The first signs of bearishness are beginning to creep into the superbly strong rally that has taken place since Christmas. $SPX rallied into the 2720-2740 area this week, which is now resistance and has now backed off. Now we have our first sell signal.
Stocks backed off a little this week most of it on just one day which was a rare interruption of the oversold rally. The pullback left a minor resistance point at 2675 on the $SPX chart. But there is plenty of room between there and the major resistance at 2800-2820. As long as the next local high is below 2800, the $SPX chart will still be bearish. That is, there will still be a pattern of lower highs and lower lows, occurring beneath a declining 200-day Moving Average which is our definition of a bear market.
The oversold rally has carried farther than many had expected. This is not too surprising, for the market is attempting to fool as many people as it can. We have participated in this rally, in accordance with the buy signals from our various short-term indicators and those indicators are still on buy signals. We thus expect the short-term rally to continue.
Stocks rallied very strongly this week, and the gains that have been registered since Christmas have been spectacular. This has caused most fundamental investors, and especially the headline- chasers, to become very bullish. Do not be lulled into their euphoria.
The $SPX chart is still bearish, as it continues to exhibit a series of lower highs and lower lows, occurring beneath a declining 200-day Moving Average. That is a bear market. There is support at 2350, the late December lows, and there is now resistance 2580-2600, which had been support earlier in the year.
The action in the stock market is getting more volatile, at least in realized terms (implied volatility has not kept pace). The bottom line is that resistance at 2800-2820 has been reinforced, and similarly, support at 2580-2620 has been reinforced as well. The $SPX chart is bearish, in our opinion, as long as $SPX remains below 2820.
The $SPX chart remains bearish. This week's action did not decline far enough to be a test of the October lows. The support area at 2580-2600 remains the bulls' best hope at the moment. If that gives way, then 2530 is the next stop. A violation of that area would be very negative.
A break of support at 2580-2600 would likely augur for a retest of the February lows at 2530. A failure there, and the real bear market should unfold -- but perhaps not until early next year (December is normally a bullish month, even in bear markets).
Conversely, if $SPX were to climb above 2820, it would be a very bullish sign.
This week saw the ninth biggest one-day point gain in the $SPX in history, as it rose 58.44 points on Wednesday. With that, $SPX had rallied over 200 points in a straight up manner, since the lows just six trading days prior (a time period which included our October Seasonal rally). That is the power of an oversold rally. It may surprise you to know that all of 10 largest point moves in history (by $SPX) have been completely reversed within a matter of days or a few weeks.
Some very wide (and wild) swings have taken place in the market in the last week. Has this changed anything as far as the intermediate-term trend goes? Probably not, but it does show the power of an oversold rally.
One area that is now important as resistance is 2820 -- the top of the first rally a couple of weeks ago. If $SPX were to climb above there and move higher, that would be a much more bullish sign and could change the outlook considerably.