The Current Bull Rally is Cause For Cautious Pessimism

Sep.14.06 | About: SPDR S&P (SPY)

The market has been giving off mixed signals for a while but price keeps on rising. Even though September is usually the cruelest month for stocks, we're nearing the four year cycle bottom, the breadth indicators have been anything but spectacular and volume has been mediocre at best, the markets have been breaking to the upside.

The only real positives in the bulls favor have been the very negative sentiment indicators and the increased liquidity provided by the FED. Put/Call ratios have remained at very high levels, indicating that no one believes in this rally. That has provided just enough fuel to keep it going.

click charts to enlarge
put call

In addition, the FED has provided some octane in the form of permanent temporary market operations. While the FED had been draining liquidity for the majority of the year, it started addition liquidity in the past several weeks. The large red bars on the chart below courtesy of BullandBearWise, shows that the FED has indeed been spurring the market higher.

fed

On the negative side, the market is now running into resistance from prior highs. In addition, the indexes are hitting DeMark Sell signals. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 have hit DeMark 13 sell signals. Also, the TICK and several breadth indicators have now reached overbought levels. The NYSE TICK index is at near record high levels...

nyse tick

...and the advance decline moving averages have been hovering near the upper end of their ranges for some time now.

nyse ad

All in all, I'm still having trouble getting a good read on this market. From all the indicators I look at, a large trading range is now the most probable outcome. And right now the markets are hitting the top end of that range. I'm therefore going to remain cautiously pessimistic despite the positive price action.