S&P 500 breaks support

The S&P 500 broke through the lower border of the broadening wedge and the secondary trendline at 1965, indicating a correction. Expect support at 1900. Decline of 21-day Twiggs Money Flow below zero would strengthen the signal, while recovery above 25% (September high) would suggest that buyers are back in control.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 2000 + ( 2000 – 1900 ) = 2100

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is close to 17%, but the low level continues to suggest a bull market.

VIX Index

China in a cleft stick

The CCP is in a cleft stick over the protests in Hong Kong. Either they escalate and clear protestors with a massive show of force — which risks further escalation — or they wait patiently and let the protest run its course. Their problem is that there are more than 800 million Chinese citizens watching, who will take this as a precedent for future demonstrations in China. The shadow of Tiananmen Square will be replaced by the outcome of the current protests, whatever that is.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index broke support at 24000, signaling a correction to 21000/22000. Reversal of 13-week Twiggs Money Flow below zero would warn of a bear market. Breach of support at 21000 would indicate a primary down-trend.

Hang Seng Index

China’s Shanghai Composite Index, however, broke resistance at 2340/2350, indicating an advance to 2440/2450. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow continues to indicate medium-term buying pressure. I would advocate caution, given the situation in Hong Kong and a negative outlook for the economy.

Shanghai Composite Index

* Target calculation: 2250 + ( 2250 – 2000 ) = 2500

India’s Sensex is testing support at 26000. Bearish divergence on 13-week Twiggs Money Flow continues to warn of long-term selling pressure, but another trough above zero would suggest that buyers are regaining control. Failure of support would signal a correction to the primary trendline — around 25000 — while respect would indicate an advance to 28000*.

Sensex

* Target calculation: 27000 + ( 27000 – 26000 ) = 28000

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index retraced to test support at 16000, but respect of this level would be a bullish sign, suggesting a breakout above its 2013 high of 16300 with a long-term target of 18000*. Reversal below 16000 is unlikely, but would warn of a correction. Another 13-week Twiggs Money Flow would signal long-term buying pressure.

Nikkei 225

* Target calculation: 16000 + ( 16000 – 14000 ) = 18000

DAX threatens bear trend

Germany’s DAX is retracing for another test of support at 9300 and 13-week Twiggs Money Flow retreat below zero, after a bearish divergence, warns of long-term selling pressure. Failure of support would warn of a primary down-trend, while breach of primary support at 9000/8900 would confirm. Respect of support is unlikely, but recovery above 9800 would suggest another advance.

DAX

* Target calculation: 9000 – ( 10000 – 9000 ) = 8000

The Footsie is also likely to test primary support at 6400/6500. Divergence on 13-week Twiggs Money Flow, however, is nowhere near as bearish as the DAX and stronger support is likely.

FTSE 100

* Target calculation: 6500 – ( 6900 – 6500 ) = 6100

Aussie Dollar and ASX find short-term support

The Australian Dollar found support at $0.8650/$0.8700 and is likely to retrace to test the new resistance level at $0.8850/$0.8900. Declining 13-week Twiggs Momentum (below zero) signals a primary down-trend. Respect of resistance is likely and breach of primary support ($0.8650) would offer a target of $0.80*.

AUDUSD

* Target calculation: 0.87 – ( 0.94 – 0.87 ) = 0.80

The ASX 200 is also retracing and likely to test resistance around 5350. Peaks below zero on 13-week Twiggs Money Flow warn of long-term selling pressure. Respect of resistance is likely and would warn of a test of 4900/5000*.

ASX 200

* Target calculation: 5350 – ( 5700 – 5350 ) = 5000

The ASX 200 VIX is rising, but remains at levels typical of a bull market.

ASX 200

Rising interest rates: Good or bad for stocks?

We are now at the September quarter-end, normally a volatile time for stocks. Expect selling pressure to increase over the next few weeks as investment managers sell off poor-performing stocks. Increased cash balances then enable them to take advantage of new opportunities as they present themselves. If the fundamental under-pinning of the market is sound, the market is likely to undergo a minor dip before resuming its advance. If not, and there are serious flaws, the sell-off could turn into a rout — as in 1987 and 2007.

At present the market appears sound, with none of our market indicators flagging elevated risk, and the bull market is likely to continue.

Bears cite the potential for an increase in US interest rates as a major threat to the US economy. The track record for the last 15 years suggests otherwise. The graph below compares percentage change in 10-year Treasury yields to the Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index (divided by 20 for purposes of comparison). The two tend to rise and fall in sync, with a 20% to 40% rise in the index accompanying a 1% increase in yields.

10-year Treasury yields v. Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index

The Fed tends to be conservative about raising interest rates (“doves” outnumber “hawks”) and is unlikely to raise rates until there is solid evidence of a recovery. So a rise in interest rates is more likely to be followed by a surge in stocks than a fall.

US stocks

The S&P 500 found significant support at 1965, the lower border of the broadening wedge. Monday’s long tail flags (short-term) buying pressure. Follow-through above 1990 would suggest a rally to test the upper border. Breach of 1965, however would indicate another correction. Decline of 21-day Twiggs Money Flow below zero would confirm, while recovery above its September high would suggest that buyers are back in control.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 2000 + ( 2000 – 1900 ) = 2100

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is rising, but the low level continues to suggest a bull market.

VIX Index

Dow Jones Industrial Average found support at 16950 on the weekly chart. Long tails again flag buying pressure. Recovery above 17150 would suggest another advance, while follow-through above 17350 would confirm. Breach of support at 16950 is unlikely, but would warn of a correction. 13-Week Twiggs Money Flow reflects some hesitancy, but the long-term picture is bullish.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

* Target calculation: 16500 + ( 16500 – 15500 ) = 17500

Australian investors

Australian stocks have taken a bit of a beating over the last few weeks, including a few of the momentum stocks in our portfolio. Risk of a bear market remains low, but a falling Aussie Dollar has prompted international investors to scale back exposure to Australian equities.

AUDUSD

This tends to become self-reinforcing as falling stock prices then prompt further sell-offs. And repatriation causes further weakness in the Aussie Dollar. The down-trend is likely to continue if support at $0.8650/$0.8700 is breached.

Investors who split their portfolio between the S&P 500 and the ASX 200 have been cushioned from the fall, with their US portfolio showing strong appreciation in Australian Dollar terms.

S&P 500 broadening wedge

  • We are at the September quarter-end and can expect stock weakness to continue into October
  • The Dollar is rising
  • Gold and crude oil are falling
  • European stocks are bearish
  • Asian stocks are bearish despite China showing strength
  • US stocks reflect a bull market

Dow Jones Europe Index is testing primary support at 320. Breach would signal a down-trend. Follow-through below 315 would confirm. Penetration of the rising trendline and 13-week Twiggs Momentum peak below zero both strengthen the bear signal.

Dow Jones Europe Index

* Target calculation: 320 – ( 340 – 320 ) = 300

Dow Jones Asia Index broke primary support at 3200 despite bullishness on the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite. Expect a test of support at 3000 (at the rising trendline). Reversal of 13-week Twiggs Momentum below zero would further strengthen the bear signal. Follow-through below 3000 would confirm a primary down-trend.

Dow Jones Asia Index

* Target calculation: 3100 + ( 3100 – 2800 ) = 3400

Shanghai Composite Index, however, continues to test resistance at 2350. Breakout would confirm a primary up-trend. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term buying pressure.

Shanghai Composite Index

Bear in mind that Dow Asia and Dow Europe are priced in USD and reflect strength in the US Dollar as well as weakness in local markets — though the two are closely connected.

The S&P 500 is consolidating around the 2000 level in a broadening wedge formation. Do not be surprised if the index rallies early next week, to test medium-term resistance at 2020. Fund managers are normally willing to support the market at quarter-end and lock in quarterly performance bonuses. But this is likely to be followed by weakness in October as they sell off non-performing stocks and increase cash holdings until new opportunities present themselves. Breakout below the broadening wedge — and penetration of both support at 1950 and the (secondary) rising trendline — would warn of a correction. A large volume spike from triple-witching hour on September 19th, however, has exaggerated weakness on Twiggs Money Flow. Breakout above 2020 would signal a fresh advance.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 2000 + ( 2000 – 1900 ) = 2100

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) remains in the low range (below 20) typical of a bull market.

S&P 500 VIX

The ASX 200 is testing support at 5300/5350. Penetration of the rising trendline warns of a correction to 5000. Declining 13-week Twiggs Money Flow, below zero, after a long-term bearish divergence, also signals weakness. Breach of 5300 would confirm a test of 5000. Recovery above 5550 is unlikely, but would suggest another test of 5650.

ASX 200

* Target calculation: 5650 + ( 5650 – 5350 ) = 5950

Wall Street goes “Putin” on IEX

From Michael Lewis:

One of our financial sector’s most striking traits is how fiercely it resists useful, disruptive entrepreneurship that routinely upends other sectors of our economy. People in finance are paid a lot of money to disrupt every sector of our economy. But when it comes to their own sector, they are deeply wary of market-based change. And they have the resources to prevent it from happening. To take one example: in any other industry, IEX, the new stock market created to eliminate a lot of unnecessary financial intermediation and the subject of my last book would have put a lot of existing players out of business. And it still might. The people who run IEX have very obviously found a way to make the U.S. stock market — and other automated financial markets — more efficient and, in the bargain, reduce, by some vast amount, the take of the financial sector. Because of this they now face what must be one of the best organized and funded smear campaigns outside of U.S. politics: underhanded attacks from anonymous Internet trolls, congressional hearings staged to obfuscate problems in the market, by senators who take money from the obfuscators; op-ed articles from prominent former regulators, now employed by the Wall Street machine, that spread outright lies about the upstarts; error-ridden pieces by prominent journalists too stupid or too lazy or too compromised to do anything but echo what they are told by the very people who make a fortune off the inefficiencies the entrepreneurs seek to eliminate….

Read more at Occupational Hazards of Working on Wall Street | Bloomberg View.

Aussie under the pump but ASX finds support

The Aussie Dollar is now testing support at $0.89 after negative projections from Nouriel Roubini’s team. Reversal of 13-week Twiggs Momentum below zero warns of a primary down-trend, but expect further support at $0.8650/$0.8700. Breach would confirm a target of $0.80*.

AUDUSD

* Target calculation: 0.87 – ( 0.94 – 0.87 ) = 0.80

The ASX 200 is testing support at 5300/5350. Long tails on the last two candles suggest short/medium-term buying pressure, but 13-week Twiggs Money Flow below zero warns of long-term selling pressure. Recovery above 5450 would suggest another rally, while breach of 5300 would warn of a fall to 4900/5000*.

ASX 200

* Target calculation: 5350 – ( 5700 – 5350 ) = 5000

The ASX 200 VIX is rising, but remains at levels typical of a bull market.

ASX 200

India, Japan bullish but China hesitates

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is testing support at 24000. Breach of the rising trendline warns of a correction. 13-Week Twiggs Money Flow holding above zero continues to indicate long-term buying pressure. Respect of support at 24000 would suggest another advance; confirmed if there is follow-through above 25000. Breach of support, however, would also warn of a correction — to the primary trendline around 22000.

Hang Seng Index

* Long-term target calculation: 24000 + ( 24000 – 21000 ) = 27000

China’s Shanghai Composite Index is consolidating below resistance at its 2013 high. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow continues to indicate medium-term buying pressure. Breakout above 2350 would signal a fresh advance, while reversal below 2250 would warn of a correction.

Shanghai Composite Index

* Target calculation: 2250 + ( 2250 – 2000 ) = 2500

India’s Sensex recovered above 27000, suggesting an advance to 28000*. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow suggests medium-term buying pressure. Breach of the secondary rising trendline is unlikely, but would warn of a correction.

Sensex

* Target calculation: 27000 + ( 27000 – 26000 ) = 28000

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index is testing resistance at its 2013 high of 16300. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term buying pressure. Breakout above 16300 would offer a long-term target of 18000*. Reversal below 16000 is unlikely, but would warn of a correction.

Nikkei 225

* Target calculation: 16000 + ( 16000 – 14000 ) = 18000

Europe finds resistance

Germany’s DAX is testing resistance at 9800. Breakout would signal another advance, while follow-through above 10000 would confirm. Bearish divergence on 13-week Twiggs Money Flow followed by a dip below zero, however, warns of long-term selling pressure. Reversal below 9600 would warn of another test of primary support at 9000/8900.

DAX

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 is testing resistance at its recent high of 3300. Breakout would suggest an advance to 3600*, but bearish divergence on 13-week Twiggs Momentum (and Twiggs Money Flow) warns that sellers dominate. Reversal below 3200 would indicate another test of primary support at 2975/3000.

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50

The Footsie is testing medium-term support at 6750. Breach would warn of another test of primary support at 6400/6500. Oscillation of 13-week Twiggs Money Flow above zero, however, continues to warn of long-term buying pressure. Breakout above long-term resistance at 6900 would signal a primary advance.

FTSE 100

* Target calculation: 7000 + ( 7000 – 6000 ) = 8000

Canada: TSX 60 correction

Canada’s TSX 60 broke short-term support at 890, warning of a correction. Respect of support at 865 would confirm that the primary trend is intact, while failure would indicate weakness. Reversal of 13-week Twiggs Momentum below zero is unlikely, but would warn of reversal to a (primary) down-trend.

TSX 60

* Target calculation: 900 + ( 900 – 865 ) = 935

Quarter-end turbulence

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.

Fedex

* 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.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 2000 + ( 2000 – 1900 ) = 2100

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) remains low, however, suggesting continuation of the bull market.

VIX Index

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.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

* 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.

S&P bullish but Asia, Europe weak

Weekly highlights:

  • Scotland votes “No” and the Pound rallies
  • Treasury yields (long-term) are rising and the Dollar strengthens
  • Gold and crude oil fall
  • European stocks remain bearish
  • Asian stocks also remain bearish despite Hong Kong/Shanghai breakout
  • US stocks still reflect a bull market

Stock markets

Dow Jones Europe Index is retracing after a weak rally that reached 335. Failure of support at 320 would signal a primary down-trend. Follow-through below 315 would confirm. A 13-week Twiggs Momentum peak below zero strengthens the bear signal.

* Target calculation: 320 – ( 340 – 320 ) = 300

Dow Jones Asia Index is testing primary support at 3200 despite bullishness on the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite. Bearish divergence on 13-week Twiggs Momentum warns of a test of 3100. Breach of 3200 would signal a primary down-trend, while follow-through below 3100 would confirm.

* Target calculation: 3100 + ( 3100 – 2800 ) = 3400

The S&P 500 recovered above 2000 to signal a fresh advance. Follow-through above 2010 confirms a target of 2100*. Reversal below 1980 is unlikely. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term buying pressure.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 2000 + ( 2000 – 1900 ) = 2100

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) remains low, typical of a bull market.

S&P 500 VIX

The ASX 200 correction found support at 5300/5350. But 13-week Twiggs Money Flow below zero, after a long-term bearish divergence, warns of further weakness. Breach of 5300 would indicate a test of 5000. Recovery above 5550 is unlikely, but would suggest a fresh advance.

ASX 200

* Target calculation: 5650 + ( 5650 – 5350 ) = 5950

Dow, S&P 500 make new highs

Dow Jones Industrial Average followed through above 17150, confirming a primary advance to 18000*. Rising 21-day Twiggs Money Flow suggests buying pressure. Reversal below support at 16950 is most unlikely, but would warn of a correction.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

* Target calculation: 17150 + ( 17150 – 16350 ) = 17950

The S&P 500 similarly followed through above 2010, confirming a primary advance with a target of 2070*. Reversal below support at 1980 is most unlikely, but would warn of a correction.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 1990 + ( 1990 – 1910 ) = 2070

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is now back at 12, continuing to indicate low risk typical of a bull market.

VIX Index

S&P 500 healthy bounce

The S&P 500 bounced off support at 1980/1985 and is once again testing resistance at 2000. Follow-through above 2010 would confirm a primary advance, targeting 2100*. Failure of short-term support at 1980 remains unlikely, but would warn of a correction to 1950.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 2000 + ( 2000 – 1900 ) = 2100

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) retreated below 13, indicating low risk typical of a bull market.

VIX Index

Dow Jones Industrial Average breakout above 17150 would strengthen the bull signal, offering a target of 17500*. Rising 21-day Twiggs Money Flow suggests buying pressure. Reversal below support at 16950 is unlikely, but would warn of a correction.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

* Target calculation: 16500 + ( 16500 – 15500 ) = 17500

Aussie dollar leads ASX lower

The Australian Dollar found short-term support at $0.90 after last week’s fall. Reversal of 13-week Twiggs Momentum below zero warns of another decline, but expect support at $0.89/$0.90 and at $0.8650/$0.8700. Breach of the latter would confirm a target of $0.80*.

AUDUSD

* Target calculation: 0.87 – ( 0.94 – 0.87 ) = 0.80

The ASX 200 is testing a wide band of support between 5420 and 5460. Reversal of 21-day Twiggs Money Flow below zero warns of strong selling pressure. Breach of the rising trendline would suggest a correction to test the primary trendline around 5000. Support levels are indistinct because of frequent back-filling, however, and could establish anywhere between 5300 and 5450.

ASX 200

The ASX 200 VIX is rising, but levels below 20 are typical of a bull market.

ASX 200

Asian stocks cautious

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is retracing to test support at 24000. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicates sustained buying pressure. Respect of 24000 would suggest another primary advance, while failure would warn of a correction. Breakout above 25000 would offer a target of 27000*.

Hang Seng Index

* Long-term target calculation: 24000 + ( 24000 – 21000 ) = 27000

China’s Shanghai Composite Index is consolidating at its 2013 high. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow reflects medium-term buying pressure. Breakout above 2340 would strengthen the primary up-trend, but retracement to test the new support level at 2250 remains as likely.

Shanghai Composite Index

* Target calculation: 2250 + ( 2250 – 2000 ) = 2500

India’s Sensex retreated below short-term support at 27000. Bearish divergence on 13-week Twiggs Money Flow continues to warn of long-term selling pressure, but another trough above zero would negate this. Breach of the secondary rising trendline would warn of a correction, while respect would suggest further gains.

Sensex

* Target calculation: 21000 + ( 21000 – 15000 ) = 27000

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index is testing resistance at 16000. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term buying pressure. Breakout above 16300 would signal another advance. Reversal below 15500 is unlikely, but would warn of a correction.

Nikkei 225

* Target calculation: 16000 + ( 16000 – 14000 ) = 18000