“Stocks take an escalator up, but an elevator down.” — Old investment axiom
The saying above sure happened yesterday. In the end, the S&P 500 Index fell 5.9% for the worst day since March 16 and the first three-day losing streak in more than three months. What does it mean? We’ve been on record that we expect some type of well-deserved pullback or at least consolidation after the 45% bounce off of the March 23 lows and the best 50-day rally ever. Then add in the fact that June has been the worst month of the year for stocks since 2000 and some type of weakness is perfectly logical here and now.
“In many ways, this is one of the most overbought stock markets we’ve ever seen. Now the catch to this is previous times we’ve seen major levels similar to now have been closer to the beginning of bull markets than the end of bull markets,” explained LPL Financial Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick.
This is now one of the greatest surges off a major low ever. It is perfectly normal to see a drawdown of double digits after the initial surge weakens. This could be happening now.
We’ve shown that huge up months like April tend to eventually resolve higher, but some near-term weakness is possible.
Also, when more than 90% of the stocks in the S&P 500 are above their 50-day moving average, this shows solid longer-term results. Again, suggesting that very overbought isn’t always a bad thing.
There was a huge spike in stocks marking new monthly highs, again historically an overbought signal. This opens the door for some near-term weakness, but is a very positive sign longer-term.
Last, in the LPL Chart of the Day, the S&P 500 was recently more than 13% above the 50-day moving average, one of the highest levels ever. The good news is one-year later stocks were higher every single time. Yet another clue that historically overbought isn’t always a bad thing for the bulls.
A record run, over-the-top excitement from small traders, the Nasdaq at 10,000, historically high multiples, and seasonality all could be a factor in why a pullback here could be perfectly normal. In fact, if you are bullish, after a 45% rally, one of the best things would be for prices to reset some here over the coming months. We would be a buyer of weakness and use it as an opportunity for longer-term price appreciation.
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S&P 500 Index: The Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index tracks the performance of 500 widely held, large-capitalization US stocks.
All index and market data from Factset and MarketWatch.
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