Correction Chatter Abound…

Here come the pundits! Over the past couple of weeks the conversations of a significant market correction have spiked along with market volatility.  From billionaire investor David Tepper’s comment that “the markets appear to be dangerous” at last week’s annual SALT conference to Dennis Gartman of the renowned “Gartman Letter” stating we are in a correction as we speak. There is certainly no shortage of opinions flooding the airwaves. Now granted, recently stocks have been in somewhat of a downward trajectory especially the so called “momo” (which stands for momentum) stocks and the more riskier small-cap asset class. In fact, the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) has been sold off more so than any other index losing around 10% from its high in early March. This while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart)  recently made an all time high at 16,735.51. I think it’s safe to say there has been a rotation going on, a rotation out of riskier assets into the bellwether blue chip stocks.

So what about this apparent correction that is about to happen? Some pundits are calling for as much as a 20% correction at any time. I am not so sure about that. Seemingly, when the markets do become vulnerable and volatile regardless of why, the bears begin to come out of hibernation. Yes, this bull market does appear to be a bit long in the tooth, but in my opinion one factor that still stands in the way of a severe market correction, you guessed it, the Federal Reserve. Even though the Fed has begun to taper its bond and asset purchases, they have also indicated that should the “facts on the ground shift” hence, our economy heads into a recession or should the markets experience a severe sell-off, that it would be prepared to make adjustments to its policies, in other words, another form(s) or an extended version of stimulus would most likely occur. So how can anyone bet against these markets when you continue to have the Federal Reserve as the floor to any potential significant selloff? This does not mean that volatility will not increase or that we couldn’t see pullbacks or even quasi-corrections and should this be the case, I have got to believe the bulls would step right in and deploy their capital right along with the Fed.

So if you are currently bearish on equities or you are buying into the chatter of an imminent market correction and have gone short, you may want to consider covering your positions in the event of a 5 or 10% retracement or for that matter, a breakout from the current levels. Personally, I will look to add to certain positions should we see the correction many are talking about. Of course, it is always best practice to consult a professional financial advisor(s) before developing a market strategy or making changes to your portfolio. Good luck to all.

Memorial Day weekend is coming up and the markets will be closed on Monday May 26th. Both Paula and I wish everyone a safe and healthy Memorial Day and we want to thank and are grateful to all of the veterans and their families who gave the ultimate sacrifice serving our beloved country. We also want to thank the brave men and women who are currently serving our country and protecting our freedoms.


~George & Paula

Record Close! Sure Doesn’t Feel Like It…

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) ended the month of April at a closing record finishing at 16,580.84. The Nasdaq (chart) closed the month out down 2%, the S&P 500 (chart) finished the month slightly up and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) lagged the markets closing down 4% at 1,126.85. Stocks have see-sawed all year long which is why for me, it does not feel like a record close. Another reason why we don’t feel like we are in record territory is we are seeing a lot of momentum stocks begin to lose their mojo, in particular Amazon (NasdaqGS: AMZN), Netflix (NasdaqGS: NFLX) and biotech momentum favorite Biogen Idec (NasdaqGS: BIIB) just to name a few.

That said, as Q1 earnings reporting season continues, companies continue to produce better than expected profits for the most part, which is one of the reasons why stocks have shown impressive resilience. The vitality of corporate America is quite remarkable considering the paltry 0.1% annualized growth rate our economy experienced in the first quarter. So now that we are in May, will the old adage “sell in May and go away” apply this year? I am not so sure. Let’s not forget interest rates remain near record lows, the Fed is still buying bond assets to help stimulate the economy albeit at a slower pace, and the technicals of the market are not in bad shape.

Let’s take a gander at the current technical setup of the aforementioned key indexes. The two technical indicators I pay the closet attention to is the Relative Strength Index a.k.a. the RSI, and the moving averages. Out of hundreds of technical indicators available, I have found that these particular indicators work the best for me. In technical analysis, I like to keep things simple and not place too many indicators into the mix. It also helps that certain high profile market technicians, computerized trading models and certain institutional investors utilize the RSI and moving averages as their core technical indicators in their trading models.  Time and time again when I see that the Relative Strength Index (RSI) of a given index or equity is in an overbought or oversold condition, the majority of the time the asset or index reverts back to the mean. Typically the same rings true with the moving averages, whenever a stock or index bumps up against or comes down to its moving average, typically the stock or index finds support or resistance. Let’s break this down in more detail. Pertaining to the (RSI), The RSI is designed to demonstrate whether or not an index or stock is overbought or oversold, depending on certain value levels. According to the RSI principle, the 70 value level or greater, is an overbought condition and the 30 value and below is an oversold condition. As of right now, the aforementioned indices are hovering around the 50 value level +/- which is not indicating an extreme condition either way. Looking at the moving averages, of these four indexes, 2 of the 4 remain above their 50-day and 200-day moving averages and as you can see with the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart), this index has recently been finding support and bouncing off of its 200-day moving average, which clearly demonstrates the powerful support that moving averages can provide.

So again, I am not so sure if the “sell in May and go away” will apply this year based on how the technical set-up appears, how corporate America is coming in with their surprising earnings report cards and a continuing accommodative Fed. Good luck to all and happy trading in the month of May 🙂