Technical Stock Market Report

May 14, 2016

The good news is: New highs on the NYSE hit sensational numbers early last week.

The Negatives:  It appears everyone is searching for yield.  With 10 year Treasuries yielding 1.7%, the strongest sectors are utilities, precious metals and corporate bonds.  Bond funds traded on the NYSE are dominating the new high list.  Apparently the belief the Fed will raise rates soon is fading.

NASDAQ new lows reached threatening levels last week.

NYSE new lows are near threatening levels.

The chart below covers the past 6 months showing the NASDAQ composite (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 vertical lines have been drawn on the 1st trading day of each month.  Dashed horizontal lines have been drawn at 10% levels for the indicator, the line is solid at the 50%, neutral level.

OTC HL Ratio fell deeper into negative territory last week.

The next 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.

OTC NH appears to be turning downward.

In case you were thinking the chart above did not look too bad.

The next chart is similar to the one above except it covers the past year.

Assuming OTC NH does not turn around and head higher there is a long term pattern of lower highs and lower lows.

The positives: I have been complaining for years about the distortions in breadth data caused by the high percentage of interest rate sensitive issues in the NYSE.

Those distortions have never been more apparent than they are right now.

The chart below is similar to the first one above except it shows the S&P 500 (SPX) in red and NY HL Ratio, in blue, has been calculated from NYSE data.

NY HL Ratio declined a bit last week, but finished the week at a very strong 79%.

The next chart is similar to the second one above except is shows the SPX in red and NY NH in green has been calculated from NYSE data.

NY NH suggests a raging bull market.

To be consistent, the next chart is similar to the 3rd one above covering the past year showing the SPX in red and NY NH in green.

We are looking at a desperate scramble for yield.

Money supply (M2) & Yield Curve

The charts below were provided by Gordon Harms.

M2 has taken a big jump in the past month, the biggest in years.

An inverted yield curve has been the best predictor of a recession.  

It is pretty hard for the yield curve to invert when the low end is at 0.

The chart below covers the past 15 years.

For the past 2 years rates have been converging.


NYSE breadth indicators look good because of what appears to be a panic into the safety of fixed income.  NASDAQ breadth indicators are following a pattern of progressive deterioration.

I expect the major averages to be lower on Friday May 20 than they were on Friday May 13.

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.

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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