December 18, 2016
By Mish Schneider
Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average partied like its 19,999. (The Dow only made it to 19,966.43.)
Meanwhile, the descent from even 19,966 could mean that a gremlin appeared on the wing of the Dow plane as it neared 20k.
I go back and forth with the whole question of whether the recent market rally is for real or merely window dressing for the holidays. Not one to argue with price performance, I do nonetheless grapple with the market’s appearance/reality dichotomy.
After last Thursday’s indecisive trading range in 3 out of the 4 indices, Friday’s action, instead of offering clarity on next direction, left investors wondering what’s next.
Normally, one thinks of a Gremlin as reptile-like creatures with bat like ears, sharp claws and teeth. Think about the fairytale Sleeping Beauty, where the queen, really a gremlin in disguise, shrouds her ugliness with artificial beauty.
What if the market’s Gremlin looks more like this mannequin in the Saks Fifth Avenue holiday window postured defiantly and frostily?
To help us understand whether we are dealing with innocent Sleeping Beauty or the Evil Queen herself, we turn to the Modern Family. Not quite 7 as in the 7 dwarfs, we can examine our 6 members plus one influential first cousin.
Granddad Russell 2000 outperformed the others on Friday. Closing slightly red, IWM appeared to me as the first gremlin on the wing after its 4-day decline. However, if IWM holds here, it could prove to be the hero.
Grandma Retail (XRT) declined in price 6 days in a row. She saw the dragon.
Transportation (IYT) danced with the beautiful Queen at first, but by Friday may have seen beyond the shroud.
Prodigal Son Regional Banks (KRE) and Sister Semiconductors (SMH) closed red, but not alarmingly so. Therefore, Monday should prove more decisive for both of those sectors. Particularly SMH, a down day Monday should spook the others even more so. If Semiconductors hold, Sleeping Beauty may have found a prince to awaken her with a kiss.
Biotechnology (IBB), already grounded by gremlins, began Friday with promise. However, IBB ended the week unable to clear the 50 daily moving average to improve its bearish phase.
So, who is the market’s first cousin or 7th dwarf? Why the 20-Year Long Treasury Bonds of course. If you prefer a face to an ETF symbol, imagine Janet Yellen’s.
Although the interest rates hiked ¼% last week, Janet’s comments could seal the fate for the rest of the Family. Essentially, Janet capitulated between a roseate and an uncertain view of the economy for 2017.
In Sleeping Beauty, the Evil Queen entices Snow White by posing as an old woman. Snow White pricks her finger on the needle of the old woman’s spinning wheel and falls into a deep sleep.
Should a deceptive gremlin like that appear on the wing of the plane, that would not bode well for the Dow bulls.
Conversely, if the Dow clears 20k, the market bulls pen a fairytale where everyone lives happily ever after.
S&P 500 (SPY) Under 224.50 trouble and over 227 better
Russell 2000 (IWM) 134-134.50 pivotal support to watch.
Dow (DIA) 120 to clear 196 to hold.
Nasdaq (QQQ) 119.65 pivotal area for Monday
KRE (Regional Banks) If this cannot get back over 56.00, then expect lower levels with 54 then 52 support.
SMH (Semiconductors) 71.50 support to hold if this is good
IYT (Transportation) A huge correction would bring this down to 154. If recaptures/closes 168 never mind.
IBB (Biotechnology) Unless this clears 275, could see move to 240
XRT (Retail) A break of 45.50 would be where the real fun begins.
IYR (Real Estate) Held 75.80 and should if good
GLD (Gold Trust) Marginal reversal pattern so no rush picking a bottom just yet
USO (US Oil Fund) 11.40 now support if this is to continue upwards
TLT (iShares 20+ Year Treasuries) 116.35 very big support on a monthly chart. Now, 118.50 resistance
UUP (Dollar Bull) Runaway gap if holds over 26.50
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