I hope everyone had a good week last week, I apologize for my lack of activity on the blog or on Twitter/StockTwits. I was in NYC for the Market Technician Association annual symposium. This was the first year I’ve attended the event and it was well worth the trip. We heard some excellent speakers from Ned Davis and Greg Morris to John Murphy and Ralph Acampora. JC Parets wrote a great post yesterday with some highlights from the event, definitely worth a read. It was awesome meeting many of you that I’ve connected with through Twitter and my blog as well as lots new traders from all over the world that came to the conference.
While I was away I did not get to spend nearly as much time watching the markets as I would have liked. Reviewing the price movement, we had some increased selling on Friday as the S&P 500 ($SPX) broke back through the previous March high. Equity bulls would have preferred to see that level hold as support. While it ‘felt’ like a panic selling as we cut through would-be support, we only saw roughly 70% of volume come from selling and 60% of issues trade down. Typically we see these numbers hit 80% or 90% during panic selling.
The up trend is still intact for the S&P 500 ($SPX). If the sell-off that began on Friday continues I’ll be watching the previous low set in March to hold as potential support since the March high has already failed. We closed out trading last week with price just a few cents under the 20-day Moving Average, which I believe is positive for bulls as some would argue that the MA was not ‘fully’ violated just yet.
A few weeks ago I showed a chart of the number of New Highs minus New Lows totaled for the week. I mentioned that while the Advance-Decline Line was still showing strength, this indicator, that looks at the number of New Highs, was making lower lows. With the new all-time high in price last week for the S&P 500, we yet again saw another new low in the net number of New Highs minus New Lows (not shown).
As the chart below shows, the Advance-Decline Line held up well during heavy selling on Friday. This measure of market breadth is still above its short-term trend line and well above its long-term trend. The Percentage of Stocks Above Their 200-day Moving Average confirmed the higher high last week and stayed above its level of support on Friday. From a breadth standpoint, things still appear positive with the Advance-Decline Line still above its March high.
Once again we saw another lower high in the developing divergence in the Relative Strength Index (RSI). In my opinion, momentum is currently the biggest concern for the uptrend in the equity market. While we still have fairly strong breadth as mentioned above, momentum has continued to weaken. On any further selling I’ll be watching the 49 level as support for the RSI indicator as marked by the dotted blue line. The MACD momentum indicator is also still showing a negative divergence, although it was able to make it above its March high which is slightly positive for stocks.
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve discussed the bond chart, specifically the iShares 20+ Year Treasury ETF ($TLT). Price continues to trade in a range between $109 and $105. We did see a false breakout two weeks ago, but $TLT quickly fell back into its range. Looking at momentum and volume we are getting two different messages. With the Relative Strength Index (RSI), a negative divergence has continued to develop as it makes lower highs.
However, the On Balance Volume indicator, which adds up the number of shares traded on up days and subtracts volume on down days to measure buying and selling pressure, appears to be showing a bias towards buyers as more shares appear to be traded on positive days. The 50-day Moving Average continues to act as support during short-term sell-offs and since its current rising, is a positive area of support for those bullish on bonds.
The 60-minute chart for the S&P 500 ($SPX) has been giving us a lot of clues during the choppiness of trading these past few weeks. I’ve been watching the channel on this short-term chart with resistance at the March highs around 1880 and support at the March lows near 1840.We broke above resistance momentarily and were unable to turn resistance into support last Friday.
As the equity market challenged and broke through the previous high we saw a small negative divergence of lower highs created on the Relative Strength Index. This signaled that buyers may not have been as strong as many would have hoped. While the MACD was able to break its negative trend, Friday’s selling pushed it back under as sellers took over. One positive note is the trend line off the February and March lows. Selling on Friday was halted when this trend line as shown on the chart was hit and I’ll be watching this week if this trend line can hold up and buyers take back control of the S&P. If the trend line breaks then we’ll likely see a test of the March low which will act as a line in the sand before the start of a short-term down trend.
The energy sector ($XLE) was the strongest relative performer last week. I discussed the chart for energy in March 24th’s Weekly Technical Outlook. Utilities ($XLU), consumer staples ($XLP), and industrials ($XLI) were also positive last week. Consumer cyclicals ($XLY) and the financial sector ($XLF) were the worst performers.
Not much as changed YTD as it pertains to sector performance. Utilities ($XLU) and health care ($XLV) continue to lead for 2014. With consumer cyclicals ($XLY) the worst performing sector for the year.
This is a pretty light week for economic data with the FOMC minutes likely to garner the most attention. Commentators will likely be interested in reading further detail about the Fed dismissing unemployment as a critical trigger for interest rate policy.
Monday: Consumer Credit
Tuesday: JOLTS Report
Wednesday: FOMC Minutes
Thursday: Jobless Claims
Friday: Producer Price Index
Disclaimer: Do not construe anything written in this post or this blog in its entirety as a recommendation, research, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. Everything in this post is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. I or my affiliates may hold positions in securities mentioned in the blog. Please see my Disclosure page for full disclaimer. Connect with Andrew on Google+, Twitter, and StockTwits.