Market Whip-Around

Jul 15, 2020

Rather than writing a deep-dive on a particular topic today, I thought it might be worthwhile to briefly touch on a number of different things I’m seeing and thinking about.

Note that these won’t necessarily be tidy "Here’s the problem, and here’s the solution" type items — they’re more, "these are on my radar and maybe you should be thinking about them too" types of things.

Diving right in:

Broad Market update: The perception remains that the stock market is roaring higher, largely because the Nasdaq has been. But the reality is more nuanced. Evercore ISI strategist Dennis DeBusschere described the market recently as “violently flat.” That’s pretty apt, given that today the S&P index is making its third run at the June 8 highs. Said differently, the S&P 500 is still trading in mid-July at the same level it was in early-June, despite also experiencing some sharp moves since that time.

That said, I do see the current level as being pretty important. If the market (S&P 500 index) can move above that June 8 high of 3,232 and stay above it, that will signal the bullish trend is back intact. If it keeps getting rejected at that level — as it did pretty violently on Monday when the market rallied up to touch it before reversing sharply into significant declines for the day — it signals at least a short-term top and maybe a resumption of a downward trend. Today has looked like a less violent version of Monday so far, with the index running right up to that level and immediately falling back away again.

FAANG vs everything else: So much of this market advance has been driven by a very small group of stocks, which all cluster in the mega-cap tech space. You know them well — Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Google (Alphabet), Netflix, Tesla.

Blogger Ben Carlson captured this dynamic perfectly in a chart recently, so I’m going to use it to illustrate even though it’s a bit old at this point:

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Written by

Mark Biller

Mark Biller

Mark Biller is Sound Mind Investing's Executive Editor. His writings on a broad range of financial topics have been featured in a variety of national print and electronic media, and he has appeared as a financial commentator for various national and local radio programs. Mark also serves as Senior Portfolio Manager to SMI Advisory Service’s Private Client managed-account program and the SMI Funds.