Stocks start the week higher

After a tough week, stocks headed higher on Monday erasing some of the pain from last week. We can go with the fact that stocks entered an oversold level last week with a 10% downside move from the July highs. Megacap stocks did well on the day helping boost the NASDAQ 100 and the Dow. Banks, transports, and telecom set the tone for the day. Semiconductors, however, were negative on the day falling 1.3% showing continued weakness in the technology sector. The 10-year treasury closed at 4.87% up slightly for the day. The big talk was about the Dow pushing higher and setting the pace as GS, NKE, and VZ led the day. The SP500 index climbed back above the 4150 level on the day after breaking support last week. The talking heads have all jumped on the correction language for the markets, but that was quieted on Monday, at least for the day. The third leg lower from the July highs is definitely in play as volume remains above average on the selling, if this is to change course we will need to see a follow-through to the buying on Monday. The volatility index dipped lower as markets bounced. Overall positive day for stocks as buyers stepped in. Watching how the last day of the month trades and letting it unfold.

Monday stocks opened higher and managed to hold on to most of the gains by the close. The megacaps and some of the laggars led the day. Telecom, transports, financials, and consumer staples led the day. Earnings have been good and bad turning the market into a stock picker market. We start the FOMC meeting on Tuesday. The complexity of the outlook for global economics, domestic economics, and uncertainty are alive and well. The major indexes bounced on the day, but we are far from being out of the woods. The S&P 500 index closed up 1.2%. The NASDAQ was up 1.1%. The SOXX was down 1.3%. Small Caps (Russell 2000) were up 0.5%. The ten-year treasury yield was 4.87% up 3 bps for the day. Crude (USO) was down 2.9%. (UGA) was down 3.2%. Natural gas (UNG) was down 3.4%. The dollar was down 0.4%. We are focused on managing the risk in the current environment.

Charts to Watch: See Notes on “Reality of the Markets” & “Jim’s Beliefs About the Market” pages…

Quote of the Day: “I always cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.” — W.C. Fields

Additional Charts To Watch

KBE/KRE – The banking sector is being challenged by higher rates. Despite the solid earnings from the sector the overhang of rates pushed both the money center banks and the regional banks below the October lows and renewed the concerns over balance sheets. SEF offered an entry signal on the development… watching how this storyline unfolds near term. Entry $13.35. Stop$13.11. Bear flag on the chart and watching near term.

Sector Rotation And The S&P 500 Index

The S&P 500 index closed down 49 points to 4166 moving the index up 1.2% with above-average volume on the day. The index moved back above the 4150 support and looking for a follow-through. Eleven of the eleven sectors closed higher on the day with telecom as the leader up 2%. The worst performer of the day was energy up 0.3%. The VIX index closed at 19.7 moving lower on the day. Plenty to ponder between the headlines and facts. The index is in position to bounce or resume the downtrend.

XLB – Basic Materials broke support at the $77 level. Bear flag pattern brings the $67 level into play on the downside. The sector was down 0.4% for the week. No Positions. Bear flag watching.

XLU – Utilities found support at the $56 level… bounced and faced some resistance at the $59.50 level. No follow-through upside. The sector was up 1.2% for the week. Entry point if breaks above resistance.

IYZ – Telecom reversed lower again and broke support at the $20.50 level. Remains in a downtrend and testing the previous low. The sector was down 4.1% for the week. No Positions. Bounced off the lows.

XLP – Consumer Staples Remains in a downtrend with a bear flag pattern on the chart. The sector was down 1% for the week. No Positions.

XLI – Industrials downtrend remains in play and back to the support at $96. The sector was down 2.2% for the week. No Positions. Small bounce.

XLV – Healthcare downtrend in play with Mach lows current support. Action on Friday clearly shows negative momentum in play. The sector was down 3.8% for the week. No Positions. Doji bounce.

XLE – Energy moved all the way back to $84.33 support. Earnings were the downside catalyst. The sector was down 6.2% for the week. Small bouce at support.

XLK – Technology The sector renewed the downtrend and remains challenged by the economic picture. The sector was down 1.7% for the week. No Positions. Follow through to Friday.

XLF – Financials The move higher in interest rates impacts the sector on the downside. The sector was down 2.3% for the week. Broke support at $32.26 and offered entry on the short side trade. SEF entry $13.13. Bounced on Monday.

XLY – Consumer Discretionary broke from the consolidation pattern renewing the downtrend and closing below the 200-day MA with $147.11 as next support. The sector was down 1.3% for the week. No Positions. Bottoming pattern.

IYR – REITs trying to hold support at the $73.80 level with worries rising with higher interest rates the downside talk focused on defaults rising in commercial real estate. The sector was down 1.5% for the week. No Positions. Bottoming pattern.

Summary: The index remains challenged by too many issues in too many places. The move on Monday curbs the downside leg. Watching how this unfolds. On the positive side, economic data was better and interest rates were steady. The break below 4150 bounced back. Patience is key. 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.)

Key Indicators/Sectors & Leaders To Watch

The NASDAQ index closed up 146 points to 12,789 as the index was up 1.16% for the day. The index opened higher and managed to bounce at the open and hold the gains. 12,977 level broken (see chart below). The downtrend from the July highs is still in play. The break of the current support opens the way to 12,246 and watching the bounce from Monday.

NASDAQ 100 (QQQ) was up 1.13% for the day as the megacaps were positive on money flow. The sector moved back above the $347.55 level of support. The sector had a positive bias for the day with 76 of the 100 stocks closing in positive territory for the day. Intraday volatility remains in play.

Semiconductors (SOXX) The sector moved below the $447 support… INTC helped but still lagging. The sector was down 2.8% for the week. SOXS entry $12.55. Stop $12.55. Negative territory on Monday.

Software (IGV) The sector moved below the $336 support. The break lower could get ugly technically. The sector was down 2.8% for the week. Short side setup. Bounced… watching.

Biotech (IBB) The sector remains in a downtrend and broke support at the $115 level. The sector was down 4% for the week. LABD in play. Entry $24. Stop $27. Bounced… oversold.

Small-Cap Index (IWM) Moved to $162 support and added to the downside. The sector was down 2.5% for the week. No Position. TZA in play. Held support.

Transports (IYT) downtrend remains in play with a break of April lows. Gasoline prices and shipping weighing on the sector. The sector was down 6.3% for the week. No positions. Short side in play. Big bounce-off lows on Monday.

The Dollar (UUP) The dollar is showing a bull flag on the chart as it consolidates near the highs. The dollar was up 0.4% for the week. No Positions. Topping pattern.

Treasury Yield 10-Year Bond (TNX) The yield closed the week at 4.84% down from 4.92% last week. TLT was up 1.3% for the week. Watching how the Fed manages the yield curve. No Positions. FOMC meeting on tap. Topping pattern.

Crude oil (USO) Crude sold lower on worries about consumption. An increase in supply for the week was a concern and crude moved back near $85 a barrel. USO was down 2.9% for the week. Up and down activity all week. More downside on Monday.

Gold (GLD) The commodity accelerated higher to end the week on all the geopolitics in play. The metal was up 1.3% for the week. Added positions at $172. Stop $182. Managing the risk. Tested Monday.


Our longer-term view to downside bias as the upside trend from the October lows was broken and fell 10% from the July highs. The short-term downtrend from the July highs is where our attention resides. If the longer-term trend is to resume the short-term downtrend needs to reverse… soon. With the short-term trend down and the third leg in play, we have raised cash on our longer-term positions. Nothing, as we all know, 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 plenty of volatility along the way. With the trend broken, it puts the broad indexes in an intermediate downtrend… the last eleven weeks’ short-term trend has offered downside trades. The current bounce off the lows is being challenged by uncertainty in the economy and geopolitics ramping up. Current activity raises questions relative to direction and growth. We look to charts and fundamentals for some answers. 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.

Monday: Indexes bounced to start the week. This will raise questions as we move to the FOMC meeting on Wednesday. The short side is in play with the third leg lower in play. Watching how the bounce unfolds… maybe a relief bounce to balance the selling? There is no lack of issues on the table with each taking their respective turn in the spotlight. There is a lack of leadership except on the downside. Economic data is confirming the ugly outlook. I would expect the data to remain negative with the only real caveat being how negative it will be. We have put money to work short term based on the technical moves and we continue to manage risk and take what the markets give. Remember all upside moves at this point are relief rallies and we will treat them as such until they validate otherwise. FOMC meeting will be in play next two days.

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.

Explore the following links for new pages that dig into data both In & Outside the markets. Jim’s insights highlight potential opportunities emerging from the current market environment. The pages also discuss the Reality of closed opportunities, whether they proved profitable or fell short of our expectations.

Hot Topics

Jim's Notes latest update directly to your inbox!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Scroll to Top