Dow Jones futures were little changed overnight, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures. The stock market rally had another weak session, with Apple (AAPL) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) breaking below key levels while Amazon.com (AMZN) and Tesla (TSLA) are starting to move toward bear market lows.
The S&P 500 and other key indexes were testing or undercutting key levels, round-tripping last Wednesday’s big gain following Fed chief Jerome Powell’s speech.
This stock market rally has had several big one-day gains followed by pullbacks. That’s made it difficult for stocks flashing buy signals to make headway. It’s not a good time to be adding exposure, but investors should be looking for stocks setting up.
Dow Jones Futures Today
Dow Jones futures were flat vs. fair value. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures were roughly unchanged.
Stock Market Rally
The stock market rally quickly retreated after Tuesday’s open and continued to trend lower during the day before slightly paring losses near the close.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1% in Tuesday’s stock market trading. The S&P 500 index gave up 1.4%. The Nasdaq composite tumbled 2%. The small-cap Russell 2000 retreated 1.5%
Apple stock, a member of the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite, slid 2.5% to 142.91, back below its 50-day line. XOM stock sank 2.8%, also below its 50-day line as well as under a buy point. Exxon stock is struggling as oil, gasoline and natural gas prices all slump.
Amazon stock slumped 3% to 88.25, closing in on its Nov. 9 bear low of 85.87. Tesla stock fell 1.4% to 179.82, off intraday lows, but after tumbling 6.4% on Monday. TSLA is moving toward 52-week lows but still has some distance to go before it drops to that 166.19 mark.
U.S. crude oil prices slumped 3.5% to $74.25 a barrel.
The 10-year Treasury yield fell 9 basis points to 3.51%, back near the lowest levels since Sept. 20.
The stock market’s inverse relationship with Treasury yields may be breaking down. A lower 10-year Treasury yield increasingly may reflect rising recession risks vs. declining inflation pressures. The yield curve, which keeps inverting further, also indicates recession concerns.
SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME) edged up 0.25% and the Global X U.S. Infrastructure Development ETF (PAVE) edged down 0.3%. U.S. Global Jets ETF (JETS) held altitude. SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) fell 1.4%. The Energy Select SPDR ETF (XLE) slumped 2.6% and the Financial Select SPDR ETF (XLF) 0.9%. The Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV) declined 0.8%.
Stocks Near Buy Points
United Rentals stock rose 0.5% to 347.29, just above the 21-day line. URI stock has a 368.04 handle buy point from a consolidation going back to November 2021. Breaking the downtrend of the handle could offer an early entry. Several heavy-equipment plays, including Deere (DE), Caterpillar (CAT) and Titan Machinery (TITN), also are looking strong.
UNH stock edged up 0.8% to 539.32. The Dow Jones giant has a 558.20 buy point from a flat base next to a cup-with-handle consolidation.
Market Rally Analysis
The stock market rally continues a frustrating trend of jumping ahead four steps, then giving that back over the next few days.
The major indexes have fallen solidly for two straight sessions, wiping out or undercutting the big gains on Fed chief Jerome Powell’s speech last Wednesday.
The S&P 500 index, which fell back below the 200-day line Monday, extended losses Tuesday to undercut the 21-day line. The Russell 2000, which dropped below the 200-day and 21-day lines, slid to the lowest close since Nov. 9, with the 50-day line coming back in play.
The S&P MidCap 400 closed below its 21-day line for the first time since Oct. 20 and retreated to test its 200-day.
The Dow Jones, which has led the market rally, fell below its 21-day line for the first time since Oct. 14, but is well above its 200-day.
The laggard Nasdaq undercut its 21-day line and is once again approaching its 50-day line, just above the 11,000 level.
All of these indexes closed at their worst levels since Oct. 9, just before the Oct. 10 gap-up on the October CPI inflation report.
Last Wednesday’s big market gains were puzzling at the time, because Fed chief Powell didn’t say anything especially different or dovish. The major indexes holding up Friday, with Treasury yields ultimately closing lower, despite the hot jobs report was even more puzzling.
But the technical picture is familiar.
Since the stock market rally began on Oct. 13, The major indexes have had several big one-day gains — such as Oct. 28 and Nov. 30. But then they’ve soon fallen back, wiping out most, all or more than all of that big gain.
So right as the major indexes hit higher highs and leading stocks flash buy signals, the market rally starts to fade again.
What To Do Now
So far, the market rally has eventually rebounded each time, setting higher highs along the way. But that doesn’t mean it will happen this time. More importantly, it doesn’t mean that your stocks will rebound.
Until the S&P 500 moves decisively above the 200-day line, investors should be wary of adding exposure. The Nasdaq and Russell 2000 falling below their 50-day lines, and the S&P 500 testing its October highs, would be signs to reduce exposure further.
Also note that the November CPI inflation report comes out Dec. 13, with the year-end Fed rate hike and Powell news conference the following day. Those big events could provide the catalyst for a market rally break higher or lower.
So investors should be ready to act. That means having watchlists ready, but it also means staying engaged and flexible.
Read The Big Picture every day to stay in sync with the market direction and leading stocks and sectors.
Please follow Ed Carson on Twitter at @IBD_ECarson for stock market updates and more.
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