U.S. Equity Markets Mark Clear Lines In The Sand

If you are aware of your market environment, you know the week leading up to Labor Day is a notorious snoozefest in U.S. Equity Markets. With many large institutional money managers taking the week off, volume is extremely light and percentage moves slim. And if you study market seasonality, like we do, then we also know the next two months have an increased probability of volatility and downside risk. One of our main responsibilities as market participants, if not our most important responsibility, is managing risk. With the aforementioned evidence in hand, we need to keep an eye on the most important piece of evidence: price. By observing price, we can keep an eye on previous areas of demand (and supply) in order to make risk-logical decisions. Here are the lines in the sand.

Below is a weekly line chart of the S&P 500 (our proxy for the overall US Equity Market). After moving sideways for approximately 18 months, with buyers and sellers battling for supremacy, this important index broke out to new highs this past July. This was a significant event as it proved that there were enough buyers to push the S&P to new all-time-highs.

U.S. Equity Markets - S&P 500 Weekly Chart

Looking closer, we can see that since its strong breakout, the S&P has digested those gains through sideways consolidation. This is a tremendous positive development for US Stocks. Anytime buyers are able to push price to new highs after a large period of sideways consolidation (such as the aforementioned 18 month period), it carries significance. The old adage, “the longer the base, the higher the space” gains more and more weight, the longer price can remain above the 2015 highs.

U.S. Equity Markets - S&P 500 Weekly Chart

Using the chart above, we can see there will be buyers ready to defend important levels near 2150, 2134, and 2110. If September seasonality shows up in its most bearish form, we should see these levels tested. If 2110 breaks, then the next level of support is near the Brexit-panic-lows at 2000. None of the aforementioned guarantees a September/October pullback. In fact, the characteristics of how traders impacted July and August opens the door for the opposite scenario, but you’ll have to wait for another post from us on that development. 🙂

In conclusion, we have our lines in the sand. We can use them to manage risk, our number one priority as market participants.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this article should be construed as investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell a security. You invest based on your own decisions.