Is the S&P 500’s record run near an end? Watch these 3 big-tech charts for clues

After back-to-back-to-back record closes for the Dow DJIA, +0.04% and S&P 500 SPX, +0.16%, investors might be asking what’s next?

Anyone suffering from triskaidekaphobia — the fear of the number 13 — or friggatriskaidekaphobia, fear of actual Friday 13th, might want to start their weekends early as we’re cruising through the first one since November 2020.

But in fact, the last two such Fridays — in March and November 2020 — produced 9.3% and 1.4% respective gains for the S&P 500, notes LPL Financial’s chief market strategist Ryan Detrick in a blog post. “Black cats and broken mirrors might be scary on this day, but stocks shouldn’t be,” he said.

That said, August and September are historically dicey months for investors, Detrick adds.

It’s also shaping up to be a bull market for the ages, possibly the fastest to double off the lows since the 1940s, Detrick said. As of Thursday’s close, the S&P 500 was 98.79% above its 2020 bear market low of 2,237.40 hit Monday, March 23, 2020, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

All that bullishness does worry some. That brings us to our call of the day from John Kosar, chief market strategist at Asbury Research, who said whether or not the S&P 500 gets an “overdue correction” depends on large tech.

“The traditional market leaders during a normal, healthy bull market — semiconductors, technology and small cap — have for the most part been inconsistent leaders in 2021. And the only two that have actually led at times — semis and tech — have been passing that mantel back and forth like they don’t want it,” Kosar told clients in a post.

He lays things out in a series of charts looking at the performance of the Nasdaq-100 NDX, +0.32%. The first shows how the index has been tested — and thus far rebounding — from its 21-day moving average (DMA), for the fourth time since rising above it on May 24.

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Asbury Research

His next chart (lower panel) shows daily total net assests invested in the Invesco QQQ exchange traded fund QQQ, +0.35%, which tracks the Nasdaq-100, testing their 21-DMA from above. As the chart shows, those assets have been above that DMA since May 24, which points to monthly expansion, a trend that has driven a 12% rise in techs.

Asbury Research

In his last chart, the strategist shows that since Aug. 10, the QQQ has moved to a trend of monthly relative underperformance versus the SPDR S&P 500 Trust ETF SPY, +0.18%. The red highlights on the left point to a similar trend for QQQ versus the S&P 500 ETF between April 26 and May 24, which coincided with an 8% fall in QQQ and 8% decline in the Nasdaq-100.

Asbury Research

In summary, his first two charts are bullish, showing an advance for big tech is intact, but Chart 3 warns of downside to come.

“A decline below NDX 14,974, and/or a new trend of monthly contraction in the total net assets invested in QQQ, would confirm this and suggest that a Tactical correction has begun in this market-leading index,” said Kosar.

Opinion: The ultimate bull case for the stock market: It keeps making new highs

China shuts a vital port and Disney’s earnings blowout

Data revealed import prices cooled off in July, with the University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment index for August still to come.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration late Thursday authorized an extra COVID-19 shot for those with compromised immune systems, adding to the emergency-use authorizations for the Pfizer PFE, +2.62% and Moderna MRNA, -0.42% COVID-19 vaccines.

Asia stocks came under pressure Friday, with some fingers pointing at a potential blow to supply chains after China shut down the Meishan Terminal of the Ningbo-Zhoushan Port over a COVID-19 case. It’s the world’s biggest by tonnage shipped. Import prices also surged in South Korea.

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Disney DIS, +1.00% reported its strongest sales and profit since before the pandemic late Thursday, as theme park business boomed and 116 million new subscribers were added to its streaming service. Shares are up.

ContextLogic WISH shares are slumping after the parent of e-commerce site Wish reported slowing demand for products and less activity on its platforms. Airbnb shares ABNB are down after the lodging-booking company reported blowout earnings, but didn’t give specific guidance. DoorDash DASH, +3.50% is taking a hit after record orders and order volume from the online food-ordering group, but a weak forward outlook.

Tesla´s TSLA, -0.70% chief executive officer Elon Musk will on Friday host a leading candidate to replace German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the electric car maker’s work-in-progress car and battery factory.  

Amazon Studios AMZN, -0.29% will move filming of its “Lord of the Rings” TV series to the U.K., despite New Zealand offering up extra subsidies.

The markets

U.S. stocks opened mostly higher, with the Dow and S&P 500 hitting intraday records near Friday’s open, and the pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.21% looking at its 10th straight win. But oil CL00, -1.53% BRN00, -0.48% was slipping after COVID-19-related demand warnings from the International Energy Agency and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

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