Recent Commentary and Analysis
Timing Models – Red Herrings, Big Oversold Bounces, New Highs, RSI Streak Ended and IWM Remains Extended
Stocks shrugged off a sharp decline the last week of January and rebounded the first week of February with a strong surge. This surge extends the bigger uptrends as SPY, QQQ and IWM recorded new highs. The Technology SPDR (XLK) and Communication Services SPDR (XLC) led the sector SPDRs with new highs. The Consumer Discretionary SPDR (XLY) came close to a new high on Thursday and could hit one with further strength on Friday. The Energy SPDR (XLE) led with the biggest
ETF Trends, Patterns and Setups – Oversold Bounces Materialize, Techs Lead, Energy-Related ETFs Break Out, REITs Perk Up
Dozens of ETFs became short-term oversold last week and most of these bounced this week. A combination of bullish seasonal patterns (turn of the month), short-term oversold conditions and longer-term uptrends paved the way for this bounce. Despite these bounces, stocks in general still seem ripe for a corrective period and February is historically one of the weaker months.
Seasonality for the S&P 500 – Since 1950, A Big Change the last 20 Years, Weekly and Monthly Perspectives
Today’s report will take a deep dive into seasonality. Before doing so, note that seasonal patterns are not at the top of my analytical list. The same is true for sentiment. While I am aware of seasonal patterns and sentiment, my trading decisions are based on price (trends, patterns and setups). As with most secondary indicators, seasonal patterns should be used in conjunction with other analysis techniques (trend, overbought/oversold, outsized moves, patterns).
The turn of the month shows a strong bullish bias with an extremely stable equity curve that really took off the last few years. This strategy, which is only invested 38% of the time, outperformed buy and hold with a higher Compound Annual Return. Overall, the eight day percentage change at the turn of the month is positive 68% of the time for SPY. Despite strong numbers overall, February is weakest month when testing over the last twenty years, and we just happen to be in February.
Last weekend’s post showed the Semiconductor ETF (SOXX) with a 10 day overbought streak and several ETFs with even bigger overbought streaks. These streaks came to an end this week as SOXX fell 6.21%, its biggest weekly decline since mid March. As measured by Normalized ROC, this is an outsized decline that argues for at least a corrective period over the next few weeks.
Weekend Video and Chartbook – RSI Streak Ends, Turn of the Month Performance, Short-term Oversold, Medium-term Correction
Today’s video covers last week’s big declines and what it means going forward, both short-term and long-term. Short-term, oversold conditions and the turn of the month strategy argue for a bounce. Looking out a month or more, outsized declines and bearish breadth thrusts argue for a correction. We will look at correction targets for SPY and what this might entail for the higher-beta IWM. The decline in stocks provided an opening for Treasury bonds, but TLT
Timing Models – Weight of the Evidence, SPY Breaks RSI Streak, ROC Shocks and Bearish Breadth Signals
The weight of the evidence for stocks remains bullish because the big trends are up, the breadth models are bullish and yield spreads are narrow. Stocks are up considerably since late October and we started seeing signs of excess in January. This week we started seeing signs that some uptrends are under threat. There were outsized declines in some key ETFs, the RSI above 50 streak ended for SPY and there were three bearish
With some pretty sizable declines the last five days, a number of ETFs are now in the red for the year. 99 of the 118 ETFs in the Core list are down over the last five days and 38 are down year-to-date. This shows some pretty broad selling pressure. The biggest losers year-to-date include: Gold Miners ETF (GDX), Mobile Payments ETF (IPAY), Aerospace & Defense ETF (ITA), Airlines (JETS), Industrials SPDR (XLI) and Metals & Mining SPDR (XME).
While intermarket narratives make for interesting debate over a beer, we cannot possibly know all the factors driving asset prices and their weighted influence. Well, at least I cannot. How to we factor in Fed policy, interest rates, interest rate differentials, inflationary pressures, inflation differentials, fiscal stimulus, debt, trade flows, current accounts, economic growth, internal politics and geopolitics. You get the picture.
The Semiconductor ETF (SOXX) and several other ETFs are on a serious roll in 2021. For the fourth time since 2009, 14-day RSI was above 70 for ten or more days. This is an exceptional streak, but SOXX is not alone and there are even longer streaks. The following list shows some ETFs and the number of days RSI has been above 70: ROBO (39), DRIV (25), ARKQ (13), EWT (13), MOO (12), XRT (11), SOXX (10), YOLO (10). Note that these numbers are based on Thursday’s close.
Weekend Video and Chartbook – RSI Milestones, Tight Channels, GLD and TLT Firm, XLU and REZ Trigger Signals
Today’s video starts with the post-breakout extensions in SPY, QQQ and IWM. The latter looks extended, while the breakout extensions in SPY and QQQ look pretty normal as the tight rising channels hold. We have two different milestones to cover: consecutive days above 70 for RSI and the 52-week lows in junk bond spreads. GLD, TLT and UUP are in downtrends overall, but firming and could be poised
Just when you thought it could not get any better, we are seeing fresh new highs in SPY, a resurgence in QQQ, new lows in the yield spreads and a new high in the Fed balance sheet. Over 90% of stocks in the S&P MidCap 400 and S&P SmallCap 600 are above their 200-day SMAs and 150-day SMAs, while over 85% of stocks in the S&P 500 are above these moving averages. Breadth and price action are strong so what could go wrong?
Stocks as a whole remain overextended and strong. The big three (SPY, QQQ, IWM) are setting the tone for the overall market as they remain with tight rising channels and steady short-term uptrends. Some ETFs look quite ripe for a pullback (SOXX, PBW, TAN), but there are also ETFs that sport fairly fresh breakouts (XLI, KIE, XLU and REZ). In fact, we are seeing some money move bond-proxies with the breakouts in XLU and REZ
Visual chart analysis is prone to subjectivity and biases. While we cannot completely remove subjectivity, we can approach chart analysis in a systematic fashion and increase objectivity. This commentary will show an example using the Home Construction ETF (ITB) because the ETF has traded flat since mid October. Is this a top or merely a correction?
Weekend Video and Chartbook – Holding the Uptrend as RSI Gets Frothy, Bonds and Dollar Get Oversold as Utes Firm
Today’s video starts with the weekly charts showing a pretty normal post-breakout extension for SPY, but an overextended advance for IWM. We are also seeing signs of excess in the number of ETFs with RSI readings above 80 this year. Despite overbought conditions, two medium-term breadth indicators are holding strong and have yet to show any deterioration within the S&P 500. We then turn to the ETF