After an early November sell-off, the major averages could be on the verge of a breakout, at least from a technical point of view. The noticeable dip in equities that occurred recently was met with strong support and now stocks have rallied up to key resistance levels. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) closed the month of November at 17720, the Nasdaq (chart) closed at 5109, the S&P 500 (chart) closed at 2075 and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) closed the month of November at 1198. As you can see by their charts the three top indices have resistance levels of 18,000, 5175 and 2125 respectively while the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) is seemingly on the verge of breaking out. That said, it takes more than a day or two trading above a resistance level with strong volume to confirm a breakout. What could be in favor for a breakout with all of the aforementioned indexes is the seasonality of the markets a.k.a. the Santa Clause rally. This could very well be the catalyst for a year-end rally.
What could get in the way of a potential Santa Clause rally? One example could be if the technical resistance line(s) holds true to form and the key indices cannot breakout with conviction above these marks . There is also the risk of China’s market continuing to abate as regulators are cracking down on trading practices of major Chinese brokerage firms. The China weakness can spill over here to our shores even if it is only a short-term consequence. Of course there is always a geo-political risk that could weigh in on market sentiment and behavior. And last but not least, the Good Ole Federal Reserve and whether or not they would implement their first rate hike in almost a decade when they meet later this month.
That said and notwithstanding any of these risks, we have seen stocks incredibly resilient during this multi-year bull run and I would not be surprised if we indeed breakout and experience a year-end rally that could challenge the all time highs. Good luck to all 🙂