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

Now that’s what I’m talking about. I have been discussing the overbought technical conditions of the S&P 500 for some time and the need for a pullback to test bullish support levels. And as many commentators have suggested, the more time between pullbacks, the more severe is the action when it finally arrives. Bears had become very hungry after a prolonged hibernation. This week offered up a nasty pullback. Read more about Sector Detector: Patient bulls finally get a new entry point, thanks to inflation fears

Scott MartindaleOnce again, stocks have shown some inkling of weakness. But every other time for almost three years running, the bears have failed to pile on and get a real correction in gear. Will this time be different? Read more about Sector Detector: Bold bulls dare meek bears to take another crack

Scott MartindaleAfter its long-awaiting breakout of the 1900 level the other week, the S&P 500 gained another +1.3% last week alone, but this double-low progression as I call it -- i.e., on extremely low volume and with persistently low volatility -- is worrisome. Read more about Sector Detector: Bulls revel in the new normal, while bears lie in wait

Scott MartindaleAlthough the large caps set new highs early on Friday, small caps and NASDAQ have not come close to their prior highs. Friday closed with extreme weakness across the board, and it was on high volume. The technical picture and our fundamentals-based sector rankings have both taken a bearish turn, so we might see more weakness ahead. Read more about Sector Detector: Rankings take a bearish turn as the flight to safety solidifies

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As the charts last week indicated might happen, the S&P 500 has fallen four straight days and failed to hold its breakout above 1800 while the Dow Jones Industrials lost 16,000. Only the NASDAQ is still holding on to its breakout above 4000. Although the Basic Materials sector was the leader on Wednesday, the Technology sector was strong, as well, and in fact Tech stocks have been the strongest over the past week and the past month. Read more about Sector Detector: Tech stays strong as markets present a welcome entry point

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Scott MartindaleAs stock traders take a break for Thanksgiving, all the major averages have hit new highs after breaking through psychological resistance levels, including the S&P 500 at 1800, Dow Jones Industrials at 16,000, and NASDAQ at 4000. Tech stocks were the big leaders on Wednesday after a strong earnings report from Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). Read more about Sector Detector: Is there still enough fuel in the bulls’ tank?

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Scott MartindaleStock market bulls have been reluctant to let the market fall very far. Support seems to arrive whenever the bears get too bold. It seems the bulls are bound and determined to have their Q4 rally, especially with the Fed continuing to blow wind in their sails. They just need Congress to wave the green flag. Read more about Sector Detector: Still bullish as stocks await their “go” signal from Congress

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Scott MartindaleBond yields have crept back up to near multi-year highs as the bond market appears to be anticipating some measure of tapering in the Fed’s monthly bond-buying program. This undoubtedly has caused some hesitancy among stock investors, too. And then there are the looming debt ceiling and budget battles, as well as concern about slowing corporate earnings growth. And let’s not forget the comparisons to 1987 we are hearing, with Marc Faber (a.k.a., “Dr. Read more about Sector Detector: Still bullish despite worrisome indicators

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Scott MartindaleWe are in the thick of earnings season, and so far the general trend has been as anticipated: modest if any top-line growth and more earnings beats than misses (albeit versus a low bar). But forward guidance has been the big decider on how the stock trades post-earnings, and the message has been decidedly mixed, as many companies have had to reduce guidance or otherwise failed to make the grade in other important growth metrics. Read more about Sector Detector: Mixed messages abound among earnings reports

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