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

Are You Kidding Apple?

A $74.6 billion dollar quarter! Simply breathtaking! Apple also generated a record net profit of $18 billion, the highest quarterly net profit ever, for any company. Earnings reporting season is in high gear and no one so far have remotely come close to such an impressive performance. Congratulations Apple! That said,¬†the overall market in the month of January did not fare as well. For the month, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) lost 3.7%, the Nasdaq (chart)¬†pulled back 2.1%, the S&P 500 (chart) retraced 3.1% and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) closed the month of January off 3.3%. Note that the majority of the monthly losses occurred in the past trading week. January also experienced¬†a spike in volatility with the CBOE Market Volatility¬†Index also known as the VIX (chart) closing just a tad under 21. The VIX is referred to as the “fear gauge” which shows the market’s expectation of upcoming volatility by calculating implied volatilities of both calls and puts of S&P 500 index options.

Technically speaking, the above key indices are fast approaching their respective 200-day moving averages, especially the Dow Jones Industrials (chart). Remember, the moving averages is amongst the most favorite technical indicator utilized by market technicians, computerized trading models and institutional investors alike. Furthermore, the relative strength index  of the aforementioned key indices are not in oversold conditions. The RSI is another favorite technical indicator of certain market technicians . So should the markets continue to experience an increase in volatility, the 200-day moving average should provide meaningful support as long as earnings reporting season closes out on a high note. I will monitor the technicals of the markets closely and wait to see how the balance of Q4 earnings reporting season plays out. If we test the 200-day moving averages and hold that level, and if earnings continue to come in positively, I would be then be inclined to become more bullish on equities. However, if we breakdown technically and if corporate America begins to show signs of slower growth, we will then be having a different discussion. Good luck to all!

Paula and I wish everyone a Happy Super Bowl Sunday ūüôā

~George