Back on August 11th, we published our blog suggesting the market swing low was in and that a multi-week rally was likely. 1 month later, the S&P500 has now crested the 2000 level and has begun a short-term consolidation. We are now trying to discover if there is increasing risk of a market reversal and selloff or if the market is just taking a break prior to continuing to advance.
|Market conditions are very vulnerable and only need a small catalyst, like a spark needed to idle sitting fuel, to unleash the animal spirits amongst investors. Consider a “Crash Alert” warning to be similar to the “SEVERE” red alert issued by U.S. Homeland Security to warn of a heightened risk level of a terrorist attack. It does not guarantee an attack, nor suggest that conditions could not deescalate to the “ELEVATED” yellow alert in subsequent weeks without incident. It simply means, pay attention, take precautions and avoid high risk areas. That is all we can ask of our readers to do the same with their investment accounts.|
This is the "Part 4" of a "4 Part" blog series - The Second Quarter Forecast.
We are at the moment of truth. The S&P500 is in a similar oversold state that preceded market rallies throughout 2013. In 2013, after each brief 4-7% multi-week correction, the buy on dip traders jumped in and bought with a vengeance. If this pullback is going to be a buy on dip, it could happen off this area in the 1750.00-1770.00 zone. The McClellan Oscillator is currently oversold below the -50 level. The September and December "buy on dip" opportunities started with the McClellan Oscillator at these exact oversold levels.
There is no topic more misunderstood. Our educational system fails to teach it. The mass ignorance of the problem is evident. I had the opportunity to ask 10 grade 12 graduates - what was money? What was a fiat currency and who creates our money? Not a single graduate could explain. 13 years of education and graduates do not know what money is and even how to balance a cheque book or how to manage personal debt. I took it a step further. I asked the questions to 5 MBA graduates and shockingly only one was able to explain it to me. I then asked him how he learned it and he said he watched a video online. Really? Admittedly that is not a very large sample size and I am sure there are MBA courses that teach the theories of banking. But it does truly emphasize that the vast majority of people go through life never understanding the paper bills they have in their wallet and the debt that is inseparably linked to it.
This past weekend Barron’s had two articles discussing raised bullish price targets: “Will a Stock “Melt-Up” Really Solidify?” and “Lifting the Odds for a Market Melt-Up”. This is just a sample of many of the new articles that the media is openly discussing. There are a growing number of analysts that are raising targets for next year to the 2000 level on the S&P500. In spite of my repeated bearish concerns the market still continues to relentlessly advance.
So can we hit 2000 on the S&P500? The answer has to be yes because in the markets anything can happen, but the more important question is about how realistic or probable it is for it to happen. At the start of the year almost every bullish analyst on the street set targets of 1650-1750 on the upside and to date they have been correct. The problem is that bullish analysts cannot have targets that are below the current levels, which means the bullish analysts must all raise their targets even higher to justify holding their investments. This does not necessarily always lead to a new fairy tale advance.
No better example of that are Apple shares back in 2012. In January 2012 Apple shares started the year around $400.00 a share. Most bullish analysts had set price targets in the $600-$700 range which represented a very bullish 50-75% advance. To everyone’s delight the stock rocketed to $640.00 in just 4 months. Over the subsequent 6 months every analyst rushed to set $800, $900 and $1,000 price targets for the stock. To feed everyone’s euphoria, Apple proceeded to rise to $700.00 a share and everyone was certain that everything was going to be blue skies from there. Yet it was from that moment that Apple began a significant bear market decline that seen it wipe out all gains back to $400.00 a share over the subsequent 9 months.
With that in consideration, recognize that the S&P500 could advance to 2000 like all the super bull analysts are expecting but if Apple has any less to teach, it is that the market can only be at its highest levels when everyone is most bullish. We, on the other hand, will respect the trend but we will unmistakably remain skeptical of its sustainability and cautious of the risk of a market correction when everyone least expects it.
Levels to watch S&P500 December 2013 Futures:
The S&P 500 has now tested the 1770.00-1775.00 area three times and is attempting to retest it again today. This week’s trend will be decided off this level. If the bulls can breakout the market to new highs, there are measured moves toward 1800.00 on the upside which could see bullishness into Friday’s November options expiration. Alternatively, if the bulls fail to make higher highs, a reversal and retest of the 1735.00-1740.00 would be possible. If at any point the market has a legitimate breakdown below 1735.00, it would open the window for the next bigger picture correction or crash. We will remain neutral for a few more trading sessions to see if the market will show its hand for the next market move.
Ceresna Market Breadth Index: Sell Signal Alert
52 Week Mean Price of S&P500: 1587 (183 points below market) (201 point peak 2 weeks ago)
Volatility Index: 12.95% (Already near year highs)
Number of Stocks Making 52 Week Highs: 226 (Year high 894 Jan 2nd)
Number of Stocks Making 52 Week Lows: 30 (Year high 504 Jun 24th)
Number of Stocks Above 50 Day Moving Average: 61.11% (Year high 89.54% Jan 22nd)
It is surprising to see how few people identify the primary differences between investing and trading. What is most surprising is the number of people that mistaken the two approaches as the same. There are fundamental differences that every investor should recognize.
Things supporting bulls:
- The bull trend remains intact
- Bonds are correcting as interest rates rise (short term)
- The S&P500 traded over 200 S&P points above its mean indicating that the market is overextended on the upside.
- The leadership stocks (Tesla, Facebook, financials) have stopped advancing in spite of the index being at its highs.
- Market sentiment is very complacent.
- Breadth indicators have rolled to give sell signals.
Over the last two decades I have learned to look at the market for key clues to major turning points. I have learned that one of the most important input variables is market sentiment. The trick with sentiment is that it is hard to identify when it has gone too far in one direction. The best analogy is comparing it to blowing up a balloon. When you blow air into a balloon, you can identify that it is growing in size. After a few good blows, you look at the balloon and say that it looks about the right size, you blow air into it again and it grows and you say it looks big and it is going to pop. Then you blow some more air into it and to your amazement it grows bigger and still does not pop. You blow again and it still grows bigger. If you keep this up you know the final outcome, but it is always an amazement to see how long it lasts.
So why try to gauge when the sentiment is too high when you can have the smartest financial professionals do it for you? I believe that the IPO market is one of the best ways to get your clues. Here are some realities:
IPO’s are a major revenue source for investment bankers. The more IPO’s they can issue, the more money they make.
It is almost impossible to raise money in the IPO market if investors are scared, nervous or insolvent.
The absolute best time to get the maximum for an IPO is when investors are most bullish and frothy for profits.
Here are some facts:
2013 will have the most IPO’s in a year (225) since 2000 (over 13 years ago).
November will have the most IPO’s issued (6 this week, 30 this month) since 2007.
The record IPO’s are occurring with the market being over 350 S&P points higher on the year.
The market is now 200 S&P points above is 52 week mean levels.
You can make your own conclusion, but my suspicion is that the big investment banks are rushing to cash in as much as they can while the party is going. Maybe they know when the balloon will pop. Maybe they have a pin and can pop the balloon when they want. Maybe. But what we can definitely conclude is they are doing record IPO business in a very big hurry. What do they know that we don’t?
Read our blog from weeks ago where we first discussed the TWITTER IPO.
Tesla Beat the Street and Dropped
Tesla beat expectations and dropped $20.00 in price. This is a clear warning that the leadership stocks have extended to their maximum, and the smart money is using the current high stock prices to lock in the gains made throughout the year. If Tesla cannot rally back within the next few days, consider the Tesla party to be over. Note that Ford failed to follow through on its earnings and has been selling since. General Motors gapped higher on earnings but cannot exceed its previous highs and Cummins continues try to undo the damage done on its earnings. Toyota also is struggling at its 6 months highs. Watch for clues that the automotive bull market may be over.
Levels to watch S&P500 December 2013 Futures:
The S&P500 just retested the 1770.00 level. Will we see the market reject off a double top retest? If the bulls can push the market to higher highs, then we can see an advance to 1780.00-1800.00. If we reject, the downside window will open very quickly for a drop to the 1730.00-1740.00 area and potentially solidifying the high of the year. While we have a downside bias, we remain neutral for a few more days to see if the market will show its hand.
Ceresna Market Breadth Index: Buy Signal Alert (rolling over)
52 Week Mean Price of S&P500: 1574 (185 points below market) (201 point peak last week)
Volatility Index: 13.30% (Already near year highs)
Number of Stocks Making 52 Week Highs: 252 (Year high 894 Jan 2nd)
Number of Stocks Making 52 Week Lows: 28 (Year high 504 Jun 24th)
Number of Stocks Above 50 Day Moving Average: 73.17% (Year high 89.54% Jan22nd)
Learn how to use options to hedge your portfolio, join our free webinar on November 13th at 9:00pm ET. Register here.
The S&P500 has now rallied 130 points in 15 days and the bulls are frothy like a dog in heat. If the market keeps at this pace, it will be at 1900.00 level by the middle of November, right? That makes sense, doesn’t it? Since the market started at 1400.00 at the start of the year, a rally to 1900.00 would only be 36% higher on the year. That makes perfect sense for the current market conditions, considering that everything in the world is fine (sense the sarcasm).