Will It Hold?

As the markets closed out the month of February, the major averages are approaching a key technical point and the question now becomes, will it hold? As stocks continue to exhibit volatility the major averages are now approaching their 200-day moving average. Institutional investors, hedge funds andĀ  individual investors view the 200-day moving average as a key support technical indicator. Historically when indexes or individual stocks gravitate to their 200-day support level at minimum some sort of bounce occurs from this key support line. If you go back over time whether it’s months or years and look at what happens when stocks or indexes retrace to their 200-day, this will demonstrate how powerful this support line can be. Now there is no guarantee that the 200-day will hold every time and reverse its course but see for yourself how this dynamic historically performs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (see chart here) is in striking distance of its 200-day moving average which is currently at the 32355 level. The S&P 500 (see chart here) is only about 90 points away from its 200-day. The Nasdaq Composite (see chart here) almost touched its 200-day yesterday and the small-cap Russell 2000 (see chart here and below) is currently further away from its 200-day compared to the Dow Jones, Nasdaq Composite, and the Russell 2000. So technically speaking the small caps are currently in a better technical set up vs the other major averages.

As far as what to expect here in March, I think things will continue to be a bit choppy and should the indexes continue to retrace and end up at or near their 200-day moving average, let’s see how this technical indicator responds should it get there. As always, please consult with certified financial planners before you make any moves or adjustments in your portfolio.

Good luck to all šŸ™‚

~George

 

Interest Rate Hike Fears Spook Stocks…

Since theĀ release of the February labor market report, which was much stronger than the street expected, stocks have been on a wild ride. Triple digits gains and losses have occurred this past week with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart)Ā In addition,Ā the S&P 500 (chart), the Nasdaq (chart) and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) have allĀ pulled back noticeably since the February jobs report was issued. So wait a minute, a strong laborĀ market is good for the economy, hence, good for stocks too right? Logically speaking yes, but as it pertains to the Federal Reserve, a stronger laborĀ market and a stronger economy gives them the green light to begin to raise interest rates.

This is what is now permeating through the stock market. The concernĀ is that the Federal Reserve hasĀ enough data to begin to change their stance on their multi-year accommodative financial policies, policies that have benefited equities since 2009. We may not have to wait too much longer to gauge the Fed’s stanceĀ as it prepares for next week’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting. I think the anxiety we are witnessing may be a little exaggerated. It’s normal to have emotions play out and even take control over investors, however, people seem to forget that the Fed has been extremely cautious as to even eking out the wrong language in their official policy statements. I would not expect the Fed to shock the markets by raising rates too early or too aggressively. That said, I do expect volatility to continue and for markets to get “emotionally” charged. We could very wellĀ be in the midst of yet another dip back to the 200-day moving averages of the aforementioned key indices and should that occur, I would expect that buyers would come in bargain hunting. Over the past few years, the 200-day moving average has acted asĀ significant support for these key indexes. The only difference and question now would be, is if the Federal Reserve indeed changes their position on interest rates, how well would this favorite technical indicator fare? Good luck to all and have a great week šŸ™‚

~George