The Bears Are Baffled!

What is historically one of the weakest months of the year for stocks, the S&P 500 (chart) closed the week and halfway point of the month at an all time high of 2500. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) also closed the week at a record high, along with the tech-focused Nasdaq (chart) and last but not least, the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) appears to be closing in on a new record high as well.

The bear camp has to be completely exhausted. I mean how in the world can you have the confidence to short this market? Not even the continuation of North Korea’s missile launches can slow down one of the most significant bull markets in history. Now seemingly we need to throw out all traditional metrics, seasonalities, geo-political risks, price to earnings ratios etc. This market has been immune to any risks. I have never seen anything like this. What’s more, there are survey’s out there that indicate that professional investors are the most pessimistic about the markets since before the election. You know what that means? Stocks tend to act the opposite of street sentiment.

Over the years and as most of you know one of my favorite technical indicators and one of the preferred technical indicators of money managers and institutional trader alike is the relative strength indicator. This indicator has been a trusted source to spot overbought and for that matter oversold conditions. The problem I have encountered this year is when indexes or individual equities have reached an overbought condition according to the RSI, the pullbacks that ensue have not provided the proper risk reward to any short thesis. The retracements are so shallow and short-lived that it is not worth putting the trade on. So needless to say, this strategy is on hold for now.

I am not sure what will be the catalyst for stocks or indexes to begin trading on pure fundamentals and not on the oversupply of liquidity and low interest rates. Until then, I will be very cautious in using the traditional metrics and/or technical indicators to base my decisions off of. Good luck to all 🙂