Momentum Monday – Tech Continues To Lead

MarketSmith powers the charts in this video

A few times every single year, market conditions are ripe to extract extraordinary returns while you can risk very little. They usually last a few weeks before trading profitably becomes significantly more challenging. Recognizing those special times is a valuable skill because they can account for more than 90% of our returns for the year. There are times to go long, times to go short, times to go fishing, and times to really get aggressive in the market. The opportunities that the market offered in the past two weeks were exceptional. Driven by the A.I. frenzy, stocks like NVDA, AMD, NFLX, GOOGL, AMZN, META, and MSFT made remarkable short-term moves. Those names offer all the liquidity in the world and one can easily build a sizable option position in them. Risk very little to make a lot. I managed to participate in some of those setups but I certainly wasn’t as aggressive as I should’ve been. I took partial profits too soon and I didn’t add to my winners. Maybe it is my traveling through Europe. Maybe, I didn’t recognize how special those opportunities were because I paid too much attention to scary macro rhetoric about the debt ceiling, recession, the Fed, small caps, and weak market breadth. Or maybe, hindsight is 20/20. I’d like to believe that proper preparation which includes staying in the right mindset can make a big difference. 

Last week, we finally saw the rally spilling beyond mega-caps. Semiconductors had one of their best weeks this year. SMH closed at new 52-week highs. Stocks like MU, RMBS, and LRCX had major breakouts and followed through. Software stocks also made outstanding moves: NOW, SPLK, GLBE, NET, SMAR, etc. What’s interesting is that all that tech strength happened in the face of rapidly rising interest rates and the US Dollar. Those used to be major headwinds for stocks last year. It seems correlations and narratives have changed this time, at least for now.

The most important question is what’s next. No one knows with certainty, of course. My understanding is that all of a sudden many of the recent leaders are looking extended and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some form of consolidation. They can either pull back toward their 10, 20, and 50-day moving averages or go sideways in a tight range until another catalyst appears. If this is a real breakout in QQQ, we should see money flowing into other stocks.

NVDA has been the top stock of 2023, riding on the coattails of A.I. It’s priced to perfection so I don’t expect a big upside surprise. Any potential dip will likely be bought as many institutions view it as a long-term A.I. play and some haven’t built their positions in it. It is expensive by many measures but sometimes perceived scarcity is much more important than valuation.

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