Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Extraordinarily Weak Breadth in the Stock Market

With DIA and SPY touching bull market highs intraday today, I couldn't help but notice that we were registering 418 fresh one-month highs across all exchanges and 547 lows.  (Data from the Barchart site.)  That is extraordinarily weak breadth.

As the chart above shows, the high-low breadth has been trailing for a while now, but has become unusually weak recently.  My data show that new 52-week highs for all NYSE shares were 370 in early June of this year; 365 on July 1; and 231 on September 2nd.  Small cap shares are well behind their bull market highs.  Incredibly, only 39% of SP 600 small cap stocks are trading above their 200-day moving averages, while that number is 55% for SP 400 mid caps and 73% for SP 500 large caps.  (Data from the Index Indicators site).  Plenty of stocks are not in bull markets, though you wouldn't know it from the large cap averages.

Meanwhile, the US Dollar is ripping higher, as investors anticipate higher rates in the US than in Japan and Europe.  Bonds have been selling off, also in anticipation of higher rates.  Most international stock markets are well off their highs (FEZ, EFA).  

Important shifts are occurring across asset classes and stock market internals have been weakening in response.  With my cycle measures near peaks, the chips have come off the table.