After reaching new all-time highs a week ago, the market has stumbled a bit this week. The overbought conditions are beginning to take a toll, but the overall trend is still bullish at this point.
There is support at this week's lows roughly 4120, with stronger support just below 4000 (the March highs), and the major support at 3850-3870. If 4000 is penetrated that would be a short- term negative, and if 3870 is penetrated that would be a major change of trend.
This market is still akin to a runaway freight train. The momentum is strong and positive, and there are no confirmed sell signals at this time. This has made the market "overbought" in a general sense, but subscribers know that "overbought does not mean sell." Only confirmed sell signals mean "sell."
We occasionally publish the composite chart of $VIX dating back to near its inception. For these purposes, we use the original $VIX – $VXO – since it has the longest price history. That history is shown in the chart on the below. It has generally been the case that $VIX rises early in the year, peaks in the spring, declines into the late summer, and then begins a rapid acceleration in October, before finally tailing off towards the end of the year.
The recent broad description of market action has not changed: it is led by the Dow, dragged down by NASDAQ, and it remains volatile. $SPX is caught in the middle.
Despite some very negative days (especially Tuesday, March 23rd), $SPX has not broken down. It probed below that 3870 level on Thursday, and then all of the markets rebounded. That intraday move on Thursday reached down to 3853, so perhaps we should say that support is roughly 3850 3870.
The heavy resistance in the 3870-3950 area has repelled several recent rally attempts. This past week, there was one day with a monster rally of over 125 points from one day's low to the next (trading) day's high. However, the last three days have wiped out that rally, and more. That remains as a formidable resistance area. Meanwhile, it seems likely that support at 3700 and perhaps 3630 will be tested. As long as those hold, one could contend that $SPX is trading in a very volatile manner within a relatively wide trading range, from 3630 to 3950, at the edges.
Despite making new all-time intraday and/or closing highs on February 10th, 12th, and 16th, $SPX is in a fairly tight trading range between 3900 and 3950 -- and has been since the breakout to new highs on February 5th. One thing that has come from this action is that the support at 3870 (the January highs) to 3900 has been strengthened.
The major indices ($SPX, $NDX, $DJX, and $RUT) all made new all-time intraday and closing highs this week. $SPX should have support at the previous all-time highs (which were also the December highs) near 3870. Below that, there is obvious support at 3700 (the January lows and the bottom of that brief selloff at the end of January), and then the important support level at 3630 (the December lows). I am still classifying the 3630 level as the most important of these because a) the $SPX chart would take on a negative slant if that level were broken and b) there is an old adage (and adequate proof) that breaking the previous December's lows can be the onset of a bear market.
What a difference a week makes. Just one week ago, $SPX had sold off sharply, but then the bulls said "enough." Institutional cash, which is often deployed heavily at the end of January and the beginning of February, came rushing into the market. In just four trading days, $SPX had recovered all of the losses and had closed at a new all- time high. $SPX bottomed out almost right at 3700 on Friday, January 29th, so that is definitely support. There is also support below that, at 3630. That is the one that I consider more important, because a breach of that level would take the market below its December lows usually the sign of an emerging bear market.
Equity-only put-call ratios are exhibiting some unusual behavior: the two ratios are diver ging. The standard ratio (Figure 2) is plunging to new lows and is thus on a buy signal. The weighted ratio is slowly rising and is thus somewhat bearish.