November got off to a strong start early last week, and the rally broadened to include financial and retail stocks. But after a torrid six weeks of bullish behavior while ignoring (or perhaps reveling in) concerns about the global economy during, U.S. stocks encountered some strong technical resistance in the middle of last week, and it has continued into Monday. The Dow Jones Transportation Index continues to a drag on the overall market, and this segment will need to gather some enthusiasm if the broader indexes are to resume their advance. Read more about Sector Detector: Bullish conviction kicks into gear, as the stars align for holiday cheer

Much ado was made of China’s surprise 3% devaluation of their currency last week. But keep in mind, the yuan is pegged to the dollar, and with the dollar so strong, every major floating currency and commodity is down a lot more than that. Deflation is now a real threat. Then, there is the suddenly resolved issue of Greece’s debt (along with the worry of a domino-like fall of the entire Eurozone). Read more about Sector Detector: Currency wars take the spotlight as stock investors must gauge which news is relevant

Scott MartindaleStocks ended last week on a high note, closing a smidge above strong resistance at 1900 for the S&P 500, which set a new closing high for the large-cap index, albeit on low pre-holiday volume. With the Memorial Day holiday giving us a short week of trading, all eyes are on voting in Ukraine, where a decisive win for billionaire business tycoon Petro Poroshenko seems assured. Read more about Sector Detector: Breakout or another bluff? Bulls seeking confirmation this week

Scott MartindaleThe technical picture for stocks has shifted from bearish into neutral, and our fundamentals-based sector rankings appear to have moved from bullish to neutral, as well. Thus, caution remains the order of the day until either the bulls or bears can find a catalyst -- and enough recruits -- to move the ball in their direction. Read more about Sector Detector: Stocks stuck in neutral as both sides seek a directional catalyst

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Scott MartindaleOverall, the economy appears to be on a steady path to recovery. As the Federal Reserve eventually allows interest rates to rise, we likely will see a rotation out of value and into growth as defensive debt-intensive companies struggle relative to companies that have lower debt burden and stronger prospective earnings growth. Read more about Sector Detector: Bullish fundamental rankings at odds with bearish technicals

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Scott MartindaleLast week, stocks continued their rebound from the edge of the abyss. Investors responded positively to a dovish combination of comments from Speaker of the House John Boehner and new Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen. Mr. Boehner said he would not pursue another acrimonious battle over the debt ceiling. And Ms. Read more about Stocks continue to rebound from edge of abyss as uncertainties subside

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SPY chartStocks provided a volatile and sweat-inducing ride last week in what many investors and traders thought might be the big selloff that so many have been predicting. Although the market tends to follow a path that fools the greatest number of people, sometimes it behaves in a self-fulfilling prophesy. Read more about Sector Detector: Stock market approaching a crossroads

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Scott MartindaleThere is no sugar-coating what happened to stocks on Friday. All around the world, stocks really took it on the chin as the usual support mechanisms that bulls have enjoyed failed to materialize. The S&P 500 sliced through firm support at 1800 on high volume like it wasn’t even there. But market participants had become convinced that a long-overdue correction was imminent, so they quite simply were looking for a reason to sell. Read more about Sector Detector: Will investors embrace weakness as an entry point?

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Scott Martindale“Stocks fall on Fed taper discussion.” That’s the gist of what you heard in the media on Wednesday to account for the market’s late-day pullback. There’s always some sort of attempt to explain daily market action. But the reality is that investors simply must take a periodic breather to regroup and retrench, particularly when making an assault on round-number resistance for a major index. Read more about Sector Detector: Stocks retrench for another assault on round-number resistance

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Scott MartindaleLike any superhero or action movie star who relies upon a “trusty sidekick,” Mr. Market stays strong, confident, and bold with the Federal Reserve at his side. Chairman Bernanke (and heir apparent Janet Yellen) firmly believes that the wealth effect provided by rising stock and housing markets is essential for maintaining consumer spending and corporate earnings growth. Read more about Sector Detector: Fed reiterates its role as Mr. Market’s trusty sidekick

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