The Stock Market Holds the World on Its Shoulders

Michele Schneider

The news keeps on coming, folks.

Manafort, tariffs, hurricanes, and Kavanaugh are a few of the stories that sit atop the stock market’s strong shoulders.

These headlines brought out the doomsayers.

Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller said that he is not predicting a major calamity, but rather a much lower level of returns, in the 2.6 percent annual range.

David Tepper, hedge fund billionaire, stated that the bull market is in the late innings.

Yet, the stock market cares more about tax cuts, corporate buybacks and low unemployment numbers. Trump’s legacy for now.

On Thursday we called the market a whang-doodle, meaning the next direction is anybody’s call.

By the end of the week, even with the ominous headlines, Transportation (IYT) made another new all-time high.

Semiconductors (SMH) went back into an unconfirmed bullish phase.

The Russell 2000 (IWM) cleared the fast MA it struggled to rise above earlier in the week.

With the market kneeling on the bullish podium, just how much weight can it bear?

With close eyes on the US dollar (UUP) and interest rates, UUP rallied back into an unconfirmed bullish phase. The TLTs (20+Year T-Bonds), fell, hence rates rose.

That might be the first heavy body on the market’s shoulders.

How long can the market bear higher rates?

The price movement of the TLTs since the beginning of this year is more of consolidation than a full-blown breakdown.

A full breakdown will happen if TLTs break under 116.  That’s when cheap money gets substantially more expensive.

The strong US dollar helps Americans, but hurts exported goods, emerging markets and commodity prices.

Standing atop the dollar and the rising rates is what Shiller referred to.

With corporate profits rising, thanks to the tax cuts, Shiller is looking at longer-term market valuation relative to future price to the earnings ratio (Shiller CAPE). That relationship is frothy.

Warren Buffett looks at market valuation through what is called the Buffett Indicator. Basically, he divides the total market cap of all US stocks by the current GDP.

Right now, the indicator is at all-time highs. This is not necessarily a sell-signal. However, it does add to the weight on the market’s shoulders. After all, how much further can corporate profits rise given the overheated economy?

Add it all together, you have dubious geopolitical factors, rising rates, a strengthening dollar, record high valuations and a tepid GDP.

BUT,

Perhaps that is why, despite the forewarnings, a market sculpted from bronze is hard to crack.

S&P 500 (SPY)  289.50 now the closest support. The high 2 weeks ago was 291.74.

Russell 2000 (IWM)  170 big support to hold on a closing basis. Now, if it has anything, it must clear/close over 172.

Dow (DIA)  259-260 support to hold.

Nasdaq (QQQ)  This is the index still working off a reversal topping pattern after making new highs 2 weeks ago. 183.50 is that fast moving average it must hold to keep going.

KRE (Regional Banks)  Confirmed distribution phase under the 200 DMA at 62.08

SMH (Semiconductors)  Unconfirmed Bullish phase. In a week this went from bullish to warning to distribution, back to warning and then bullish. Come on Sister-make up your mind! 103.82 the big swing area for the end of the week with the overhead 50 DMA at 106.38 pivotal for Monday.

IYT (Transportation)  206.90 pivotal support. Had a new all-time high close.

IBB (Biotechnology)  Back to an unconfirmed warning phase with 117.83 pivotal

XRT (Retail)  51.80 a good spot for this to recapture. The 50 DMA below is at 50.70

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The authors may have a position in the mentioned securities at the time of publication. Any opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not in any way represent the views or opinions of any other person or entity.

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