Daily State of the Markets
Good Morning. Ho-hum... Another Tuesday produced yet another gain for the stock market. For those of you keeping score at home, this was the 19th consecutive Tuesday that the S&P 500 finished with a green number. To which, you should respond, "wow." What's even more interesting about this mark is that the old record was 15 straight weeks - a record that was set back in 1927.
Ok, enough of the fun facts to know and tell. Let's move on to what we might expect to see from here. The bears are quick to point out that once the bull market which contained the then-record 15-straight days of the week gains ended, things got really ugly during the next bear (1929-1932). So naturally, our friends in fur are suggesting that once this bull market runs out of steam, we should expect a collapse similar to what we've seen twice since the turn of the century.
The bear camp has also been arguing lately that the current bull market isn't "real" because it is being driven by central bankers and their QE campaigns. As such, those who see the glass as at least half-empty contend that once the Fed starts to "taper" its purchases or worse yet, begins its "QE-xit," then the market will collapse like a house of cards.
However, one thing I've learned over the years is that if it looks like a bull, walks like a bull, and snorts like a bull; it's probably a bull. And given that many managers believe that one of the stock market's competing asset classes (bonds) may be setting up for a nasty fall once the Fed stops keeping interest rates artificially low, the thinking is that this bull might continue to confound the bears for some time.
But in looking at the short-term prospects for the market, it is hard to argue that a period of consolidation isn't the next logical step here. Thus, the question becomes: Will the pullback that everyone on the planet is looking for mark the end of this grand bull run or simply be a pause that refreshes?
Yesterday, we looked at a couple of "momentum surge" indicators, which suggested that it might just be time for a consolidation phase. Yet at the same, this particular momentum surge indicator, which flashed its latest buy signal on 1/4/13, also carries an average gain for the stock market of 16.7% one year after the buy signal has been flashed. Thus, the historical math would seem to suggest that any correction in the near-term would lead to more upside in the longer-term.
We've highlighted a couple other indicators recently that too argue in favor of the bulls resuming their run after a consolidation phase. For example, a peak in the percentage of new 52-week highs (delineated by each market cycle) tends to occur well before bull markets peter out. In fact, Ned Davis Research tells us that since 1967, new 52-week highs have peaked about eight months before the actual market did. And given that the most recent peak in the new 52-week highs occurred on May 10th, well, history would seem to suggest that we should continue to give the bulls the benefit of any doubt for a while longer yet.
This message is confirmed by another indicator that we've talked about recently - something called "demand volume." This indicator is basically a version of "up volume" and is charted on a daily basis. The good news is that demand volume hit a new high for the current market cycle this week and is currently at its highest level since the fall of 2009. This matters because demand volume also tends to peak long before the stock market itself does. And like the new 52-week high indicator, demand volume peaks about 8 months before the indices do.
So, while there is little doubt that (a) the bears will likely find a way to get back in the game at some point in the near future and (b) the ensuing pullback will likely be spirited, history suggests that the bulls can be counted on to make a comeback once the corrective phase ends.
I'm also going to take this opportunity to reiterate my theme for 2013... "No new crisis means no severe correction." So, based on what I'm seeing in the markets, unless something goes terribly wrong, the dips should continue to be bought.
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Turning to This Morning...
Yet another Wall Street firm has raised their S&P 500 targets as Canaccord Genuity said this morning that the index will hit 1955 in 2014. However, from a shorter-term perspective, all eyes will be on Ben Bernanke's testimony this morning and then the Fed minutes this afternoon. Traders will be looking to hear that the Goldilocks enconomy continues. In the early going, futures are pointing to a slightly higher open on Wall Street.
Here are the Pre-Market indicators we review each morning before the opening bell...
Major Foreign Markets:
Crude Oil Futures: -$0.12 to $96.06
Gold: +$16.80 to $1394.40
Dollar: lower against the yen and euro, higher vs. pound
10-Year Bond Yield: Currently trading at 1.923%
Stock Futures Ahead of Open in U.S. (relative to fair value):
Thought For The Day...The smallest deed is better than the greatest intention. -John Burroughs
Positions in stocks mentioned: none
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