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To be sure, the current situation in Europe has a familiar ring to it. Greece makes demands and threatens to leave the Eurozone. Greek officials make offers. Germany says, "Nein!" Analysts then fret about what could happen to the banks of Europe should the Greeks decide to walk away. And the headline-reading algos react to every single word coming out of any/all European official's mouths.

The bottom line is that investors have watched the negotiations between Greece and the so-called Troika (European Commission, ECB, and IMF) unfold many times since 2010. If you will recall, it was worries over Greece that caused the big corrections of 2010, 2011, and 2012. (Well, to be fair, the wrangling in Washington that resulted in the downgrading of U.S. debt also played a big role in 2011.) So, investors can't be blamed if they start to wonder if the current mess will be a case of deja vu all over again.

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So far at least, the markets have not given much credence to the Syriza government's insistence on renegotiating the deal with its European partners. So far at least, the market has not been treated to a joyride any time one of the major players says anything. But remember, this was the way the game was played a few years back.

The point is that Wall Street traders LOVE their historical trends and play books for given scenarios. So, with the European Finance Ministers meeting today, investors should be aware of the fact that volatility could quickly come into the markets as neither side of this argument appears to be even hinting at backing down.

Here's the Latest...

To be clear, the U.S. stock market does not appear to care much about the Greek situation at the moment. But as we all know, this can change - and quickly. Therefore, it is probably a good idea to stay on top of what is happening across the pond.

The first thing to understand is that Greece could run out of cash relatively quickly. Reports indicate that the government has enough money to stay afloat until the end of the month. But remember, February is a short month. Therefore, the issues at hand do seem to have some urgency associated with them.

As we head into today's session, investors should also know that there will be a showdown today at the meeting of European Finance Ministers and that Greece has been ramping up the rhetoric in advance of the meeting.

It is worth noting that the Greek government got a strong endorsement from parliament for its hardline stance on the bailout. Prime Minister Tsipras told members that the government will not yield to demands over its aid program no matter how much German Finance Minister Schaeuble demands it. Tsipras said it is not negotiating the bailout because the bailout has effectively been cancelled.

However, recall that German Finance Minister Schaeuble warned yesterday that Greece would be offered no other deal than the extension of its existing bailout. According to Dow Jones, Schaeuble told reporters at G20 meeting in Instanbul that rumors of a six-month extension of Greece's bailout program were false, saying that such speculation was the stuff of fantasy.

Just Posturing?

At this stage, the U.S. stock market doesn't appear to be terribly worried about the situation. Traders have definitely seen this movie before and they know that in the end, nobody dies - and nobody leaves the Eurozone. As such, traders likely view the most recent activity as mere political posturing.

However, it is probably a good idea to keep in mind that Greece has a long history of defaulting on its debts. Therefore, there would seem to be at least the possibility that Tsipras's government could continue to threaten to walk away right up until the clock strikes midnight.

But so far at least, markets around the globe aren't freaking out and that is a good thing for now.

Turning to This Morning...

While there is definitely no fear in the air, there does appear to be some concern about the outcome of the emergency meeting of Europe's finance ministers to be held today. With both sides ramping up the rhetoric yesterday, there is sure to be a clash, with some explosive headlines expected. On the geopolitical front, there is also the situation with Russia to consider as markets anxiously await word if the leaders of France and Germany can reach a diplomatic solution today. In addition, it is worth noting that oil fell more than 5% yesterday, putting the possibility of further declines on the table. However, at this stage, crude appears to be searching for a bottom. Here in the U.S., futures are pointing to a slightly lower open on Wall Street.

Pre-Game Indicators

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

Major Foreign Markets:
    Japan: closed
    Hong Kong: -0.87%
    Shanghai: +0.52%
    London: -0.56%
    Germany: -0.28%
    France: -0.61%
    Italy: -0.60%
    Spain: -1.06%

Crude Oil Futures: -$0.20 to $49.83

Gold: +$3.80 at $1236.10

Dollar: higher against the yen, lower vs. euro and pound

10-Year Bond Yield: Currently trading at 1.988%

Stock Indices in U.S. (relative to fair value):
    S&P 500: -3.89
    Dow Jones Industrial Average: -50
    NASDAQ Composite: -1.45

Thought For The Day:

Continuous effort -- not strength or intelligence -- is the key to unlocking our potential. -Liane Cardes

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 the Latest Greek Drama
      2. The State of the Oil Crash
      3. The State of the U.S. Economy
      4. The State of Fed/ECB Policy

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: 1975
  • Key Near-Term Resistance Zone(s): 2080-90

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: Positive
  • 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: Overbought
          - Intermediate-Term: Neutral
  • 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: Positive

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

David D. Moenning
Founder and Chief Investment Strategist
Heritage Capital Research
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.


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.