Scott MartindaleThe technical picture for stocks has shifted from bearish into neutral, and our fundamentals-based sector rankings appear to have moved from bullish to neutral, as well. Thus, caution remains the order of the day until either the bulls or bears can find a catalyst -- and enough recruits -- to move the ball in their direction.

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Scott MartindaleStock market bulls made a valiant effort to fight off another looming correction last week. The economy is showing strong signs of recovery, the Fed remains confident enough to continue its stimulus tapering, and attractive alternative investments to the U.S. stock market seem scarce. Yes, bulls are all dressed up for more fun times. However, the technical picture paints a different story, at least for the near term.

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Scott MartindaleOverall, the economy appears to be on a steady path to recovery. As the Federal Reserve eventually allows interest rates to rise, we likely will see a rotation out of value and into growth as defensive debt-intensive companies struggle relative to companies that have lower debt burden and stronger prospective earnings growth.

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Scott MartindaleAs I suspected it might, the stock market bounced strongly last week. Weakness the prior week was due in part to traders exiting positions for vacation during the holiday-shortened week, protecting big capital gains, cashing out to pay taxes on capital gains, and “delta hedging” on put options. However, I’m not convinced that the pullback was sufficient to create the great buying opportunity -- but it was sure a tradable bounce.

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Scott MartindaleThe sudden bearish turn last week in the market -- after hitting new highs the prior week -- has come fast and furious as selloffs are wont to do. And the pullback might have further still to go. But there are several reasons to expect a stabilization or bounce during this holiday-shortened week, and in any case I still expect that it eventually will turn out to be a great buying opportunity leading to higher prices later in the year.

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Scott MartindaleAlthough the large caps set new highs early on Friday, small caps and NASDAQ have not come close to their prior highs. Friday closed with extreme weakness across the board, and it was on high volume. The technical picture and our fundamentals-based sector rankings have both taken a bearish turn, so we might see more weakness ahead.

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Scott MartindaleAs Q1 of 2014 comes to an end, we can see that January was extremely weak, February gained it all back, and March treaded water. At this point, as we head into what has been the strongest month of the year over the past 20 years, signals are mixed, with a steadily recovering economy and bullish fundamental indicators mixed with neutral technical and some bearish sentiment indicators.

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Scott MartindaleBulls continue to climb their wall of worry, as uncertainty from the latest “bricks in the wall” created by Russia in Crimea, slowing growth in China, and Fed tapering fades into the mosaic.

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Scott MartindaleThe weakness last week in U.S. stocks was entirely expected. As I mentioned in last weekend’s article, the technical condition had become quite overbought and the market was overdue to take a breather and pull back a bit. Also, our SectorCast rankings had moved from bullish to a more neutral bias.

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Scott MartindaleAfter a requisite knee-jerk selloff, stock market bulls shook off Russia’s military action in Ukraine and Crimea as just another buying opportunity. Even adding the Russian Bear to their arsenal couldn’t give bears the upper hand for long. The S&P 500 large cap index set yet another all-time intraday high and closed at a new record high on Friday.

smartindale / Tag: iShares, ETF, sectors, SPY, VIX, iyw, IDU, IYF, IYK, IYH, IYE, IYM, IYJ, IYZ, IYC, XLU, XPH, KBWI, IXN ZCOR SHPG, NTCT, MANH, KEY, OFG, EDN, TRGP / 0 Comments

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