At least according to Janet Yellen as she spoke before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday. In a prepared speech to the committee, Vice Chair Yellen stated that the U.S. economy continues to improve and that the housing market has turned a corner with construction, home prices and sales up significantly. Ms. Yellen went on to indicate that she supports the Federal Reserve’s monetary policies which continue to purchase bonds and mortgage backed securities. Investors took this cue as a very positive sign going forward and sent the markets yet again to all time highs this past week.
For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) closed up 1.3% and is also closing in on the 16,000 mark, the S&P 500 (chart) gained 1.6%, the Nasdaq (chart) +1.5% and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) finished the week up 1.47%. Stocks continue to be on a tear and now it is clear that unless their is some unforeseen negative macro-event that occurs from now until year end, these markets should close the year out with over 20% gains respectively. Now that doesn’t mean that pullbacks or even a modest correction couldn’t occur, but should this be the case, I would assume that any retracement would be met with the “buying the dip” mentally that has gone on all year long.
Now let’s take a look at how the technical conditions are shaping up for the aformentioned key indices. When I consider running a technical analysis on stocks or indexes, the two indicators I favor the most are the Relative Strength Index also know as the RSI and the moving averages. Out of plethora of technical indicators out there, these particular indicators are the most reliable, at least for me. Part of the reason why I favor the RSI and moving averages indicators are that many computerized trading models and certain institutional investors utilize them, which in turn moves the market. Historically, when the Relative Strength Index (RSI) is at an overbought or oversold condition, the majority of the time the asset or index reverts back to the mean. Same rings true with the moving averages, whenever a stock or index rises up against or comes down to its moving average, typically the stock or index finds support or resistance. So in looking at the current state of the Dow (chart), S&P 500 (chart) , Nasdaq (chart) and the Russell 2000 (chart) all of these indexes are indeed approaching overbought territory which according to the RSI definition is the 70 value level, but they are not there yet. Actually, my personal preference is to not only see a breach of the 70 value level but a continuation up into overbought territory before I consider selling into that condition. As it pertains to the moving averages technical indicator, these key indices are all comfortably above their respective 20-day and 50-day averages, with the 200-day moving average no where in sight.
So what does all of this mean? Technically speaking and considering we are heading into year end, there is a high likelihood that markets continue to head north, but I will be paying close attention to the technicals as to when we may see the inevitable pullback.
Good luck to all and have a great weekend 🙂