After such a torrid bull run in 2013, where the the four major averages gained over 25%, to no great surprise, these same indexes experienced more than a 5% pullback in January and early February. However, over the past couple of weeks and true to form, these indexes not only bounced off of key technical support zones, but they also took back their 50-day moving averages. For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) finished up 2.28%, the Nasdaq (chart) had a gain of 2.86%, the S&P 500 (chart) +2.32% and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) closed the week up 2.92%. The markets responded with a roar as the new Fed chairwomen Janet Yellen, in her first public appearance at the helm of the Fed, reiterated her commitment to model after the Bernanke era monetary policies. Stocks were already recovering from the January correction but accelerated their gains as she spoke to Congress this past Tuesday. All expectations now are that stocks will remain buoyed by the continuing asset backed purchases despite the modest tapering that is now in effect.
In my previous blog I expressed concern over the technical breakdown of the markets and that the 50-day moving averages of the key indices had been breached. Furthermore, I thought there was a possibility of the 200-day being the next stop. However, I did also indicate that if the markets were able to rebound and take back their 50-day and remain above that mark, that would be a positive. This is where we find ourselves now. All of the aforementioned key indexes have traded and closed above this key technical metric. The question now becomes whether or not this slingshot bounce and break above the 50-day is sustainable? Q4 earnings reporting season really didn’t say too much about the growth of corporate America, which overall was a mixed bag at best for the majority of the sectors. Couple this with economic signs of weakness as retail sales growth still remains flatlined, and I think we will continue to experience choppy waters for stocks, and I would be surprised if we began making new high after new high like last year. That said, liquidity for stocks is seemingly plentiful and we are still in a strong seasonality period for equities, so I also wouldn’t be surprised if we stabilized above the 50-day and consolidated for an extended period of time. Unless of course there is an unexpected negative geopolitical or global macro event that creeps back into the mix, then all bets are off. I will continue to track the technicals to gauge entry and exit points while using protective stops along the way. Good luck to all and both Paula and I wish everyone a very safe and happy Presidents’ Day holiday. Please note the markets are closed on Monday in recognition of Presidents’ Day.
Have a great weekend 🙂