Technical Nuggets: Santa-Trump Rally Could Deliver Higher Stock Prices

The last two weeks of the year (the “Santa Claus Rally”) are traditionally low-volume trading periods with an upside bias. It’s also a good time to see what’s working and what may be worthwhile in the early part of the next year. And although this year’s overall market picture has been affected by the remarkable election result, the increasingly chaotic nature of the market, and the selectively explosive rally that’s followed it is not out of the realm of possibilities to see the market put on one last final blast to the upside at some point in the next few trading sessions. Thus, investors who stay in town may make the year’s final few days pay off if they choose wisely.

The Big Picture
The S&P 500’s sideways action is indicative of the overall trend for the market but is not the complete picture of what’s happening. To the contrary, in depth analysis reveals that there are still opportunities for further gains if you know where to look.

SPX 2016 12 23

The S&P 500 seems to be in consolidation mode. On Balance Volume (OBV) and Money Flow (MFI) are moving sideways, while the MACD (Moving Average Convergence Divergence) and MACD Histograms, which measure overall market momentum, are flashing either indecision or a market that is just tired. When taken together, these three indicators suggest that the market is trying to make a decision as to its next move. Given seasonal trends, though, this indecision may well be a prelude to another attempt toward new highs.

The Bollinger Bands (green lines above and below price candlesticks) are starting to close in on prices. This could take several days to work its way toward a big move. Right now, all indicators suggest that the market is taking a breather.

The Market’s Breadth Smells Like Roses
No market halitosis here. Indeed, the biggest positive for the market and likely the deciding factor about the direction of its next move is the NYSE Advance Decline Line (NYAD). This indicator is likely to make a new high before the end of the year if the market’s underlying conditions don’t change. This is very bullish if it continues.

NYAD 2016 12 23

Room to Rise in Semiconductors
The big winners after the election have been the banking and energy sectors with 23% gains each. Both of those sectors could still climb higher, but may not do as well as sectors that have risen a bit less and are showing signs of increasing strength. Some areas of technology, such as the Semiconductor Index (SOX) are good examples of this. These widely followed semiconductor chip stocks have climbed nearly 12% after Trump’s victory, but seem to still have upside momentum.

SOX 2016 12 23

The rising ADX line associated with the SOX index is still in the middle of the channel, while the MACD and MACD histogram are nowhere near oversold levels. This combination of indicators, along with the steady price trajectory in the index, suggests that prices still have more room to rise.

Take This Home for the Holidays
When the S&P 500 is moving sideways it’s helpful to look at individual sectors and the market’s breadth for clarification. And at this point, a deeper look at this market suggest that barring a Black Swan event, this market still has opportunity and could end the year on a high note. What happens beyond that is anybody’s guess. I’ll have a final look at things next week.



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