New Record Highs As Bull Run Continues…Can It Get Even Higher?

February 16, 2017

In our opinion, speculative short positions are favored (with stop-loss at 2,410, and profit target at 2,200, S&P 500 index).

Our intraday outlook is now bearish, and our short-term outlook is bearish. Our medium-term outlook remains neutral, following S&P 500 index breakout above last year's all-time high:

Intraday outlook (next 24 hours): bearish

Short-term outlook (next 1-2 weeks): bearish

Medium-term outlook (next 1-3 months): neutral

Long-term outlook (next year): neutral

The main US stock market indexes gained 0.5-0.6% on Wednesday, extending their short-term uptrend, as investors reacted to economic data, quarterly corporate earnings releases. The S&P 500 index has reached yet another new all-time high at the level of 2,351.30, following slightly lower opening of the trading session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average trades above the level of 20,600, and the technology Nasdaq Composite Index is now above 5,800 mark. All three major indexes trade at new record highs. Will the market extend its year-long medium-term uptrend even further before some more meaningful downward correction? The nearest important level of support of the S&P 500 index is at around 2,320, marked by Monday's daily gap up of 2,319.23-2,321.42. The next support level is at around 2,300-2,310, marked by previous level of resistance and Friday's daily gap up of 2,311.08-2,311.10. We can see some short-term volatility following three-month-long rally off last year's November low at around 2,100. Is this a topping pattern before downward reversal? The uptrend accelerates, and it looks like a blow-off top pattern accompanied by some buying frenzy. The S&P 500 index trades above its medium-term upward trend line, as we can see on the daily chart:

Expectations before the opening of today's trading session are slightly negative, with index futures currently down 0.1-0.2%. The European stock market indexes have lost 0.2-0.5% so far. Investors will wait for another series of economic data announcements: Housing Starts, Building Permits, Initial Claims, Philadelphia Fed at 8:30 a.m. The market expects that Housing Starts along with Building Permits were little changed in January, the weekly Initial Claims number was at 242k, and the Philadelphia Fed number was at 17.5 in February. The S&P 500 futures contract trades within an intraday consolidation following yesterday's rally. The nearest important level of support is at around 2,340, marked by recent local high. The next support level remains at 2,325-2,330, marked by previous level of resistance. On the other hand, resistance level is at around 2,350, marked by new record high. There have been no confirmed negative signals so far. However, we can see short-term overbought conditions, along with negative technical divergences. Is this a topping pattern or just an intraday consolidation before another leg up?

The technology Nasdaq 100 futures contract follows a similar path, as it currently trades within an intraday consolidation after yesterday's rally. It has reached new all-time high above the level of 5,300. The technology sector stocks have been relatively stronger than the broad stock market recently following better-than-expected quarterly earnings releases. The nearest important support level is at 5,280-5,300, marked by previous level of resistance, and the next support level is at around 5,250, among others. The market trades along new all-time highs, as the 15-minute chart shows:

Concluding, the broad stock market accelerated its rally on Wednesday, as investors' sentiment remained very bullish. The S&P 500 index has reached yet another new all-time high within an eight-year-long bull market off 2009 low. Will the uptrend continue despite some clear short-term overbought conditions? Or is this a topping pattern before downward correction?

Our speculative short position from December 14 has been closed on Tuesday, at the stop-loss level of 2,330 (S&P 500 index). We lost 61.65 index points on that trade, betting against year-long medium-term uptrend off last year's February local low. It is always important to set some exit price level in case some events cause the price to move in the unlikely direction. Having safety measures in place helps limit potential losses while letting the gains grow.

There have been no confirmed negative signals so far. However, we still can see medium-term overbought conditions accompanied by negative technical divergences. Therefore, we continue to maintain our speculative short position (opened yesterday at 2,335.58 - opening price of the S&P 500 index). Stop-loss level is at 2,410 and potential profit target is at 2,200 (S&P 500 index). You can trade S&P 500 index using futures contracts (S&P 500 futures contract - SP, E-mini S&P 500 futures contract - ES) or an ETF like the SPDR S&P 500 ETF - SPY. It is always important to set some exit price level in case some events cause the price to move in the unlikely direction. Having safety measures in place helps limit potential losses while letting the gains grow.

To summarize: short position in S&P 500 index is justified from the risk/reward perspective with the following entry prices, stop-loss orders and profit target price levels:

S&P 500 index - short position: profit target level: 2,200; stop-loss level: 2,410

S&P 500 futures contract (March) - short position: profit target level: 2,197; stop-loss level: 2,407

SPY ETF (SPDR S&P 500, not leveraged) - short position: profit target level: $220; stop-loss level: $241

SDS ETF (ProShares UltraShort S&P500, leveraged: -2x) - long position: profit target level: $15.47; stop-loss level: $12.98.

Paul Rejczak is a stock market strategist, who has been known for quality of his technical and fundamental analysis since the late nineties. He is interested in forecasting market behavior based on both traditional and innovative methods of technical analysis. Paul has made his name by developing mechanical trading systems. Paul is the author of Sunshine Profits’ premium service for stock traders: Stock Trading Alerts.

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