Minor losses pressure Thursday's reversal attempt
I was looking for more from Friday's trading action as sellers were able to prevent buyers from gaining any traction over the course of the day. A soft open got softer as the day progressed and the week finished with markets now looking vulnerable to a gap down open on Monday. If there was a positive it was that selling volume was light, but there was further technical degradation by the close.
This was perhaps hardest felt in the Russell 2000 ($IWM), which sold off by less than 1%, but there was enough weakness to see a 'sell' trigger in stochastics to turn technicals net bearish for the index. There is a support level around $192.85 which needs to hold if the index is to continue a sequence of higher highs - higher lows from the February bottom.
The Nasdaq still has plenty of room to use before it gets to March lows, but it has run out of moving average support it can use. There was a new MACD trigger 'sell' - albeit from the bullish side of the MACD zero line (nothing as worrisome as a 'sell' trigger from below the zero line) - but any more losses from here will negate whatever bullishness was built from Thursday.
Finally, the S&P probably had the best of Friday's action. It finished with a neutral doji on 200-day MA support. Defensive Large Cap stocks remain the preferred sanctuary for traders, but even this modest trading day was not enough to prevent a 'sell' trigger in the MACD. Aside from that, other supporting technicals remain positive (although no longer net bullish).
For Monday, eyes will be on the Russell 2000 as this index has to rally if the next bull market is to emerge here. Traders are still happy to hold Large Cap stocks for now, but this may change if Small Cap growth stocks take a dip below February lows.
You've now read my opinion, next read Douglas' blog.
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