US Stocks Bullish Run Fueled By Optimism Over Real Data
Since the election results in November US soft data (survey / optimism data) has deviated from hard data (actual US economic data). More importantly since December hard data has been falling as the economic news has deteriorated. Whilst soft data has continued to shoot higher along with a very bullish stock market.
The Russell 2000 Index (Small Cap's) review shown below will show a very strong bullish uptrend. This pattern is quite similar to the 3 main stock indices DOW, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq. This highlights that the recent market surge in US stocks is more a function of market euphoria and optimism rather than actual improving economic activity and growth within the US economy.
Russell 2000 - RUT (Small Cap's) Chart Review
The Russell 2000 (RUT) has been in an uptrend for several years now as seen in the chart below. After a 3 year consolidation pattern of mostly sideways action between December 2013 - October 2016. The RUT index broke out of resistance of 1252 in November last year after the US election result win of Donald Trump, as all indices moved higher.
Currently the RUT has established a new uptrend within its larger long term uptrend shown with the blue line on the chart below. This uptrend started after the index gave a false signal when it closed below support of 1100 back in January 2016. After hitting the lows one month later the index has been steadily climbing.
Momentum Stalling - Consolidation Or Pullback Ahead
Since the RUT has had a strong 13 month rally in prices, the momentum indicators shown in the monthly chart are indicating exhaustion of the current rally.
I have circled both the momentum and Stochastic indicator to show that both are indicating a reversal of the strength in the market. Momentum indicator is still high however has pulled back to 2.80. The stochastic currently is sitting at a bearish cross as the blue line has crossed below the red. The last time the Stochastic had a bearish cross in July 2015 (circled on chart price action) the RUT index experienced a correction in prices for the next few months.
Since its only early March, it would be appropriate to wait for confirmation at the end of the month. If the momentum indicator is confirmed we could see the price action retrace back to the current uptrend shown in the chart at around 1315 - 1320 price range.
Since the bullish rally is quite strong its unlikely we will see a retracement back to support of 1252 - 53 level. Keep this target in mind though if we experience volatility in prices in March. Especially since the FED is likely to raise interest rates by 0.25% this month.
The weekly chart is showing a similar pattern to the monthly chart with the strong rally in prices since late November. Currently the price action is at or near the upper band of the uptrend channel shown in the chart below.
RUT experienced a strong burst in price around 5 -6 weeks ago as it made a new record high above 1400. Since then the price has been consolidating as it has struggled twice to climb back above the 1400 resistance level, with 2 weekly rejection patterns shown on chart as the price failed to stay above 1400.
Weekly momentum indicator is showing more weakness compared to the monthly momentum as it has made lower lows as it now sitting at 0.06 after reaching a high of 1.88 a number of weeks ago. This indicates the strength in the market that was present as the price made new record highs has disappeared. This explains the hesitation of the index to move higher.
The weekly stochastic indicator is also indicating exhaustion of the current rally and a consolidation or minor retracement in price is likely in the coming weeks.
The weekly chart pattern is confirming the monthly price action as the recent bullish run is running out of steam at least in the short term for now. Most likely the price action will move towards the lower uptrend channel band around 1300 - 1305 level. Based on the current bullish optimism its unlikely the price action will move towards support of 1282 - 84 level.
For confirmation of the retracement in price on the weekly chart, look for a weekly close below the 10 week moving average line which is currently at 1377 level.
The daily chart price action as of last Friday's close on the 3rd of March is sitting just above its support level at 1,394. After breaking out approximately 2 weeks above the 1388 level the price action has been moving sideways and above its previous resistance level which is a bullish indication.
Contradicting the price action above the 1,388 level is that both Momentum indicators are showing a loss of strength in the market. Momentum has recently moved negative to -0.02 and the stochastic has also had a bearish cross a number of trading days ago. This means in the short term its likely we will see the RUT index close back below the 1,388 level.
If the index does close below 1,388 level, pay attention that the index stays within the previous sideways range between 1345 - 1,388. If the RUT index falls below 1,345 support level over the next 1 - 3 weeks the next target of support is 1,313.
Based on the strong bullish run of the RUT index and the major US stock indices, its unlikely we will see a retracement / fall in prices greater than 10% over the short to medium term time frame. However the FED will be meeting on the 14th & 15th of March to decide whether interest rates are rising in March. The decision will be made on the 15th. Based on prior announcements of a rate rise the market may experience with 1 - 3 days of the announcement a lot more volatility. If this was to occur we could see a mini panic of selling as the market digests the news. Therefore the wildcard this month is the FED announcement in the middle of the month that you should be weary of.
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Stocks Bullishness At Record Highs While The US Economy Is Approaching Recession
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Disclaimer: This post is for educational purposes only, and all the information contained within this post is not to be considered as advice or a recommendation of any kind. If you require advice or assistance please seek a licensed professional who can provide these services.
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I am a private trader and equities investor that loves the trading and investing world, following the markets and everything in between.