The S&P 500 large caps closed 2015 essentially flat on a total return basis, while the NASDAQ 100 showed a little better performance at +8.3% and the Russell 2000 small caps fell -5.9%. Overall, stocks disappointed even in the face of modest expectations, especially the small caps as market leadership was mostly limited to a handful of large and mega-cap darlings. Notably, the full year chart for the S&P 500 looks very much like 2011. Read more about Sector Detector: New Year brings new hope after bulls lose traction to close 2015

Of course, all eyes have been on Greece in an ongoing saga that, although critical to the Greeks, is mostly just an annoying distraction for global investors -- partly because it has been going on for so many years, with the proverbial can of inevitability continually being kicked down the road, and partly because there can be no winners in this intractable situation. Read more about Sector Detector: Bulls prepare for a new buying opportunity, courtesy of Greece

After posting record highs the previous week, stocks closed last week slightly down overall. But the major indexes held their psychological levels, including Dow at 18,000, S&P 500 at 2100, NASDAQ at 5,000, and Russell 2000 at 1200. Although the bulls continue to find reliable support levels nearby, strong overhead technical resistance and neutral-to-defensive rankings in our SectorCast fundamentals-based quant model continue to suggest that a major upside breakout is not quite imminent, although a selloff doesn’t seem to be in the cards, either. Read more about Sector Detector: Bulls hold the line as market coils in anticipation of a bigger move

Bulls showed renewed backbone last week and drew a line in the sand for the bears, buying with gusto into weakness as I suggested they would. After all, this was the buying opportunity they had been waiting for. As if on cue, the start of the World Series launched the rapid market reversal and recovery. However, there is little chance that the rally will go straight up. Volatility is back, and I would look for prices to consolidate at this level before making an attempt to go higher. I still question whether the S&P 500 will ultimately achieve a new high before year end. Read more about Sector Detector: Bullish conviction returns, but market likely to consolidate its V-bottom

Scott MartindaleThis seasonally weak time of the year has proven reliable once again. As I observed last week, the volatility index often hits a peak in October but has never hit a trough during this notorious month. Last week, I warned of more downside in stocks before any new highs are challenged. It was the type of week that tests investors’ bullish conviction, and it was way overdue. Read more about Sector Detector: Overdue market weakness finally hits, but sector rankings turn bullish

Although the stock market displayed weakness last week as I suggested it would, bulls aren’t going down easily. In fact, they’re going down swinging, absorbing most of the blows delivered by hesitant bears. Despite holding up admirably when weakness was both expected and warranted, and although I still see higher highs ahead, I am still not convinced that we have seen the ultimate lows for this pullback. A number of signs point to more weakness ahead. Read more about Sector Detector: Bulls go down swinging, refusing to give up much ground

Scott MartindaleI suspect there is no greater example of “summer doldrums” than the week surrounding the Fourth of July, especially when the holiday falls mid-week. From my standpoint, I certainly have received my share of “out of office” auto-responses on emails. For bullish investors, this is usually a time for caution, as any apparently dominant psychology of the market can be misleading. For bearish traders, it’s hard to get much momentum going. Read more about Sector Detector: Stocks seek direction in the midst of the summer doldrums

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Scott MartindaleAnother earnings season is underway. I haven’t noticed much in the way of earnings pre-announcements (i.e., warnings), which is a positive sign. Read more about Sector Detector: Bulls plot their attack on the highs

smartindale / Tag: sectors, iShares, SPY, VIX, iyw, IYH, IYK, IYJ, IYE, IYF, IYC, IYZ, IDU, IYM, REGN, GOOG, RAX, ISRG / 0 Comments

An inordinately contentious and dispiriting election season left virtually everyone who was paying attention with a bitter taste in their mouth about the say-whatever-it-takes politicians that so desperately seek the honor of representing us. But never fear, at least we can still look to the top brass in our military for leaders with the utmost in discipline and integrity, right? Read more about Sector Detector: Jaded public needs a new hero

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Scott MartindalePortfolio managers returning from their summer holidays have apparently liked what they’ve heard from the central banks. Although total volume remains modest, U.S. stock indexes have hit new highs. The S&P 500 finally busted out of its 3-month-long bullish rising channel. Read more about Sector Detector: Stocks finally break out from 3-month rising channel

smartindale / Tag: ETF, sectors, iShares, VIX, SPY, iyw, IYH, IYF, IYE, IYK, IYC, IYJ, IYM, IYZ, IDU, AAPL, GOOG, WPI, REGN / 0 Comments