Skip to main content

Weekly Review - the correction picks up speed, how far will stocks fall?

This week a worse than expected non-farm payrolls report knocked the wind out of the sails of the stock market. The fact that the best performing index, the NASDAQ, fell 2.3% shows what a lousy week it was. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate, currently at 9.5%, continues its steady march toward double digits. Against this backdrop, it should not be surprising that consumer confidence, as well as the stock market, fell over the past month.

With the second quarter finishing up earlier this week it is understandable that some profits might be taken after stocks turned in strong performances. The S&P 500 gained 15% and the NASDAQ gained 20%. Ominously, oil gained 41%.

It is no doubt that stocks are now in a correction. The question is: how far will they fall? We look for clues in some of the charts that follow.

The view from Alert HQ --

Charts of some of the statistics we track at Alert HQ are presented below:


The chart above shows our analysis of the universe of stocks we evaluate, roughly 7200 of them. It's pretty clear that weakness has persisted over the last few weeks and performance was at its worst during this holiday shortened week. As lousy as this chart looks, there are still roughly 60% of stocks trading above their 50-day moving average. Not great but not bad. Unfortunately, there is no sign that the deterioration in stock prices is slowing down. Indeed, in order to complete this move, it looks as if the number of stocks whose 20-day MA is above their 50-day MA needs to move lower before we start to see some recovery.

The next chart provides our trending analysis. It looks at the number of stocks in strong up-trends or down-trends based on Aroon analysis.

Here we see the number of stocks in down-trends increasing handily; the total currently stands at about 28%. With the cross-over displayed on this chart, we are now in the unfortunate situation where the number of stocks in down-trends outnumbers the number of stocks in up-trends. It is surprising, though, that the number of stocks in up-trends actually ticked up slightly this week.

The following chart show SPY, the S&P 500 SPDR ETF. I have drawn two green lines on the chart: the horizontal one is a support line and the descending line shows the down-trend that is being carved out. Put the two together and we begin see a triangle emerge. Falling below that support line would imply that we could see another 9% or 10% decline from that level.


Some bloggers are seeing a head and shoulders pattern developing on the S&P 500. I have circled the left shoulder, the head and what is starting to strongly resemble a right shoulder in light blue. The implication here is also for a 10% drop from the neckline which just happens to be the same horizontal green line forming the base of the triangle.

With respect to moving averages, SPY has dropped below its 50-DMA but is still above its 200-DMA. With the 200-DMA still clearly pointed downward, it's not hard to anticipate a continuing correction at this point

Conclusion --

Our charts show stocks caught in a reversal. The market hit a peak a month ago and has been steadily drooping since. Luckily the NASDAQ is looking much better than the S&P 500 so there is hope this correction will not be too deep.

Economic reports coming up this week are modest so it is unlikely they might light a fire under stocks. We will be seeing the ISM Services report, consumer credit, initial jobless claims, the trade balance and the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index. No big hitters like last week's non-farm payrolls report.

So we have had some unpleasant surprises in several economic reports while most others are slowing their deterioration or even starting to show some small amount of strength. In the meantime, stocks are in a down move that needs to play out before any recovery can begin.

I suspect there will be another week or so of weakness then we will need to throw ourselves on the mercy of earnings season. This week, earnings reports will be light but they will soon be ramping up as the second quarter earnings season kicks off in earnest. Until then, though, there isn't much to reassure bulls and the bears will most likely continue to brazenly roam the Street.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Unlock Stock Market Profits - Key #1

This is the first in an ongoing series of articles where I discuss what I feel are keys to successful investing. It is based on a post that provides a summary of the ten keys that individual investors should use to identify profitable stock trades. (Click here to read the original post)

There are two basic steps to investing. First, you need to find stocks that seem to have some potential. Then you have to determine whether these stocks are actually good investments. There are many stocks that at first glance look interesting, but further research reveals that there are too many negatives to warrant taking a position.

This first post in the series starts at the beginning: getting good investment ideas.

Key #1: If something special is happening to a stock, it will be reflected in some kind of unusual activity in the markets.

As individual investors, we will never be the first to know; however, unusual activity can be an early sign that allows us to follow the Wall Street professionals and …

Unlock Stock Market Profits - Key #4

This is the fourth article in a series of posts describing 10 tools to help you identify and evaluate good investing ideas. It is based on a post that provides a summary of the ten keys that individual investors should use to identify profitable stock trades. (Click here to read the original post)

With this fourth post, we will continue another step along the path of finding stocks that seem to have some potential. The first post in the series discussed how to use unusual activity to identify investing ideas. The second post described how to use stock screeners. The third post described how to use lists of new highs and new lows. This post will focus on identifying social or business trends in order to find investing ideas.

Information on new trends might turn up anywhere. In conversation with friends or business associates, in newspapers or magazines, on TV or though your work. The key is to be aware of trends and how they start, stop or change. We'll start by describing what to lo…

Free stock alerts, Trend Leaders, Bollinger Band Breakouts and Cash Flow Kings for Jan 16, 2009

This post is to announce that the latest list of free stock alerts is up and available at Alert HQ. Each week we scan over 7400 stocks and ETFs looking for fresh BUY and SELL signals. We apply a combination of proprietary and standard technical analysis techniques to identify those stocks that are beginning to move. Our goal is to identify stocks or ETFs that are undergoing reversals, either to the upside or to the downside.

Wait, there's more...

We also use the Alert HQ process to generate more free lists of stocks and ETFs

The first byproduct of the Alert HQ process is the Trend Leaders list, our collection of stocks in strong up-trends. These stocks are registering strong signals using Aroon analysis, DMI and MACD. They are also above their 50-day exponential moving average. This week's list is now available at the TradeRadar site on the Trend Leaders page.

As another byproduct of the Alert HQ process we have generated a list of stocks that have broken either above their upper…