You know it is a bull market when you sell a few positions for decent gains and they keep going higher. The bulls (the optimists) are fully in charge right now. This doesn’t mean that the indexes won’t pull back. They will. It just means that when they will, dip buyers are likely to show up and defend the important technical areas. Look at the price action in the small-cap index Russell 2000 for example. It ran to 160, which has been a notable resistance. It pulled back from there only to find strong support right where it had to: 158. Now it will probably spend some time in a tight range between 157-160 before it is ready for another potential breakout later in the year.
Semiconductors continue to be the obvious price leaders in this tape. SMH will probably try to consolidate in a range while its rising 10 and 20-day moving averages catch up with it. In the meantime, there are still some good long setups in the sector: KEYS, MRVL, OLED, IPHI, TER, AMD, NVDA, etc.
The biotech sector is in a raging mode. For two Fridays in a row we saw some heavy buying in the sector. There are so many breakouts, both in stocks near their 52-week highs and in stocks far from their 52-week highs: MRTX, BGNE, IOVA, NVRO, NVCR, INCY, ALXN, AMGN, etc.
It is a bull market out there but the bullishness is not equally distributed. This is why we call bull market stock-picker’s markets. Three industries are in favor at the moment – biotech, homebuilders, and semis (5G related). This can change next week and other industries might step up and shine but as of right now these are your leaders.
Bull markets often correct through sector rotation. While QQQ and SPY keep making new all-time highs, there are still quite a few stocks that are struggling – take a stroll in the retail universe and you might be surprised how much relative weakness there is: NKE, RH, LULU, MCD, CMG, SHAK, etc.
We saw some crazy earnings-related moves last week: PINS tested their IPO price at 19 where it bounced. ANET was completely obliterated after substantially reducing revenue guidance. MELI and ETSY took a hit – in a matter of a few months they turned from market leaders to several market laggards. FB and BABA could not muster a rally despite strong earnings reports. On the other side, we saw strong earnings breakouts in semiconductors and building-related stocks. Overall, there is a mixed message from the reactions to earnings reports. My thesis is that many stocks will continue to chop in a range under the end of earnings season and after that we will see them break out and sustaining an uptrend.
We spent the past few months in a range-bound trading environment which brought quick reversals and multiple sector rotations, confusing a large group of market participants and conditioning many traders to take their profits quickly. There are some signs that we might be entering a new trending market environment where more breakouts are likely to work and it will pay to hold to our winners longer.
We are finally starting to see breakouts in growth, story stocks that are following through. Look at the short squeeze in TSLA last week.
AMZN missed estimates, went down 10% in the after-hours session on Thursday, only to almost fully recover the next day. Dip buyers are firmly in charge. There is no more positive indicator of an improving market sentiment than a positive reaction to a weak number.
Granted, many software stocks are still in a downtrend and guilty until proven innocent but some of them are already starting to stabilize. For me, they remain strictly and intraday or swing trading vehicle. I don’t trust them as a longer-term holding just yet.
In other words, the indexes are just a few points away from a FOMO territory (fear of missing out).