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Market Commentary

February 19, 2020
 
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Stocks were mixed but mostly lower on Tuesday as the Apple's warning sent the Dow reeling, but it did close well off the lows.  The Nasdaq managed to close in positive territory while our small caps and the Transports were flat.  The S&P 500 was down, as was the I-fund, which has been beaten down by that continued strength in the dollar.

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Tech stocks did very well without Apple, and that's why the Nasdaq held up, and even Apple closed well off the lows.  Companies that are not as impacted by China like Amazon, Netflix, Tesla, and Microsoft are getting rewarded.  Apple is such a big part of the Dow, and that is why it lagged the other indices.

The charts of the major indices all look very good.  I just wish we weren't getting mixed signals from other charts that indicate that something may be wrong.  Gold, one of the safety trades, is making 7 year highs.  And that's while the dollar is soaring.

           


And bond yields are diving again nearing all time lows.  Over the last several months you can see that stocks tend to dip along with yields (while bond prices move higher), but not during this recent rally.  Stocks and bonds (prices) are both near all time highs for some reason.  Yesterday we saw both stocks and bond yields fall (bond prices rally), which makes more sense than what we saw in the first half of February.

         


There are a few indicators that also have my attention.  Plus the coronavirus is starting to show some impact as we saw Apple fall on a related warning.  So, if stocks keep going higher it's easy to say the index charts look good and they have the momentum.  But if stocks start tumbling, we can't say we haven't been warned.

Oil and copper were both up slightly on the day, which isn't a small thing given the strength in the dollar, but they are both still below their 20-day EMA's and imminent resistance levels.

         


The Chinese Shanghai blasted through the resistance area that we've been watching, so this is not longer a concern.  I figured U.S. stocks might rollover if the Shanghai Index could not recapture that 200-day EMA, but it did yesterday.

          

 



The S&P 500 (C-fund) made a 2nd lower high in two days, and a lower low this time on the daily chart compared to Friday, but like we saw earlier in the month, that makes a mini bull flag.  The last one broke out to the upside so we have a little short-term test on our hands.  It is backing off from what looks like the obvious rising trading channel (red).  There were a couple of small breaks from that channel but they were quickly corrected.

         


The DWCPF (S-fund) small caps managed to close with a miniscule gain but you can see that there is resistance in the area making any further gains somewhat tougher, although the resistance is rising and there is short term support rising below it.

       


The Transportation Index also snuck in a small gain but it remained below the 50-day EMA after a failed morning breakout above it.  It looks like a big bear flag to me.

        


The EFA (I-fund) was down sharply, and again the rally in the dollar was part of the reason.  This time it fell back below the 50-day EMA after trading for nine days above it since the January sell-off.

        


The AGG (bonds / F-fund) rallied to, and closed at, new highs although it did close off the intraday highs making a possible reversal type pattern.  The breakout in bonds should have given the stock market something to worry about, but not so much for some of the indices.  But if bond yields keep falling and this breakout is for real, I'd have to think stocks will waiver.  

       


Read more in today's TSP Talk Plus Report.  We post more charts, indicators and analysis, plus discuss the allocations of the TSP and ETF Systems.  For more information on how to gain access and a list of the benefits of being a subscriber, please go to: www.tsptalk.com/plus.php

Thanks for reading.  We'll see you back here tomorrow.

Tom Crowley


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