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To Re-Open or Not

Here’s something I don’t get to write very often: even though the markets look over-bought here, they looked poised to take out their all-time-highs this week.

Sure enough, major indexes are over-bought – statistically, I mean. But statistics schmatistics. This is 2020, where anything goes.

A quick look at the chart below will show that prices are way at the top of the ‘cloud’ (a technical measure of the last 21 trading days and the standard deviation of the period’s trading range). In typical circumstances this would suggest prices are temporarily too high and due for a pull-back. But did we mention 2020?

At times a shift in news or sentiment will create a shift in the market. It is a dislocation, but it also marks a potential trend-shift in market prices. When this occurs, it’s not uncommon to see ‘typical’ market measurements temporarily thrown out the window. And that’s what appears to be the set-up.

Last week’s announcement of a Covid vaccine was greeted by a lot of optimism in the markets. Meanwhile, on the other hand, the number of reported Covid cases is at an all-time high. The beauty of the markets is, it’s willing to strip away much of the politics from the data. And the rise in cases doesn’t seem to matter that much to the success of the economy (as long as cases don’t outstrip hospital capacity).

What does seem to matter is whether or not economies are allowed to remain open. If Covid cases lead to enough hospitalizations, new lock-downs could occur (such as the new lockdowns announced in Oregon beginning Wednesday, shutting down dine-in restaurants and restricting stores to partial capacity).

New shutdowns would likely be greeted by market pull-backs. But so far, the shutdowns appear to be mainly a West Coast deep-blue phenomenon. We shall see if the concept gains traction or not. The announcement of yet another vaccine today (this time from Moderna) shows promise and suggests a silver lining may yet be found for this pandemic.

For the week, look for the markets to open higher on Monday and likely set all-time highs for both the S&P 500 and the DJIA. The SPX is now ‘hunting’ for the 3800 level, perhaps before year’s end. For this week, the target appears to be 3675. It will take a drop below last week’s low of 3511 to break this trend.

A couple of other details worth noting:

The SPX, being more tech-heavy these days, may underperform the DJIA for the remainder of the year. Likewise, the NASDAQ may underperform the other indexes over the same time period. There has been significant price improvement in the Russell 2000 indicating money is beginning to shift in the economy. The ‘stay at home’ trade has been a very powerful trend for 2020. However, Big Tech in many respects is over-bought. It would not at all be surprising to see money begin to shift out of big tech toward other areas of the economy if vaccines shift the trade from stay-at-home to back to the ‘old normal.’ If this shift happens, it would create a headwind for both the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ given their overweighting to tech.

As always, do your own homework. This is just a blog, not a recommendation. But if you’ve been reading this for a while, you know how that works.

Now please forward to a friend or share this somewhere. Apparently it helps search engines find us. So we’d sure appreciate if you could help us spread the word. Cheers!

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by BigFoot), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from BigFoot. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. BigFoot is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the BigFoot’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.

Hard to Fight a Trend

This market has a lot of momentum.

Yes, it’s an underwhelming statement; but it’s nonetheless true. The stock market has the wind at its back these days. Even in the face of scary headlines about Coronavirus epidemics.

The reality is that Coronavirus is having an effect on systemic profitability. It has altered behaviors and shuttered factories for many multinational players. The result is, not surprisingly, profit headwinds.

And yet this market goes higher.

Did we mention this market has a lot of momentum?

This is becoming a more concerning sign as retail investors shrug off concerns, rally behind the cry of a ‘good economy,’ and continue to push stocks to new all-time highs.

Currently, it’s tough to peg just how high this market can go. But the down-side has given us a few technical hints.

The January pull-back for the SPX set up a consolidation wave with support around 3285. This is a little less than three percent below current market levels – not exactly a massive pull-back if those numbers get tested – but enough to give traders a new entry point. And frankly, that seems to be the pattern of this market: buy the dips.

We’ve seen this before, and markets went significantly higher during 2019 when this happened. Will history repeat itself? Who knows? But did we mention this market has a lot of momentum?

Until evidence suggests otherwise, it may be wise not to fight the tape too much on this one. This bull will end, but the eminent demise is not evident at this time.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by BigFoot), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from BigFoot. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. BigFoot is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the BigFoot’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.

Beware of Pullbacks

After setting a series of all-time highs it equity markets may be ripe for a trader’s pull-back. This is typical any time there’s been a material run up in the markets.

While the climb has been orderly, the SPX is showing over-bought characteristics at these levels. Based on our numbers, a pull-back toward the 3035-3050 level would be typical after this kind of move.

This pull-back would also be in line with the bigger overall projection for 2019. In fact, based on projections from nearly a year ago (which is so long ago in market time as to be barely relevant anymore), the SPX has exceeded expectations for 2019.

For the week, the market may yet trend higher. In fact, this may be a good week for the markets as it’s the last full week before the holiday season starts to rev up. But things may start to get dicey once we get into the short Thanksgiving week.

Trying to predict how much higher an all-time high trend goes before a pull-back — especially in light of the circus that is Washington these days — is pretty tough. For now, since there really isn’t any ‘resistance’ in this market, we’ll just have to see how over-bought things can get.

“It’s Christmas Theo. It’s the time of miracles,” Hans Gruber, Nakatomi Plaza, 30th Floor

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by BigFoot), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from BigFoot. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. BigFoot is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the BigFoot’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.

How High from Here?

Last week managed to finish at all-time highs for the SPX. The question now is how high can we go?

While there is no pre-defined limit, our original 2019 projections had 3100 as a likely target. Given current momentum, the SPX may exceed this level either this week or next.

The question will then shift to whether or not we can hang on from here.

If history were to repeat itself, we’ll likely see a bit of a pull-back coming once this initial target is met. The fourth quarter can be tricky though, as holiday rallies are tough to anticipate.

Given the shift away from a more traditional “Black Friday” sales event, it’s possible the big move for this market is happening right now. It’s typical for holiday schedules and window dressing to make for a dicey December.

2019 has been a remarkable calendar year in terms of market performance. Of course, it was a sand-bagged number as the fourth quarter of 2018 really tanked. The technical set-up does not have a major meltdown manifesting in the data yet though. So we may finish with a pretty strong calendar year from here.

Below is a chart of the 2019 projection. Note that 3110 was at the top of the expected range. This does not mean the markets cannot get into rally mode and push past this. It only means the markets would be ahead of expectations – and perhaps a bit over-bought at that point.

The pull-back targets are of bigger concern for most professional investors. How far back is an expected pull-back? Key levels from here would be: 3024/3014/3000/2974/2944.

To put these numbers in context, it’s about a four-percent pull-back. That’s not exactly huge given the moves this year. (Although it would definitely take some of the fun out of things.)

The good news is the end-of-year low target is still about 3010. That’s pretty solid support for this trend.

We’ll see if the Santa rally pushes us to even higher all-time highs. For this week, look for those numbers to push higher.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by BigFoot), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from BigFoot. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. BigFoot is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the BigFoot’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.

Here Comes Earnings Season

The stage is set for an exciting earnings season. Guidance is one thing, but this is where the rubber to meet the road. Can earnings actually grow from here? Or have we seen peak earnings growth for this economic cycle?

It may not matter… yet. The Fed has all but assured markets a rate cut is coming. So there’s little incentive to run for the fixed income markets. There really aren’t a lot of options for investors to find yield — or any returns for that matter — outside of select real estate markets or equities markets. So a multiple-expansion rally is not out of the question at this point.

The funny thing is, while the fundamental story driving this market higher has not changed, the technical picture has become a mixed bag for the S&P 500. The rather orderly expansion continues to behave calmly as the day-over-day pricing break new highs. In fact, five of the last six trading weeks have finished positive.

But there’s more to the story than just printing higher highs. The SPX is above it’s 50, 100, and 200-day moving averages. And it’s now more than 1.5 standard deviations above its 21-day trading average. By those figures, this market is over-bought.

So which is it? Orderly or over-bought? Perhaps both. The thing is, despite being over-bought, there does not seem to be significant pressure for a price correction. Now that 3000 has been breached, the index will need to test this level to see if it will maintain support. Otherwise, a pull-back toward the 2940/50 level would be fairly typical based on the pricing pattern unfolding.

The upside, while possibly breaking out, appears to be around the 3035 level for the week. If this level is breached, a run for 3050 is certainly possible. But given the over-bought nature of the market, it would take some pretty good earnings news to push things that quickly while we’re already at all-time highs.

Should a downdraft materialize, look for the 3000 level to be the first test. A breach of this level is not exactly a problem. It could just mean a test of the 50-day moving average, or somewhere down near 2900 is even possible. This does not negate the current up-trend. It would be a fairly orderly and typical round of profit taking to see this kind of price move. Should the 100-day moving average be pierced then it may be worth taking a closer look at pricing.

For the week, look for the bias to be positive, with some volatility increasing as earnings season gets under way. As long as expectations are met and guidance is reasonable, the 3100 level is still within sight in the next few weeks. If sentiment turns, we will re-evaluate at that time.

Meanwhile, the BigFoot database continues to be around 78% long. This should remain stable as long as volatility remains low.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by BigFoot), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from BigFoot. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. BigFoot is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the BigFoot’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.

Just Right… for Indexes

Don’t look now but markets are near all-time highs (at least for the major indexes).

Last week’s close was the highest (weekly) in history for the S&P500. Discount the fact it was a holiday-shortened week, but this is still a strong signal.

Perhaps most noteworthy was the jobs report. With a big up-side surprise, this makes for an interesting conundrum: is the economic strength such that the Fed will change course, or are rate cuts still in the near future? This week should provide meaningful insight into this question.

In the mean time, it looks like things are in a sweet spot right now: bad news signals Fed intervention, and good news signals… good news. It’s the rare cocktail of almost everything aligning (in the short term) for a push higher.

Futures are indicating a lower open for the SPX, but this may simply be because traders are returning from a holiday-extended weekend and need to square up their portfolios. Once that dust settles, things appear ripe for a short-term push higher.

It appears the SPX has 3000 in its cross-hairs. If the current technical trend comes to pass, once breached, there may be a quick move towards 3100 before the index pulls back to re-test this level.

Keep an eye on the overall picture though. While the indexes look great, not every area of the market is enjoying prosperity. The interesting thing about this push higher is where the money is flowing. While the indexes move higher, a lot of small and mid-cap stocks appear to be left behind in this rally. (Sure, they’re moving higher – but they’re lower than their March highs, unlike the larger-cap indexes which are breaking out to all-time highs).

What this means is unclear at this time. Do we have another significant leg higher for all equities (especially when looking at the yields in the fixed income markets today)? Or are we looking at the last flash of brilliance as investors pile into large-caps before the bears have their day? Time will tell. But for now, the technical picture looks short-term bullish.

For a deeper dive into the technical picture, join us on this week’s forum call. Until then, keep an eye on the 3000 level for the SPX. If this gets breached Monday, things could go as high as… 3082ish this week (yes, you read that right). For now, this number seems ambitious. But, as goofy as it may seem, 3025 looks probable at this point.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by BigFoot), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from BigFoot. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. BigFoot is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the BigFoot’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.

All Time Highs

Futures are indicating the markets will push to all-time highs today. This is based on the news that there appears to be some kind of “Tariff Truce” with China.

This being the 4th of July week, it’s a little like Christmas – the trading week is short because the 4th falls on a Thursday. This means Friday is likely to be a lower-volume trading day as most will extend their vacation into a 4-day event.

Expect the shortened trading week to have lower volume and exaggerated movements. Looks like a strong pop higher for Monday. The question is whether or not there will be much follow-through. Markets could drift even higher this week. It’s next week we should see the reality check.

For the time being, enjoy the ride. Setting all-time highs is useful on the technical front. It demonstrates the market has more room to grow before a correction. The question is, can we hold this level, or is the the last bright blink before the star burns out?

We’ll need a bit more info before we can make that call. But based on the still solid underlying economic data, it looks like things can keep pushing higher yet.

For now, keep an eye on the 3000 number for the SPX. That’s the next big fat round number market participants (and yes, probably most of the algo’s too) are keeping an eye on.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by BigFoot), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from BigFoot. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. BigFoot is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the BigFoot’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.