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Market Commentary

October 21, 2020
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TSP Talk - Thrift Savings Plan Talk
 Today's Commentary         (Not seeing a current commentary?)

A 113-point gain the Dow and +16 on the S&P 500 is nothing to sneeze at, but put in context, it wasn't that great of a day for stocks.  It was another volatile day on Wall Street with bulls giving up another big early gain.  The S&P was up about 50-points at the high so it lost 1% from the early afternoon high into the close.  It's starting to get repetitious.  Small caps lagged and bonds were down.

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The action has been less than stellar as every impressive move by the bulls over the last week, has been quickly thwarted by the bears, who seem to be getting emboldened.  The midday rally yesterday was triggered by another stimulus statement out of Washington, this time from Speaker Pelosi, who said she was optimistic about a deal being made before the end of the day.  But, no deal yet, so the game continues.

Stepping away from the noise, the charts are still telling us a possible bullish story here if the trend can continue, and it's the charts of the dollar and the S&P that are telling it.  So far the head and shoulders (H&S) on the dollar (UUP) and the inverted head and shoulders (inv. H&S) on the S&P 500 are holding and doing what they are supposed to be doing.  That doesn't mean it has to stay that way, but so far it looks like a text book breakout on the S&P 500 (lower chart) with a retest of the neckline, which has held so far.


While the dollar (upper chart) is now just coming down and testing that neckline again.  H&S patterns tend to breakdown, while inv. H&S patterns tend to break to the upside. 

So the setup is there for good things to happen, and with the market so focused on stimulus, is it telling us that the deal will be made, which will hurt the dollar, and likely send stocks higher, as the charts would suggest?  Or is the rug about to be pulled out from under the market?  These correlations can turn on us just when we think they're foolproof.

Internally, advancing volume on the NYSE was almost triple that of declining volume - maybe closer to 2.5 to 1.  There were 71 new highs on the NYSE, and 12 new lows.

After the bell, Netflix, Texas Instruments, and Snap were the headline earnings reports yesterday.  Texas Instruments (TI) was rallying on a good report but Netflix disappointed and was down sharply.  Snap was up big and making news, but I'm not sure how important they are to the rest of the market.

With TI being a semiconductor stock, the tech stocks may like this report, but Netflix is obviously a big name in the tech sector.  The problem with using Netflix as a barometer is that it is more of a "stay home" economy stock meaning it does better when folks are staying home and not out spending.

The S&P 500 (C-fund) was higher yesterday but you can see yet another negative reversal day on the chart.  That's 5 in the last 6 trading days.  The inverted head and shoulder pattern is still intact, but so far the bulls haven't been overly interested in buying this normally bullish set up.  It's not too late, but they may be running out of time, and room with support just below.


I will leave this up while this inverted H&S pattern continues to play out.


The DWCPF (S-fund) was down lightly on the day after the weak close, and relinquishing a solid earlier gain.  Same story.  Different day.  There is still a case to be made for a bull flag forming here.


The Dow Transportation Index has now made or matched the all-time highs in 5 straight trading sessions, but it just can't seem to get past that area, which is getting suspicious.  Like the small caps, that could be a bullish flag forming, so while flat tops tend to be negative, the bulls still have an out.


These late swings in the U.S. indices are making it tough on the TSP to come up with a share price for the I-fund with the overseas markets closing well before these sell-offs in U.S. stocks.  The EFA was up 0.50%, and you can see above what the TSP did give it that gain gain so, good job?


The VIX is starting to perk up again, and here it is at the top of the 6-week trading range.


BND (F-fund) sank to the bottom of its trading range yesterday, so the whole market seems to be on hold while the stimulus negotiations play out, and the election nears.


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

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

Tom Crowley

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Chart provided courtesy of www.sentimentrader.com
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