Are The Indexes Out Of Balance?

With how hot tech stocks have been lately, one has to ask are the key indexes out of balance? Let’s take a look. It is no secret tech stocks have been on fire, the Nasdaq Composite (see chart here) has been setting records weekly. Stocks like Tesla, Apple and Amazon continue to set all time highs. Price to earnings ratios aka the P/E ratio are also expanding to levels not seen since the tech bubble of the early 2000’s. I am not suggesting that tech as a whole is in a bubble, but there can be an argument that certain tech stocks are. I am not singling out Tesla at all, but what I am highlighting is the company’s eye-popping 1000 + P/E ratio. The price to earnings ratio is a metric for valuing a company that measures its current share price to its earnings per share. For example the S&P 500 typically trades in the 15-20 P/E range. Yes, a 15 to 20 P/E multiple is the historic price to earnings multiple that the S&P 500 trades at. So when you look at Tesla and see that this company’s P/E ratio is currently over 1000, it does bring pause and perspective into the mix.

Back to the indexes that appear to be out of balance. As the S&P 500 (see chart here) and the Nasdaq Composite (see chart below) continue to set records, the majority of stocks have not returned to their pre COVID highs and still remain down on the year. This to me is something to pay attention to. Sure, some tech stocks deserve their current valuations due to how they are growing and benefiting from the widespread lockdowns. Tech stocks and the technologies they provide are serving businesses and consumers alike in a way no one would of thought of before the pandemic took hold of our country. However, even stocks like Apple have high seen quite the expansion of its P/E multiple which is currently trading at 39. Bottom line for me, as we are setting records each week, I would prefer to see a broader base rally to ensure that we are not out of balance with each and every record that is being set.

Good luck to all 🙂

~George

Are The Indexes Out Of Balance? - Paula Mahfouz

 

 

Big Tech Blowout!

Big tech steals the show with blowout earnings results. Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL), Amazon (NasdaqGS: AMZN) and Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB) all took the street by surprise with their upside earnings reports. For Apple, in addition to their blowout earnings, the company announced a 4-1stock split. This was more than enough for Apple to close up over 10% yesterday at an all time high of $425.04. Apple’s earnings came in over $2.00 per share on revenues just shy of $60 billion. Stunning numbers considering the backdrop that our country is currently in. When I look at what Amazon did, I am equally if not more impressed especially with how they grew their revenues. It’s hard to believe a company of this size grew their revenues 40% to almost $90 billion on the quarter. Without question Amazon has benefited more than any other company due to the pandemic. Consumers have flocked to online shopping more now than ever. Last but not least, let’s look at what Facebook did. Despite experiencing ad boycotts by some of the biggest brands in the world, Facebook managed to grow ad revenues by over 10% and grew earnings by almost 100%. I don’t think anyone expected these type of quarterly results from this group with all things considered.

Let’s take a gander at the major averages and how they are looking from a technical standpoint. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (see chart here) closed the week at 26428.32. When I look at the chart of the Dow, this index is not overbought according to the (RSI) and the Dow closed right around its 20-day and 200-day moving averages. The S&P 500 (see chart here) closed at 3271.12 and this index bounced off of its 20-day moving average with perfection. The Nasdaq Composite (see chart here) has been the big winner so far this year and technically speaking this index could potentially keep running. Heck, i’d be ok if it paused and consolidated a bit because of the run its been on. The other index that I keep an eye on is the small-cap Russell 2000 (see chart below). Speaking of consolidation, that is what appears to be happening with the Russell 2000. This index has been trading sideways for the past week or so and is trading consistently above its 20 and 200-day moving averages during this consolidation period. So all in all the aforementioned indexes appear to be on solid ground from a technical analysis standpoint.

In closing, despite the current shape of the market, the month of August historically tends to be a volatile month. Couple this with the upcoming Presidential election and we could be in for a wild ride between now and election day.

Good luck to all 🙂

~George

Big Tech Blowout - Paula Mahfouz

Did Apple Just Save Tech?

Tech stocks have been battered lately but as in the past Apple just might of saved tech stocks, at least for the time being. After the close, Apple reported an astonishing $53 billion in revenues growing at a 17% clip. What’s more is Apple’s profits rose more than 30% coming in at a whopping $11.5 billion in profits. I thought there is a thing called the law of large numbers? Apparently not at Apple! People don’t realize how hard it is to grow a company of this size in the way Apple continues to grow. Year after year, quarter after quarter, simply amazing. The question now becomes is yesterday’s earnings beat by Apple enough to put a floor in tech stocks. Technology stocks have been taken out to the woodshed as of late with seemingly no end in sight, until yesterday. What I will be looking for today and for the rest of the week is whether or not companies continue get sold off after their earnings release which has been the trend this particular earnings reporting season.

In my last blog I eluded to the possibility of a breakout of the S&P 500 (chart) or a triple top fade in the index.  Quite honestly neither really happened, at least not yet. The S&P 500 (see chart below) essentially has been trading in a range between 2800 and 2850. Earnings reporting season has yet to be the catalyst for such a breakout or breakdown for that matter. Triple tops are very powerful to the technical set-up on any given index or stock for that matter. Apple’s earnings could very well be the catalyst for the markets to once again challenge the current triple top formation. Now that we are in August I do think we will get that answer soon enough. I do expect volatility to pick up a bit here in August which is not uncommon for this time of year. The SPY’s (chart) which tracks the S&P 500 (chart) has demonstrated support at its 20-day moving average which is essentially $279.50 and the overhead resistance is essentially the $285.00 zone. Let’s see if the S&P can break away from either line. Good luck to all 🙂

~George

S&P 500 - George Mahfouz Jr.

A Sell The News Environment?

We are almost at the midway point of earnings reporting season and it appears that we are in a “sell the news” type environment. Amazon (Symbol: AMZN), Intel (Symbol: INTC), Bank of America (Symbol: BAC) JP Morgan Chase (Symbol: JPM) are amongst other high profile companies that have smashed it out of the park with their latest quarterly earnings reports and yet the market does not seem to care. At best stocks have gone sideways with breakout moments only, only to find themselves priced back where they started before their earnings reports. One could say that stocks have already priced in their respective growth and the markets seem to agree. To close out the month of April, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) closed at 24,163, the S&P 500 (chart) finished the month at 2648, the Nasdaq Composite (chart) closed at 7066 and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) settled at 1542.

As mentioned above, we are around the mid-point of the season and there are still hundreds of companies that are set to report their earnings this week which includes the likes of: Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL), Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE: DVN), Gilead Sciences Corp. (NasdaqGS: GILD), Snap Inc (NYSE: SNAP), Avis Budget Group (NYSE: CAR), Caesars Entertainment Corp (NYSEL CZR), CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS), Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE: EL), Holly Frontier Corp. (NYSE: HFC), Mastercard Inc. (NYSE: MA), MetLife Inc. (NYSE: MET), Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM), Avon Product Inc. (NYSE: AVP), CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS), Ferrari NV (NYSE: RACE), Kellogg Co. (NYSE: K), Shake Shack Inc. (NYSE: SHAK), Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. (NasdaqGS: SFM), Weight Watchers International Inc. (NYSE: WTW), Celgene Corp. (NasdaqGS: CELG) and Cheniere Energy Corp (NYSE: LNG). These are just a few of the names that report this week and as you can see there is a wide variety of companies that could potentially move the market from its most recent sideways action. Good luck to all 🙂

~George

 

Dow 22,000 In Sight…

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) closed the month of July at a record high and came within 70 points of the 22,000 mark. Just a few short months ago that the Dow surpassed the 21,000 milestone. What an incredible run in such a short period of time! Not only is the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) notching new record highs almost daily, the Nasdaq (chart) last Thursday posted a new record at 6460, as did the S&P 500 (chart) setting a new record of 2484. Last but not least, the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) also set a new record last week of 1452. However, both the Nasdaq (chart) and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) have reversed their upward trajectory over the last few trading sessions in a noticeable manner. Let’s keep an eye on this development.

I think it is safe to say that Q2 earnings reporting season has helped fuel the Dow Jones to new record highs as well as the S&P 500. Tech stocks have been reporting a mixed bag so far this earnings reporting season which is why that index has started to abate a bit. All eyes today are on Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL) which report their earnings results after the close. This could be the one stock that either reverses the latest mini-downward trend in the Nasdaq or for that matter, accelerate it. As I look to the technical shape of the the aforementioned indexes, only the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) is on overbought territory, while the S&P 500 (chart), Nasdaq (chart) and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) have begun their reversion to the mean and are all approaching the 50 value level of the relative strength index.

Game plan for August? Personally, I think it is time to reduce long exposure to equities due in part to this startling run stocks have had all year long. This coupled with the month of August being an historically weak month for equities could create the perfect set up for the much anticipated market correction that the bears have been waiting on. That said, I have to remind myself that there has been no such thing as typical in these markets for we have been in unchartered territory for a long period of time. One final note, it is always recommended to consult with a certified financial planner before making any adjustments to your portfolio.

Good luck to all 🙂

~George

 

Tech Stocks Hit The Brakes!

After going up in a straight line for months, the technology sector (see chart below) has reversed its upward course. After hitting an all-time high of 6341.70 on June 9th, the Nasdaq (chart) has given back 190 points or three percent while approaching its 50-day moving average. Nowadays it’s pretty rare to see a one percent pullback in tech stocks let alone a three percent retracement in a week. The media is now all over how tech stocks today are beginning to resemble the internet bubble. The difference between today and yesteryear is that the top five tech stocks – Amazon (NasdaqGC: AMZN), Apple (NasdaqGC: AAPL), Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB) Google’s parent company Alphabet (NasdaqGC: GOOGL) and Microsoft (NasdaqGC: MSFT) have been responsible for a big chunk of the Nasdaq and S&P 500 (chart) recent gains. The problem with comparing today’s market with the internet bubble is that the aforementioned tech leaders all have incredible balance sheets while continuing to grow at a pace that supports their relative stock prices. One may argue that Amazon remains overpriced especially with its lofty P/E ratio.

It’s hard to imagine that anyone would be concerned about a three percent pullback in any stock or index, but because of how strong stocks have been since the election, anything other than a flat to up day will get noticed. That said, without question all eyes will be on whether or not the Nasdaq’s 50-day moving average will get tested. The last time the Nasdaq (chart) did not hold its 50-day support line was last October. Since then tech stocks have tested and moved off of its 50-day average multiple times. 6085 is the current the 50-day moving average of the Nasdaq which is about 65 points away. I am not suggesting it will go there, but if it does and according to the way tech stocks have reacted to that particular support line, a bounce could be in the cards. Good luck to all 🙂

~George

Nasdaq chart - George Mahfouz Jr

No Fear Here…

Despite North Korea launching its seventh missile test of the year on Sunday and the White House seemingly in an upheaval, stocks continue to demonstrate no fear and continue their record setting ways. Today the S&P 500 (chart) and the Nasdaq (chart) hit all time highs. Without question this bull market is now even catching wall street veterans off guard. Q1 earnings reporting season is close to wrapping up and other than retail, most companies have reported in-line or outright beats in their earnings results, especially the tech sector. Tech has been on fire lately and this is due in large part of mega-cap tech smashing analysts expectations. Earnings results from companies such as Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL), Amazon (NasdaqGS: AMZN), Alphabet (NasdaqGS: GOOGL) and Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB) has propelled the Nasdaq (chart) and these particular issues to all-time highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) and the Russell 2000 (chart) remain in striking distance of setting new records as well. It is truly remarkable how the markets have been able to weather the current political environment here in the U.S. and the geopolitical risks abroad.

From a technical perspective, the aforementioned key indices are in pretty good shape. The Nasdaq (chart) is the only one of the four that remains in overbought territory according to the relative strength index. All of these averages also remain above their respective 50-day and 200-day moving averages, yet another bullish sign. Volatility also remains at historic lows. So one may ask what about the “sell in May and go away” adage? From a technical standpoint, I do not see any reason why these markets won’t continue to melt up from here. Of course there is always the risk of a geopolitical event or the actual seasonal risk of assets taking a pause or retracing a bit. That said and whatever the case may be, it is undeniable that the markets have been the most resilient in years, if ever.

Good luck to all 🙂

~George

Is It Time For A Breather?

Stocks have been on a tear since the end of June with the key averages gaining close to 10% or more since coming off of their late June lows. That’s right double digit gains in a little over a month lead by the Nasdaq (chart) which is almost up 13%, followed by the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) up 12.35% and both the S&P 500 (see chart below) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (see chart below) closing up nearly 10% in that same time period. Part of the reason why the tech focused Nasdaq has led the charge is the stronger than expected and recently announced quarterly earnings results out of Amazon (NasdaqGS: AMZN) Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL), Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB) and Google aka Alphabet (NasdaqGS: GOOGL).

So the question now is after such dramatic double digit gains in the aforementioned indices and in such a short period of time, is it time for a pause and/or a retracement? As you all know by now, the first thing that I look at when it comes to accelerated gains in any stock or index is the relative strength index also known as the RSI. The relative strength index is a technical indicator to determine overbought or oversold conditions, click here  for the complete definition. The RSI is also one of the favorite technical indicators used by market technicians, certain money managers and even select algorithms have the RSI programmed into their model. That said, the Nasdaq has now hit the 70 value level of the RSI which is an overbought level according to the RSI while the other key indices are not too far behind. Please note that indexes and stocks can remain overbought for extended periods of time.

So what does all of this mean? Well I think the set-up now is a little spooky. Not only are we at or approaching overbought conditions according to the relative strength index, but we now find ourselves in the month of August. August historically tends to be one of weakest month of the year for equities. In fact, over the past seven years the key indexes have fallen each year during this time period. History doesn’t always have to repeat itself, but the current set-up bodes well for a softer month ahead. We will see. Good luck to all 🙂

~George

S&P 500 George Mahfouz Jr

Dow Jones Chart George Mahfouz Jr

Nasdaq Closes At A Record High!

Tech stocks have taken off this week due to their strong earnings results. Companies such as Netflix (NasdaqGS: NFLX) soared 18% today after the company reported better than expected subscriber growth. Also today and just after the close, Google (NasdaqGS: GOOGL)  too reported better than expected results with revenue coming in at $14.35 billion compared to $14.26 billion the street was expecting. In after hours trading Google is up over 10% or well over $70.00 per share. Thanks to Google’s earnings results, most other tech companies are also trading up in the after-hours session so it appears that the rally on the Nasdaq (chart) will continue at least through tomorrow.

On a technical note, I want to point to your attention how two of the most influential major averages held their respective 200-day moving averages recently. A little over a week ago the markets were roiled in the Greece debt drama as well as how China’s stock market was falling off a cliff. There was enormous uncertainty as to how Greece and even more so how China’s stock market would play out. This fear and uncertainty sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) and the S&P 500 (chart)  tumbling down toward and below their 200-day moving averages. It really only took a day for this key support metric to kick in and demonstrate its technical support influence. Since this brief but noticeable selloff occurred, both indices have snapped back and we now find the S&P 500 (chart) within 10 points of its all-time high. Some pundits did indeed expect that Q2 earning reporting season could be the catalyst to lift the markets out of the fears of Greece and China. And seemingly their expectations have been met. That said, there are many more companies set to report their earnings results over the next couple of weeks, with all eyes now focusing on how Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL) will fare as they are set to report their quarterly report next Tuesday July 21st after the close. As with most earnings reporting seasons over the past few years, stocks have overall fared well and this time it appears well enough to break key index records.

Good luck to all 🙂

~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 🙂

~George