All major U.S. stock indices finished in the red again last week except for the Russell 2000, which gained 2.8%, reversing the pattern that we have seen for most of this year where small-cap stocks lag the market. This emerging strength in small caps may be a good sign for the market between now and year end. But, for now, the broad market SP 500, blue-chip Dow industrials and tech bellwether Nasdaq 100 are all negative for 2014 with no clear sign of a bottom in sight.
All sectors of the SP 500 posted losses last week except for industrials, materials and utilities. One potential bright spot is that my own ETF-based metric shows the biggest inflow of investor assets last week went into energy. Should this continue, it may be a leading indication of a fourth-quarter buying opportunity in this downtrodden sector. Stay tuned.
Keep Your Eyes Focused on Europe
In last week's Market Outlook, I discussed a bearish head-and-shoulders formation in Germany's DAX index that targeted an additional 11% decline to 7,800. I said the positive long-term correlation between the DAX and the SP 500 implied that the broader U.S. market may also be vulnerable to more weakness.
Despite last week's modest rebound, the 7,800 downside target remains valid as long as the March 14 and Aug. 8 lows near 8,913 loosely contain the index on the upside.
The next chart shows the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSE: DIA) broke down last week below the $165.51 support level that I first identified in the May 12 Market Outlook. The ETF has key resistance at $165.63 to $168.78, which contains the 200-day moving average (major trend proxy), the 50% and 61.8% Fibonacci retracements of the Sept. 19 decline, and the 50-day moving average (minor trend proxy). Continue reading "In The Week Ahead: No Clear Sign Of A Market Bottom"→
Take a look around the gold bull landscape and tell me how many of them are featuring a chart like this, showing the US dollar in a bullish short-term stance (to go with the weekly bullish stance we have noted for so long in the ‘Currencies’ segment).
This is not to say that the US dollar has real value. How can it when it is hopelessly dragged down by a national debt-for-growth obsession. But as with gold, value is one thing and price is quite another. It is just that one (USD) receives a price bid due to a ‘nowhere else to hide’ sort of mentality by the majority when asset market liquidity becomes constrained and the other (Gold) receives a more solid value bid, over time.
We saw what happened when gold got the price bid as the panicked ‘Knee Jerks’ flooded in during the acute phase of the Euro crisis in 2011. That was the exclamation point on the first major phase of the gold bull market and the dawn of a cyclical bear market.
We continue to await economic contraction, in which the price of the USD can benefit for a while as capital comes out of assets and into what it thinks is a safe haven. Gold remember, has been soundly discredited as a store of value and that has been the bear market’s job… well done I might add. Continue reading "Death of the Dollar? Gold an Inflation Hedge? Really?"→
The major U.S. indices were mixed last week, closing on Friday just slightly on either side of unchanged. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 and small-cap Russell 2000 were the strongest performers. As long as the May trend of relative outperformance by these two market-leading indices continues, so should the current broad market advance.
The two strongest market sectors last week were consumer discretionary and utilities. My own asset-flow based metric shows that the biggest increase in sector bet-related assets over the past one-week and one-month periods was in utilities, which supports more upcoming strength in this sector.
A strengthening utilities sector is often driven by declining long-term U.S. interest rates, which we saw last week as the yield on the 10-year Treasury note declined by 9 basis points to 2.53%. This encourages yield-seeking investors to accept more credit risk (via utility stocks) in exchange for potentially higher returns. Therefore, as long as long-term interest rates continue to decline, it should drive more investor assets into utilities and buoy Treasury prices, which move inversely to yields.