Import test for Russell 2000 ($IWM) as Nasdaq and S&P turn net bullish

The Labor day weekend will keep things on hold for another day, but the coming week is an important one for lead indices. We have the Russell 2000 ($IWM) at the cusp of a return to a net bullish state in its technical picture, matching the state for the Nasdaq and S&P on the daily timeframe. The only hold out is the stochatic [39,1], that hasn't yet crossed the midline. Friday's closing candlestick for the Russell 2000 was a littly iffy and in combination with stochastic mid-line resistance could spell a period of weakness for the week. However, from a price perspective, it's trading above $189 breakout support and key moving averages, so there is reason to be optimistic here. Another tick in the bullish column is the net accumulation in volume.

There are some minor concerns for the Nasdaq. It does enjoy solid, bullish technical strength with the index outperforming both the S&P and the Russell 2000 ($IWM). The only concern was Friday's bearish candlestick (that some may view as a bearish engulfing pattern on Thursday's bearish 'gravestone' doji), which may also lead to some downside in the early part of the week. Certainly for Tuesday, I would be looking for a lower close, but not a close below key support of 13,850 (intraday violations accepted though).

The S&P may have had the best of Friday's action, although it too didn't have a great candlestick finish; a 'black' candlestick (higher open, lower close > previous day close) is never one to get excited about as a bull. If there is a weak start to the week for the Russell 2000 ($IWM) and Nasdaq, I would find it hard for this index to buck the trend.

Where there was a risk in the early part of last week for a head-and-shoulder reversal across the lead indices, that seems to have past with the push beyond what would have been the left-hand-shoulder high (the price peak from early June). So instead, what we are looking for is an ease back to the June swing high, preferably with a successful support test and bounce. If this is not the case, then we are looking at a test of the June/August swing lows to set up a possible longer trading range, perhaps lasting into Christmas. The Nasdaq and S&P are trending above their 200-day MAs, without been too extended, so I don't have too many concerns with these indices. The Russell 2000 ($IWM) is playing with a fire a little, but this is more of a "holding" pattern rather than anything outright bearish.

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Investments are held in a pension fund on a buy-and-hold strategy.

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