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If You Ignore the News…

If you ignore the news, the technical picture for this market looks strong.  The past several weeks have seen volatility reign in, so the over-bought conditions are a lot less menacing than they were a few weeks back.  As of right now, traders seem content with 2900 has the support for the SPX.

With Canada making some last-minute concessions to save (most of) NAFTA, the markets also seem to be pleased.  Futures are higher.  Don’t look now, but the sideways pattern of the SPX may have just been broken.  If so, 2950 should be on the radar in the next week or so.

For the week, the first level of resistance is 2940 — next level is 2960.  Support continues to hang around the 2900 level.

We’re also at the start of Q4.  Many analysts have been raising expectations since Q1.  This may end up being a tailwind that makes for a pretty decent late-year push.  A 5-to-7% move higher from these levels is not out of the question for the quarter.

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.

S&P500 Eyes All-Time Highs

While it is difficult to forecast a breakout in stocks in advance, the S&P500 is less than one percent from closing above its all-time highs.  That can easily be taken out in a single day.  The question is which day?

Given the way data will be released this week — with the majority of market movers coming on Wednesday (with the release of FOMC minutes) or later, look for a trading range up until that point.  From Wednesday on, volatility may climb, but the probability of a close above the 2018 highs is climbing (despite mixed bag of global economic data).

The key thing to watch will be a weekly close above the January highs for the S&P500 — moreso than the DJIA or the NASDAQ (as they are either too concentrated in numbers or industries respectively).  A weekly close at all-time highs would be a strong signal the SPX is headed to the 3000 mark in the coming weeks.

There are a few simple things to keep in mind why this is happening:

  • Despite election discussions already starting, they’re a  ways off yet
  • The FED continues to operate with a lot of transparency
  • Corporate profits remain strong and growing overall
  • Interest rates remain low
  • Inflation remains relatively contained
  • Despite historically low unemployment rates, wage inflation has not gone bananas
  • Real estate has cooled slightly (which is probably okay as things were getting bubble-ish in many markets)
  • AND perhaps most important, TINA (There Istill No Alternative) that looks like a better place to get a return on your investment besides the stock market.

Any of these things starts to change and we can talk.  Until then, it looks like the market will keep doing what it’s doing.

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.

 

Taking out the 2018 Highs May Be Tough This Week

The wind has been in the sails for a few weeks now, and the S&P500 is close to reclaiming the highs for the year.  The trade wars have shown little effect on the domestic market’s rise… until Turkey made the headlines.

The instability seems to have thrown a wet blanket on the market’s climb.  What is unclear is whether or not this is a sign of something more significant to come.  Turkey, as an economy, is relatively small.  And, while larger than Greece, it has its own currency instead of the Euro.  This makes the situation different than the Greece crisis which threatened to European Union more.

Given the market’s current behavior, issues with Turkey look more like a speed bump than a change in course.  Still, the concern of a strengthening dollar slowing down economic growth could make the Fed’s rate decisions more challenging.

Over the weekend the S&P futures declined to the 2820 level before recovering to what looks like flat levels for the open.  The concern will be if the larger market re-tests these overnight levels.  Any negative news that spooks things could be a pretty good indicator things will re-test near these lows looking for support.

Given the new uncertainty in Turkey, paired with the Fed’s current course of rate hikes, it looks like this week could be more of a sideways trader.  The low for the range is probably around 2820 for the SPX — with an extreme of 2800. A breach of this level would be viewed as problematic by most traders.

On the up-side, the story is still about trying to take out the highs for the year.  If the SPX manages to breach the highs for the year intra-day, that’s a good sign.  But the real trick is getting a close above the high for the year.  And if we close the week out above the highs for the year (probably unlikely this week), that gives a green light for the next leg higher.

Overall, the bullish technical trend remains in place.  Just don’t be surprised if this week trades a little flat-to-negative as the markets sort out what’s happening with Turkey and determine whether or not contagion is likely (which it probably isn’t).

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.

Tech Shift

The big news last week was the 20% drops for both Facebook and Twitter.  The entire tech sector seemed to catch a cold last week.  But here’s a little perspective:

Both Facebook and Twitter had been on phenomenal runs for the year (with Twitter nearly doubling).  Both companies are reinventing their privacy rules.  And both companies are taking on the ‘fake news’ problem.

In short, both companies are modifying their business models — and the impact is significant enough to warrant a re-evaluation by analysts.  This appears to be what the markets have done – re-evaluated pricing, and adjusted down for the short-term as these giants figure out how to deal with these new challenges.

Does this contagion spill over to the entire market?   A little… particularly because Facebook has grown to a point that it has a material impact on indexes.  But does it indicate a systemic problem?  Probably not (but we’ll see).

From a technical perspective, the major indexes were still pretty high.  The SPX was reaching over-bought territory again heading into its fourth week in a row of gains.

So now what?

It looks like the SPX has backed off from its over-bought status.  Now some key levels will be tested, as overnight futures dipped over the weekend before recovering into Monday’s open.

Look for the trading range of 2800 on the low, and 2850 on the high, to be tested this week.

There are a lot of big names to report earnings this week.  If the profit numbers are solid, we probably see this market grind higher.  It’s still fighting some political headline risk.  But the overall backdrop is still stock-favorable.

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.

Within Striking Distance

Now that the SPX has closed above 2800 it’s within striking distance of re-taking the 2018 highs up near 2870.  Crazy enough, this could happen quite quickly.  Economic data is light this week so eyes are on earnings.  Absent a black swan event, the stage is set for this market to go higher.

That’s really the summary.  The rest of the news about trade wars and international relations is so badly misrepresented by partisan media outlets that markets have about tuned them out completely.  Unless policy actually changes — or missiles start getting lobbed at countries — it seems this market is about over the finger pointing.  It’s getting back to a more normalized ‘results’ driven analysis, with the Fed’s monetary policy now taking a partner roll to economic data rather than being the primary driver.

The SPX is a bit over-bought at this point — and least by the numbers — so a pull-back of 25ish points is not out of the cards.  But the bigger technical up-trend remains intact 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.

Clawing Back Highs

With trade war rhetoric declining, markets are showing signs of consolidation and retrenchment.  The SPX appears to be setting up a strong support level at 2700 or so.  This bodes well for the bulls out there, as the setup shows signs the January highs could be taken out in the coming weeks.

At this point the SPX has climbed above both the 50, 100, and 200-day moving averages.  Small cap indexes have also started moving more aggressively to the up-side.  Both are good signs that the risk-on trade may be back in vogue.

The SPX 100-day moving average is actually higher than the 50-day.  If these two averages flip (with the 50 above the 100) that is a potential confirmation the markets are gearing to take out January high water markets.

Fingers crossed!

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.

 

Mixed Signals Everywhere

With so many ‘this is good, but this is bad’ data points out there, it’s difficult to make heads or tails of this market.  Bull or bear?  Maybe the answer is neither… for now.

The interesting thing that’s been going on, really since Janet Yellen stepped down as FOMC chair, is that volatility — in general — spiked.

Intra-day volatility has remained pretty high.  But week-to-week, it seems like the swings are starting to normalize somewhat.  Could it be as simple as the markets getting used to Jerome Powell at the FOMC now — and realizing there has not been a significant policy shift nor a radical departure in communication style from the Fed?  And if so, is there really that much of a reason to expect the bears to drag this thing down much further?

If the market is primarily concerned with the cost of capital, it seems the corporate earnings picture is proving that the incremental rate hikes are yet to have a significant impact on things.  And the tax cuts are still just being realized in the system.  So…  geopolitics… which haven’t been a significant influencer of the markets (or even volatility for that matter) for the past several years, are all the sudden the big concern for the markets?  Don’t seem to jive with how the markets have behaved the last few years.

Seems more like the markets have to decide whether or not the ‘peak earnings’ theory throw out there by CAT is the real question.  And so far, the answer appears to be no.  So apparently it’s not what have you done for me lately, but what are you going to do for me next, that the market is looking for.

On last week’s conference call we discussed the pennant pattern the S&P500 has been forming through most of 2018.  This week the number to watch is 2688.  A close above this level for the week could be the start of a break-out that has this market re-test the 2018 highs published in January (fun stuff).  A close below the 200-day moving average (currently 2611, but call support 2600) would be a break-out to the other side, and signal a move lower.

We’ll see if this week signals a ‘sell in May and go away’ event, or if the old wive’s tales or the markets are nothing but baloney.  Have a great week!

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.