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Where’s the Market? Stuck in a Layover

It’s as if the market is going up and down, but individual stocks are going nowhere.

The Market

My gosh can the market be more trudging? Can stocks be more lethargic?

I mean, everyone loves Apple (AAPL:Nasdaq), but look at this chart. We looked at it a few months ago and calculated a measured target around $250-$260. It had that terrific run, but look at the last several weeks, it has been a big, giant sideways.

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What about the VanEck Vectors/Oil Services exchange-traded fund (OIH) - Get Free Report. This is a chart I have liked as well. But I liked it back around mid-November. While the past week looks like a big move, the reality is since just prior to Thanksgiving, OIH is up about 30 cents. Big deal.

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Or, take the beloved iShares Russell 2000 Index (IWM) - Get Free Report for the small caps. It’s done better than most, but here, too, it’s the same place it was two weeks ago.

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Oh, sure, maybe we’re waiting on the Fed. Or the Tariffs. Or the ECB. Or Santa. But typically there is more than this. Typically when the breadth of the market is green for five straight days as it has been, the McClellan Summation Index is rising. But here you can see the Russell 2000 rallied 3% in a week and this indicator is flat. Heck, it rallied 3% in a week not once, but twice, and still this indicator is flat.

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It’s as if the market is going up and down, but individual stocks are going nowhere. Whenever this happens, I always think a good down move will shake it up and make the market feel better. It should reset charts, reset the indicators. Because what we have now is marking time and not much more.

New Ideas

About a week ago I was asked about Bristol Myers (BMY) - Get Free Report, which I had a higher target on, in the mid-$60 area, but I wrongly said I didn’t think it was a buy anymore. (It is up 10% since — so there’s a stock that has been on the move.) Instead, I said I thought Pfizer (PFE) - Get Free Report was better. That stock, of course, has gone nowhere. But look at it; it keeps improving and if it can ever get over $39, it ought to fill that gap over $40.

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Also, everyone is getting quite excited over copper these days (my pick on the group, a few weeks ago was Southern Copper (SCCO) - Get Free Report, but no one is talking about aluminum). I have shown the chart of Alcoa (AA) - Get Free Report several times of late with a note that I think it is trying to bottom and, quite frankly, it has gone nowhere. It’s another one that can’t get off the mat. I do not like that the uptrend line has been broken, but if it can ever get up and over $21, it will recapture the line and make a multi-week high. I still think it is trying to bottom.

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Today’s Indicator>

I cannot even give you a number that would turn The McClellan Summation Index, because right now a big up day should push it higher, while a big down day would push it lower. That is rare for this indicator, but I think it shows how sloppy and lethargic the market has been.

Q&A/Reader’s Feedback

Helene welcomes your questions about Top Stocks and her charting strategy and techniques. Please send an email directly to Helene with your questions. However, please remember that TheStreet.com Top Stocks is not intended to provide personalized investment advice. Email Helene here.

I don’t quite know what to do with the longer-term chart of Virgin Galactic (SPCE) - Get Free Report, but if it can map out in some approximation of what I have drawn in blue, then maybe it can complete the head-and-shoulders bottom that I have drawn in.

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I really thought when Netflix (NFLX:Nasdaq) fell to around $300 it would find some footing and rally, but it could not lift itself off the mat and instead fell to just under $260. It has now managed to claw its way back to resistance and pull back. I do not love the chart here, not at all. But if it can hold this $290 area, it ought to bounce again. A break of $290 (a break you can see clearly with your eyes) would have me selling rallies back to the line.

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The chart of Wisdom Tree Emerging Market High Dividend Fund (DEM) - Get Free Report is similar to the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (EEM) - Get Free Report and iShares China Large-Cap ETF (FXI) - Get Free Report charts that we have looked at quite a bit recently. As long as that uptrend line stays intact, it gets the benefit of the doubt to rally. I would love to see a pullback to $43 that holds to make a more symmetrical (tiny) head-and-shoulders-bottom, but perhaps that is me trying to be too perfect.

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Simon Property Group (SPG) - Get Free Report has a chart that makes me nervous, because it hasn’t made a higher high in months. A break of that $145 to $146 area would look like a new leg down to me. So, if you want to buy it, that’s your stop. I would love to see a higher high, but thus far that has not been the case.

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