At the height of Q4 earnings reporting season, results from corporate America have been conflicted, so far. Let’s start with everyone’s favorite, Apple (NasdaqGM: AAPL). Despite sales of its iPhone hitting records during the holiday season, those sales were shy of what the street was expecting by three million units. Furthermore, during the conference call after its earnings release on Monday, management projected a softer outlook for the upcoming quarter amid growing competition in the smartphone and tablet marketplace. This was enough to send Apple’s shares lower by over 10% this past week. In fact, the majority of the retailers have reported very disappointing results this earnings reporting season with the widely followed and traded retail SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSE Arca: XRT) (chart) down almost 10% for the month of January.
Now let’s take a look at the results of the four key indices so far this year. For the month of January, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) is down 5.3%, the tech-heavy Nasdaq (chart) is off by 1.7%, the S&P 500 (chart) is lower by 3.6% and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) finished the month down by 2.8%. In my January 1st blog, I eluded to expecting a 5%, 10% or even a 15% correction in 2014, and we could very well be in this corrective phase as we speak. The question now to investors and traders alike is how steep could this current pullback become? Let’s not forget we are coming off of a year in which these key indexes individually gained well over 25%, with the Nasdaq leading the way gaining a whopping 38% in 2013. What I try to do is tune out all of the noise that comes out of the financial cable channels and media and focus on seasonal patterns and the technicals of the market. Technically speaking, the markets are not yet in an extreme oversold condition according to the RSI principles. Remember the Relative Strength Index a.k.a. the RSI is one of my favorite technical indicators where overbought and oversold conditions are exhibited depending on certain value levels. In this case and according to the RSI principle, the 30 value level and below is considered oversold and anything below 20 is considered extremely oversold. We are just not there yet. However, one thing I do want to highlight is for the first time in months the aforementioned key indices have all fallen and closed below their 50-day moving averages. Something that has not occurred since early October of last year and something we want to keep an eye on. If the markets cannot rise back and remain above their 50-day in the near future, the 200-day support line could be the next real support for these markets. I am not suggesting that we will test the 200-day moving average, but if this is the case, the selling pressure would most likely continue and may actually increase. Let’s see how next week’s earnings reports come in before we draw any further conclusions.
Looking ahead to next week, we will here earnings results from petroleum producer Anadarko (NYSE: APC), real estate investment trust Annaly Capital Management (NYSE: NLY), Yum Brands (NYSE: YUM), Boston Scientific Corp (NYSE: BSX), retailer Michael Kors (NYSE: KORS), Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp (NasdaqGS: CTSH), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NasdaqGS: GMCR), Pandora Media (NYSE: P), AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL), Expedia (NasdaqGS: EXPE), General Motors (NYSE: GM), Verisign Inc. (NasdaqGS: VRSN), Apollo Global Management (NYSE: APO), Flir Systems (NasdaqGS: FLIR) and Moody’s Corp (NYSE: MCO) just to name a few. So as earnings reporting season continues, so do the markets. Good luck to all.
Have a great weekend 🙂