After a tumultuous and volatile month, stocks are back to their old habits. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) and the S&P (chart) 500 both closed at record highs. The month of October also saw the Nasdaq (chart) finish up over 3% and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) closed the month out up an eye-popping 6.5%. So as far as the long awaited correction goes, lets take a look. The Dow (chart) from it’s previous all-time high corrected 8.61%, while the S&P 500 (chart) retraced 9.83% by mid-October. Not quite the text book healthy 10% correction most investors were looking for, but close enough. The question I have is, will this snap-back rally to new all-time highs hold? Earnings for the most part have been coming in pretty good, however I have not seen the robust top-line growth you would expect in order to keep setting new records. Nonetheless, easy global monetary policies continue to keep not only a floor under these markets, but provide enough juice to lift the markets to new highs. Just yesterday the Bank of Japan unexpectedly raised its bond buying program from JPY 70 trillion to 80 trillion and it also tripled its ETF buying to JPY 3 trillion. So as long as the federal reserves from around the world continue to increase their balance sheets, the bulls should have the upper hand.
The concern I have with the most recent market correction is that it didn’t last very long. It’s true that over the past five years most modest pullbacks immediately snapped back, just like this latest quasi-correction did. Personally, I would of liked the correction to last a little longer and go a little deeper for it feel like a meaningful correction. Because of the markets most recent snap back rally, all of the major averages are now fast approaching overbought conditions according the the Relative Strength Index (RSI). I truly think early next week will be the tell. If we continue to lift, then we will certainly breach the 70 value level of the RSI and enter into overbought territory and possibly remain overbought for the rest of the year. However, if the rally stalls, we could easily reverse and then who knows? Add the wildcard of mid-term elections this upcoming week into the mix, and most likely volatility comes back into the forefront. For me I am going to the sidelines until after the mid-term elections are over, and also to see if we stall here at record levels. Good luck to all and have a great weekend 🙂