Technically Speaking…

The sell-off in the markets accelerated in the month of April and technically speaking it appears there could be more selling pressure ahead. On the year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (see chart here) is down nearly 10 percent, the S&P 500 (see chart here) is off over 13%, the Nasdaq Composite (see chart here) is down over 21% and the small-cap Russell 2000 (see chart here ) year to date is down 17%.

I am not surprised of the market weakness due to all the factors at play right now. From the war in Ukraine, to the highest inflation rates we have seen in over 40 years, the ongoing Covid backdrop albeit this dynamic appears to be improving and finally, interest rates. The Federal Reserve now has woken up to the fact that this low interest rate environment that we have lived in for over a decade is over. Runaway inflation has now become a major concern for the Fed, and they are now being beyond vocal of their intentions. A 50-basis point increase appears to be the hike here in May and hikes throughout the year are in play. In my view, this is the top catalyst as to the sell-off but let’s keep things in perspective. Last year and previous years for that matter have been a boon for stocks and pretty much every other asset class out there. Record after record have been set for years on asset classes and this is simply not sustainable. A healthy correction is beyond needed and it seems like we are in that mode now!

Now let’s look at the technical shape of the aforementioned key indexes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (see chart here), the S&P 500 (see chart here), the Nasdaq Composite (see chart here) and the Russell 2000 (see chart here) all closed the month of April out below their key moving averages. The 20-day, 50-day, 100 and 200-day have all been breached while the Relative Strength Index aka the RSI have not yet breached an “oversold” condition. The RSI is a technical “momentum indicator” that has two values of importance. The 70-value level for potential “overbought” conditions and the 30-value level and below is a level that is considered “oversold. All the above indexes are currently hovering around the 35 level. Please remember “technical indicators” are there as a guide and a tool when assessing the technical backdrop of any given stock or index and is not 100 percent perfect.

Good luck to all 🙂





Record After Record!

The U.S. stock market notched record after record in 2021! What a year for all asset classes from stocks, to real estate, to the crypto markets!

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (see chart here) finished 2021 up 18.7%. The S&P 500 (see chart here) closed the year out up a whopping 27%. The Nasdaq Composite (see chart here) closed up 21.5% and the small-cap Russell 2000 (see chart here) closed 2021 up 13.7%. How counterintuitive are these results as our country and the world for that matter continues to face and deal with Covid-19. Covid is now entering its 3rd year with the latest variant taking the world by storm. The omicron variant are causing infection rates to soar. However, scientists are hopeful that this variant could be the catalyst to ending this pandemic due to how less virulent this variant is at least to the fully vaccinated. It’s still early but the way omicron has now seemingly and abruptly reversed its course in South Africa, there is hope that this will be the case everywhere else.

Back to the markets. As we enter 2022 the big question and maybe the only question the markets have is how aggressive will the Federal Reserve be in hiking interest rates. No question in the new year interest rates will begin to head north. Inflation is soaring and impacting almost everything, which is part of the reason why we are seeing all-time highs across the board. This is not sustainable and with interest rates on the verge of increasing, stocks will face their first true test as the tightening rolls out. That said and because the pandemic is still wreaking havoc, I do not expect the Fed will be too aggressive out of the gate.

Let’s look at the technical shape of the aforementioned indexes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (see chart here) is comfortably trading above its 100 and 200-day moving averages as is the S&P 500 (see chart here) and the Nasdaq Composite (see chart here). The small-cap Russell 2000 (see chart below) is trading at it 100 and 200 day MA so let’s see if these support lines hold for the Russell. The other technical indicator that I prefer is the relative strength index aka the RSI and none of the aforementioned indexes are in overbought territory according to the RSI. The 70 value level of the RSI is considered overbought and the 30 value level is considered oversold and each index is trading right around the middle of that range.

Happy New Year!


Record After Record! - Paula Mahfouz