A Fresh Record High For The S&P 500!

It took a bit over a month since its last record closing high, but the S&P 500 (chart) on Friday indeed finished the week at a new record close of 2096.99. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) closed above 18000 for the first time since the end of December as well. The tech-heavy Nasdaq (chart) now seems to be poised to go back through the 5000 mark, a level not seen since early 2000, and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) also closed at a record high at 1223.13.

Furthermore, both the S&P 500 (chart) and the Russell 2000 (chart) have technically broken out and could continue to notch further gains. This analysis is supported in part because both of these key indices have not yet reached overbought territory according to the Relative Strength Index/RSI. Remember, the RSI indicator signifies the 70 value level as an overbought condition for any given equity or index. The Relative Strength Index of the S&P (chart) and Russell (chart) are currently sitting around the 60 value level. So technically speaking and at least according the RSI, overbought conditions are not yet present.

With records being posted and breakouts occurring, is the economy or corporate profits really that good? Or is this a continuation of easy monetary policies worldwide? If I was a betting man, I would bet the latter. That said, how in the world can you go against the central bankers from around the world? I think the bulls will remain in charge for the foreseeable future, unless some unforseen catastrophic geopolitical event occurs.

Happy Presidents’ Day to all ūüôā

~George

Correction Chatter Abound…

Here come the pundits! Over the past couple of weeks the conversations of a significant market correction have spiked along with market volatility. ¬†From billionaire investor David Tepper’s comment that “the markets appear to be dangerous” at last week’s annual SALT conference to Dennis Gartman of the renowned “Gartman Letter” stating we are in a correction as we speak. There is certainly no shortage of opinions flooding the airwaves. Now granted, recently stocks have been in somewhat of a downward trajectory especially the so called “momo” (which stands for momentum) stocks and the more riskier small-cap asset class. In fact, the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) has been sold off more so than any other index losing around 10% from its high in early March. This while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart)¬†¬†recently made an all time high at 16,735.51. I think it’s safe to say there has been a rotation going on, a rotation out of riskier assets into the bellwether blue chip stocks.

So what about this apparent correction that is about to happen? Some pundits are calling for as much as a 20% correction at any time. I am not so sure about that. Seemingly, when the markets do become vulnerable and volatile regardless of why, the bears begin to come out¬†of hibernation. Yes, this bull market does appear to be a bit long in the tooth, but in my opinion one factor that still stands in the way of a severe market correction, you guessed it, the Federal Reserve. Even though the Fed has begun to taper its bond and asset purchases, they have also indicated that should the “facts on the ground shift” hence, our economy heads into a recession or should the markets experience a severe sell-off, that it would be prepared to make adjustments to its policies, in other words, another form(s) or an extended version of stimulus would most likely occur. So how can anyone bet against these markets when you continue to have the Federal Reserve as the floor to any potential significant selloff? This does not mean that volatility will not increase or that we couldn’t see pullbacks or even quasi-corrections and should this be the case, I have got to believe the bulls would step right in and deploy their capital right along with the Fed.

So if you are currently bearish on equities or you are buying into the chatter of an imminent market correction and have gone short, you may want to consider covering your positions in the event of a 5 or 10% retracement or for that matter, a breakout from the current levels. Personally, I will look to add to certain positions should we see the correction many are talking about. Of course, it is always best practice to consult a professional financial advisor(s) before developing a market strategy or making changes to your portfolio. Good luck to all.

Memorial Day weekend is coming up and the markets will be closed on Monday May 26th. Both Paula and I wish everyone a safe and healthy Memorial Day and we want to thank and are grateful to all of the veterans and their families who gave the ultimate sacrifice serving our beloved country. We also want to thank the brave men and women who are currently serving our country and protecting our freedoms.

Sincerely,

~George & Paula