Overbought Conditions and Iraq Weigh In On Stocks…

After the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) and the S&P 500 (chart) set all time highs last Monday, the conflict in Iraq and overbought conditions spun a modest pullback in the key indices. Although some are attributing the selling pressure to the unexpected defeat of the House majority leader Eric Cantor (R., VA).  For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) lost 148.54 points, the tech ladened Nasdaq (chart) -10.75 points, the S&P 500 (chart) -13.28 points and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) closed slightly lower on the week. What has been eye popping to me is how complacent and tranquill market participants have been. Over the past several months and especially the past couple weeks, investor sentiment has been extremely bullish which in turn has sent the VIX to multi-year lows. The VIX, also know as the fear gaugeis used as an indicator of investor sentiment. Recently the value of the VIX (chart) hit a trough low of 10.73, its lowest level since 2006. Out of all of the market events that are going on, this indicator has me concerned more than any other. As much as I have been bullish on the overall markets, when sentiment gets this comfortable and the VIX trades this low, historically markets set up for a pullback or even a correction of sorts.

This set-up is just what both the bears and the bulls have been waiting on. I personally have been tempted to short this market considering the historic record breaking run up stocks have had. But I have learned a long time ago is you don’t want to step in front of the Federal Reserve or a freight train either, which is what this market has been. So my preference is to be patient, wait for whatever pullback(s) or correction we may get, and then begin to scale in on certain long positions. I will refer to the technical set-ups of indexes and certain equities to assist me in establishing entry points. Click here to see what I look at pertaining to technical analysis. Now whether you are a technical trader or fundamental investor, the fact remains that markets remain awash with liquidity thanks to the Fed, and there really is no where else to get the alpha that hedge funds and institutional investor alike need for their performance mandates. So knowing that these institutions really dictate the ebbs and flows of the markets, my bets will continue to align with theirs and over the past few years whenever we do experience an increase in market volatility and market pullbacks, a buy signal usually ensues. Please remember it is always wise to at least consult with a certified and trusted financial advisor(s) before you compose any investment strategy or make any investment decisions. Good luck to all.

Happy Father’s Day 🙂


Where are they now?

Just a mere 2 weeks ago the pundits came out in full force declaring the end of the bull market or at the very least a 10-20% correction for stocks. Fast forward to today and we find ourselves yet again in record breaking territory. For the month of May, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) closed up 0.82% at a new record closing high of 16,717.17, the Nasdaq (chart) closed the month up 3.11% at 4242.61, the S&P 500 (chart) closed at an all time record high of 1923.57 and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) closed out May up 0.68% at 1134.50.

In my previous blog I wrote about certain experts calling for an imminent correction in which I thought was a bit pre-mature considering how the Federal Reserve continues to accommodate the economy and the markets. I understand where the bear camp is coming from, as soon as the Fed begins to hike interest rates, we should indeed see the markets react accordingly. The problem with the sell-side thesis is this just isn’t happening now. Policymakers continue to reiterate their stance on interest rates which are to remain low for the foreseeable future as the bond tapering program continues and ultimately exhausts itself, which could be by year-end. Then I think bear growl may have a lot more punch to it.

So how do we continue to make money in an environment that continues to make record highs seemingly with no end in sight? In addition to honoring the power of the Fed, I will continue to refer to the technical shape of the key indices to spot opportunities as we wait for the second quarter to wind down. With the incessant “melt-up” of the markets, one may think that stocks maybe overbought a bit. This most certainly is the case with select individual stocks, however, as I look at the closely followed Dow (chart), Nasdaq (chart), S&P 500 (chart) and the Russell 2000 (chart), none of these indexes are in overbought territory at least according to their respective Relative Strength Indexes. Remember, the Relative Strength Index (RSI) is a technical indicator which signifies whether or not a stock or index is overbought or oversold, with the 70 plus value level indicating an overbought condition, and the 30 minus level indicating an oversold condition. Click here for the expanded definition of the RSI. In addition, all of the moving averages are intact for the aforementioned indexes. Click here for the moving averages definition.

So as we enter the month of June, I am expecting the continuation of the “melt up” that has occurred so far this year with modest pullbacks. Of course as we witnessed in mid-May, sentiment can change quickly and the pundits and press for that matter can spread fear like wild fire, and should this be the case, I will prepare myself to add to certain long positions to take advantage of any potential weakness. As always, it is best practice to consult with a trusted financial advisor(s) before making any investment decisions. Good luck to all 🙂