Technology stocks lead markets higher

Equities climbed on Tuesday as positive data continues to fuel the upside move. The technology sector remains the emphatic leadership with other sectors continuing to lag. The NASDAQ extended its upside string to eight days and another new record high. The new home sales gave stocks a boost to start the day as they rose 16.6% in May. Apple helped lead the S&P 500 index to positive territory as the stock benefitted from the virtual WWDC developers conference news. The stock closed at new highs. Globally the US rise in corona cases has stalled markets and caused reviews on if Americans will be able to travel to the EU when it opens its borders on July 1st. Plenty of potential risk facing the markets currently and we are managing our exit points should the risk become real.

In The News:

Short news notes of interest… 1) The coronavirus hit 9 million infected. The surge is slowing the reopening of the country and a renewed cause for concern. 2) New home sales rose 16.6%… there was a revision to the April sales which caused the increase to look much better. That said, the sales data was a positive overall for the economic outlook. 3) The NASDAQ is now up 12.9% YTD and at new highs. 4) Russell Small Cap index is the biggest laggard down 13.7% YTD. 5) Gold continued higher as the dollar continues to struggle. The metal has gained 16.5% YTD. 6) President Trump reaffirmed that the China-US trade deal is still intact.

The S&P 500 index closed up 13.4 points to 3131. It was up 0.4% on the day as the index posted modest gains. The worries about the coronavirus surge and stock valuations have kept a lid on the markets of late. Seven of the eleven sectors closed in positive territory for the day led by technology and consumer discretionary. The downside was led by utilities and telecom. The VIX index moved to 31.3 and back to the current support. There is some complacency in the markets currently despite the warning signs from the economic outlook. Managing our risk accordingly.

The NASDAQ index closed up 74.8 points at 10131. The index closed up 0.7% for the day. The index held move above 10,000 on the close and set another new high. The leadership from the technology stocks helped the move higher. The NASDAQ 100 index (QQQ) was up 0.8% for the day and back above the previous highs. The $233.41 level is the stop as we now watch how this unfolds. Semiconductors (SOXX) closed up 0.3% fo the day and holding above support at the $255 level and bouncing. Technology (XLK) was up 0.76% for the day and hit new highs. Watching how this plays moving forward.

Small-Cap Index (IWM) The sector had posted solid gains and had taken on a leadership role only to give that up and test lower. It held support at the $132.55 level and moved into a consolidation pattern on the chart. Watching for clarity. Closed up 1.4% last two days but remains in the trading range.

Transports (IYT) The sector jumped 16.6% on optimism and rotation. The sector fell 10% since… Fast money moving and watching how this unfolds relative to the trend. Transports remain weak on the revised outlook for the second half of 2020. Closed higher but remains in a consolidation pattern.

The Dollar (UUP) The dollar broke lower from the consolidation pattern and was in a downtrend short term. There was a modest bounce this week in the dollar. Watching the bounce and the outlook near term. Down again as the buck tries to find a bottom.

The Volatility Index (VIX) Anxiety returned to end the week after falling to support at the 32.3 level. We closed at 35.1 thanks to the weaker economic outlook from the Fed. Closed lower on Monday at 31.3.


MidCap (IJH) The sector tested off the high and is moving sideways of late. The challenges facing growth is the rationale… watching how it unfolds with not holdings currently. Unchanged to start the week.

Biotech (IBB) The sector has been in a consolidation pattern and Friday broke higher… now we need to see a follow through to the move as we adjust our stops on positions. Added to the upside move.

Semiconductors (SOXX) The sector tested the $255 support and held. The uptrend is still in place and the anxiety level a little higher… The money flow is flat. Taking what is offered and raising our stop to $255. Leading tech sector higher.

Software (IGV) The sector established a bottom at $185 and bounced. Stop at $267.50 (adjusted). Entry $205.10. Some testing with the markets moving lower, but the trend remains positive. More new highs. Adjusted stops.

REITs (IYR) The sector collapsed as talk of defaults in the commercial debt market spooked investors. The Federal Reserve has stepped in to stem the downside. The current pattern shows consolidation with a downside bias… watching how it unfolds. Remains in a consolidation pattern.

Treasury Yield 10 Year Bond (TNX) The yield closed the week at 0.69% flat from 0..69% last week. TLT was also flat for the week after some volatility in bond yields. Bonds are still in a downtrend from the April highs.

Crude oil (USO) Crude moved to a high of $39.83 closing at the high for the week. The data is showing a reduction in production and consumption as this unfolds relative to the data. I like the long-term holding with entry at $13.81 and a two-year target of $45. Trading opportunities as well in the commodity. Added a position in UGA as well at $17.40. Stop $18.54 (adjusted). Closed above $40… $43.40 target near term.

Gold (GLD) The metal tested lower to $158.94 support and broke lower for a day… we were looking for a bounce and trade opportunity in the trading range and it unfolded… added at $158.90. Stop at $161.86 (adjusted). Closed the week at the top of the current range. Manage the risk. Closed above the trading range breaking higher with solid gains. Watching and adjusting stop.

Emerging Markets (EEM) Broke from the trading range and above the April highs. Positive money flow as the optimism rises for the global economies as everything attempts to reopen. Tested on the week, but watching how it unfolds. Struggling but holding support. Moved higher and remains in a consolidation pattern.

China (FXI/YANG) Moving higher on the recovery phase starting for the global economies. Despite all the banter with the US/China trade, the country ETF is making moves higher with some testing on the week. Erased the break higher and holding in the previous range. Moved higher and remains in a consolidation pattern.

(The notes above are posted every weekend and updated daily Bold Italics)


TUESDAY’s Scans for June 24th: Another positive day for the leadership and more challenges for the laggards. The number of headlines now focused on the valuation of the markets and what happens next is growing… sometimes corrections become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Taking what is offered, managing the risk, and watching the data.

  • Small Caps (IWM) remains a laggard for the overall markets and looking at how the consolidation pattern unfolds.
  • Financials (XLF) another laggard for the markets. Watching support at $23.50 as an indicator.
  • Leisure & Entertainment (PEJ) corrected from the June highs… watching how this pattern unfolds.
  • Natural Gas (UNG/DGAZ) short side trade rises again. Adjusted our stops to account for the move.
  • Biotech (IBB/LABU) solid rise higher… adjusting the stop.

MONDAY’s Scans for June 23rd: Interesting start to the week of trading as the technology sector continues to lead the NASDAQ higher. The other indices are struggling to hold near the current levels without much change. Plenty of talk about valuations in the news, but it only matters when the money flow shifts… currently it is still positive. Taking what is given and managing the risk as it is presented.

  • Crude Oil (USO/USL) still on the rise as crude clears the $40 level. Adjusted our stops on the move. Gasoline (UGA) advanced as well.
  • Financials (XLF) moved lower and back to key support at the $23.50 level. Watching how this unfolds near term.
  • Gold (GLD/GDX) more upside as it breaks from the trading range as the dollar shows weakness. Adjusted stops.
  • Apple (AAPL) leaves Intel to use its own chips in Mac. Pushed to new highs on the news and raised stop.
  • Netflix (NFLX) broke from flat base and rose to new highs. Providing leadership for the NASDAQ. Adjusted stops.

FRIDAY’s Scans for June 19th: Volatility described the trading day and there was not much at the end of the day that changed. We continue to be diligent in managing the risk of the current environment and watching how the data impacts the movement on the charts. Money flow is slowing and the outcome is getting cloudier. Watching how institutional money moves from here.

  • Biotech (IBB) breaks from the trading range and moves to the upside.
  • Dollar (UUP) nice drift higher for the week.
  • Volatility Index (VXX) bounced higher on Friday. Watching how investor anxiety moves going forward.
  • Gasoline (UGA) broke higher for the week to new highs.
  • China Internet (KWEB) solid break higher and follow through.

THURSDAY’s Scans for June 18th: There were plenty of challenges for the trading day, but the markets managed to close flat overall. There were sectors bouncing back like energy and those testing the range like REITs. We will take it as digestion day as investors were content to watch and learn more data. Friday is options expiration and could cause some jockeying for positions, but looking for an uneventful conclusion to the week.

  • Software (IGV) closed at new highs as the sector remains one of the leaders overall.
  • Gasoline (UGA) closed up 3.4% and breaks from the consolidation at the highs the last two weeks.
  • Biotech (IBB) moved back to the previous highs within the current trading range.
  • Social Media (SOCL) climbed to new highs helping the leading technology sector.
  • Base Metals (DBB) are attempting to break from the consolidation pattern near the highs.

WEDNESDAY’s Scans for June 17th: It was a lackluster day for stocks as they spent most of the day pondering events, data, and hope for stronger economics. The positive news on Tuesday left investors with little to do on Wednesday but think about all they know… and more of what they don’t know. Letting this run it’s course and following the money. There will always be opportunities on the horizon.

  • Energy (XLE) continues to struggle to move higher but keeping the uptrend alive for now. USO and UGA holding well.
  • Financials (XLF) still not showing signs of an upside run… credit markets remain a big worry for the sector.
  • China Internet (KWEB) positive trend higher despite the struggles in the China ETF FXI.
  • Technology (XLK) remains a leader as the parts continue to move higher. SOCL closed at new highs. HACK, WEBL, IGV all look good.
  • Online Retail (IBUY) showing solid move to previous highs.

(The Scans are done daily and left on the page for one week to allow you to see the progression of the opportunities or warnings.)

Sector Rotation of S&P 500 Index:

  • XLB – Basic Materials solid break above the $45.87 resistance offering upside trade opportunity. Cleared $54.15 resistance and moved higher.
  • XLU – Utilities reversed the downtrend and heading higher. Tested back to the 200 DMA and watching how the sideways trend unfolds. Negative move on Friday.
  • IYZ – Telecom moved to the April highs and follows through to $29.50 resistance. Back to $27.63 support.
  • XLP – Consumer Staples offered short term trading opportunities as it trades in a range. Support at $57.20 level. Stop $56. $60.45 level to clear to continue the upside. Back to the 200 DMA.
  • XLI – Industrials broke higher from the consolidation pattern. Tested support at the $67.50 mark.
  • XLE – Energy moved above the $31.20 entry-level as the bottom was established. The uptrend remains in play with a gap higher was given back on the week and test the $38.80 support.
  • XLV – Healthcare moved above $88.50 level and offered upside opportunity. Letting it play out and adjusted our stops. Stuck in the trading range as money flow declines and attempted to break lower.
  • XLK – Technology cleared $82.37 resistance and offered upside trade. Remains the leadership for the broader index currently and broke higher from the topping pattern and adjusting the stop. Key leadership coming from IGV and SOCL currently.
  • XLF – Financials broke higher showing some solid upside momentum the last two weeks. That ended as sold back to support at the $23.50 level… watching. Fell to key support.
  • XLY – Consumer Discretionary broke from the trading range and established a solid uptrend. Approaching the February highs and stalled. Watching the outcome.
  • IYR – REITs broke lower below $71.30 support and bounced… Solid upside the last two weeks as the laggard gains momentum. Moved back to support at the $78.83 mark.

The trends are resumed on the upside with some consolidation patterns building this week. Watching how this unfolds moving forward as investor confidence seems to be shaken on news. We have positions based on our defined strategies and managing the risk accordingly. Using the six-month charts as an indicator for the short term view… Eight sectors are in confirmed uptrends. Three are consolidation patterns, and none are in downtrends. The result for SPY is in an uptrend short term with a consolidation bias for the week. The leadership is seeing some rotation as questions get answers on the charts.

(The notes above are posted Weekly based on the activity of the previous weeks trading. The BOLD/ITALIC comments are current day changes worth noting.)


Tuesday: Nine of the eleven sectors are in confirmed consolidation patterns. That means the markets are moving higher on two sectors and the mega-cap stocks. That is not a good sign relative to the current risk levels. We will watch and take what the markets offer, but we also have to be diligent to manage our stops and the relative risk.

Monday: The NASDAQ hits new highs and other indices move sideways. There are key leaders and they continue to lead while other sectors and stocks struggle to hold their ground. Watching and managing the risk in areas where it is warranted and letting the leaders run. The dollar is weaker, gold moved higher, and crude moved above $40. All part of the evolution of the markets currently.

Weekend Wrap & Outlook… The coronavirus leads the headlines with the record rise in new cases in six states. That put some caution in the markets overall as speculation of what the outcome will be for the economic picture. Add to that the Fed taking the lead to say it will weaken the second-half results for 2020 and prolong the recovery. All said it threw a wet blanket on the market along with some increased volatility on Friday. China-US trade tensions all but disappeared from the headlines this week, but that issue is far from dead. The NASDAQ’s pushed back towards the record highs giving up the gains on Friday… but, still showed positive movement. There are so many questions left unanswered for the simple reason it will take time to know… thus, investors are focused on putting money to work on the fear of missing out (FOMO) versus the risk that is present in the markets currently. The Fed remains fully engaged in the recovery process as it continues to put liquidity into the financial system, buying debt, and providing stimulus. We are not through the worst of it as the reopening process is slowly progressing and the rise in the number of reported cases is weighing on the markets. The VIX index moved back to 35.1 after testing the support levels earlier in the week. We continue to see short term opportunities and put some money to work over the last few weeks as money rotates. Our job remains to manage the risk accordingly. The rotation is showing up on the charts with fast money looking for opportunities. Five sectors posted a loss for the week and six were higher. Gold continued to bounce moving back to the top of the trading range. Crude oil posted solid gains as it approached the $40 level per barrel. The focus is starting to turn to the future outlook for growth and how long it will take to see a recovery. Many analysts are now saying the fourth quarter… I say that is a bit optimistic. The goal remains to manage money not the markets or the pundits in the media. Let the future unfold and manage the risk that is. Track the data. Know where the markets stand relative to the facts. Money rotates to where it will be treated the best. Remember fear and speculation create opportunities. Watch the trend, know which side the Fed is on (they keep telling you almost daily), and ultimately the data will establish the longer-term trend. We remain focused on what is working and what is failing. Therein lies the opportunities. Manage your risk accordingly and let this unfold… one day at a time.

Disciplined entry and exit points allow you to manage your risk in up or downtrends. Investing and trading is a matter of a defined strategy implemented with discipline. It is not magic. It is not being a prophet. It is about following your strategy one day at a time.

“Vision without action is a daydream… Action without vision is a nightmare.” Japanese proverb

The goal of these notes is to allow you, the investor, to learn how to see the market development as the progression through the sector develop based on news, speculation, and data. Data drives long-term results and develops trends… speculation and news are short-term drivers and offer higher risk trading opportunities. Through the use of both technical and fundamental data, we can have greater confidence in our trading strategies with a disciplined approach to investing and managing the risk of our money.