Happy New Year!

The bull run continues for the stock market which posted yet another year of gains in 2014. However, not quite the eye-popping 30% performance that the major averages experienced in 2013. Nonetheless, in 2014 the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) gained 7.52%, the Nasdaq (chart) advanced 13.4%, the S&P 500 (chart) gained 11.39% and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) finished the year up a modest 3.52%.

Looking ahead to 2015, simply put, if the Federal Reserve stands pat and does not raise interest rates, stocks here in the U.S. should continue to head north. Of course should the U.S. economy continue to expand and the job market continue to improve, we should begin to see rates inch up, which could possibly slow this six-year bull market down. I think the velocity of any rate increases will be the main factor as to how the markets would react. A slow and steady course should not disrupt stocks too much, however, if the fed surprises the street by raising rates too aggressively, then we could be in for a very volatile year. Whatever the case is, I also believe in 2015 the street will be looking more closely to the top-line growth of corporate America in order to justify the lofty average P/E ratio of S&P 500 companies. The current P/E ratio of the S&P is around 18 compared to the historic average of around 15.

Let’s now take a look at the current technical set-up of the aforementioned indices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart), the Nasdaq (chart), the S&P 500 (chart) and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) all remain below the 70 value level of the relative strength index (RSI) The 70 value level of the RSI is considered overbought territory. In addition, these indexes are also trading above their 20, 50 and 200-day moving averages which is considered support zones of this particular technical indicator, especially the 200-day moving average. So technically speaking, stocks appear to be on solid footing heading into 2015. That said, Paula and I wish everyone a very safe, prosperous and Happy New Year 🙂




Not Even The Dog Days Of Summer Can Slow Down This Bull!

Stocks once again defied logic setting records in the month of August, which is typically a soft month for equities. For the month, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) finished up 3.2%, the tech-heavy Nasdaq (chart) closed the month up 4.8%, the S&P 500 (chart) gained 3.8% and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) closed the month up 4.85%. Now granted these gains came on relatively low volume, but nonetheless a very impressive performance considering the macro environment we are in especially with the geopolitical concerns in the middle-east and Ukraine. I suppose the U.S. economic numbers that have come out recently is part of the reason why stocks continue to march north. Last Thursday the Commerce Department revised the second quarter U.S. gross domestic product (G.D.P.) number to 4.2% which is quite a healthy expansion of our economy and what’s more, the sources of growth were broad based.

Looking ahead to this month, when traders and investors come back from their summer vacations, they will see all time highs for the S&P 500 (chart), the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) and don’t look now, even the Nasdaq (chart) is slowly approaching the 5000 mark, a mark that has not been seen since the tech-bubble of 2000. If you have been bearish or short this market, I do not know what to say other than I feel your pain. We have not had a 10% correction in equities in years now and just the slightest of pullbacks have been met with incessant support. I do not know what is going to break this trend and you know what they say, “the trend is your friend”. Enough of that, seriously, I too have been expecting at least a 5-10% correction, which if you are bullish, you should welcome it. Not only would this be healthy for the markets, in my view it’s getting to the point to where it’s almost required. I am beginning to become a little concerned that should a “black-swan” event occur, and history says “they happen when you least expect it” we could see such a sharp correction, that could trigger margin selling, which would lead to more selling pressure etc., we have all seen this movie before. I am not saying that this will take place, but if it does, and we if don’t have healthy corrections along the way, which we haven’t, this could magnify matters and we would be having a much different discussion.

With all that said, I will continue to monitor the economic numbers this month as well as the technical make-up of the aforementioned indices. Technically speaking, we are now approaching overbought territory according to the relative strength index (RSI). Paula and I wish everyone a very safe and Happy Labor Day 🙂