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 🙂


Is risk back off?

On the last trading day of May, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) sold off by 208.96 points, the Nasdaq (chart) -35.38, the S&P 500 (chart) -23.67 and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) finished the day lower by 10.28 points. Is this a possible prelude for the month of June? After the six-month+ run that stocks have been on, one has to wonder if these markets are poised to correct?

As I wrote in mid-May, I expected volatility to begin to increase, and sure enough the VIX (chart) also known as the fear gauge spiked 27.5% over the past two weeks. Ever since the Fed began mapping out an exit strategy, the market chatter has steadily increased as to how stocks and bonds would react. Furthermore, since its May policy meeting, the Fed has had a difficult time communicating its position as to how it will move forward. I know that some type of jaw boning needs to occur in order to prepare the markets for the beginning of monetary easing. However, a policy statement at the beginning of May indicated that the Fed’s next move could either be up or down? Confusing isn’t it? So it’s no wonder some sort of fear has begun to creep into these markets.

That said, this has become such an unprecedented market environment, I don’t know what to think right now. Isn’t the job market, corporate earnings, and top-line growth supposed to drive stocks? What I and many on the street are concerned with is the day the Fed decides to begin its wind down, how will equities react? Next week I will be paying close attention to the plethora of economic reports that will be issued which includes the PMI and ISM manufacturing indexes, the Beige Book and of course the all important Jobs report which will be issued on Friday before the market open, just to name a few. If the economy can begin to demonstrate meaningful strength, then any type of pullback or correction will most likely be met with wide support. However, if economic numbers stay weak, then we could very well be in for a lot more volatility this summer. Good luck to all.

Have a great weekend 🙂