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Stock Market Bears Trying....Bull-Bear Nearing Zero...

Stock-Markets / Stock Markets 2016 Jan 07, 2016 - 10:08 AM GMT

By: Jack_Steiman

Stock-Markets

What an interesting night we had last night. N. Korea blowing up a hydrogen bomb and causing a 5.2 earthquake. China had a terrible services number and also put a ban on selling. Government intervention to save its own hide at its best. The markets didn't take well to the news overall as one would expect. This caused a gap down in our futures below key 1993 S&P 500 support. Not to worry. As usual, the market found a way to hold off the bears. Seven years of this, so that was no surprise to anyone. It's an old story.


The poor bears always, seemingly, surrendering it when they have it in their grasp. They have had their chances through the past year and a half, but for some reason the market always finds a way to hold off true bearish behavior before the market closes on a given day. Today was no exception. You could feel the bears licking their chops pre-market as the S&P 500 was down as much as 36 points. 1976 that level. That's quite a way from 1993, but the futures started to creep up ever so slowly before then open. Once we did open up for trading the lows were pretty much made. In the end today was really nothing more than a bad day in the market such as we've seen repeatedly for over a year now. No real upside and no real downside action that's sustainable.

Both sides definitely have their moments in the sun, but neither side has been able to do what's necessary to create a move that lasts through a breakout or a breakdown. Something always comes along to derail the excitement. No news during the day to excite the bulls, or, in other words, to really bring the market back up. But it did just enough. There's nothing for the bulls to be excited about here, even though they held the key 1993 level for the most part. No celebration there as they, too, have been useless in terms of creating the next big leg up. It continues to be a mindless, meandering market with no end in sight. Looking out over the horizon there doesn't seem to be an existing catalyst at this moment in time to change the story line. Not fun, but it is what it is. Neither side is in control, but the onus remains on the bears to do something bigger picture since they haven't been able to for nearly seven years now. It appears that a weakening global economy, plus monthly negative divergences still isn't enough at this moment in time to break us down. Add in crazy valuations to the equation, but all of that can't get us forcefully below S&P 500 1993 for now. Maybe someday soon, but not yet. Respect what you see not what you think it should be. A close at 1990 just isn't a true breakdown. Below 1993, but for a 2000-point index, three points just isn't a breakdown.

Here's what I think is even more amazing for the stock market. When you spend time searching around for leading stocks and leading sectors, it seems that a great deal of them are in bear markets or are getting very close to being so. With so many heavily weighted stocks looking bad it makes you wonder just how the market is holding up. Even the recent never fall stocks like Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), Google Inc. (GOOG), Facebook, Inc. (FB), and Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) have struggled a bit. Nothing dramatic, but they are well off their highs with some nasty gaps to have to deal with now above current price. There's some true technical damage. Although you know how easily these stocks can overcome even the worst of technical issues. That said, they don't look great, and with so many areas doing poorly, the market remains fine overall. Just enough rotation in the game to keep the markets head above water. it's struggling to swim, but it's not drowning yet. And that has been the mantra for this market. Rotation, rotation, and more rotation. It's big money moving the money around, but definitely not out of the market place. As long as this continues, the market has a real chance to hold up. While the market isn't anywhere near a bear market there are a load of stocks clearly in a bear market. Be very careful where you put your hard earned dollars folks.

The bull-bear spread is getting very interesting. Down to 3.1%. It's not that most folks are turning outright bearish, it's more that folks are moving from bullish to agnostic. That said, it's still 3.1%, and that is extremely low. Hard to get a rocking bear market starting from these levels. I can only imagine it got closer to zero today with the overall action. It can get to minus double digits very easily, but, to get there wouldn't take too long, if we started falling below some key-support levels. The bulls have to like how this number has rocked lower. It wasn't too long ago that we were dealing with a number closing in on an incredibly complacent 50%. Fear comes in incredibly fast when markets stop having leg up after leg up. Frustration has been the word. That has been enough to kill the spread nicely for the bulls. Price has barely fallen yet we've gone from incredibly complacent to very fearful. Fear requires action, and, thus, it explodes faster than complacency. When you add it all up, the market is nowhere, although not fun for either side, nor for trading overall. Today was just another day that ultimately wasn't all that important. Bulls, for the moment, held where they had to. Again, a close at 1990 just isn't a breakdown. There's trouble but no breakdown yet.

Peace,

Jack

Jack Steiman is author of SwingTradeOnline.com ( www.swingtradeonline.com ). Former columnist for TheStreet.com, Jack is renowned for calling major shifts in the market, including the market bottom in mid-2002 and the market top in October 2007.

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