Health of the Market
The charts will be updated by
every Saturday. When no change to text, [NC] will be used. Click for favorite investment websites or go to
Charlottesville's The Center Investors' Forum.
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Last week was again wild and crazy. I'm switching to weekly charts to view
the market. That gets rid of all this market noise and shows the trend best. The indicators for the equity market show a down
market within a bull cycle in a bull
trend and in a bull market. (see definitions on Longer
The S&P 500 made a new all-time high on Friday 7/26 on good
earnings news. Then it dropped -7.3%. It is now -4.5% from that high. Last week it was wild, and it closed +1.03%.
It is +15.2%
year-to-date. 52.5% of S&P
500 stocks were above their 200-day exponential moving averages,
down from 58.3% the week before. 41.9% of these stocks were
above their 50-day EMAs, down from 44.7% the week before. The Nasdaq
index was down -0.79% last week. Only 35.5% of
Nasdaq stocks were above their 50-day EMA, down from 39.5% the week
believe that the new round of tariffs will boost prices for US
consumers. Oxford Economics estimates place the effect of the announced
10% tariffs at $700 per household. This moves to $900 at the threatened
25% level. The Peterson Institute estimate for the 25% tariff is $1270
A Health Sell Alert occurred on Friday 8/2 (see chart below). This is based
on small-cap action. A VIX Sell Alert, based on
large-cap action, occurred on Wednesday 7/31 (see Status page).
John Murphy of StockCharts.com asks "Why do we
look at charts? - They provide the most up-do-date information on the
state of the stock market. They may also be telling us something about
the fundamental reports we won't be getting until early next year.
Charts track forward-looking markets, while fundamental data is
backward looking. It's always safer to look out of the front window of
your car while driving to see where you're going. Not the back window
that shows you where you've already been."
[NC] A measure to
determine if the price is too high relative to the underlying
earnings is the Shiller price to earning ratio. This is the current
price divided by the 10-year average of "real" (inflation-adjusted)
earnings. This ratio corresponds quite well to the peaks of price
as shown by charts on this site.
A chart from 1870 that shows the relationship between the market and its long-term regression line can be seen here. It is way above the line, which means it may at some time revert back to that line.
A chart showing the relationship
between the stock and bond markets is on the Market Cycles
page. The bond market is favored. The
charts for the third year
of the presidential cycle compared to all years show that the third
year of a president is the best year of the four year cycle.
The Power Zone,
the favorable time of the year, ended
with the Health Sell Alert
that occurred Monday 5/13. It typically starts sometime in October and
ends sometime in May. See the Market Cycles page for more. A Bull Cycle began with the signal on 2/15/2019. The long-term BullHeal System went to a sell on 5/13/2019.
The driving force between currencies
is the relationship between global interest rates. The 10-Year Treasury
yield remains higher than other developed-country yields. The
rising dollar has a negative influence on the U.S. market, especially
large cap multinationals as business overseas is more expensive.
late March 2018, with a few dips, the dollar ($USD) increased in value
with respect to a basket of other currencies. The 10-year Treasury rate
($TNX /10) rose to a peak on 10/5/2018 and again on 11/8 closing at
times. Now it has dropped significantly as the dollar gets stronger.
The 10-year Treasury rate and the dollar are shown in a 6-year
chart with weekly closing prices.
Ed Yardeni in the 2/9/19 Barron's
stated that, based on his 40 years of experience, he has never found
that supply-versus-demand analysis helped much in forecasting bond
yields. It's always been about actual inflation, expected
inflation, and how the Fed was likely to respond to both.
10-year Treasury rate dipped below the 3-month T bill rate for six days
at the end of April. It is inverted again as shown on the Income
page. It dropped below the 1-month T bill rate during the week ending 7/26.
Also shown is the CRB Commodities
Index, which is a measure of inflation. This index is an unweighted
geometric average of prices across 17 commodities including energy,
grains, industrials, livestock, precious metals, and agriculturals. A
rising dollar hurts commodity prices.
[NC] The international bond market is provided
by the WSJ. See the Income tab for a chart of U.S.
stock markets in other countries are quite well correlated to
the U.S. market. To participate in these markets, the U.S. dollar
can be hedged out. Click to check out the country hedged ETFs and the un-hedged ETFs. Note that BSE SENSEX is an
India index, CAC 40 is France, FTSE 100 is a UK index, Nikkei 225 is
Japan, Hang Seng is Hong Kong, DAXK is Germany, and Shanghai is, of
Sector investing via
exchange traded funds (ETFs) is popular. The traders rotate
between sectors. To see how some popular sector ETFs are
doing, click here for the Candle Glance of two-month
charts. The charts include the StockCharts
Technical Ranking (SCTR). The sector ETFs used in the Candle Glance
[NC] The theory is that if small-cap stocks do
better than the large-caps, it indicates that the traders are
willing to take on more risk and the market will go up. The chart shows
the relative strength of the Russell 2000 IWM with respect
to the S&P 500 SPY. The 10/30-day EMA crossovers are marked by
a pole. The U.S. Dollar is also shown. Note that when the
dollar goes up, small cap stocks generally do better than large cap
stocks. This dollar relationship works in bull markets, but not since
late September 2018.
[NC] The S&P 500 index is shown with its Bollinger Bands below. The
bands are two standard deviations above & below a 20-day simple
moving average. When the price goes above or
near the upper Bollinger Band a downswing in price
is likely as the market is overbought. Similarly, when the
price goes below the lower band, an upswing is likely.
S&P 500 large-cap index rally from
the June low has been fueled by
the expectation that the Fed will cut the Federal Funds Rate at the end
of July. This did happen, but Chairman Powell stated that the cut was a
mid-course correction, implying that no more cuts would be coming. Then
Trump tweeted that the last $300 billion of Chinese imports would be
taxed at 10%. That caused another big drop leaving the S&P 500
index down -3.10% for that week. Now it is consolidating between the 50-day and 200-day MAs. The support level is strong as it stopped two down-swings.
Russell 2000 small-cap index hit an all-time high on 8/31/18. Then a
market took over with a -27.3% drop from the high. It dropped below the
long channel, but held at the support level shown. If it penetrates
this support, it could go a long way down.
technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index made a new all-time high on
Friday 7/26. With all the negative stuff going on, it crashed -8.8%
from that high. It has since recovered about half of that drop and is
consolidating. It is still in an uptrend from the bear market low in
[NC] Below is the Russell 2000 small-cap
index that tends to lead the overall market both up and down -- as the
small-cap stocks are generally more risky than large cap stocks. This
index is shown with high-low-close bars. It's 50 and 200-day simple
moving averages are included. The 200-day moving average often
acts as support or resistance to price movement as many traders
[NC] The Health Alert is based on the
momentum of the small-cap Russell 2000 index, the Nasdaq
breadth data, and the Nasdaq 52-week new highs and new lows.
The thresholds are described below. The green buy and
red sell 'alert' poles on the chart show when these
alerts have occurred.
A Health Sell Alert
occurred on Friday 8/2 when the 21-day RSI dropped below 49. The
small cap stock index is used here as small-caps have tended to
lead the market both down and up.
[NC] The second pane is the Relative Strength Indicator
(RSI) for the Russell index, a measure of momentum of
the market. This is the relative strength of the Russell 2000 itself --
it's not relative to any other index. Above 50 shows positive momentum
over the last 21 days. The latest plot can be seen by clicking here. The
green arrows indicate a positive change in momentum as the RSI crosses
above 50; red arrows indicate downward momentum when the RSI
crosses 49. The threshold of 49 is used to give a more definite
indication of the start of a down-swing.
[NC] The third pane
has two plots. The first is the Nasdaq
McClellan Summation Index, $NASI, (red) and it's 5-day exponential
MA (blue). This is a running sum of the difference of two moving
averages of the number of advancing issues minus the
number of declining issues. A 19-day and a 39-day
exponential moving average (EMA) are used. This shows whether a market
move is broad based.
second plot in the third pane is
McClellan Oscillator, $NAMO. When it is above zero, the Summation Index
is moving up. When below zero the index is moving down. The zero
crossovers give an indication that the trend has changed. A green arrow
indicates a positive zero crossing. In April and May there were many
oscillator crossovers as
the market was not decisive.
Alexander Elder in his book Trading
for a Living says that the 52-week New Highs
minus New Lows Index is "probably the best leading
indicator of the stock market". This display for the Nasdaq market shows the this index
in pink. The 3-day MA of the NH-NL index is shown in blue. A green
arrow is placed if the 3-day MA of the NH-NL index goes positive for
three consecutive days, or a red arrow is placed if the MA goes
negative for three consecutive days. To see a
summation of the NH-NL numbers, click here. When a green
buy arrow is put on the price chart, it indicates a Health
'buy alert', if the other indicators concur. The red sell arrows
here are not used in the determination to place a sell pole on
the price chart, due to the lag.
[NC] The Health Alert acts as a
confirmation and does not do well as a stand-alone signal for
buying and selling. After a long trend, it works well to signal the end
of the trend.
chart gives an overview of the
situation. The market had done well since the termination of the QE3
Fed bond buying, until the last half of 2015. The 10-year
Treasury rates moved down as the Fed raised the over-night Federal
Funds Rate in December 2015. There have been a total of nine 1/4 point
rate increases, the last one in December of 2018. The Fed cut the rate
at its July 2019 meeting, and the market expects another in September.
The Fed has been continuously
reducing their inventory of bonds, which is quantitative tightening
(not shown on chart), but plans to terminate this two months earlier
than the original plan. There is a yield curve inversion as the 10-year
bond yields less than the 3-month note (and the Federal Funds Rate). See more here. A chart of various Treasury yields
since 1962 are shown on the Income tab.
The source of the
charts is located on the upper right of the chart. This page
is for amusement only, and should not be taken as advice to buy or sell