|InvestmentHouse - No Need to Fear, the Fed is Here (Weekend Newsletter) |
- Jobs report misses big headline and wages are slowing. No need to fear, the Fed is here.
- Mexico tariffs put off. It is sad it took a tariff threat to get action, but it was the one thing that got Mexico to act.
- Indices head higher another session in the rebound, again on less than solid internals.
- Market downside technical setup versus the Fed backstop.
- Fed may be behind the market again, but outside of some express talk about a rate cut, what more can the Fed do to drive stocks higher near term?
- After a big rebound week, watch for some downside. But also watch for key support to hold and suggest new upside.
Stocks stretched the post-Monday gains through Friday, aided by an even firmer conviction - thanks to a jobs report miss -- the Fed would cut rates, and the Administration indicating there would be no implementation of Mexican tariffs.
Stock futures were higher ahead of jobs, fell on the paltry 75K gain in non-farm payrolls, but then reversed to pre-market highs as traders figured a weak number even further strengthened the odds for a near term rate cut. Stocks surged into midmorning then held the very solid gains through the close.
SP500 29.85, 1.05%
NASDAQ 126.55, 1.66%
Dj30 263.28, 1.02%
NASDAQ 100 1.94%
VOLUME: NYSE -8%, NASDAQ -3%
ADVANCE/DECLINE: NYSE +2.8:1, NASDAQ +1.9:1
The action on the week managed to wipe away the late May selling, the second leg lower in the selling from the April peak and the move that broke the head and shoulders patterns through the necklines. Impressive recovery in price.
THE question, of course, is whether this was a repudiation of the break lower. I often say a head and shoulders pattern sets up just to fool you. These appeared to be serious, however, given they made up the second top to the large double top patterns.
The key fact to us is they did not break up the larger patterns formed since January 2018, the topping 'process' as I have called it. Lower volumes, weaker breadth, thinner leadership on the upside. Even the Friday breadth was not great with NASDAQ not even 2:1 and NYSE decent at 2.8:1.
That does not, however, keep you from playing upside moves as we did on this one. We took downside gain Monday, e.g. QID, then bought upside as the market rallied back Tuesday and on: HIIQ, DIS, TWLO, PEP, MCD - all provided good entries and HIIQ even gave us the gain on the week. These stocks were all in good patterns; in the kind of rebound move shown Friday, you get solid price moves even from stocks not in great patterns, e.g. AMZN, FB, GOOG. Of course we are already in other stocks that held decent patterns and started to move up again - as a good stock should: CL, PG, AMD, DE.
Thus, some very good moves from stocks in good position to move as well as stocks whose patterns were cracked. That happens even in overall downside markets, and despite the 4 sessions of gains (outside DJ30 that squeaked out a Monday gain), the bias is still lower.
No doubt the Fed and further rate cutting and other stimulus formerly known as 'extraordinary' that Powell now views as normal provides powerful upside stimulus - it did so for 9 years. If the Fed is truly in the game of playing market backstop - as the market appeared to believe to end the week, then even the 17 month topping action can give way to new highs.
That leaves the market at another proof point: will the top take over once more, or will the prospect of Fed intervention overcome the headline-led action and push stocks to new highs?
Stubborn bid refuses to quit.
Despite the negative overall look from the indices and many stock sectors, a few groups have steadily pointed higher. They are not typically viewed as related, but they are moving higher: personal products, software, food/eateries, social, credit services, drugs. We own some of these, bought into some on the week, and are looking at them more if they continue moving higher.
Why would you do so if the bias remains down? The groups have been tested but have not broken. There is a certain continued bid in the market, and even after some of these stocks were tagged Monday, they recovered and held their patterns. That says a lot for the strength: the sellers tried to take them out, but they hung on and popped back upside. Again, that demonstrates a strong bid.
Thus, even though we view the overall market pattern, internals, and leadership as downside, a stubborn bid remains. Moreover, that stubborn bid may be further augmented by the belief the Fed will help the markets sooner than later: bond yields are tanking, and no amount of Fed commentary otherwise, it fears deflation. Thus, I do believe the Fed will cut - not to join the crowd of 'I knew what was coming all along' pundits, but you recall I predicted a Fed cut in the making several months back. That, however, does not matter to the markets. What does matter is perceptions about the future, and with the Fed perceived as again having the market's back (okay, that is a growing perception, not a strong majority at the moment), the market could continue to find a bid. Has to prove it given the patterns, but the Fed is giving stocks a chance to move up when it looked as if they were in the process of rolling over.
NASDAQ: Reversed off the Monday crash, rallying back up to the 50 day EMA by the Friday close. That puts NASDAQ back above the neckline in the head and shoulders pattern spanning early March to last week. Low volume, so-so breadth strongly suggest the move does not hold. As noted earlier, however, the Fed factor can thwart this downside technical setup - indeed, it helped thwart the break lower Monday.
SP500: Surged back from the head and shoulders breakdown as well, rallying to the 50 day SMA and January 2018 high at the close. As with NASDAQ, lower volume on the recovery, so-so breadth. Obviously a nice break upside price-wise but now at a seriously important resistance level to start the week. This week it shows if this rebound can test normally and hold on. What would be normal? A test back to 2800. Then a rebound. What is that? It would form a right shoulder to a short inverted head and shoulders - yes, from a head and shoulders to an inverted one. Have to acknowledge the changes when they occur. Of course, the operative word is 'when.' Not there yet.
DJ30: Up to the 50 day SMA as well, up all 5 sessions after showing a doji Monday just over the prior Friday low. Trying to break up that head and shoulders as well, back up to test the late February high in the left shoulder. Trying. Still has to prove it can do it.
SOX: Up on the week after holding a key low at 1300 the prior week. Many chip stocks making the same rebound move. Thus far it is truly just a rebound in a negative pattern, though there is more upside room to continue the rebound.
SP400: The midcaps posted an excellent week, up 5 sessions as was DJ30. Gapped lower two Fridays back then gapped upside Monday, a bit of an island reversal. Rallied through the 200 day SMA Friday with a gap, stalling at the 50 day EMA. That leaves SP400 smack in the middle of the range from February, and from our view, still downside bias unless the Fed has completely changed the game.
RUTX: The small caps lagged the move, making to the lows from March. Only two solid upside moves on the week, Tuesday and Friday. The small caps are still lagging and still sport the weakest pattern in the market.
FAANG: The patterns are hashed for the most part, but Friday saw money move in with some of the best volume since the selling. AMZN jumped the 200 day SMA on strong trade. Even AAPL made it to the 200 day SMA on a gap and rally, showing above average volume as well. FB showed similar action, recovering to the 10 day EMA on above average trade. NFLX made it through the 50 day SMA on the high, just could not make it stick. GOOG finally awoke after its Monday DOJ anti-trust slam lower.
Personal products: Still solid, e.g. PG, CL, and EL.
Chips: Some names are performing as the group put in an interim bottom and is attempting a bounce. AMD up again on a big upside week. AMAT slowly climbing but on light trade. TXN to the 50 day MA. XLNX looks as if it wants to break higher, just has not done so. SWKS edging upside. INTC broke upward through the 20 day EMA; it can still be a buy this week after it tests that Friday move early week.
Software: After an ugly, ugly Monday, a very impressive recovery for this group. MSFT led the Friday breakouts. NOW is up to the old high. WDAY surged Thursday and Friday to near the old closing highs. COUP recovered to another new high. TWLO at a new closing high.
Drugs/Biotech/Healthcare: After a Thursday dip, a good recovery. PTCT, ARNA rebounded Friday off near support. PCRX surged Friday. TNDM still solid.
Social: SNAP enjoyed a strong week, testing a bit Friday. TWTR surged back through the 50 day MA's Friday on strong volume. MTCH still looks good for a new buy if it can hold one of these moves. FB finally got some snap Friday, making it to the bottom of the wedge after that sharp, anti-trust related Monday selloff.
MISC: MNST broke out Friday from a cup w/handle. We watched it, thought about putting it on Thursday night, didn't. Great. On a test Monday . . . V and MA surged upside to new highs. VRSN new highs again. TREX looks possible for a new buy. ZEN, SHOP both surged nicely; a dip early week could set up some new buys.
Stats: +263.28 points (+1.02%) to close at 25983.04
Stats: +126.55 points (+1.66%) to close at 7742.10
Volume: 2.064B (-3.05%)
Up Volume: 1.63B (+440M)
Down Volume: 497.16M (-480.52M)
A/D and Hi/Lo: Advancers led 1.93 to 1
Previous Session: Decliners led 1.26 to 1
New Highs: 152 (+71)
New Lows: 111 (-31)
Stats: +29.85 points (+1.05%) to close at 2873.44
NYSE Volume: 727.973M (-7.82%)
Up Volume: 474.4M (-15.68M)
Down Volume: 227.323M (-62.964M)
A/D and Hi/Lo: Advancers led 2.83 to 1
Previous Session: Advancers led 1.37 to 1
New Highs: 292 (+98)
New Lows: 46 (-56)
VIX: 16.30; +0.37
VXN: 19.93; -0.39
VXO: 17.39; +0.40
Put/Call Ratio (CBOE): 0.79; -0.06
Bulls and Bears:
One of the most spectacular moves in recent memory. Bulls dropped over 6 points while bears jumped 1.2 points. Of course, those more bearish moves pushed stocks the opposite direction
Indicator level: Fell from yellow to green, indicating the approach toward extremes did not make it and the pressure was released with the Friday rush higher in the stock indices.
Bulls: 42.7 versus 49.0 versus
Bears: 18.5 versus 17.3
Theory: When everyone is bullish and has put all their capital to work, where does the ammunition to drive the market come from? There is always new money to start a new year. After that is used will more money be coming? That is the question.
Threat level: Red-ish. 3 month/10 year spread inverts a third time. 5 year, and 2 year are below the 3 month treasury. Third 10 year/3 month inversion this year. The positive: the 2 year/10 year is not inverted.
The 3 month yield versus the 10 year: Spread rose 1BP to -19BP. -26BP was the high water mark on this particular move.
The 2 year versus the 10 year: Spread fell 3BP to 23BP. Made it to 26BP. Still healing itself.
10 year: 2.084% versus 2.13%
3 month: 2.277% versus 2.316%
2 year: 1.851% versus 1.875%
Historical: the last sub-2% rate was in November 2016 (1.867%). Last trade over 3% was November 2018. 2.6% for quite some time, then yields started higher, first run from November to January, then mid-March.
The Dollar: There are two schools of thought. First, those who believe a strong dollar is in the interest of the US. Reagan (though not all of his advisors) and Clinton were strong dollar Presidents. Second, there are those who believe a strong dollar prevents the US from selling US goods abroad. The Bushes (1 and 2) and Obama were in this category. The thing is, the US is always its economic strength peak when its consumers are consuming, and that is when there is a strong economy and a strong dollar: they consume both US and foreign goods. History shows this again and again, and thus it is worth watching the dollar as a gauge of how the US economy is performing.
EUR/USD: 1.13326 versus 1.12776. Euro screamed upside Monday, Thursday, and Friday, breaking through the 200 day SMA on the Friday close. That is the first close over the 200 day MA since January, indeed, the first time it moved over that level since January.
Historical: Back into the 6-month range formed after the euro sold off from the early 2018 peaks after a week below it.
USD/JPY: 108.18 versus 108.372. The dollar moved higher to the 10 day EMA on the week, then reversed hard downside Friday. Looks as if it failed at the 10 day EMA again.
Historical: Last below 109 in June 2018 then tumbled to 107 in early January 2019. 114.51 is the recent high from October 2018.
Oil: 53.99, +2.31. After another week of selling, oil jumped higher Friday. Still in the selloff.
Gold: 1346.10, +12.50. Continued the surge up to the February high. If all is well, why is gold surging? Economic data weaker? Fed going to cut rates? Both are valid.
A sharp price rebound with weaker internals than the sharp selling into Monday. Friday the rebound accelerated, again in price terms, as the weaker jobs data (aka prompting a nearer Fed rate cut) and the Administration forgoing Mexican tariffs. After all, jobs are lagging indicators, and if they are slowing then the economy overall is already significantly slower.
As noted earlier, that means this week is another important one. The indices broke support, a break that hit a crescendo with the Monday reported anti-trust moves against FAANG stocks. From there a relief move after the sentiment was about as negative as it gets. The indices bounced on lower volume, mediocre internals, and just a handful of leaders. The indices moved back above the neckline in the head and shoulders patterns but closed the week at resistance. After a week of releasing the negative emotions we will see what is left in the tank, how much Fed-fuel as it were.
To us it certainly looks like a prime spot to roll back over. I know, that goes against the hope in the populace in general, but it is what the patterns suggest. Again, the Fed can change all of that, but it would have to come out with more: last week the move was ginned up with Powell's comments and the solidifying of the view a rate cut is coming next and coming relatively soon. Will more Fed speakers hit the microphones to drive home the point? Will the Fed convene and emergency meeting and cut rates? With the market surging last week? Not counting on it.
The point: the market surely surged back upside last week, but that was with the 'good' news of weaker economics and Fed-speak that convinced the markets the Fed was more than ready to cut rates if the economics indicated it was necessary. What more is going to drive stocks this week?
Well, we will see. If the bids return, we have some good positions working and will be ready with more to add. The market has not taken down all leadership groups and they could put up some more breakouts. Even if there is an early dip this week some leaders could be put into buy positions.
If there is reversal action at this resistance, however, we won't be slow to get out of upside that starts struggling and put on some more downside. Will be ready with those as well - the market is downside bias after all, even with the past week's surge.
Watch the reversal, however. Sure it appears the bias remains low and the direction of least resistance is down. But how far? SP500 at 2800, a key level? NASDAQ 7650, another key level? A drop to that level that holds suggests even more upside recovery from some inverted head and shoulders patterns. Thus, on an early drop this week, watch 2800 on SP500 and 7650 on NASDAQ. If they hold we will be ready to transition to the upside with more gusto. After all, the Fed is behind the market now, right?
Have a great weekend!