Is The Market Environment Improving?

In a recent missive (Can The Market Survive the Mo-Mo Meltdown?) we noted that momentum meltdowns don't necessarily lead to serious declines in the blue-chip indices. We looked back at history and found that there have been times (5 to be exact) where the Dow and S&P weren't dragged down when the music stopped in the mo-mo names.

In fact, there have even been times where the S&P moved higher while the momentum meltdown was occurring. However, the key takeaway from our look at past mo-mo meltdowns was that the damage in the high fliers often leads to a deterioration in investor sentiment, which, historically, has led to longer periods of "sloppy" or corrective action.

Therefore, the primary question of the day is whether or not the S&P 500 and the DJIA will be able to ignore the severe corrective action that has taken place in the biotech, internet, and social media names. Will the broad market just ignore the carnage in the micro caps and march merrily higher? Or will the sloppy action cause investors to lose confidence and eventually head for the exits en masse?

So Far So Good, Right?

The S&P 500 closed Thursday about 5 points (or 0.26 percent) from the recent all-time high set on May 13th. As such, the bulls argue that the meaningful correction that almost everyone on the planet has been looking for, doesn't appear to be happening. And if the market hasn't tanked during the much ballyhooed "Sell in May" period this year, well, the thinking is that maybe there won't be a correction after all in the near-term.

However, the key to the bull case would seem to be the momentum names. IF (note the use of capital letters) the worst of the selloff is behind us and IF the mo-mo and microcap names can stabilize, THEN maybe, just maybe, stocks can head higher from here.

But... if the corrective phase in the areas that have been hit hard continues and/or intensifies, then history shows that stocks may stay sloppy for a while longer and that investors may need to think about taking defensive action.

So, let's take a look at some charts and see if there are any signs of stabilization happening.

S&P 500 Daily

While 2014 has been no picnic for traders, anyone employing a buy and hold approach may be wondering what all the fuss is about. The bottom line on the S&P is simple: It looks like a traditional consolidation pattern.

However, if one takes a look at the S&P on a longer-term basis, the story is even better.

S&P 500 Weekly

In short, investors looking at the S&P 500 on a weekly basis probably didn't even know there was any sort of "meltdown" happening.

But anyone invested in small-cap and micro-cap stocks knows better.

iShares Micro-Cap ETF (IWC)

Although the Dow and S&P are within a whisker of all-time highs, the charts of these small companies are clearly hurting. And the iShares Micro-Cap ETF remains in a textbook downtrend.

The good news is that other areas of the mo-mo universe are starting to show some signs of improvement - such as Social Media.

Global X Social Media ETF (SOCL)

The SOCL ETF appears to have broken the downtrend line that has been intact since the beginning of March. The question of course, is if this area can avoid a relapse.

A similar picture can be seen in the First Trust Internet ETF (FDN). The bulls will argue that the downtrend has been broken and that a new uptrend could be forming now. Thus, this is a critical juncture on the FDN chart.

First Trust Internet ETF (FDN)

However, there is more good news in the next couple charts. First, is the XBI - the SPDR Biotech ETF. Although the biotechs are not trending higher at this time, they are also NOT trending lower.

SPDR Biotech ETF (XBI)

The bottom line is the biotechs, which have been a critical sector in the mo-mo meltdown, appear to be basing at the present time.

Let's look at one more chart to see if there are any signs of life - the NASDAQ.

NASDAQ Composite Daily

The bulls were pretty excited about Thursday's action on the NASDAQ as they argued that the Composite was possibly breaking out to the upside. However, the bears could be heard giggling in the background, so the jury appears to still be out on this score. We will continue to watch the action of the NASDAQ and the IWC very closely.

The key here is that these beaten down areas don't need to rebound for the broad market to survive. No, these sectors need to simply stabilize. Remember, the blue chip indices CAN ignore a mo-mo meltdown for a while. So, if the decline ends quickly and these areas stop going down, one could argue that we've seen the worst of this corrective phase.

We shall see...

Looking For Investment Management Help?

If you are looking for help with money management, check out Heritage Capital Management's Active Risk Manager Service - or call Heritage for more information at (630) 250-4700.

ALL NEW: The Next Generation of the Daily Decision system is now available to clients of Heritage Capital. The upgraded system utilizes swing trading and mean reversion strategies during neutral market environments, multiple indices for long positions, incremental moves in and out of the market, multiple managers and multiple strategies - with the overall goal being reduced volatility, fewer and less impactful whipsaws, and a "smoother ride".

To learn more about the "Next Generation" system, Read the Research Report

Looking For Guidance in the Markets?

The Daily Decision: If you want a disciplined approach to managing stock market risk on a daily basis - Check the "Daily Decision" System. Forget the fast money and the latest, greatest option trade. Investors first need is a strategy to keep them "in" the stock market during bull markets and on the sidelines (or short) during bear markets. The Daily Decision system was up 30.3% in 2012, is up more than 25% in 2013, and the system sports an average compound rate of return of more than 30% per year.

The Insiders Portfolio: If you are looking for a truly unique approach to stock picking - Check out The Insiders Portfolio. We buy what those who know their company's best are buying - but ONLY when they are buying heavily! P.S. The Insiders is up over 30% in 2013 and has nearly doubled the S&P 500 since 2009.

The IRA/401K Advisor: Stop ignoring your 401K! Our long-term oriented service designed for IRAs and 401Ks strives to keep accounts positioned on the right side of the markets. This is a service you really can't afford not to use.

All Premium Services include a 30-day money-back guarantee!

Turning To This Morning...

With an election in the Ukraine and a long holiday weekend in the U.S. on tap, traders may be tempted to once again take risk off on this Friday. Economic data in Europe came in on the punk side however, most are looking forward to an ECB rate cut at the next meeting. There is little in the way of macro inputs today in the United States. Overnight markets were mixed and futures in the U.S. are pointing to a slightly higher open.

Pre-Game Indicators

Here are the Pre-Market indicators we review each morning before the opening bell...

Major Foreign Markets:
- Japan: +0.87%
- Hong Kong: +0.05%
- Shanghai: +0.68%
- London: -0.18%
- Germany: +0.26%
- France: +0.04%
- Italy: +0.82%
- Spain: +0.01%

Crude Oil Futures: +$0.23 to $103.97

Gold: -$3.50 at $1291.60

Dollar: lower against the yen, higher vs. euro and pound.

10-Year Bond Yield: Currently trading at 2.551%

Stock Futures Ahead of Open in U.S. (relative to fair value):
- S&P 500: +1.81
- Dow Jones Industrial Average: +16
- NASDAQ Composite: +3.54

Thought For The Day...

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything. -Vincent Van Gogh

Are you getting all the market research you need?

Remember, you can receive email alerts for more than 20 free research report alerts from including:

Our Mission Statement:

At, our goal is to provide everything you need to be a more successful investor: The must-read headlines, market commentary, market research, stock analysis, proprietary risk management models, and most importantly – actionable portfolios with live trade alerts.

Finally, we are here to help - so don't hesitate to call with questions, comments, or ideas at 1-877-440-9464.

Follow on Twitter: @StateDave

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are those of Mr. David Moenning and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Moenning’s opinions and viewpoints regarding the future of the markets should not be construed as recommendations. The analysis and information in this report and on our website is for informational purposes only. No part of the material presented in this report or on our websites is intended as an investment recommendation or investment advice. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed nor any Portfolio constitutes a solicitation to purchase or sell securities or any investment program. The opinions and forecasts expressed are those of the editors of and may not actually come to pass. The opinions and viewpoints regarding the future of the markets should not be construed as recommendations of any specific security nor specific investment advice. One should always consult an investment professional before making any investment.

Posted to Investing 101 on May 23, 2014 — 8:05 AM
Comments ({[comments.length]})
Sort By:
Loading Comments
No comments. Break the ice and be the first!
Error loading comments Click here to retry
No comments found matching this filter
Want to add a comment? Take me to the new comment box!