Despite all the talk of the Dow making new highs over the last few years the truth is actually quite different. The way an index is “weighted” can make all the difference in how it looks. In addition indexes that change their composition regularly like the DOW (i.e.removing some companies and adding better performing ones) create an unnatural upward bias.
Only Three Other Occurrences Since 2002
The True Strength Index (TSI) is a momentum oscillator based on a double smoothing of price changes. As shown in the monthly S&P 500 graph below, a positive momentum crossover (black moves above red) has only occurred four times since 2002. In the three previous cases, the S&P 500 rallied for a long period of time after the crossover; the average gain was 52%.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words — If you want to know what someone really thinks about the stock market, look at their recent portfolio transactions. What can we learn from recent moves made by two of the world’s most respected value investors?
The Dow Jones Transportation Average has failed to print a new high above the previous high made in 2015. Given the Dow has made a new high, a Dow Theory non-confirmation remains in effect.
How does the current 50 day and 200 day moving average on the S&P 500 compare from previous crashes with the current market situation?
A retest of prior resistance may be in the cards, which is exactly what happened in early 1995. In 2016, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (below) may be in retest mode.
While the S&P 500 (SPY) was able to push to a new high during Monday’s trading session, the broad NYSE Composite Stock Index (VTI) was still looking for a close above an area that acted as resistance in the past.
Stocks have been flat for 17 months while earnings are declining.
Recently I read the following comment on a post about investing in Gold:
Isn’t buying Gold today just like buying a horse ?
It being a purely romantic move for an object with no current use.
Sure it looks pretty and it will still get you there, though slowly,
but why would anyone have it as their primary source of investment travel ?
And I got to thinking that maybe comments like that are the “Bell” that rings indicating a new buying opportunity is at hand. In response I wrote an article entitled, Where’s Gold Headed Today? At the time of the comment, Gold had just finished trading at $1050 and by the time I wrote the article, gold was trading at $1100. As of this writing gold is trading at $1220. So it appears that the commentor made it statement at the precise bottom. But then gold tends to be an “emotional” investment with crazy statements at both the bottom and top. Personally, I think these outlandish comments are more reliable if they come from the general public rather than from seasoned investors.
I remember attending a seminar for computer network professionals in early 2000 and during every break all they could talk about was how they were going to retire on their 401k stock gains which exceeded their salaries. There’s an old saying that “It’s time to sell when the bag boy at the grocery store is giving you stock tips”. Although these guys weren’t “bag boys” they certainly weren’t investing pros either.
In the following article Chris Ciovacco gives us a different perspective about market sentiment… and gives us this excellent reminder… “Sentiment, like many pieces of evidence can be helpful, but like anything else it should not be used in isolation.” ~Tim McMahon, editor
When investors are fearful, common sense tells us demand picks up for more conservative assets, which is exactly what happened early Monday morning. When investors are very pessimistic and fearful, return of principal becomes highly important. Therefore, when fear increases we would expect to see defensive bonds outperform growth-oriented stocks.