Skip to main content

Range-bound in an ugly market

Was it just a couple of weeks ago that the market was shooting upward and all was right with the world? Putting it mildly, it appears we've done a bit of an about-face.

It's regrettable but all those reversals and swing signals we identified recently that were screaming BUY! are now looking a little worse for wear. Before tossing in the towel, though, let's take a look at where we stand from the perspective of the overall stock market's performance. Our moving average and trending analysis charts should provide some useful insights.

The view from Alert HQ --

For those readers who are new to TradeRadar or who don't remember what this is all about, the data for the following charts is generated from our weekly Alert HQ process. We scan roughly 6200 stocks and ETFs each weekend and gather the statistics presented below.

In this first chart below we count the number of stocks above various exponential moving averages and count the number of moving average crossovers, as well. We then plot the results against a chart of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY).

After what I called a "melt-up rally" a couple of weeks ago, we have gone from roughly two thirds of all stocks above their 50-day exponential moving averages (EMA) right back down to only one third being above their 50-day EMA.

We also see the number of stocks whose 20-day EMA is above the 50-day EMA has started to decline again.

All in all, this chart seems to say that we're back to the bottom of the range we've been in for the last few months.

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.

I have shortened the timeline on this chart because it was just getting too messy. Instead of going all the way back to January of 2009, I now start the chart in March 2010. This makes it easier to see the cyclic nature of the trending numbers.

In particular, you can see how the number of stocks in bearish trends (red line) hit a significant peak in mid-June of this year. This was immediately followed by a steep rally that allowed the number of stocks in bullish trends (yellow line) to hit another significant peak in early July. This over-bought condition was quickly remedied as stocks began to sink on economic worries, sovereign debt fears and the debt limit crisis.

As you can see, there is room for stocks to sink still further before we hit the typical over-sold levels from which the next rally will be born. And that should take SPY right back down to the lows established in January, March and June in the $127 range.

Conclusion --

For better or worse, the black comedy playing out in Washington, also known as the debt limit negotiations, should come to a head this week, possibly even this weekend. The politicians will either fail to come to agreement or will end up passing a disappointing bill. Either way, it will probably  weigh on the market and we could see stocks fall to the expected lows discussed above.

The concern everyone has is whether stocks will fall right through the bottom of the range. I'm not fond of making outright predictions so let's call this an opinion. I have to think that earnings season wasn't so bad and there are still many voices (including various economists, Fed officials and certain company CEOs) calling for improved economic activity in the second half of the year. My expectation, therefore, is that stocks should bounce. How high? Perhaps you would like to venture an opinion on that...

Disclosure: none


Popular posts from this blog

Running TradeRadar on Windows 7 and Windows 8

Development of the original TradeRadar Stock Inspector software was begun back in the days before Windows 7 and Windows 8 were available.

As these newer versions of Windows have become more popular, we have heard from some users that they are having problems installing and running TradeRadar on their newer PCs.

The good news is that TradeRadar will work just fine on Windows 7 and Windows 8. All you have to do is adjust the Windows Compatibility Settings to ensure TradeRadar runs as intended.

It is recommended that you can apply Compatibility Settings when running the initial installation; however, it is also possible to apply Compatibility Settings after the program has been installed.

Prior to installation
After downloading the install program, go to the folder where you have stored the TradeRadarStkInsp_7_Setup.exe or TradeRadarStkInsp_7_PRO_Setup.exe executable. Right-click on the executable file and select Properties. Click the Compatibility tab. Adjust the Compatibility mode to …

Alert HQ has moved!

End of an era!

This site was started way back in 2006/2007 to showcase my blog posts and the Alert HQ buy signals and sell signals. Alert HQ grew to include other kinds of stock alerts including Swing Signals, Trend Busters, Trend Leaders, Cash Flow Kings and more.

In the meantime, I built a sister site, and I started using some of the same Alert HQ content over there. As a result, I am discontinuing the Alert HQ data here at

The good news, however, is that all the Alert HQ signals and stock screens are still completely free. In addition, the pages have been enhanced so that you can hover over a stock symbol and a small chart will pop up so you can get a quick look at the stock's recent price action. If you click on a symbol it will take you to a page with plenty of financial and technical analysis information (still free!) as well as a larger chart that you can play with in terms of adding or deleting indicators, moving averages, etc.

Click …

Durable Goods report for Sept just so-so but Computer segment is on fire

The Durable Goods advanced report for September 2011 was released on Wednesday.

I like to dig into the Durable Goods report because it can be useful for seeing how tech in aggregate is performing and how the sector may perform in the future. I always focus on two particular measures: shipments and new orders. Let's see how it played out last month.

Shipments -- 

I generally give less importance to Shipments since this is a backward looking measure reflecting orders that have been confirmed, manufactured and shipped. It's similar to earnings reports -- it's good to know but the data is in the past and we're more interested in the future. The following chart shows how September shipments looked for the overall tech sector:

Results for the overall tech sector were a bit weak but take a look at the next chart which tracks the Computers and related products segment:

Results here were actually quite good and, to make things even better, the previous month was revised upward.