Stocks saw elevated volume and volatility last week, and the 100-day simple moving average on the S&P 500 proved to be the proverbial line-in-the-sand for bullish investors. I opined last week that the market seemed to have sufficiently cycled back down to oversold territory, so with a little more technical consolidation and successful testing of nearby support levels, the next move higher could easily commence at any time. So, the question remains as to whether that was the big new buying opportunity, or whether more backing-and-filling is needed.

Now that’s what I’m talking about. I have been discussing the overbought technical conditions of the S&P 500 for some time and the need for a pullback to test bullish support levels. And as many commentators have suggested, the more time between pullbacks, the more severe is the action when it finally arrives. Bears had become very hungry after a prolonged hibernation. This week offered up a nasty pullback.

Scott MartindaleOnce again, stocks have shown some inkling of weakness. But every other time for almost three years running, the bears have failed to pile on and get a real correction in gear. Will this time be different?

Despite a highly eventful week in the news, not much has changed from a stock market perspective. No doubt, investors have grown immune to the daily reports of geopolitical turmoil, including Ukraine vs. Russia for control of the eastern regions, Japan’s dispute with China over territorial waters, Sunni vs. Shiite for control of Iraq, Christians being driven out by Islamists, and other religious conflicts in places like Nigeria and Central African Republic.

Brent Miller, CFA, has been named president and chief operating officer of Gradient Analytics, a Sabrient subsidiary, among other staff changes. More

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Scott MartindaleMore unnerving conflicts around the globe have flared up, but as usual, U.S. equity investors have given it nary a yawn as they seem to have become pretty much numb to the steady stream of unwelcome news, particularly out of the Middle East. Now we enter the summer version of earnings season.

Stock investors entered the Fourth of July holiday on a high note, pushing the Dow Jones Industrials Index above 17,000 and the Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index above 21,000, and even pushing the S&P 500 to a smidge above the upper trend line of its long-standing bullish ascending channel that has been in place for nearly three years.

Scott MartindaleStocks continue to hold up like troopers even though bulls have lost some traction, perhaps due to a combination of the summer doldrums and overbought technical conditions that have them biding time until the next setup for a run at new highs. To be sure, bears are AWOL and missing their opportunity to create some fear and ignite a correction.

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U.S. stocks just continue to cruise right along, although investors seem to be displaying a healthy level of caution, looking over their shoulders as they whistle past the graveyard and bet on ongoing improvement in corporate earnings and economic growth. Despite extremely overbought technical conditions and regional hot spots that may ultimately threaten global economic recovery, investors seem undeterred.

Scott MartindaleAfter its long-awaiting breakout of the 1900 level the other week, the S&P 500 gained another +1.3% last week alone, but this double-low progression as I call it -- i.e., on extremely low volume and with persistently low volatility -- is worrisome.

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