Saturday, March 15, 2014

Seeing a Broader Market Field

Great quarterbacks, it is said, see the whole field.  It may look as though receivers are covered and no passing opportunities are present if you're looking down the center of the field, but off toward the sidelines--or maybe even just off to your side--could be a good opportunity to complete a pass.

If all you were looking at yesterday afternoon was the S&P 500 Index (SPY, bottom chart above), what you saw was weakness through the day.  

Had you been looking at the smaller cap Russell 2000 shares (IWM, middle chart above) or the emerging markets ETF (EEM, top chart above), you would have seen shares holding nicely above their morning lows.

There was significant selling pressure in the afternoon, with multiple NYSE TICK readings below -800, and yet by the end of the day we had 643 stocks making fresh monthly lows, compared with 685 the day before.  Failing to trade below their prior day's lows were small cap shares (IJR); midcap shares (MDY); homebuilding shares (XHB); consumer discretionary stocks (XLY); raw materials shares (XLB); energy shares (XLE); EuroStoxx shares (FEZ); and utilities stocks (XLU).

If we see renewed broad weakness early Monday, we'll know that's fresh selling pressure-- and that would be information.  If we see firmness in stock prices early Monday, a number of tunnel-visioned quarterbacks might just have to cover their shorts.

Further Reading:    Preparation and Your Trading Pace