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Weekly S&P 500 #ChartStorm - 14 April 2019

Those that follow my personal account on Twitter will be familiar with my weekly S&P 500 #ChartStorm in which I pick out 10 charts on the S&P 500 to tweet. Typically I'll pick a couple of themes to explore with the charts, but sometimes it's just a selection of charts that will add to your perspective and help inform your own view - whether its bearish, bullish, or something else!

The purpose of this note is to add some extra context and color. It's worth noting that the aim of the #ChartStorm isn't necessarily to arrive at a certain view but to highlight charts and themes worth paying attention to.

So here's another S&P 500 #ChartStorm write-up!

1. S&P500 Levels: First up is a check in on price, very simply this one got featured because it shows the index clearing the 2900 level. This level is important for a number of reasons, but it also brings the market closer to making a new all time high. Breaching levels and new highs are important because it often activates additional sources of buying power as momentum traders come to market, and retail pays more attention... and a sort of capitulation takes hold. Likewise, failure at key levels and new highs can say just as much on the bearish side.

Bottom line: The S&P500 cleared the 2900 level last week, watch what happens next.

2. Retail Investor Sentiment: Next one is the TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index. This one adds further to a theme I've been talking about a lot in the past couple of months - the light participation by investors, both retail and insto, in the rebound rally. Following a volatile year, and particularly the Dec correction, and with all the negative news flow, investors remain very skeptical on the market outlook, and those who sold at the bottom and sold the initial rebound have in many cases sat on their hands.

This is what I referred to in the previous chart when I said that follow through on the clearing of 2900 and a new all time high may activate this cash on the sidelines through simple bullish capitulation. (but then again, maybe they will be proven right in hindsight, we'll see!)

Bottom line: Retail investors remain skeptical on the market outlook.

3. Hedge Fund Positioning: This chart provides another angle on that theme, which shows equity long/short hedge funds have been running fairly light exposure (low beta), and global macro funds look to have been short and if anything increasing shorts. Again, maybe they have picked it right, but either way we can say with some confidence that a large cohort of investors have spoken with their feet on their confidence in the market outlook, and many have been left behind through the roaring rally of 2019 (so far).

Bottom line: Hedge funds are running relatively light exposure to US equities.

4. US Earnings Pulse: This chart provides another interesting follow-on, it's what I call the US Earnings/Macro Pulse and shows the pulse of earnings revisions and US economic data flow vs expectations. If you want to point to a single thing that explains wh