1. Consecutive daily declines of 2.5% or more. This hasn't happened since the rally began (if so, only marginally).
2. Weaker internals than previously displayed during the rally via 10 day moving averages of a) put/call ratio b) advance/decline issues c) advance/decline volume.
3. A considerable increase in the US Dollar Index. A crossover of the 20 day EMA over the 50 day EMA is something that has not yet occurred since early April.
4. Divergence between major indices. Dow, S&P, Nasdaq, Transports, Banks. We should see significant divergence between some of these indices at a major top. There have been divergences present at various points, but they have quickly resolved themselves. Specifically, I am looking for underperformance in the transports, banks and/or the nasdaq.
5. A complete Elliott Wave '5' down on more than an intraday basis.
We are seeing early signs of divergence in certain indices, but not others. And market internals seem to be getting progressively weaker on any push higher. On an anecdotal level, I can sense mood shifting toward pessimism again. Earnings reports, while still very weak, have largely blown away analyst 'expectations.' Yet for the most part, this has not resulted in favourable reactions in the overall market. The US Dollar remains subdued, falling marginally with the market this week.
On March 3rd, I wrote about certain stocks and sectors that had been displaying relative strength in opposition with their November lows. Indeed, most of the stocks mentioned have enjoyed more than 100% gains from their lows. Of course, one would have done better buying some of the worst performing sectors, but picking the winners that experienced 1400% gains over those that only got 14% was impossible to determine at the time. Back in March, there was little that would suggest Fifth Third (FITB) would drastically outperform Keycorp (KEY), but momentum chasing of the former allowed this to happen.
I am currently tracking a list of stocks and sectors that are showing relative weakness to the overall market. Similarly, there may be greater downside potential found in those that have made the greatest gains over the past 7 months, but with those comes also greater risk. Trading in high beta sectors is a double edged sword. Below are some sectors that have failed to confirm the market's new October high. If I were looking for short opportunities, these sectors are where I believe the lowest risk will be found.
Transports and particularly the railroads have shown some of the most notable underperformance. For the week, both finished down more than 5%.
The solar energy sector topped in June and has been meandering sideways since then.
The biotechnology sector happens to be one of my favourites from a long term fundamental standpoint. But it is now also an underperformer over the past month, giving back more than 6% last week alone.
It is no secret that the problems with the banks are yet to be resolved. For much of the rally, bank share prices have been the leader in hopes that eventually "everything will work itself out." But they are not leaders any longer, showing weakness over the past two months and only able to marginally achieve new highs despite better than expected earnings numbers.
But weakness can be seen even more in Canadian financial institutions.
Another area that has received heightened attention by central planners is the housing market. It is believed by most contemporary economists that if home prices would just start rising again, then all the problems will go away. This comes from a fallacious interpretation of what went wrong last year, but it hasn't stopped them from trying all sorts of policies to fix home prices. Regardless, the homebuilding industry is now also displaying weakness. "You can't fool all the people all the time..."
Have a great week!
Disclaimer: The content on this site is provided as general information only and should not be taken as investment advice. All site content, including advertisements, shall not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security or financial instrument, or to participate in any particular trading or investment strategy. The ideas expressed on this site are solely the opinions of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of sponsors or firms affiliated with the author(s). The author may or may not have a position in any company or advertiser referenced above. Any action that you take as a result of information, analysis, or advertisement on this site is ultimately your responsibility. Consult your investment adviser before making any investment decisions.