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TheStreet Open House

Will Stocks Top Out on May Day?

Stocks in this article: XLUIYTDIASPYTWMQQQ

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The first day of May is termed May Day as a celebration of spring. This year the market is celebrating the spring to another all-time high for the S&P 500 set at 1597.57 yesterday. The first business days of May in 2011 and 2012 were "mayday" alerts as the S&P 500 set tradable tops two years in a row on this day.

We begin May 2013 without a confirmed market high and with the other major averages below all-time highs. The Russell 2000 set its all time high at 954.00 on March 15. The Dow Industrial Average set its all-time high at 14,887.51 on April 11. Dow transports set its all-time high at 6291.65 on March 19.

While I cannot make a prediction that today is a market top, I would not rule it out as history tends to repeat.

What we know today is that the Dow utility average has become the leading index with a four month gain of 18.6% by setting new multi-year highs almost daily since taking out its Aug. 1 high at 499.82 on March 25. Since then utilities have gained 7.6% to the April 30 high at 537.86 vs. its all-time high of 555.71 set in January 2008.

The utility sector is 11.7% overvalued but among the 211 stocks in the sector 62 stocks are rated strong buy and another 127 are rated buy. On April 2 I wrote Dow Utilities Outperform S&P 500 in First Quarter show that 14 of 15 stocks in this index were rated buy, and that one way to play the sector was investing in the Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLU) ($41.43), up about 6.0% since that post. Monthly and semiannual value levels are $39.09 and $36.48 with quarterly and annual pivots at $40.27 and $40.52 with this week's risky level at $41.60.


The transportation sector is 14.9% overvalued and among the 177 stocks in this sector 89 are rated sell and another 48 are rated strong sell. With 77.4% of the stocks in the sector rated sell I continue to rate this sector "avoid-source of funds." Since setting its all time high at 6291.65 on March 19 the Dow transportation average is down 1.8%, but ended April up 16.4% year to date.

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