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S&P 500 Faces Do or Die Situation

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As Pat Benatar once sang: "It's a do or die situation. We will be invincible." In my judgment, the S&P 500 is not invincible but is vulnerable unless today's close is above my semiannual risky level at 1566.9 and the October 2007 intraday high at 1576.09.

This could be the market's do or die situation.

As the song goes, "What are we waiting for? Won't anybody help us? What are we waiting for?" By now QE3 and QE4 should have had the S&P 500 above the 1566.9/1576.09 barriers. If not today, then the overvalued fundamentals and the overbought technicals could take over to show the downside risk.

As a warning the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) tested its semiannual risky level at $156.59 on Thursday.

The stock market is operating under a reconfirmed Dow Theory Buy Signal with new closing highs for both Dow Industrials and Dow Transports set on Thursday at 14,539.14 and 6281.24 respectively. My concern about these series of signals is that the Dow 30 is underpinned by just 15 buy-rated stocks.

An even bigger warning comes from the underpinnings of the Dow Transportation Average, where there are no buy-rated stocks, eight hold-rated stocks, 11 sell-rated stocks and one strong sell-rated stock.

Here are the themes I focused on this week:

On March 11, I wrote Downgrading Two of Four 'Too Big to Fail' Banks, and investors and traders ignored this warning. Of the 24 bank stocks in the PHLX KBW Banking Index (BKX), only five have buy ratings and 19 have hold ratings. JPMorgan (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) were downgraded to hold from buy.

On Tuesday, FDIC Data Shows Stressed Community Banks I profiled 24 community banks that had overexposures to CRE loans in Q3 2012, and in Q4 2012, only one alleviated this condition. The ValuEngine source of data had one error that I am correcting today. Sterling Bank (STSA) incorrectly showed a "1-Engine" rating, when it should have had a "4-Engine" buy rating. STSA has gained 3.7% over the last twelve months. One data point from our third party vendor had a negative sign instead of a positive sign. We fixed the error and now five of the 24 community banks are rated buy, 19 are rated hold.
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