I'd been waiting all week. I couldn't believe our friends at
would disappoint us that way; they were not advertising a
10,000 party. I became concerned they would not jump on the bullish bandwagon. Heck, if those folks are not going to hype up the race to Dow 10,000, then who would?
When the Dow surpassed 9000, they had a party. I sorta remember they began advertising the event well in advance. Would they miss an opportunity to have another party? It just didn't seem possible.
But then I saw it. Thursday. As soon as the Dow began pushing higher, a funny new box appeared on the upper right side of the screen: the number of points to go to Dow 10,000. For a few minutes, it felt like I was watching
countdown on New Year's Eve.
But then the box disappeared. Dick Clark can't stop that ball from falling since time just doesn't stand still. But the market? It can stop anywhere it wants to, and on Thursday, it did.
The Dow stopped just shy of that 10,000 mark. Is that significant? No, I don't think so. What I believe is significant is that this market is showing signs of narrowness on the upside.
The momentum indicators continue to say "onward and upward." We are still not yet overbought. The new highs and new lows on a 10-day moving average are heading higher, as is the
McClellan Summation Index
. That means this market still has a shot at expanding its breadth for a while longer. But I can't help wondering why it hasn't done so by now.
For example, there really is no excuse that the number of stocks making new highs is still under 100. There are over 3,000 stocks on the
and less than 3% of them are making new highs! That does not sound healthy to me.
Some people might argue that since the laggards are now the stocks on the move, the number of new highs does not matter. I would argue that just because one group gets going, it doesn't mean the others should fall back. In a true bull move, the rising tide carries all ships -- not just the oil tankers.
I'm also worried about the
Dow Jones Transportation Average
. Sure, it makes sense that if the price of oil rallies, the airlines will not do well. But Thursday's market saw oil reverse -- along with the stocks -- in the middle of the day, and yet the airlines not only stayed down, they fell even further. That sort of action worries me.
Something else that worries me is the
. Did you happen to notice that it was down on the day? And it shouldn't take a serious technician to see the potential head-and-shoulders top in that chart. If that chart breaks down, the advance/decline line will go with it, and with that, all hopes of a sustainable move above Dow 10,000.
A discussion of individual stocks would not be complete without a closer look at the oil and oil-service stocks. Much has been made over the big rally in these names this week. As for the big oils: Nice rally, but where did it go? Right back into resistance, and as soon as those stocks reached resistance, they stopped and reversed course.
all closed about 2 points off their highs. And do they have bases they've built from which to launch this great rally? Nope. Not with my money.
The oil-service stocks have a much different look than the big oils, but they still have the same problem discussed here about a month ago. Until these stocks can rally to higher highs, they will not be going anywhere.
have not surpassed their November highs and turned down rather easily from those levels on Thursday.
managed to eke out a new high by 1/8 or so, but also turned back on Thursday. There is no need to be negative on these stocks since they appear to be in the process of building bases. If they manage to hold at higher lows this time on the downside, I may even recommend them, because that would be a sign of strength. However, right here and now, I'd rather not spend my money too quickly. Let those bases develop.
The financials are still okay but desperately need a rest. Don't chase 'em. On a dip
should look OK.
Some of the drugs are acting much better, too.
finally broke out of its consolidation. So did
Johnson & Johnson
is also fine.
may finally want to break out from its consolidation as well.
Elsewhere, I thought the action in
was great on that recommendation. Huge volume in a stock that's gone nowhere for months is a positive.
has had a great run and really needs a breather before going up again.
On the negative side,
still does not trade well.
doesn't rally with the rest of its group and has now broken an up-trend line. And watch
for a break below 52; it does not trade well.
Since the trend is your friend and for now the trend is up, I will continue to give this market a chance to improve its health. But that doesn't stop me from worrying about all the indicators that are not in gear with the rise to Dow 10,000. It's almost as though the market showed up for the 10K race and left its running shoes at home.
Helene Meisler, based in Singapore, writes a technical analysis column on the U.S. equity markets on Tuesdays and Fridays, and updates her charts daily on TheStreet.com. Meisler trained at several Wall Street firms, including Goldman Sachs and Cowen, and has worked with the equity trading department at Cargill. At time of publication, she held no positions in the stocks 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 at