- Traders are looking for a close below the S&P’s 200 daily moving average.
- China doesn’t want a trade war. This isn’t a medium-long term bearish factor for the U.S. economy.
- The S&P 500’s maximum short term risk is a retest of its February 2018 low.
- Existing Home Sales went up in February. A medium-long term bullish sign for the stock market.
- CEO’s are extremely optimistic. A bullish leading indicator for the economy and stock market.
4 pm. Traders are looking for a close below the S&P 500’s 200 daily moving average
The best short term traders I know are looking for a marginal low below the February 9 lows. This also means that the S&P will close below its 200 daily moving average. (The S&P is currently sitting on its 200 daily moving average).
From a pure statistical perspective, I said that a close below the 200 sma is likely (see study from February).
Personally I don’t know if I agree with this short term bearish outlook. I’m not great at short term trading. I think this is a 50-50 shot. Always jump to a higher time frame when the short term is confusing. That’s why I focus on the medium-long term, which is still bullish. Stick to the facts and don’t let the market’s price lead your train of thought. Otherwise you’ll become bearish AFTER the market falls and become bullish AFTER the market rises. Trend followers get killed in a choppy and volatile market.
1 am: China doesn’t want a trade war. This isn’t a medium-long term bearish factor for the U.S. economy.
For starters, Trump did not start a full blown trade war. These are tariffs on $50-$60 billion worth of goods, not a $50-$60 billion tariff.
- China and the U.S. will negotiate over the next few weeks. This is just Trump’s way of bringing China to the negotiating table.
- China exports $460 billion to the U.S. each year. $60 billion is just 13% of China’s exports to the U.S.
More importantly, China does not want to risk a trade war. China is a net exporter and the U.S. is a net importer. China has much more to lose than the U.S. from a trade war. That’s why China has responded to the U.S. with a tariff on $3 billion worth of U.S. exports (see CNBC).
Let that sink in for a moment. Trump imposes a tariff on China for $60 billion worth of goods, and China considers imposing tariffs on the U.S. for $3 billion worth of goods. It’s pretty obvious which side has the weaker hand.
There’s a simple reason for this. China imports a lot of U.S. agricultural products (food is a necessity). China NEEDS these imports from the U.S.. Their domestic production is not enough to make up for a sudden shortfall, and they can’t quickly switch suppliers from e.g. the U.S. to Canada and Australia. The last thing China wants is skyrocketing food prices. China has long been afraid of surging inflation.
In other words, China needs the U.S. than the U.S. needs China. The U.S. doesn’t need cheap Chinese imports. It can get those from other Asian countries.
This is not a medium-long term bearish factor for the U.S. stock market.
1 am: the S&P 500’s maximum short term risk is a retest of its February low.
The U.S. stock market’s medium-long term outlook is bullish. The strong economy will eventually lead the stock market higher. However, this doesn’t mean that the stock market can’t fall in the short term.
I think the stock market’s maximum downside risk is a retest of its February low. A lot of historical corrections saw a crash, bounce, and retest. Perhaps the S&P is making a retest right now. Who knows. The short term is notoriously difficult to predict. The S&P is currently sitting on its 61.8% retracement.
See the 2016 “significant correction”. The market crashed, bounced, and retested.
See the 2011 “significant correction”. The market crashed, bounced, and retested.
See the 1998 “significant correction”. The market crashed, bounced, and retested.
The bottom line is, the stock market’s short term downside risk is limited and the medium-long term outlook is bullish. Risk:reward favors bulls. A retest is possible, but that’s about it.
1 am: Existing Home Sales went up in February. A medium-long term bullish sign for the stock market.
The latest reading of Existing Home Sales (for February) went up more than economists’ expected. More importantly, Existing Home Sales are still trending higher.
The housing market is a leading indicator for the U.S. economy. Rising Existing Home Sales implies that the economy continues to grow at a healthy rate. The economy and stock market move in sync over the long run. This also implies that the bull market in stocks isn’t over.
1 am: CEO’s are extremely optimistic. A bullish leading indicator for the economy and stock market.
It’s not just small businesses that are extremely optimistic. CEO’s are very optimistic as well. CEO optimism tends to lead capital investment, which is a key contributor to economic growth. Here’s the Business Roundtable’s CEO Outlook.
This implies that capital spending will increase over the next few months, which is a medium term bullish sign for the economy. And since the economy and stock market move in sync over the medium-long term, this is also a bullish sign for the stock market.
Read Stock market on March 22: outlook
Here’s what I think will happen based on my discretionary outlook.
- The S&P has made a 6%+ “small correction”. This will not turn into a “significant correction”.
- 2018 will trend higher but also be a choppy year. There will be another correction later this year.
- The S&P 500 has approximately 1-2 years left in this bull market.
I do not use my discretionary outlook to place entry/exit trades. I am 100% long SSO (2x S&P 500 ETF) because my Medium-Long Term model does not foresee a significant correction at this point in time. I ignore small corrections. I only sidestep significant corrections and bear markets.
I have been long the S&P 500 since September 7, 2017 when it was at 2465.
*I also have a small Day Trading portfolio. Click here to view my day trades.