After the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) and the S&P 500 (chart) set all time highs last Monday, the conflict in Iraq and overbought conditions spun a modest pullback in the key indices. Although some are attributing the selling pressure to the unexpected defeat of the House majority leader Eric Cantor (R., VA). For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) lost 148.54 points, the tech ladened Nasdaq (chart) -10.75 points, the S&P 500 (chart) -13.28 points and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) closed slightly lower on the week. What has been eye popping to me is how complacent and tranquill market participants have been. Over the past several months and especially the past couple weeks, investor sentiment has been extremely bullish which in turn has sent the VIX to multi-year lows. The VIX, also know as the fear gauge, is used as an indicator of investor sentiment. Recently the value of the VIX (chart) hit a trough low of 10.73, its lowest level since 2006. Out of all of the market events that are going on, this indicator has me concerned more than any other. As much as I have been bullish on the overall markets, when sentiment gets this comfortable and the VIX trades this low, historically markets set up for a pullback or even a correction of sorts.
This set-up is just what both the bears and the bulls have been waiting on. I personally have been tempted to short this market considering the historic record breaking run up stocks have had. But I have learned a long time ago is you don’t want to step in front of the Federal Reserve or a freight train either, which is what this market has been. So my preference is to be patient, wait for whatever pullback(s) or correction we may get, and then begin to scale in on certain long positions. I will refer to the technical set-ups of indexes and certain equities to assist me in establishing entry points. Click here to see what I look at pertaining to technical analysis. Now whether you are a technical trader or fundamental investor, the fact remains that markets remain awash with liquidity thanks to the Fed, and there really is no where else to get the alpha that hedge funds and institutional investor alike need for their performance mandates. So knowing that these institutions really dictate the ebbs and flows of the markets, my bets will continue to align with theirs and over the past few years whenever we do experience an increase in market volatility and market pullbacks, a buy signal usually ensues. Please remember it is always wise to at least consult with a certified and trusted financial advisor(s) before you compose any investment strategy or make any investment decisions. Good luck to all.
Happy Father’s Day 🙂