Thursday, April 01, 2010

Divergences Showing Up in the Stock Market

Note the divergence between the ES futures (top chart), which made a fresh high this morning, and the Russell 2000 Index (IWM, bottom chart), which has stayed below yesterday's high and well below its prior peak. During the market's solid run up, small cap stocks led the way. Now we're seeing them underperforming, and that is showing up in the rather tepid readings from the new 20-day highs vs. lows. We've seen, thus far, only a little over 1000 stocks make 20-day highs so far today, well below the 3000+ new highs from earlier in March.

If you examine daily charts of the S&P 500 sectors, you'll also see that many did not register new highs so far today. I'm keeping a close eye on those divergences, as failure to follow through on the upside would target a return to the recent trading range.