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History Suggests Bulls May Be Ready to Run Again image

Oftentimes it is difficult to step away from the blinking screens, the headlines, and the flow of data long enough to fully observe the "big picture" environment. Such has certainly been the case lately as the focus on oil and what central bankers may or may not do next has dominated the stock market landscape.

However, when taking an objective look at the weight of the indicator evidence, one can make the argument that stocks are set up to rally in the near-term. There are three key points to this view.

First, there has been an extreme negative reading in our sentiment indicators. While not to the level seen last October, the level of pessimism seen recently is consistent with market bottoms. History shows that when the model in question reaches an extreme, stocks have rallied at a rate of more than 30% per year. And while the model shouldn't be used as a short-term timing indicator, it does suggest that the table may be set for the bulls to make another run higher.

Next, the firing of the ECB's "bazooka" (aka the announcement of a sovereign QE program) removes a major overhang on the market in terms of worry and/or uncertainty. Simply put, now that the plan has been officially announced, traders can rest assured that there will be another big batch of freshly minted cash looking for a home each month over the next 19 months. And if traders have learned anything about QE programs over the past 5 years, it is that a great deal of the new money printed by central banks tends to wind up in the U.S. stock and bond market.

Finally, the back-and-forth action seen in the market this year has actually been quite rare. According to Ned Davis Research, the S&P 500 has experienced two 5-day declines within a 10 day span of the first decline. The key here is that such an event has only been seen four other times in history. And the bottom line is that the ensuing price action has tended to be surprisingly bullish.

So to review, the table has been set for the bulls with an oversold condition and extremely negative sentiment, a major source of uncertainty has been lifted, and similar price action in the past has led to some pretty impressive rallies. As such, it might not be a bad idea to give the bulls the benefit of the doubt here - assuming oil doesn't continue to crash, of course.

Looking ahead to today's session, global markets were fairly impressed with the ECB's action and the positive sentiment seems to be helping traders overcome the flash PMI data out of China and Europe. Equities are higher in Europe, China, and Japan, and U.S. stock futures are pointing to a modestly higher open on Wall Street.

Current Market Environment

Perhaps the best thing about the ECB's announcement yesterday wasn't the fact that the QE plan was a bit larger than expected, but rather that the uncertainty surrounding the event has now been lifted. The key is that while the ECB is known for dragging its feet and doing more talking than anything else, Super Mario actually delivered on his promise to "do whatever it takes" and did not disappoint the market. So, while the move was widely expected and has likely been priced into the market to a large degree, it appears that Mr. Draghi actually fired the bazooka he has been talking about for the better part of two years. The question, of course is if the plan to buy more than a trillion euros of public and private debt over the next 19 months will be enough to keep the Eurozone out of a recession. Turning to the market itself, our market models have ticked higher and the odds would now seem to favor a move to new highs in the coming weeks. So, unless the bears turn things around in dramatic fashion in the near-term, our models tell us to side with the bulls here.

Looking At The Charts

Yesterday's joyride to the upside produced a breakout from the wedge pattern that had been in place since the end of December. The good news is that the pattern was resolved to the upside, which, the bulls suggest is a harbinger of good things to come. However, before one uncorks the champagne, there are two issues that remain. The first is the band of resistance seen in the 2075-2090 zone, which could prove challenging. And second, the bears will argue that a fairly large head-and-shoulders top is in the process of being formed. So in the coming days, it will be important for the bulls to break on through to new all-time highs if they want to be taken seriously.

S&P 500 - Daily

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Pre-Game Indicators

Here are the Pre-Market indicators we review each morning before the opening bell...

Major Foreign Markets:
    Japan: +1.06%
    Hong Kong: +1.33%
    Shanghai: +0.26%
    London: +0.21%
    Germany: +1.64%
    France: +2.00%
    Italy: +0.27%
    Spain: +1.15%

Crude Oil Futures: +0.49 to $46.80

Gold: -$4.70 at $1296.00

Dollar: higher against the yen, euro, and pound

10-Year Bond Yield: Currently trading at 1.802%

Stock Indices in U.S. (relative to fair value):
    S&P 500: +4.75
    Dow Jones Industrial Average: +40
    NASDAQ Composite: +9.84

Thought For The Day:

"Wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing." -- Warren Buffett

Current Market Drivers

We strive to identify the driving forces behind the market action on a daily basis. The thinking is that if we can both identify and understand why stocks are doing what they are doing on a short-term basis; we are not likely to be surprised/blind-sided by a big move. Listed below are what we believe to be the driving forces of the current market (Listed in order of importance).

      1. The State of Fed/ECB Policy
      2. The State of the Oil Crash
      3. The State of the U.S. Economy
      4. The State of the Global Economy

The State of the Trend

We believe it is important to analyze the market using multiple time-frames. We define short-term as 3 days to 3 weeks, intermediate-term as 3 weeks to 3 months, and long-term as 3 months or more. Below are our current ratings of the three primary trends:

Short-Term Trend: Moderately Positive
(Chart below is S&P 500 daily over past 1 month)

Intermediate-Term Trend: Moderately Positive
(Chart below is S&P 500 daily over past 6 months)

Long-Term Trend: Positive
(Chart below is S&P 500 daily over past 2 years)

Key Technical Areas:

Traders as well as computerized algorithms are generally keenly aware of the important technical levels on the charts from a short-term basis. Below are the levels we deem important to watch today:

  • Key Near-Term Support Zone(s) for S&P 500: 1991
  • Key Near-Term Resistance Zone(s): 2075-90

The State of the Tape

Momentum indicators are designed to tell us about the technical health of a trend - I.E. if there is any "oomph" behind the move. Below are a handful of our favorite indicators relating to the market's "mo"...

  • Trend and Breadth Confirmation Indicator (Short-Term): Positive
  • Price Thrust Indicator: Neutral
  • Volume Thrust Indicator: Neutral
  • Breadth Thrust Indicator: Neutral
  • Bull/Bear Volume Relationship: Neutral
  • Technical Health of 100 Industry Groups: Neutral

The Early Warning Indicators

Markets travel in cycles. Thus we must constantly be on the lookout for changes in the direction of the trend. Looking at market sentiment and the overbought/sold conditions can provide "early warning signs" that a trend change may be near.

  • S&P 500 Overbought/Oversold Conditions:
          - Short-Term: Neutral
          - Intermediate-Term: Moderately Oversold
  • Market Sentiment: Our primary sentiment model is Neutral .

The State of the Market Environment

One of the keys to long-term success in the stock market is stay in tune with the market's "big picture" environment in terms of risk versus reward.

  • Weekly Market Environment Model Reading: Moderately Positive

Wishing you green screens and all the best for a great day,

David D. Moenning
Founder and Chief Investment Strategist
Heritage Capital Research - A CONCERT Advisor
Be Sure To Check Out the NEW Website!


Indicator Explanations

Trend and Breadth Confirmation Indicator (Short-Term) Explained: History shows the most reliable market moves tend to occur when the breadth indices are in gear with the major market averages. When the breadth measures diverge, investors should take note that a trend reversal may be at hand. This indicator incorporates an All-Cap Dollar Weighted Equity Series and A/D Line. From 1998, when the A/D line is above its 5-day smoothing and the All-Cap Equal Weighted Equity Series is above its 25-day smoothing, the equity index has gained at a rate of +32.5% per year. When one of the indicators is above its smoothing, the equity index has gained at a rate of +13.3% per year. And when both are below, the equity index has lost +23.6% per year.

Price Thrust Indicator Explained: This indicator measures the 3-day rate of change of the Value Line Composite relative to the standard deviation of the 30-day average. When the Value Line's 3-day rate of change have moved above 0.5 standard deviation of the 30-day average ROC, a "thrust" occurs and since 2000, the Value Line Composite has gained ground at a rate of +20.6% per year. When the indicator is below 0.5 standard deviation of the 30-day, the Value Line has lost ground at a rate of -10.0% per year. And when neutral, the Value Line has gained at a rate of +5.9% per year.

Volume Thrust Indicator Explained: This indicator uses NASDAQ volume data to indicate bullish and bearish conditions for the NASDAQ Composite Index. The indicator plots the ratio of the 10-day total of NASDAQ daily advancing volume (i.e., the total volume traded in stocks which rose in price each day) to the 10-day total of daily declining volume (volume traded in stocks which fell each day). This ratio indicates when advancing stocks are attracting the majority of the volume (readings above 1.0) and when declining stocks are seeing the heaviest trading (readings below 1.0). This indicator thus supports the case that a rising market supported by heavier volume in the advancing issues tends to be the most bullish condition, while a declining market with downside volume dominating confirms bearish conditions. When in a positive mode, the NASDAQ Composite has gained at a rate of +38.3% per year, When neutral, the NASDAQ has gained at a rate of +13.3% per year. And when negative, the NASDAQ has lost at a rate of -8.5% per year.

Breadth Thrust Indicator Explained: This indicator uses the number of NASDAQ-listed stocks advancing and declining to indicate bullish or bearish breadth conditions for the NASDAQ Composite. The indicator plots the ratio of the 10-day total of the number of stocks rising on the NASDAQ each day to the 10-day total of the number of stocks declining each day. Using 10-day totals smooths the random daily fluctuations and gives indications on an intermediate-term basis. As expected, the NASDAQ Composite performs much better when the 10-day A/D ratio is high (strong breadth) and worse when the indicator is in its lower mode (weak breadth). The most bullish conditions for the NASDAQ when the 10-day A/D indicator is not only high, but has recently posted an extreme high reading and thus indicated a thrust of upside momentum. Bearish conditions are confirmed when the indicator is low and has recently signaled a downside breadth thrust. In positive mode, the NASDAQ has gained at a rate of +22.1% per year since 1981. In a neutral mode, the NASDAQ has gained at a rate of +14.5% per year. And when in a negative mode, the NASDAQ has lost at a rate of -6.4% per year.

Bull/Bear Volume Relationship Explained: This indicator plots both "supply" and "demand" volume lines. When the Demand Volume line is above the Supply Volume line, the indicator is bullish. From 1981, the stock market has gained at an average annual rate of +11.7% per year when in a bullish mode. When the Demand Volume line is below the Supply Volume line, the indicator is bearish. When the indicator has been bearish, the market has lost ground at a rate of -6.1% per year.

Technical Health of 100 Industry Groups Explained: Designed to provide a reading on the technical health of the overall market, this indicator takes the technical temperature of more than 100 industry sectors each week. Looking back to early 1980, when the model is rated as "positive," the S&P has averaged returns in excess of 23% per year. When the model carries a "neutral" reading, the S&P has returned over 11% per year. But when the model is rated "negative," stocks fall by more than -13% a year on average.

Weekly State of the Market Model Reading Explained:Different market environments require different investing strategies. To help us identify the current environment, we look to our longer-term State of the Market Model. This model is designed to tell us when risk factors are high, low, or uncertain. In short, this longer-term oriented, weekly model tells us whether the odds favor the bulls, bears, or neither team.


Disclosures

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are those of Mr. David Moenning and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Moenning’s opinions and viewpoints regarding the future of the markets should not be construed as recommendations. The analysis and information in this report is for informational purposes only. No part of the material presented in this report is intended as an investment recommendation or investment advice. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed nor any Portfolio constitutes a solicitation to purchase or sell securities or any investment program.

Any investment decisions must in all cases be made by the reader or by his or her investment adviser. Do NOT ever purchase any security without doing sufficient research. There is no guarantee that the investment objectives outlined will actually come to pass. All opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice. Neither the editor, employees, nor any of their affiliates shall have any liability for any loss sustained by anyone who has relied on the information provided.

The analysis provided is based on both technical and fundamental research and is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Although the information contained is derived from sources which are believed to be reliable, they cannot be guaranteed.

David D. Moenning, an advisor representative of CONCERT Wealth Management Inc. (CONCERT), is founder of Heritage Capital Advisors LLC, a legal business entity doing business as Heritage Capital Research (Heritage). Advisory services are offered through CONCERT Wealth Management, Inc., a registered investment advisor. For a complete description of investment risks, fees and services review the CONCERT firm brochure (ADV Part 2) which is available from your Investment Representative or by contacting Heritage or CONCERT.

Mr. Moenning is also the owner of Heritage Capital Management (HCM) a state-registered investment adviser. HCM also serves as a sub-advisor to other investment advisory firms. Neither HCM, Heritage, or CONCERT is registered as a broker-dealer.

Employees and affiliates of Heritage and HCM may at times have positions in the securities referred to and may make purchases or sales of these securities while publications are in circulation. Editors will indicate whether they or Heritage/HCM has a position in stocks or other securities mentioned in any publication. The disclosures will be accurate as of the time of publication and may change thereafter without notice.

Investments in equities carry an inherent element of risk including the potential for significant loss of principal. Past performance is not an indication of future results.