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?
There was a serious shift over the last five weeks as commodities surged, bonds fell and the Dollar recorded new lows. There were also some noticeable divergences as the Inflation-Indexed Bond ETF (TIP) edged higher and the 20+ Yr Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) moved lower. This divergence is only five weeks old, but it does suggest a whiff of
The weekly high-low range for the Nasdaq 100 ETF (QQQ) was the narrowest of the year this past week and the ETF is battling triangle resistance. A narrowing range shows indecision and a volatility contraction. Even though this is just one weekly bar, QQQ is at a moment of truth. Will we see a triangle breakout and continuation higher or a failure at resistance and extended correction?
New highs and a fast growing industry group make for a powerful combination. Today’s article will focus on two ETFs that capture two fast growing industries, video gaming and esports. We will show why these two ETFs are leading, why a consolidation within an uptrend is bullish and why a 50-day SMA is better suited for mean-reversion trading.
Breadth indicators, such as Advance-Decline Percent, measure the participation behind a move in the underlying index. Sometimes participation is so strong that it tips the scales and signals the start of an extended move. For example, 10-day EMA of SPX AD% triggered a bearish breadth thrust on February 25th and the S&P 500 extended lower.
Chartists are often faced with a choice: wait for the breakout or anticipate using a mean-reversion setup. The Metals & Mining SPDR (XME) broke out of a bullish consolidation this week and the breakout signals a continuation of its long-term uptrend. Chartists keying off the mean-reversion setup could have anticipated the breakout and gotten the early jump. Let’s investigate.
There are fewer silver crosses in the major stock indexes and this shows less participation during the last leg higher. A silver cross occurs when the 20-day EMA crosses above the 50-day EMA. DecisionPoint took this concept on step further and developed breadth indicators based on the percentage of stocks with silver crosses. This is a great way to look under the hood and aggregate medium-term trend performance for each index. The chart below shows this indicator for four key indexes: $NDX, $SPX, $MID and $SML. I set the bullish and bearish thresholds at
The S&P 500 SPDR (SPY) fell over 2% this week for the biggest weekly decline since June. The long-term trend is still up because SPY remains well above the rising 40-week SMA. However, a big Spinning Top candlestick formed last week and a volatility indicator ticked higher. Spinning Tops signal indecision that
Verizon (VZ) participated in the first leg up from late March to mid April, but then stumbled with a decline into mid June. This stumble, however, looks like a classic correction and the stock broke out with a strong move over the last six weeks. In addition, the TIP Trend Composite, which aggregates five trend-following indicators turned positive in early August. Let’s investigate further.
The total number of new highs in the S&P 500, S&P MidCap 400 and S&P SmallCap 600 continues to underwhelm. Even so, new highs are still outpacing new lows and this is enough to keep the uptrend since late March going. The first chart shows new highs and lows for the three indexes with horizontal lines at the 10% level (e. g. 50 and -50 for the S&P 500).
The Healthcare SPDR (XLV) is one of the strongest sectors in 2020. Even though it does not sport the biggest gain, XLV recorded a new high in July and some 80% of its components are above their 200-day EMAs. The new high points to a long-term uptrend and upside leadership, while the percentage of stocks above the 200-day EMA points to broad strength within the sector. Sector SPDRs, however, are only as strong as the sum of their parts (component stocks).
There were a number of Bollinger Band squeeze plays over the last two weeks and also a number of breakouts. These breakouts are bullish until proven otherwise, but chartists should also be aware of the head fake. In his book, Bollinger on Bollinger Bands, here’s how John Bollinger puts it: Traders beware! There is a trick to The Squeeze, an odd turning of the wheel that you need to be aware of, the head fake.
The 200-day SMA is a long-term trend indicator that chartists can use across the equal-weight sectors to measure the balance of power in the broader market. The more sectors trading above their 200-day SMAs, the more bullish the market. The more sectors trading below their 200-day SMAs, the more bearish the market.
The S&P 500 is the most widely used benchmark for the US stock market and the 200-day SMA is perhaps the most widely used moving average. These two came together again in late May as the index crossed back above on May 27th. Today we quantify the performance of prior signals and show how a little smoothing can go a long way. Furthermore, a simple market timing mechanism can tell investors when to add risk and when to seek alternatives to stocks.