Technical Stock Market Report

April 16, 2016

The good news is:  The secondaries have been outperforming the blue chips.

The Negatives: NASDAQ breadth indicators continue to underperform NYSE breadth indicators.  Considering the NASDAQ composite (OTC) is only about 5% off its all-time high, the number of NASDAQ new highs has been abysmal.

The first chart covers the past 6 months showing the OTC in blue and a 10% trend (19 day EMA) of NASDAQ new highs (OTC NH) in green.  Dashed vertical lines have been drawn on the 1st trading day of each month.

In a healthy bull market, OTC NH would be leading the way upward.

The next chart is similar to the one above except it covers the past year.  OTC NH has been deteriorating for quite a while.

The next chart is similar to the first chart except it shows the S&P 500 (SPX) in red and NY NH, in green, has been calculated from NYSE data.

The NYSE has a lot more interest rate sensitive issues than the NASDAQ and the yield on 10 yr treasuries has fallen to around 1.7%.  The NYSE new high list has been dominated by interest rate sensitive issues.

The next chart is similar to the one above except it covers the past year and a half.NY NH looks pretty good here, but not quite as good as the shorter term chart suggests. 

The positives

While new highs have been disappointing, new lows have disappeared and nothing really bad happens without a significant increase in new lows.

The chart below covers the past 6 months showing the OTC in blue and a 40% trend (4 day EMA) of NASDAQ new highs divided by new highs + new lows (OTC HL Ratio), in red.  Dashed horizontal lines have been drawn at 10% levels for the indicator, the line is solid at the 50%, neutral level.

OTC HL Ratio rose to a very strong 73%.

The next chart below is similar to the one above except it shows the SPX in red and NY HL Ratio, in blue, has been calculated from NYSE data.

NY HL Ratio finished the week at a sensational 96%.

Money supply (M2) and interest rates

The charts below were provided by Gordon Harms.

It looks like there was a spike in M2 early in the month.  And M2 growth is well above its long-term trend.

An inverted yield curve (short-term rates above long-term rates) has been the best predictor of a recession.  The chart below shows a comparison of 2yr - 30yr rates over the past 16 years.  It is difficult to imagine how the yield curve could invert when the Fed is holding short-term rates at or near 0% and M2 is expanding rapidly.


There is nothing alarming in the breadth indicators -- and seasonally the last half of April has been pretty strong, especially for the secondaries.

I expect the major averages to be higher on Friday, April 22 than they were on Friday, April 15.

Bruce Stratton who announced his retirement as webmaster of has found someone interested in taking over the day to day operations of the website.  I am happy to hear that.  Safehaven has been carrying and archiving these reports since the early days.

Disclaimer: Charts and figures presented herein are believed to be reliable but I cannot attest to their accuracy.  Recent (last 10-15 yrs.) data has been supplied by CSI (, FastTrack (, Quotes Plus and the Wall Street Journal (  Historical data is from Barron's and ISI price books.  The views expressed dare provided for information purposes only and should not be construed in any way as investment advice.  Furthermore, the opinions expressed may change without notice.

You may reproduce these letters provided you include a citation along with a link to the subscription page:

Mike Burk began developing equity trading systems in the early 1980's.  Through the 1990's he marketed an equity trading system called MIRAT based on breadth indicators, but, primarily new lows.  In the early days of this century he developed the seasonal trading strategies currently used by Alpha Investment Management of Cincinnati.  Mr. Burk has been writing equity market newsletters since the early 1990's.  During the past 10 years the letter observes both breadth and seasonal strategies.
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