sometimes in the past, a precursor to lower stock prices down the road.

Our U.S. equity timing model remains on its October 31st buy.  This is normally a condition where historically risk has been below average and returns above average.  So far, the correction has been contained. With the latest decline, the short term is oversold from where potential rallies do develop.   However, the intermediate term charts are the opposite, they are overbought, suggesting the likelihood the market could have some difficulty having a substantial rise.

Keep a close eye on the movement in the Russell 2000 Index (IWM), a good measure for the broad market.

Figure: The iShares Russell 2000 Index (IWM) Weekly Price Channel and Upside Objective, and 19-26-9 Week MACD

The iShares Russell 2000 Index ETF (IWM) is made up of companies with a market capitalization of between $300 million and $2 billion.  The Russell 2000 (IWM) portfolio top sector holdings as of 02/21/18, is Financials 17.71%, Technology 16.61%, Health Care 15.13%, Industrials 14.58% and Consumer Cyclicals 12.23.  (Side note): Weekly MACD of Financials (XLF) has just given a fresh sell which is the top sector of the Russell 2000 Index

The top portion of the chart shows the weekly Russell 2000 Index (IWM) peaking at 160.62 on 1/24/18, failing to reach the equidistant channel objective (orange line) at 164.00 (purple circle). The IWM then turned down penetrating the uptrend (green line) that began in February 2016. This was the second time the uptrend was slightly violated, also in August 2017 (pink circles).  After penetrating the uptrend line, both times the IWM reversed higher.  This time could be a different story compared to the August 2017 rise when the IWM was moving sideways, much quieter, and the trading range was only about 1/2% a day.  In this market climate, there is more volatility, intraday swings are between 1 and 2 %.

The lower portion of the chart is MACD, a technical indicator that measures momentum.   MACD is in an overbought condition, momentum weakening, very close to generating a fresh sell signal.   MACD is also threatening to break a two-year-old uptrend that began in January 2016.  Risk is on the rise.

The SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) is also showing warning signs of a loss of momentum for the intermediate term.

Figure: S&P 500 SPDR ETF Weekly Price Channel and upside objective (SPY, top) and 12-26-9 MACD (bottom)

The chart above is the weekly SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) ETF and its weekly (intermediate) price channel (purple lines).   The S&P 500 (SPY) is made up of 500 stocks of the largest companies in the U.S. When you invest in the S&P 500 (SPY), you are getting a broad representation of large-cap U.S stocks with a moderate risk.

The S&P 500 (SPY) advance didn’t quite reach the upper channel objective at 308.00, peaking at 286.79.  During February’s sharp and quick decline, the two-year uptrend was slightly penetrated to the downside.  The SPY reversed sharply off its lows.   However, as of the writing the rally has stalled and a tight trading range between 268.00 and 275.00 has developed.   If the S&P closes below 268.00 the odds would increase a test of the lows is imminent.

MACD is in an overbought condition, very close to generating a sell signal along with breaking an uptrend from January 2016, over two years old.  For now, the benefit of the doubt goes to the bulls.  However, momentum is weakening. risk is on the rise, and caution is recommended

Summing Up:

The easy times are over.  A clear loss of momentum in the market averages has occurred in February.  Some technical damage did occur during the sharp decline in February.  Although the market averages have reversed off their lows, there is a good chance a test of the lows will occur over the next few weeks.  Intra-day volatility is on the rise which adds to risk.  For now, the bulls remain in control.   Even so, if you haven’t already you have a second chance to review your investment portfolio.   Be ready for the potential challenges that may be ahead, and be prepared for the potential opportunities that may arise in months to come.  If you need a second pair of eyes we are here to help you.

I would love to hear from you. Please call me at 516-829-6444 or email at bgortler@signalert.com to share your thoughts or ask me any questions you might have.

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******Article published by Bonnie Gortler in Systems and Forecasts February 23, 2018

Disclaimer: Although the information is made with a sincere effort for accuracy, it is not guaranteed that the information provided is a statement of fact. Nor can we guarantee the results of following any of the recommendations made herein. Readers are encouraged to meet with their own advisors to consider the suitability of investments for their own particular situations and for determination of their own risk levels. Past performance does not guarantee any future results.

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January was a strong month for stocks. The Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 had their best January since the1990’s.  However, the indices have turned lower to end the month.  Investors appear to have stopped buying dips and have turned a bit more cautious. Investor optimism remains high, a contrary indicator.    Intra-day volatility has picked up. It looks like the days of half of one percent intraday ranges on the market indices now are a distant memory. I anticipate the daily trading ranges over the next several months to widen.

A short-term correction looms in the future.  There has been some short-term weakness in the tape, along with a loss of momentum in some technical indicators.  It was somewhat disturbing there were readings this week that showed a clear deterioration in the new 52-week highs and also an expansion of the new 52-week lows on the New York Stock Exchange Index.

On the contrary, a sign for the rally to resume would be for the opposite to take place: the new highs to expand and the new lows to contract to below 50.  The intermediate and long-term price trends on the major averages remain favorable.  Our U.S. equity timing model remains on its October 31st buy, a condition where historically risk has been below average and returns above average.

It’s too early to say the rally has come to an end.

Keep a Close Eye on the Russell 2000 (IWM)

What ETF to watch now for signs of a correction in the near term?  Answer: The Russell 2000

Figure: The iShares Russell 2000 Index (IWM) Weekly Price Channel, Upside Objective Channel, and 19-26-9 Week MACD

The iShares Russell 2000 Index ETF (IWM) is made up of companies with a market capitalization of between $300 million and $2 billion. The Russell 2000 (IWM) portfolio top sector holdings as of 01/30/18, is Financials 17.71%, Information Technology 16.77%, Health Care 16.16%, Industrials 15.22% and Consumer Discretionary 12.43%.  The top sectors in the IWM all started the year strong.

The top portion of the chart shows the weekly IWM made a new record high of 160.62 on 1/24/18.  The IWM has been in an uptrend (green line) since February 2016, with only one violation that lasted for three weeks in August 2017 (pink circle).  The IWM appears to have stalled, before completing its latest upper channel objective at 164.00 (purple circle), unlike the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, which made higher objectives, not a good sign.  The IWM has been weaker than the other indices as of late.

Over the next several days, watch if the IWM stays above 151.00 keeping the uptrend intact. As of this writing the IWM is 156.69. In addition, if the IWM lags the S&P 500 (SPY), this would be another sign implying further weakness for the IWM that could potentially spill over to other sectors of the market in the near term.  On the other hand, it would be bullish if the Russell 2000 (IWM) index were to stop falling and take out the IWM high at 160.62, and penetrate 164.00 giving higher objectives.

The lower portion of the chart is MACD, a technical indicator that measures momentum. MACD peaked in January 2017, (left purple circle) confirming the price high.  The IWM stayed in a trading range as MACD moved lower until September when MACD turned up.  The rise in MACD has slowed since the initial thrust.  MACD has turned down, (right purple circle) forming a potential negative divergence from last January.  More strength in the IWM is needed in the near term for MACD to make a new momentum high.

Figure: The iShares Russell 2000 Index (IWM) Daily Price Channel, and 12-26-9 Week MACD

The top portion of the chart shows the Daily iShares Russell 2000 Index ETF (IWM).

The IWM has been in a daily uptrend since August 2017.   The short-term trend is in jeopardy to turn negative if the present decline continues. A close below 155.00 for two days will shift the daily trend from up to down suggesting caution near term.

In the lower portion of the chart MACD has given a fresh sell signal showing momentum is clearly weakening.  If the IWM continues to fall, the uptrend will also be broken, suggesting more selling is possible sooner rather than later.

Summing Up:

January has been a stellar month for the market.  In the past few trading sessions volatility has picked up and the tape action has become more unfavorable. Short and intermediate trend lines are intact for now.  However, further weakness would break the uptrends suggesting a short-term correction is possible.  I am watching very carefully the action in the Russell 2000 as it is one of the few indices that didn’t reach its upper channel objective and now has started to turn down.  Hold off on buying into the dip to see if the IWM remains above 155.00 on this pull back which would break the daily uptrend. A break below 151.00 on the IWM would violate the intermediate trend.   For now, continue to give the benefit of the doubt to the bulls. However, if the uptrends are violated more caution is recommended.

I would love to hear from you. Please call me at 516-829-6444 or email at bgortler@signalert.com to share your thoughts or ask me any questions you might have.

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******Article published by Bonnie Gortler in Systems and Forecasts February 1, 2018

Disclaimer: Although the information is made with a sincere effort for accuracy, it is not guaranteed that the information provided is a statement of fact. Nor can we guarantee the results of following any of the recommendations made herein. Readers are encouraged to meet with their own advisors to consider the suitability of investments for their own particular situations and for determination of their own risk levels. Past performance does not guarantee any future results.

 

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The stock market has had an explosive start in January with the S&P 500 (SPY) and the Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) completing their upside objectives at 276.00 and 164.00 respectively. These are now levels of support if the market were to decline.

What to Watch Now For Direction?

SPDR S&P Financial Select SPDR ETF (XLF) Daily Price (Top), and MACD 19-26-9 (Bottom)

The top part of the chart shows the daily Financial Sector SPDR (XLF), an exchange traded-fund (ETF) that tracks a mix of diversified financial service firms, insurance, banks, capital markets, consumer finance and thrift companies. As of 01/217/18, the top holdings of XLF are Berkshire Hathaway B, (BRK.b) 11.50%, JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM) 11.07%, Bank of America Corp (BAC) 8.61%, Wells Fargo & Co (WFC) 7.87%, and Citigroup Inc. (C), 5.79%. When financials are strong the S&P 500 (SPY) also tends to do well because the S&P 500 index has 14.85% of its holdings in the financial sector, second in weight only to the technology sector (at 23.96% as of 01/16/18).

Financial stocks made a low in September of 2017 and then stalled at the middle channel before breaking out in November 2017. The XLF then went sideways holding the middle channel.  In the start of 2018 the XLF has come to life, up 5.41% outperforming the S&P 500 (SPY), (as of 01/17/18), a bullish sign.  Historically, it’s a sign of a healthy market when financial stocks are strong; showing signs there is economic growth.  The daily upside target is 30.50, now only 3.6% away. Support is at 27.50.

The bottom half of the chart is MACD (12, 26, 9) a technical indicator that measures momentum.  MACD is rising, a positive sign. Keep an eye out for a potential break in the uptrend in MACD (green line).   An MACD turndown now would not favorable because MACD would fail to confirm the price high and instead would form a negative divergence.  This would be a warning the rally could be running out of steam.

The good news is the uptrend in MACD remains intact, and if the rise in MACD continues then MACD will confirm the XLF high.  A break above 30.50 on a closing basis would give higher upside targets to 33.50 coinciding with the weekly upside objective.  (See chart below).

SPDR S&P Financial Select SPDR ETF (XLF) Weekly Price (Top), and MACD 19-26-9 (Bottom)

The top part of the chart shows the weekly Financial Sector SPDR (XLF). The XLF has been in a steady intermediate uptrend since 2016.  The upside objective is 33.50, 13.9% higher from today’s close at 29.41.  Support is at 23.50.  MACD in the lower portion of the chart is still rising and its uptrend also remains in effect.  Therefore, the likelihood is for the XLF to continue to rise.

Just to Sum Up:

Stocks have started 2018 with a bang. Our U.S. equity timing model remains on its October 31st buy, a condition where historically risk has been below average and returns above average. The financial sector has been one of the leaders of the advance, which is a sign of a healthy market.  If the XLF closes above 30.50 then the next higher upside target would be 33.50.    As long as the XLF stays above 27.50 further gains in the financial sector are likely.

I would love to hear from you. Please call me at 516-829-6444 or email at bgortler@signalert.com to share your thoughts or ask me any questions you might have.


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*******Article published by Bonnie Gortler in Systems and Forecasts January 18, 2018

Disclaimer: Although the information is made with a sincere effort for accuracy, it is not guaranteed that the information provided is a statement of fact. Nor can we guarantee the results of following any of the recommendations made herein. Readers are encouraged to meet with their own advisors to consider the suitability of investments for their own particular situations and for determination of their own risk levels. Past performance does not guarantee any future results.

 

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Who would have thought the major average averages would be in a steady uptrend since late August?  There has been no decline of more than 3% on the S&P 500 index as the market climbs the wall of worry to record highs. Short term price uptrends and support levels remain intact in the major averages.

The Russell 2000 (IWM) has been in a consolidating pattern since October 4. Several times the IWM has tried to break out to the upside.  However, it’s a bit worrisome the latest rally attempt failed this week. Also a point of concern, investor sentiment is showing very high optimism. In the past, at these levels short-term declines have started.  On the other hand, the Volatility Index (VIX) that measures fear is near its lows, a positive sign, and favorable seasonality has begun.

Watch the Movement of Small Caps Closely

Weakness in the Russell 2000 (IWM) or sudden weakness in Technology stocks (QQQ) would be a sign a short term pullback is likely.  A bullish sign would be if the Russell 2000 (IWM) index were to stop its present decline, reverse and take out the highs made on November 1.  In addition, if the Russell 2000 (IWM) could outperform the S&P 500 (SPY), new 52-week highs begin to expand, and volume increases on up days, while new 52-week lows contract, this would be positive for the market.

The iShares Russell 2000 Index (IWM) Weekly Price Channel, Upside Objective Channel, and 19-26-9 Week MACD

The top portion of the chart shows the weekly iShares Russell 2000 Index ETF (IWM) which is made up of companies with a market capitalization of between $300 million and $2 billion. The IWM made a high of 150.68 on 10/09/17, breaking out above its upper channel.  A consolidation followed with the IWM confined in a tight trading range, but has since turned down.  Even so, IWM is holding above an important support area.

The good news is during the short-term decline, the IWM remains above the weekly uptrend (pink line) while the other major averages are holding their ground.

The lower portion of the chart is MACD, a technical indicator that measures momentum. MACD peaked in January 2017, confirming the price high. The MACD sell turned out to be premature. The IWM consolidated while MACD weakened but didn’t get oversold, and go below 0. In September MACD turned up, broke the down trend (black line) not confirming the October high, and is now starting to roll over, showing a sign of a loss of momentum.  It’s a little early to know if MACD will continue to decline or if MACD will turn up and have enough strength to make a new momentum high.

The Russell 2000 (IWM) support is at 143.00. Resistance is at the old highs at 150.68 with an upside objective of 162.00.

Summing Up:

With our models in the most favorable condition and favorable seasonality, I am looking for the short term decline in the IWM to reverse and at least challenge the old highs at 150.69 and potentially reach the upper channel at 162.00.  If the IWM were to close below the lows made on 08/18/17 at 134.12 (circled in orange), this would negate my bullish view.

Intermediate Uptrend Continues In Technology Despite Slowdown in Momentum

 

PowerShares QQQ ETF (Nasdaq 100 Index) Weekly Price and Trend Channels (Top), and MACD 12-26-9 (Bottom)

The top part of the chart shows the weekly Power Shares 100 (QQQ), an exchange-traded fund based on the Nasdaq 100 Index, and its operative trend channel (purple line).

The QQQ includes 100 of the largest domestic and international nonfinancial companies listed on the Nasdaq stock market based on market capitalization.  As of 11/7/17, Apple, (AAPL) is the largest holding comprising 12.47%, Microsoft Corp (MSFT) 8.96%, Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) 7.45%, Facebook, Inc. Class A (FB) 5.90%, Alphabet Inc. Class C (GOOG) 4.96%, and Alphabet Inc. Class A (GOOGL), 4.33 % totaling 44.07%.

The QQQ breached the middle channel after a 9-week consolidation (red circle) on 04/24/17 and continues to make new highs with only small pullbacks along the way.  The intermediate price trend remains up as long as the QQQ is above its uptrend line (orange).  Support is at 145.00 and the upside channel objective at 162.00.  If the QQQ falls below 145.00, on a weekly close, (an unlikely event), this would change the intermediate trend from up to down, implying weakness potentially to the lower channel at 116.00.

The bottom half of the chart is MACD (12, 26, 9), a measure of momentum. There has been no MACD confirmation of the highs made in QQQ as it did in June.  However, it is a positive sign MACD has turned up, after the negative divergence in MACD (green circles) and the uptrend is broken. I recommend keeping an eye on the top holdings in the QQQ over the next several weeks for an advanced warning of a trend change.

In Sum:

Technology continues to be in favor, outperforming the S&P 500.  As long as the QQQ is above 145.00 on a weekly close (orange line), more gains are likely toward the upper channel objective at 162.00.  Our models are positive and price uptrends are intact so there is a good reason to expect a year-end rally. Be aware of a short term decline to start if small caps remain weaker than the S&P 500, the top holdings in the QQQ begin to falter, and the uptrends are violated.  However, the trend is your friend.  Continue to enjoy the ride.

I would love to hear from you. Please call me at 516-829-6444 or email at bgortler@signalert.com to share your thoughts or ask me any questions you might have.

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*******Article published by Bonnie Gortler in Systems and Forecasts November 9, 2017

Disclaimer: Although the information is made with a sincere effort for accuracy, it is not guaranteed that the information provided is a statement of fact. Nor can we guarantee the results of following any of the recommendations made herein. Readers are encouraged to meet with their own advisors to consider the suitability of investments for their own particular situations and for determination of their own risk levels. Past performance does not guarantee any future results.

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Renewed talk of U.S. tax reform and the good start to earning seasons have pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a new record high on October 24.  However, the Nasdaq, S&P 500, and Russell 2000 were unable to do the same. The market has been in a steady uptrend since late August.  As the rally continues higher, so does investor optimism.  Short term price uptrends and support levels remain intact for the major averages.

Our equity timing model will shift from hold to bullish on November 1. Also unfavorable seasonality is out and favorable seasonality is in.

What to expect now?  The bulls to remain in control:

  • The daily tape action suggests there are no signs of a market top.
  • Overseas markets are in uptrends supporting the U.S. Market.
  • Although the Nasdaq is no longer leading in relative strength compared to the S&P 500, the top holdings Apple (APPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon (AMZN), Alphabet Inc. Class A (GOOGL), and Facebook all remain above support. These stocks have quickly rebounded after a pullback.
  • High Yield Bonds are at or near their highs.
  • Volatility remains low.
  • Market breadth indicators are positive. The advance/decline line has made new highs.
  • The Russell 2000 (IWM) has been in a very narrow range since the highs made on October 4, not giving up much ground while digesting its gains after breaking out of its weekly channel.

Higher Intermediate Term Upside Objectives Remain For the S&P 500 (SPY)

Figure: S&P 500 SPDR ETF Weekly Price Channel (SPY, top) and 12-26-9 MACD (bottom)

The chart above is the weekly SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) ETF that is comprised of 500 stocks of the largest companies in the U.S. When you invest in the S&P 500 (SPY), you will get a broad representation of the overall large-cap U.S. stock market.

As of 10/25/17 its top 5 holdings in the S&P 500 were Apple Inc. (AAPL) 3.67%, Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) 2.74%, Facebook (FB) 1.84%, Amazon (AMZN) 1.76%, and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) 1.72% totaling   11.73%.  The top part of the chart is the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) ETF and its active weekly (intermediate) trading channel. The SPY continues its slow and steady rise this year. The SPY remains clearly in an uptrend that began in February 2016 (green line).  Declines have been minor and brief. Until this trendline is broken, no serious threat of a major decline should occur.

The upside channel objective is 276.00 (orange line).  In the unlikely event the SPY falls below 245.00, the area where the SPY broke out of its range, this would turn the intermediate trend negative and imply potential weakness towards the middle channel at 210.00

The bottom half of the chart shows the Relative Strength Index, a measure of momentum developed by Welles Wilder. RSI is based on the ratio of upward price changes to downward price changes. RSI peaked at 76.04 confirmed the SPY price high.  RSI readings of 70 or higher show strength and are most times considered bullish, not a sign of a top. Generally, as long as RSI stays above 40, the trend is up.  The bullish uptrend in RSI from 1/16/16 remains intact.

On the other hand, RSI has lost some momentum.  It’s normal for momentum to weaken (red circle) after a large rally. Short-term weakness is perfectly normal after a large run-up in prices.  We should expect to see either a minor pullback or sideways consolidation before another rally attempt can occur.  If the SPY penetrates 258.00, just above the recent highs, the buyers will step in.

 In Sum

As long as the S&P 500 (SPY) uptrend remains in effect, SPY should work its way higher toward the upper weekly channel at 276.00.  If the downtrend is broken (green lines) on either price or RSI a warning sign would be given and caution would be recommended.  With our trading model likely to change from hold to the most bullish condition on November 1, and November and December historically a very favorable time for investment gains in equities, I recommend buying dips in the S&P 500 (SPY) as long as the SPY remains above 245.00.

I would love to hear from you. Please call me at 516-829-6444 or email at bgortler@signalert.com to share your thoughts or ask me any questions you might have.

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*******Article published by Bonnie Gortler in Systems and Forecasts October  26, 2017

Disclaimer: Although the information is made with a sincere effort for accuracy, it is not guaranteed that the information provided is a statement of fact. Nor can we guarantee the results of following any of the recommendations made herein. Readers are encouraged to meet with their own advisors to consider the suitability of investments for their own particular situations and for determination of their own risk levels. Past performance does not guarantee any future results.

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Historically September has not been favorable for stocks, with the S&P 500 declining a majority of the time. But surprisingly this September the major averages are near or at new highs, positive for the month. The major averages didn’t give up much ground after the Fed meeting and political concerns overseas.  The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged but implied they would increase interest rates one more time by year-end, despite low inflation. There was a noticeable shift that took place as investors took profits rotating out of some of the leading sectors this year such as Technology and Utilities, and moved into sectors that were lagging.  Energy, Industrials, and Financials were the big winners.

The bullish case remains for the overall market. Our equity timing models remain overall on a “hold” suggesting further gains are likely with risk contained.   The advance decline line of the New York Stock Exchange Index and Transportation average has confirmed the major average highs suggesting a market top is unlikely.  The iShares Russell 2000 Index (IWM) ETF is trending higher leading the advance, a healthy sign for the market. However, there are some sectors showing a loss of upside momentum, which means stock and sector selection will be more important going into the fourth quarter and early next year.

 Health Care (XLV), a leader so far this year might have hit its peak.

  Figure: Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV, top and MACD 12-26-9 (bottom)

The top portion of the chart above is the weekly Health Care SPDR (XLV) that is comprised of companies from industry groups including pharmaceuticals; health care providers & services; health care equipment & supplies; biotechnology; life sciences tools & services; and health care technology.  As of 09/25/17, the top 5 holdings in the XLV were Johnson and Johnson (JNJ) 11.26%, Pfizer (PFE) 6.78%, United Health Group (UNH) 5.98%, Merck (MRK) 5.70%, and AbbVie Inc. (ABBV) 4.41%, totaling 34.13%. Except for a few short term declines, Healthcare (XLV) in 2017 has trended higher and is up 18.00% through 09/26/17, outperforming the S&P 500.

The biggest holding, Johnson and Johnson (JNJ) has been trending down. MACD is on a sell along with a bearish negative divergence. JNJ has broken its uptrend from January 2017 (chart not shown).

Notice in the top chart, how the XLV made a new high in July, breaking through its old high, but stalled immediately.   A few weeks later the XLV pulled back to 77.82 (red circle) successfully testing its breakout then rising for three weeks to make a new high at 83.41.  It’s encouraging the XLV uptrend remains in effect from February 2017.  However, in the last two weeks, investors have shifted away from healthcare and some short term selling pressure has begun.

The bottom half of the chart shows MACD, a measure of momentum.  MACD is on a sell and the MACD pattern is suggesting a possible peak for the short term in healthcare (XLV).  MACD is above 0, rolling over with a double top, forming a negative divergence (a higher high in price but a lower high in MACD, (green circles).

The moment of truth is here. There are two significant uptrend lines in jeopardy if the XLV continues to decline.  The uptrend from 02/08/17 would be broken (pink line) on any further weakness. However, the longer term uptrend in MACD from 12/5/16 remains intact (orange line).

In Sum: Healthcare has had a substantial rise.  Declining momentum patterns are appearing signaling some weakness might lie ahead. Keep an eye if the XLV breaks below support at 77.82 on a weekly close.  Now is not a good time to be over invested in health care.  Caution is warranted, the party could be coming to an end soon.

More evidence: A potential shift away from Health Care (XLV) in the short term.

Figure: Daily (XLV) / (SPY) Ratio (Top); MACD of XLV/SPY Ratio (Bottom)

The chart above is the daily Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF/ S&P 500 ratio XLV/SPY.  A rising line means the XLV is stronger, and if falling, the S&P 500 is stronger.  The XLV/SPY ratio has been in an uptrend since January 2017.  Since the peak on September 8, 2017, the XLV/SPY ratio has turned down, giving a warning of deteriorating momentum in comparison to the S&P 500 (SPY). The uptrend was broken today.

The bottom half of the chart shows the 12-26-9 MACD, on the XLV/SPY ratio. MACD recently generated a sell, turning down from an overbought condition.  Notice the negative divergence in the MACD pattern.  MACD formed a lower high than the peak in June (green circles) while the XLV/SPY ratio in the top chart made a high, (red circles) suggesting a shift in trend has started and more weakness in XLV is expected compared to S&P 500.

I am recommending you review your holdings, making sure you are not over weight in health care.

Summing Up:

The stock market advance continued through September, one of the weakest months historically. Investors appear to be rotating out of some of the leading sectors starting with Nasdaq early in September.  Health care, (XLV)  one of the strongest sectors of the market this year, is giving warning signals of weakening momentum compared to the S&P 500 (SPY),  suggesting it too might hit a bump in the road.  I recommend reviewing your portfolio and reducing your healthcare exposure.  If Healthcare (XLV) breaks below 77.82, on a weekly close this would trigger further selling.

I would love to hear from you. Please call me at 516-829-6444 or email at bgortler@signalert.com to share your thoughts or ask me any questions you might have.

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*******Article published by Bonnie Gortler in Systems and Forecasts September 28, 2017

Disclaimer: Although the information is made with a sincere effort for accuracy, it is not guaranteed that the information provided is a statement of fact. Nor can we guarantee the results of following any of the recommendations made herein. Readers are encouraged to meet with their own advisors to consider the suitability of investments for their own particular situations and for determination of their own risk levels. Past performance does not guarantee any future results.

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The bears were unable to take control through the ups and downs during July and August. Normally a weak market period, the averages had a modest pullback, holding above key support levels and working off their daily overbought condition.   After the short decline without much price fluctuation, the major averages formed favorable technical patterns on a daily basis  from oversold conditions. The bulls stepped in to buy and the bears were disappointed once again.  At the time of this writing, we remain in a rally phase that began in the end of August. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq made new record closing highs on September 12.  

Price trends seem to be more significant indicating market direction than weakening momentum patterns.  The recent rise occurred even thought there were clear negative patterns on many intermediate charts.  It’s good to keep in mind, there has been not been a bear market since March 2009, when the past bear market ended.  The rise in equities since then is one of the longest time periods without at least a 20 percent drop in the S&P 500.

On this latest rally there has been no big thrust in volume or surge in market breadth to suggest a strong up move is forthcoming.  However, there has been no major sign of danger either.  Our models remain overall neutral-positive for the intermediate term which means upside potential remains greater than downside risk.  Weakening momentum patterns remain on the intermediate charts and still need to be monitored.  However, until support levels and uptrends are broken look for higher prices ahead.

These clues will help guide you if the market will continue to advance or weaken.

7 Simple Clues You Want To Follow For a Potential Trend Change

  1. Overseas markets have been strong. Observe the action to see if overseas markets continue to rise or begin to stall and work their way lower. Watch Emerging Markets (EEM), China (FXI) and Europe (IEV) as benchmarks.
  2. Follow the Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) if it continues to make new highs or turns down. Keep an eye on Apple (APPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon (AMZN), Alphabet Inc Class A (GOOGL), and Facebook, (FB) if they start to lag and start to turn down.
  3. High Yield Bonds weaken, turning lower instead of holding their ground or rising. Use the ETF’s HYG or JNK as a benchmark.
  4. The Transportation Average (IYT) has not yet confirmed the Dow Industrials high. If the IYT turns down now and doesn’t close above 175.40 this would not be a good sign.
  5. Volatility remains low. Watch if VIX takes out the August 11 high of 17.28. A warning signal would be if VIX goes above the high made on September 5 at 14.06.
  6. New 52 week lows on the New York Stock Exchange Index are low, presently at 8. An increase to over 150 would not be a good sign.
  7. Watch the last hour of trading. If the major averages closes near the low end of their daily range instead of near the highs, this would be bearish.

 

Keep an eye on the S&P 500 (SPY) For a Breakout

 

The SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) Daily Price Channel and 19-26-9 MACD

The top part of the chart is the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) ETF and its active daily trading channel.  The S&P 500 Index (SPY) is comprised of 500 stocks of the largest companies in the U.S.   The S&P 500 (SPY) this week made a new all-time high.  The new high coincides with hitting the daily upside channel.  Further strength in the SPY now, will give a new short term channel objective to 259.00, another 3.6% higher.  A break below 239.00 on a closing basis would raise a red flag.

The lower portion of the chart is the 12-26-9 MACD, a measure of momentum.   MACD is on a buy since late August.  MACD is above 0, rising and its pattern has room to the upside before it would be considered extended.  MACD broke its daily down trend from its March 1 peak.

Higher Intermediate Term Upside Objectives For the S&P 500 (SPY)

 

 

 The SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) Weekly Price Channel and 12-26-9 MACD

The top part of the chart is the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) ETF and its active weekly (intermediate) trading channel. The SPY has had a slow and steady rise this year.  The SPY chart pattern has been in a consolidating pattern, with an upside bias.  The SPY remains clearly in an uptrend (black line).  There has not been even a minor downside penetration of the trendline since the lows were made on 2/8/16.   Declines have been small and for relatively short periods of time. Until this trendline is broken, no serious threat of a major decline should occur.   The upside channel objective is 277.00. Below 239.00 implies more weakness towards the middle channel at 212.00.

Summing Up:

The major averages have made new highs.  However, keep in mind intermediate momentum patterns have not confirmed the recent highs.  The market breadth and volume indicators that we follow have not been strong enough to generate any impulse signals that suggest the rally is sustainable and would be stronger than an average market rise.  There has been no real thrust on the advancing days to get excited about, however not much ground has been given up either.  Our stock market timing models remain neutral-positive, indicating a potentially profitable market climate and potential further gains over the next several weeks to months.

As long as the SPY remains above 239.00, the trend is up and the odds favor the SPY to work its way higher towards the upside channel objective at 277.00.  If the SPY falls below 239.00 on a weekly close, then risk would increase, and the intermediate trend would change from up to down implying more potential weakness towards the middle channel at 212.00.  Ride the trend for now. However, watch for the 7 clues for a potential trend change.

I would love to hear from you. Please call me at 516-829-6444 or email at bgortler@signalert.com to share your thoughts or ask me any questions you might have.

*******Article published by Bonnie Gortler in Systems and Forecasts September 15, 2017

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The market remains very resilient.   The bulls appear to be in control again after the bears were unable to take the market down.  Major averages are only a few percent away from their highs after the recent short term decline.   Investors continue to be enamored with technology stocks.   Apple is (APPL) leading the way, making new all-time highs this past week. However, intermediate momentum patterns are weakening.

The good news is the market is oversold on a short term basis, suggesting more gains in the early part of the month are a good possibility. However, keep in mind September is not a favorable month historically.  Also, intermediate and long term chart patterns are not in favorable position. Many have potential negative divergences that could cause the rally to fizzle if the buyers turn to sellers.

Our models remain overall neutral-positive for the intermediate term (weeks-months).  If there is a decline, it should be limited.

Keep an eye on Technology for leadership or trouble ahead.

PowerShares QQQ ETF (Nasdaq 100 Index) Weekly Price and Trend Channels (Top), and MACD 12-26-9 (Bottom)

The top part of the chart shows the weekly Power Shares 100 (QQQ), an exchange-traded fund based on the Nasdaq 100 Index and its operative trend channel. The QQQ includes 100 of the largest domestic and international nonfinancial companies listed on the Nasdaq stock market based on market capitalization. As of 08/30/17, Apple, (AAPL) is the largest holding comprising 12.51%, Microsoft Corp (MSFT) 8.40%, Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) 6.80%, Facebook, Inc. Class A (FB) 5.90%, Alphabet Inc. Class C (GOOG) 4.74%, and Alphabet Inc. Class A (GOOGL), 4.13 % totaling 42.48%.

The QQQ breached the middle channel after a 9-week consolidation (red circle) on 04/24/17.  Buyers stepped in and the QQQ rallied for several weeks. However, the rally was not strong enough to reach the upper channel.  At the present time, the QQQ has successfully pulled back for the second time, testing the breakout from June, as of this writing at 145.48.  The intermediate trend remains up as long as the QQQ remains above its trend line (see the orange line).  As long as the QQQ remains above key support at 139.00, the QQQ could work its way higher, potentially to the upside channel objective at 161.00.

The bottom half of the chart is MACD (12, 26, 9), a measure of momentum. MACD is giving a different message than price.  In June, MACD confirmed the price high suggesting further gains ahead and any decline would be short lived and contained.  This is not what MACD is saying now.  MACD has given a sell. Notice the clear negative divergence in MACD (green circles).  Price made a high that wasn’t confirmed by MACD.  The sell might be a bit early, however tops take a longer time to form than bottoms.  I recommend keeping an eye on the top holdings in the QQQ over the next several weeks for when and if they start to decline and causing pressure on the QQQ, giving an advanced warning of a trend change.

 

Weekly Price of Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon (AMZN), Alphabet Inc Class A (GOOGL), and Facebook, (FB) and MACD 12-26-9

Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon (AMZN), Alphabet Inc Class A (GOOGL), and Facebook, (FB) are all top holdings of the QQQ, and are in weekly price uptrends (orange line). MACD in all four stocks is overbought. Alphabet Inc A (GOOGL) and Amazon (AMZN) remain in an uptrend based on price similar to the QQQ.  Both stocks are on a MACD sell with the uptrend broken, not a favorable pattern. The risk is high at this time.  Microsoft (MSFT) is at key price support, MACD has stopped rising, and threatening to break it’s up trend. Facebook, (FB) is under its all-time high and looks to be the strongest of the four stocks.  MACD has made higher highs confirming the strength of the stock.  As long as these stocks remain firm, the QQQ should continue higher towards the upside objective of 161.00.

Summing Up:

Our models remain overall neutral-positive for the intermediate term which means upside potential remains greater than downside risk. Investors continue to find joy in technology stocks that are leading the latest advance.  The intermediate uptrend in the Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) price and four of its top holdings, Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon (AMZN), Alphabet INC A (GOOGL), and Facebook, (FB) are all intact which is bullish.  As long as the QQQ remains above its key support of 139.00, the QQQ could work its way higher to the upside channel objective at 161.00.  If the QQQ falls below 139.00 on a weekly close, the risk would increase, as the intermediate trend would change from up to down implying weakness could occur, towards the lower channel at 113.00.  The rally has come to life. However, intermediate momentum patterns say it could be short lived and fizzle.

I would love to hear from you. Please call me at 516-829-6444 or email at bgortler@signalert.com to share your thoughts or ask me any questions you might have.

*******Article published by Bonnie Gortler in Systems and Forecasts September 01, 2017

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Disclaimer: Although the information is made with a sincere effort for accuracy, it is not guaranteed that the information provided is a statement of fact. Nor can we guarantee the results of following any of the recommendations made herein. Readers are encouraged to meet with their own advisors to consider the suitability of investments for their own particular situations and for determination of their own risk levels. Past performance does not guarantee any future results.

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New record highs in price on the major averages such as the S&P 500 Index, Nasdaq Composite Index and Russell 2000 occurred in late July. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) penetrated another round number, the 22,000 level. However, what is disturbing are technical indicators measuring momentum, such as MACD didn’t surpass its momentum highs from June. Fear has been on the rise as the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), the stock market’s fear measure, spiked on the recent short term decline in August after many days of low volatility.

Our models remain overall neutral-positive, suggesting further gains are expected with downside risk remaining modest. Investors remain focused on many items including economic data for a possible December rate hike, a potential decrease in taxes, new health reform, and world events.  Some investors remain on the sidelines waiting for more clarity, or on vacation taking some time off like me.  The market was very quiet for over two weeks while I was gone and then last week, the tone of the market seemed to have changed.  The market no longer was in a consolidation pattern. The S&P 500 index fell 1.4%, its worst week since March, while the Nasdaq lost 1.5%.  The leader of the decline was small-cap stocks.  The Russell 2000 index (IWM) fell last week 2.7%, its biggest one week decline since February 2016.  It’s not a healthy sign when small caps are weaker than the overall market.

Watch the Movement Now of Small Caps Closely- iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) Weekly Price (Top), and 12-26-9 Week MACD (Bottom)

The top portion of the chart shows the weekly iShares Russell 2000 Index ETF (IWM) which is made up of companies with a market capitalization of between $300 million and $2 billion. The IWM made a high of 138.82 on 12/08/16 stopping at its upper channel.  The IWM went sideways for about 8 weeks, not giving up much ground.  The pattern of slightly higher highs continued followed by small pullbacks (purple circles).  None of the pullbacks that occurred penetrated the uptrend that was in effect.  This latest peak in July (red circle) failed again to penetrate the channel, and the uptrend is in jeopardy of being broken.

The lower portion of the chart is MACD, a technical indicator that measures momentum. MACD has an ugly looking pattern. Initially, MACD confirmed the price high in December 2016. On the following advances to new highs, MACD failed to confirm. Now momentum is clearly weakening and the formation is spread over 29 weeks. Usually, a divergence spread over time is a sign that the price may be reversing. Weakness in the Russell 2000 (IWM) below the low made on 08/07/17 at 135.77, would suggest last week’s decline may continue. If violated on a closing basis expect the IWM to fall to the next support level at 132.40 the 03/27/17 low and potentially to the weekly channel objective at 124.00.


Summing Up:

The market remains very resilient in 2017 with major averages continuing to make new all-time highs. Small caps have been unable to break out through its upper channel and on the latest decline, they led the market lower, not a healthy sign for the market. Pullbacks have been rare this year, turning into buying opportunities. With the IWM intermediate momentum pattern clearly weakening, forming a negative divergence spread over 29 weeks, now is not the time to take on additional risk in small caps bottom fishing on any pullback.

 

*******Article published by Bonnie Gortler in Systems and Forecasts August 17, 2017

 

 

 

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Disclaimer: Although the information is made with a sincere effort for accuracy, it is not guaranteed that the information provided is a statement of fact. Nor can we guarantee the results of following any of the recommendations made herein. Readers are encouraged to meet with their own advisors to consider the suitability of investments for their own particular situations and for determination of their own risk levels. Past performance does not guarantee any future results.

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Equity market overview – The bulls remain in control for now

The stock market continues its winning ways.  In 2017, any decline that has occurred has been contained to only a few percent because the bulls quickly stepped in to buy and the market rebounded.   Major averages are at or near their all-time highs.  The New York Stock Exchange Index cumulative advance decline line has likewise made a new all-time high.  Overseas markets are rising, especially emerging markets.  The transportation average recently confirmed the Dow Jones high.  (However, the Transports have pulled back this week.  The significance of this divergence from the Industrials is unclear at this early stage.)  VIX, a measure of fear, is at 9.79 on 07/18/17, historically a very low level.   All of these factors are supporting our market.   At this time only a few warning signs exist, such as unfavorable seasonality and some weakening momentum patterns appearing on some of the intermediate and long term charts.

The positives far outweigh the few warning signs that don’t seem to be deterring the bulls from moving the market higher. There is no evidence of a change in the prevailing uptrend.  Our U.S. equity models remain overall neutral-bullish suggesting higher prices are likely over the next several months.  Any pullback, if it were to occur is likely to be contained, rather than a larger decline of more than 20%.

ETF Corner

Let’s turn now away from US equities to review the position of Gold (GLD) since my article in the June 8, 2017 Systems and Forecasts newsletter “Gold Appears Ready to Shine”.   As a reminder, you can trade gold bullion with the SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD).  Purchasing the ETF (GLD) is an easy way to participate without holding the physical commodity.   GLD tends to be trendy, once it establishes its direction.

The top portion of the GLD chart above shows the weekly active trend channel in effect (blue lines).

Gold (GLD) bottomed at 107.00 on 12/15/16.  GLD penetrated the high on 04/17/17 at 123.07, slightly breaking the downtrend from its peak (orange line) on 07/05/16 , which appeared to be a breakout at the time. Instead, the breakout was false as GLD stalled at the middle channel, not powering through.    GLD fell for five weeks to a low of 114.80 then turned up, holding well above the lower channel at 111.00 and above the low at 114.80.  If GLD closes above the high at 123.07 (green circle) this time, GLD would likely be a true breakout. The potential upside target is 139.00.   A close below the lower channel support at 111.00 would negate my bullish outlook.

The lower portion of the chart is the 12-26-9 MACD, a momentum indicator.  MACD gave a buy from an extreme oversold condition as GLD rose.  On the latest pullback MACD penetrated 0 and has now turned slightly below 0.    Any short term rise in price now would turn MACD up and form a positive double bottom formation.  This would imply further gains over the intermediate term (weeks-months).

SPDR GOLD TRUST ETF (GLD) Daily and 12-26-9 MACD  

The top portion of the GLD chart above is the daily price with a 200-Day Simple Moving Average (blue line).  The 200-day moving average is a common technical indicator which investors use to evaluate the price trend. Very simply put, it’s the average of GLD closing price over the last 200 days.  If the price of the security is above the moving average it’s bullish (green circles).  If the price is below the moving average, it’s bearish (red circles).  Notice how on 07/18/17 GLD is above its 200-day moving average. In addition, Gold (GLD) has penetrated the down trend (black line) suggesting further gains are likely in the near term.

The lower portion of the chart is the 12-26-9 MACD, a momentum indicator.  MACD has generated a fresh buy together with a downside trend line break. This is a favorable development for GLD.

In Sum: 

U.S. equities continue their winning ways with the bulls remaining in control until proven otherwise. Our U.S. equity models remain overall neutral-bullish suggesting higher prices are likely over the next several months.  Another buying opportunity for the gold bullion ETF (GLD) is here.  Gold (GLD) is above its 200-day simple moving average and has successfully tested it weekly low.  As long as Gold (GLD) is above 111.00, look for Gold (GLD) to trend higher.

I would love to hear from you. Please call 516-829-6444 or email at bgortler@signalert.com to share your thoughts or ask me any questions you might have.

*******Article published by Bonnie Gortler in Systems and Forecasts July 20, 2017

 

 

 

 

If you like this article, then you will love this!

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Your Wealth and Well-Being E-Book HERE

 

 


 

Disclaimer: Although the information is made with a sincere effort for accuracy, it is not guaranteed that the information provided is a statement of fact. Nor can we guarantee the results of following any of the recommendations made herein. Readers are encouraged to meet with their own advisors to consider the suitability of investments for their own particular situations and for determination of their own risk levels. Past performance does not guarantee any future results