Bank earnings lead markets higher

The market moved higher again on Tuesday as stocks continue their impressive bounce from the March lows. Running a quick scan of the leaders, banks were impressive on the day as earnings in the sector continue to beat expectations. KBE was up 3.5% led by MS gaining more than 6% on the day. Economic data was soft again with the Retail Sales up just 0.2% versus 0.5% previous. Industrial production was -0.5% and capacity utilization dropped to 78.5% from 79.4%. None of the data was positive, but stocks found a way to move higher. Optimism springs eternal with bank earnings. Not that the Fed giving out billions in “loans” through the BTFP program did its job propping up the system to survive. Stimulus of a different kind has the markets benefitting. No lending happening so where does this money go? Yep, the markets. That said, the uptrend continues and we continue to follow it. The bias remains with the mega-cap Vanguard Growth ETF (MGK) ending up 0.8% and QQQ was up 0.8%. All said it was a positive day overall with MSFT jumping 4% on AI pricing. DIA was up more than 1% on the day confirming the break above resistance. We adjust our stops and watch how it all unfolds. The next focus on the agenda is earnings and the FOMC meeting in a week. Earnings data will continue to build momentum as investors will watch for growth and an outlook for more growth. Housing starts and building permits are the only economic data out on Wednesday.

The markets started sluggish but closed higher with a steady climb. Technology and financials led for the second day. Eight of the eleven sectors closed in the green. Earnings are doing their part thus far as investors continue to put money to work. Volume was above average on the day. Scanning the ETFs we some interesting moves higher in XLF, KBE, GDX, CORN, TNA, IAI and RETL. The S&P 500 index closed up 0.7%. The NASDAQ was up 0.7%. The SOXX was up 0.2.%. Small Caps (Russell 2000) were up 1.2%. The ten-year treasury yield closed at 3.78% down 1 bps. Crude (USO) was up 2%. (UGA) was up 2.2%. Natural gas (UNG) was 3.4%. The dollar was up 0.1%. We are focused on managing the risk and seeing how investors respond to the optimism relative to the outlook.

ONE Chart to Watch: QQQ – 1) Moved back above the $366.14 mark and closed at new highs. 2) Short-term trend is UP… starting from the January low. 3) Broke higher from the consolidation pattern. 4) TQQQ $39.55 Entry. Stop $42.55 adjusted. Reentered position.

Additional Charts to Watch:

SPY – Moved above the June highs and resumed the uptrend. Manage your stops accordingly. $457.60 target on the current move.

IWM – struggled and reversed off support with solid follow-through on the upside clearing the $189 level. TNA entry $36.31. Resumed upside.

SOXX – moved back above the $497.61 level and above the June highs. Established a higher lower and followed through. Entry $497.60. Target $550. Rested on Tuesday.

USO – broke above the top of the range with upside pressure coming from the supply data. Hit the entry point on Friday at $65. Stop $66.23 (adjusted). $66.23 support in play with downside pressure from China. Solid upside on Tuesday.

IYT transports tested back to the $247.67 level bounced and moved to new highs. Watching the Wednesday high to low day… warning or some profit taking? Yes, resumed uptrend on Tuesday.

DIA reversed the swing trade upside and tested back to the $337.10 support… added a position $339.35. Stop $337.10. Solid gains for the week thus far. Struggled to clear $345 resistance but posted solid move on Tuesday.

Gold (GLD/GDX) bottoming pattern in play. Watching the dollar in freefall on Wednesday. $179.60 level to clear. UGL leveraged ETF. GDX – will trade higher if gold moves up. Entry UGL $58.80. Entry GDX $30.90. Solid move higher on Tuesday.

ON TAP TODAY: 1) Commodities making move higher. 2) Earnings. 3) DBA, CORN, SOYB, WEAT grain issues in Ukraine/Russia conflict 4) Biotech breakout? LABU. 5) YANG higher on economic data.

Previous Charts of Interest – Still in Play: AAPL (reversal confirmed). Added 5/7. Holding. AMZN (bottom reversal) Added 5/7. MSFT (break from flag pattern). Added 5/18. NFLX (test to $350 and bounce?). Added 5/24. HON (trading range breakout). Added 6/13. TQQQ (reversal) Added 6/27. DIA (technical entry) Added 6/29.

Stops Hit: None

Quote of the Day: “Weather forecast for tonight: dark.” – George Carlin.

The S&P 500 index closed up 32 points to 4554 the index was up 0.71% with above-average volume on the day. The index held the move above the 4400 level. 4585 next resistance level to watch. Eight of the eleven sectors closed higher on the day with telecom as the leader up 1.3%. The worst performer of the day was utilities down 0.7%. The VIX index closed at 13.3 and remains at the previous lows. The uptrend from the October low remains in play.

Point of Interest: The S&P 500 index’s top 2 holdings of AAPL and MSFT now account for 14.4% of the overall weighting of the index. That is the highest combination in the history of the index. The previous high was IBM & T at 10.9%. Something to think about in trading SPY. The top 5 stocks make up 24.1%… starting to invalidate the index as a benchmark for the broad markets.

Sector Rotation and the S&P 500 Index:

XLB – Basic Materials solid week as the chart clears $81.75 resistance to move higher. The sector was up 2.5% for the week. No Positions.

LPX – flag pattern in uptrend. STLD – consolidation pattern.

XLU – Utilities Bottom bounce and a double bottom pattern… need to clear $67. The sector was up 2.2% for the week. No Positions.

IYZ – Telecom In a downtrend from the February highs, bounced at support and failed to move higher. Need to clear $22.30 resistance. The sector was down 2.6% for the week. No Position. Retesting previous lows and bounced.

XLP – Consumer Staples messy consolidation pattern in play and moved back to the 50-day MA. The sector was 1.1% for the week. No Positions.

XLI – Industrials The trend broke to the upside breaking above resistance at the $102.40 level. Tested the breakout and moved higher. The sector was up 2.2% for the week. XLI entry $102.40. Continued higher.

XLV – Healthcare Remains in a consolidation pattern from the March lows. Tough week as it traded lower in the pattern with a bounce on Friday. The sector was up 2.1% for the week. No Positions. Attempting to break higher.

XLE – Energy Bounced and cleared the $82.74 level only to reverse on Friday. The sector was up 0.8% for the week. No Positions. Struggles renewed on China data… still shows upside bias.

IEO – breaking higher as offshore interest rise. Patterns of interest SWN, WTI, ET

XLK – Technology The sector continued the move higher in an uptrend. The sector was up 2.8% for the week. XLK entry $151.53. Another day leading.

XLF – Financials holding above $33.35 support and in an uptrend from the March lows. The sector was up 1.9% for the week. KIE breaking above resistance. Entry $40.60. Stop $40.60. Watching earnings in the sector. SKF entry $17.85. Bounced back from selling on Friday.

XLY – Consumer Discretionary continued higher in the uptrend. The sector was up 3.2% for the week. Remains in a leadership role. XLY Entry $147.10. New 52-week highs.

IYR – REITs moved above the $85.50 resistance level with the target now $90.47. The sector was up 2.9% for the week. The negative influence of interest rates and reports of vacancies in commercial rentals are rising but money flow has increased to other areas of the sector. No Positions.

REITs on watch with interest rates rising above 4% and the latest round of mortgage data showing a 4.4% decline in applications. That is the first decline in four weeks. 30-year mortgage jumped to 6.85%. IYR and ITB are on watch relative to the downside. Watching the downside risk in commercial properties. Rolling top on the chart.

Summary: The index made a move to resume the uptrend and hit new highs. The next challenge is earning season begins and banks have been positive. Eight of the eleven sectors closed higher on the day as leaders flex muscles. Remains a sector-driven market with breadth building. The broad index remains in an uptrend from the October lows with some interim testing. Remember two things; first, the trend is your friend, and second, don’t fight the Fed.

(The notes above are posted at the end of each week based on activity from the previous week’s trading. The BOLD/ITALIC comments are the current-day changes worthy of note.)


The NASDAQ index closed up 108 points to 14,353 as the index was up 0.76% for the day. The index remains in the uptrend with new highs. Support is 13,762. Letting the upside surge play out near term. SOXX was up 0.2% on the day. IGV was up 0.9%. Taking what is offered in the current trend.

NASDAQ 100 (QQQ) was up 0.82% on the day. Moved back above the $366.14 support and the 10-day MA. The mega-caps remain extended from the May break higher and thus we manage the risk short term. The sector had a positive bias with 78 of the 100 stocks closing in positive territory for the day.

Special Rebalance – The NASDAQ exchange operator is set to rebalance the NASDAQ 100. An announcement will be made on July 14th with the change taking place on July 24th. Since we invest in QQQ regularly it will be news of interest relative to the asset’s future growth. Link to article.

Semiconductors (SOXX) The sector broke higher from the consolidation pattern. Established a higher low followed through in a continuation of the uptrend. The sector was up 4.8% for the week. Entry $511. Solid bounce and rest.

Software (IGV) Broke higher from the consolidation pattern on the chart. The sector remains above the $336 level of support. Added IGV $291. Stop $335.90 (adjusted). The sector was up 5.5% for the week. Uptrend remains in play. MSFT gapped higher on AI news.

Biotech (IBB) The sector tried to break above the $128.35 resistance level. The sector was up 3.1% for the week. No Positions. Moved above $128.35 resistance and followed through.

Small-Cap Index (IWM) Cleared the $189 resistance level to establish an uptrend. The sector was up 3.7% for the week. Entry TNA $36.31. Resumed upside move.

Transports (IYT) Made a break above the January highs and showed solid momentum as it tests near the highs. The sector was up 1.9% for the week. IYT Entry $231. Tested the extended move and resumed.

Worry: UPS is going on strike if they don’t get a new contract by July 31st. Supply chain disruption will be a challenge for the economic picture.

The Dollar (UUP) The dollar tanked for the week retesting the April lows. The dollar was down 2.1% for the week. More chatter about losing dollar status globally as BRIC nations establish gold-backed currency. No Positions.

Yellen says to expect a gradual decline in the dollar’s share of global reserves… amazing how between Obama and Biden the dollar has deteriorated.

Treasury Yield 10-Year Bond (TNX) The yield closed the week at 3.81% down from 4.05% last week. Big treasury action this week took rates lower… guess who was buying? You are right the Fed pushing rates lower to help banks. TLT was up 2.2% for the week.

Crude oil (USO) Broke higher from the consolidation pattern showing positive momentum based on supply data during the week. USO was up 2.4% for the week. UCO entry $24.15. Big test on Friday. China economic data weighing on the commodity… solid bounce on Tuesday.

Gold (GLD) The commodity broke higher from the base. Entry $179.36. UGL entry $59. GDX entry $31. Letting this unfold. The metal was up 1.5% for the week. Solid upside on Tuesday for metal and miners.

Questions to Ponder: Navigating Uncertainty

Banks passed their respective stress tests two weeks ago. The treasury yields fell 20 bps following a strong auction Monday… Fed was buying to help banks with lower interest rates. Bank earnings showed positive results… Everything is good… right? Dig into the earnings reports and you will see plenty of questions concerning the future as it relates to nonperforming loans, higher reserves, etc. KBE was up 2% in the premarket on Friday it closed down 2% after solid earnings… maybe we aren’t the only ones believing there could be problems on the horizon.


Our longer-term view is shifting to neutral as the upside trend from the October lows remains in play. Nothing goes straight down or up… there are always positive and negative swings in a longer-term trend. A look at the daily chart from the October lows validates exactly that premise with the trend higher overall but plenty of volatility along the way. With the trend higher it puts the broad indexes in intermediate uptrend… this is a positive overall for the broad markets. The higher low in the last leg of the trend has pushed stocks up more than 4% over the last weeks. Some profit-taking on Friday was expected, but the outlook now begs what’s ahead. Tightening our stops on intermediate and short-term positions. Trading the volatility has performed better than holding through the cycle. Sector-driven activity is in play short term with some testing at the highs. The uptrend resumes following the recent test it is the fifth stage of the move higher. News has been in the driver’s seat as we take positions that are technically moving and offering opportunities. The key remains, know where you are now, know what is happening now, and know what is on the horizon… act accordingly. The goal is to manage the risk of positions, take what is offered… short or long, and then manage your money. Listen to the market not the talking heads.

Tuesday: The markets continue to show positive momentum with the leaders resuming the upside momentum. Retail Sales data disappointed on Tuesday but bank earnings overcame the disappointment to lead the index higher. FOMC meeting on July 26th looms, and let’s not forget the sudo stimulus in the form of the Fed’s bank rescue funds… that money is making its way into the markets to offset underperforming assets on banks’ balance sheets from the low-interest rate environment as seen in the earnings data. Thus, the need to pass the stress test from the Fed… one hand washes another. Solid upside to start the week and managing the risk as the indexes move higher. Trading the trends in sectors showing strength and weakness… We see the overall trend is still up from the October lows. Watching where money is going near term for clues of what is on the horizon. Manage the risk that is and let the current trend play out.

What I am watching on Tuesday: 1) DIA cleared resistance $342.55 watching for momentum. 2) Dollar needs to bounce. 3) GLD, SLV, lagging… GLD broke higher as the dollar struggled. 4) Commodities reacting to the Russia/Ukraine issue for grain exports.

Decide what you’re doing before the market opens based on your beliefs. Entry. Exit. Target. Define the risk of the position. Nothing more… Nothing less.

“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 develops 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.

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