This column was originally published on RealMoney on June 20 at 9:10 a.m. EDT.
Once again I will start off by reporting that the intermediate-term indicators are still pointing upward. There has been no change in that situation.
However, I did want to point out a few indicators that we ought to watch as we enter these last two weeks of the second quarter. Of course, some might call this fussing too much, but I've noticed that the folks at
can barely find a bear anymore for its bull/bear segment in the afternoon, so I thought it important to at least spend a little time on what is not "perfect" about this rally.
I continue to be concerned about volume. Yes, it increased on Friday. Some might scoff and say it was all expiration-related. And sure, I would agree, but because I do not like to rationalize an indicator, volume increased, and that is the good news. What is not good news is that upside volume as a percentage of total volume on the
continues to show a downward slant on the chart, and it was even lower than Thursday's was.
And for all of those folks who watch the advance/decline line, I'm sure you saw Friday had a good showing on breadth. There was a net differential of +815. On its own, that's a fine performance. But stacking it up against the readings we got all last week, it was not all that impressive.
On Thursday, the
was up 4 points and breadth's net differential was +1200. Friday the S&P gained plus 6 points and breadth was +815. In my book, Thursday's statistics were better. But OK, one day does not make a market. Last Tuesday, the S&P tacked on 3 points and breadth came in at +880. So Friday's 6-point up move on the S&P, with +815 on breadth, once again does not look so impressive, does it?
But now comes the real eye-opener for me. If we don't use the published numbers and instead we use the common stocks only on the NYSE, the breadth reading on Friday was +136. That compares to readings of +665 on Thursday and +587 Tuesday for that particular statistic.
numbers are leaning bullish at 52.7% bulls and 20.4% bears. The American Association of Individual Investors is also leaning bullish at 48% bulls and 19% bears, but neither is extreme yet. The NYSE Members Short Ratio has edged up to 53%, but readings closer to 55% are the ones that flash warning signs.
To sum it up, the intermediate-term indicators are still heading upward, but Friday's action was not as great as it initially appeared, so we need to be on alert to the fact that stocks were already acting tired on Friday and a short-term whack this week is more likely than not. The real question is, what would such a whack do to the intermediate-term indicators? I will continue to monitor these very closely and keep you posted.
For more explanation of these indicators, check out The Chartist's
Helene Meisler writes a technical analysis column on the U.S. equity markets and updates her charts daily. Meisler trained at several Wall Street firms, including Goldman Sachs and SG Cowen, and has worked with the equity trading department at Cargill. At time of publication, she held no positions in any securities mentioned in this column, although holdings can change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. She appreciates your feedback;
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