We are now approaching the September quarter-end, normally a volatile time for stocks. Investment managers tend to re-balance their portfolios after month-end, selling off poor performers and increasing cash balances to later take advantage of new opportunities. The result is that stocks tend to dip in October. If the fundamental under-pinning of the market is strong, they soon recover and continue on its merry way. But if there are serious flaws, the sell-off can turn into a rout — as in 1987 and 2007.
At present the market outlook appears sound and the bull market is likely to continue. I often use transport stock Fedex as a bellwether for the US economy. If the economy is robust, you can expect Fedex to display a solid up-trend. If weak, Fedex tends to lead the market lower. In November 2007 for example, on the monthly chart below, Fedex signaled a bear market several months ahead of the major indices. The present situation is quite the opposite, with the Fedex in a strong bull-trend, having recently respected support at $145. A 13-week Twiggs Money Flow trough above zero also suggests buying pressure. Economic activity is clearly improving.
* Target calculation: 145 + ( 145 – 130 ) = 160
The S&P 500 break above 2010 proved to be a false break, with the market headed for a re-test of support at 1980. Breach would indicate another correction. Declining 21-day Twiggs Money Flow now indicates medium-term selling pressure; a fall below zero would warn of a primary down-trend.
* Target calculation: 2000 + ( 2000 – 1900 ) = 2100
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) remains low, however, suggesting continuation of the bull market.
Dow Jones Industrial Average also retreated, testing its new support level at 17150. Reversal below 16950 would indicate a correction, while respect would suggest another advance. Declining 21-day Twiggs Money Flow also suggests medium-term selling pressure.
* Target calculation: 16500 + ( 16500 – 15500 ) = 17500
My conclusion is that the bull market is sound, but likely to encounter some turbulence over the quarter-end. There may be a secondary correction, but respect of recent support levels would indicate a fresh advance.