S&P 500 Overview
S&P 500 The S&P 500 rally stalled this week, pulling back to 1199.21 on Friday, November 12, 2010. The S&P 500, SPX, was down -26.64 and -2.17% for the week, is still up +15.95 and 1.35% for November, is up +7.54% for the year, and is up +77.26% since the March 9, 2009 market bottom. SPX is down -26.64 and -2.17% from the November 5, 2010 YTD and multi-year closing high of 1225.85, which was the highest close since the September 19, 2008 close of 1255.08.
Death Cross The 100 day simple moving average has not yet regained the 200d sma, which signalled a Death Cross on August 24.
Volatility The VIX closed Friday, November 12, 2010 at 20.61 and regained the 25 day simple moving average. The VIX continues below the 50, 100, and 200 day simple moving averages. The 100d sma crossed below the 200d - a Death Cross - on November 11. VIX is up +12.87% for the week, down -2.78% for November (more than the SPX is up), down -4.94% for the year (less than the SPX is up), and down -58.51% since the March 9, 2009 market bottom. The VIX is down -54.99% from the 2010 YTD closing high of 45.79 on May 20. The VIX put in a triple bottom in mid-April with the 2010 YTD closing low of 15.58 on April 12.
The Big Question What happens now? Up, Down, Sideways? The S&P 500 rallied in September, eventually rallied above the summer trading range, and the September Rally continued into October. In October and into November, the weekly gains of the SPX, in reverse chronological order, were +3.60%, +0.02%, +0.59%, +0.95%, and +1.65%. So the pullback of -2.17% negates some of these gains, but the S&P 500 is still comfortably up. The recent mid-term elections, the Federal Reserve's announcement of quantitative easing, and positive economic data re-ignited the rally into early November. Q3 earnings reports were good enough to provide some upward market momentum, but earnings season is over. Negative news regarding Cisco earnings affected the tech sector this past week plus Ireland's sovereign debt problems and therefore the EU fiscal problems re-surfaced. Overall the data for the USA and global economies in October has been positive and encouraging. The economic recovery in the USA and world had slowed during the Summer Slump, but did not stall, and now the manufacturing and services sectors are expanding once again. The overall drag of the ongoing EU sovereign debt crisis may stall the SPX rally short-term, but we maintain there continues to be an upside bias for the S&P 500 as Q4 corporate earnings, USA economic growth, and global economic growth should be encouraging. Cisco appears to be an outlier and does not represent the overall tech sector.
S&P 500 Pulls Back for the Week
S&P 500 Daily Chart Below is the SPX daily chart from mid-April to illustrate current price interactions from April and May 2010. A monthly chart is included at the bottom of this page for a long-term perspective.
Noteworthy Closing Prices on Daily Chart Below
Current Close: 1199.21
2010 YTD High, November 5: 1225.85
2010 YTD Low, July 2: 1022.58
YE December 31, 2009: 1115.10
Intermediate-Term Trend The intermediate-term signal, the comparison of the 25 day and 50 day simple moving averages, signaled a bull market for the SPX on Monday, September 27. That is, the 25d sma is greater than the 50d sma. The relationship between these two moving averages is a lagging indicator and is now bullish. Both sma's are ascending, and have caught up with the September (+8.8%), October (+3.7%), and November (+1.4%) rally.
Resistance SPX is now below the YTD and multi-year high of 1225.85 on November 5, which is final current resistance above (highest yellow horizontal line on daily chart above). The previous YTD high of 1217.28 on April 23 is also benchmark resistance. (middle yellow horizontal line on daily chart above). The various sub-peaks of 1202.26, 1206.78, 1207.17, 1211.67, and 1218.71 on May 3, April 29, April 20, April 15, and November 10 could potentially come into play. The 1200 area, which SPX is just below at 1199.21, is an important psychological and benchmark price. We'll find out this next week if the 1200 area is actual resistance or will become support.
Support The November 3 close of 1197.96 (lowest yellow horizontal line on the daily chart above) and the 20 day simple moving average (shown on daily chart above) of 1195.19 appear to be the nearest support, and the support that held, on November 12. The 20d sma was pinned through on November 12, the first test since September 1, but the SPX rallied to close above, which is encouraging. There are several benchmark supports below, but the test, and battle, is at 1200, which SPX is just below at 1199.21.
Moving Averages The 25d sma (not show on chart this week) continues ascending and is above the 50d, 100d, and 200d sma's. The 50d sma is ascending regained the 100d on September 22, and regained the 200d sma on October 22. The 100d sma is ascending just above and along the uptrend line, but continues below the 200d sma. The 200d sma remains above the 100d sma and has begun ascending. The 20d sma (shown on the daily chart above), a commonly watched sma, was tested and pinned through on November 12 for the first time since September 1. The support held and SPX bounced upwards and closed above.
Uptrend Line The yellow uptrend line, a rate of price ascent, is from the March 9, 2009 closing low of 676.53 up through the 2010 YTD closing low of 1022.53 set on July 2. SPX began testing this uptrend line on August 24, rallied above on September 1, and has remained above since.
Downtrend Line The yellow downtrend line, a measure of the rate of price descent, is a long-term trendline from the October 9, 2007 all-time closing high of 1565.15 down through the November 5, 2010 YTD and multi-year closing high of 1225.85. SPX has remained below since that close.
Relative Strength Index (RSI) The RSI 14 day = 58.00 is reasonable, descending, and well below the recent highs. The multi-year abysmal low was 10.40 on July 6. The 2010 peak was 99.30 on on March 17. The RSI 28 day = 61.92 is reasonable, descending, and well below recent highs. The 2010 low was 34.09 on May 25 at 34.09. The 2010 peak was 84.25 on April 5. Both RSIs are well below the highs due to this past week's pullback and have plenty of upside potential.
MACD (12,26,9) The MACD = -0.88 and descending with the current SPX pullback. MACD had plunged to -11.44 on May 7, the lowest reading since the October 2008 financial panic. MACD peaked at +8.43 on June 18, 2010 at the highest since the rally off the bottom in March 2009.
Long-Term Trend The 10 month exponential moving average of 1123.49 is a long-term trend indicator and shown on the monthly chart below. That is the line in the sand, so to speak, for the long term signal of a bear market. SPX is now above this signal. SPX initially dropped below this signal in late May, indicating long-term bear market had arrived, but then regained and lost the indicator several times, signalling uncertainty and lack of trend during the summer trading range. SPX regained the 10m ema in September and continues above in October and November indicating a bull market.
Conclusion As noted above, The overall drag of the ongoing EU sovereign debt crisis may stall the SPX rally short-term, but we maintain there continues to be an upside bias for the S&P 500 as Q4 corporate earnings, USA economic growth, and global economic growth should be encouraging. Cisco appears to be an outlier and does not represent the overall tech sector. The intermediate term trend is bullish and the long term trend is bullish. Perceived positive economic data pushed SPX above the top of the summer trading range of 1130, then above 1150, initial positive earnings reports pushed SPX onwards to just below 1170, ongoing earnings reports and economic data rallied SPX to above 1170, and then slowly to the low 1180s. Then the mid-term elections, the Federal Reserve's announcement of quantitative easing, and positive October economic date propelled the SPX to above 1200 and a YTD and multi-year high. This past week's pullback does not appear to be a trend change.
S&P 500 Monthly Chart: Rally at 2+ Year High!
Below a very long-term view of the SPX on a monthly chart since December 1998. The chart includes all historical price interaction with the current SPX price. The overall analysis and commentary are the same as for the daily chart above. The yellow horizontal lines, uptrend line, and downtrend line are the same, and as described, on the daily chart above, as applicable. The white moving average line is the 10 month exponential moving average, which is the long-term bull or bear market signal, as discussed above with the daily chart. SPX of 1199.21 continues well above the 10m ema of 1123.49 which signals a long-term bull market.
We have no position in SPX, SPY, or any other related ETF.
About the S&P 500
The S&P 500® has been widely regarded as the best single gauge of the large cap U.S. equities market since the index was first published in 1957. The index includes 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy, capturing 75% coverage of U.S. equities, it is also an ideal proxy for the total market. S&P 500 is maintained by the S&P Index Committee, a team of Standard & Poor’s economists and index analysts, who meet on a regular basis. The goal of the Index Committee is to ensure that the S&P 500 remains a leading indicator of U.S. equities, reflecting the risk and return characteristics of the broader large cap universe on an on-going basis. The Index Committee also monitors constituent liquidity to ensure efficient portfolio trading while keeping index turnover to a minimum.
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